From Tirant Hotel:
What's in a name? I asked this to Xuan and she explained "Ha Long" to mean "Beneath the Dragons." So Halong Bay is a bay where the nearly 2000 limestone islands jutting from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin are like little dragons rising up to the skyline. It is a natural beauty and wonder that is majestic to any beholder. Viewing them at different hour of the day draws out different feelings and moods. It inspires the poetic spirit in the romantic and the sights bring rest and resource to tired souls and bodies. Many come to Halong to see and feel what so many visitors before have extolled and many have agreed that Halong is indeed breathtakingly beautiful, serene and palliative. Some even claim Halong to be more exquisite than Guilin of China and Krabi of Thailand. It has to rank among the great natural wonders otherwise it wouldn't have received the World Heritage status in 1994 from UNESCO. A trip without overnighting in a junk is incomplete, so we made sure our visit must include a stay in the junk in the middle of the sea. And to affirm if all the above are true or overhyped statements.
We have had a good sleep last night, probably going to be the best of our 6 nights in this holiday, and awake at 0600 to pack off for the drive to Halong. The morning weather is clear but forecast is going to be wet like yesterday. As for Halong, it will be slightly better but being on a junk means we won't be wet. Hopefully our viewing of the bay beauty will not be marred. The American breakfast in the hotel restaurant was good and we are now waiting to be picked up for the 3 and half hour journey to the Bay. There won't be any post for the next 48 hours since I won't be able to access Internet on the junk or in the night train until we get to our hotel in Sapa. I will then write about Life on a Junk. See you soon.