For most travellers, they come to Vietnam to cross one place off their bucket list – Halong Bay. That tourist attraction has got so much attention from all over the world by not only its place in UNESCO World Heritage List, but it is also just truly a treasure of the world. Its beauty is incomparable and its uniqueness is far beyond to describe. To you, it is a place you wish to come to see with your own eyes; but to me and to Vietnamese people, it is a pride to call it ours. The image of Halong Bay was just a blur through my childhood’s memory but I reckon it was a pretty beautiful memory. That memory led me back here to pay a visit once again, and one more time witness one beauty that was created by the mother of earth on the land I call home – Vietnam.
It was supposed just to be an unintentional experience with a cruise but everything stayed on that boat stupendously gave me what is called the best of its offers. Staggering on water in the middle of February was certainly not a great idea. The cold got to me harshly or it might have been my not-so-lucky day because the sun was hiding behind the clouds. However, it could not win the sacrificing of people who want to see the beauty of Halong Bay. And it stayed, stood exquisitely and shone by its own. I wondered, how all those nearly 2000 islets could stay in one place for centuries and if they chose to park themselves here or the mother of earth chose them to stand exactly where I was standing at that moment. On that deck of the boat, I was standing next to a man I briefly knew but we had something in common – we were on the same cruise and sharing the same view. May he has had a different thinking than mine but nonetheless, I wasn’t sharing that view alone.
Paloma cruise was the Halong cruise I chose to be on, a 4-star cruise that I had not expected to stay on (because I am a budget traveller) but was a good choice. Maybe those $50 cruises could also do the work but I was not a backpacker on this trip so why didn’t I go for something more luxurious and relaxing for change. I got myself checked in a beautiful cabin with a lounge and a wonderful view from my bed. Imagine waking up with a thought that I was lost in a painting but just a bit more real. Gotta say, a bit of luxury did feel really good. Also, it could have been an ideal romantic trip – a beautiful night on a boat and being surrounded by hundreds of limestones, amazing Vietnamese dishes served throughout a day, cruising through caves and islands, enjoying the sea in the middle of the bay and finding yourself sharing all that with the one you love. I certain that I will do that once again because it sounds like a dream, my dream.