Take your camera, sip a cup of coffee and spill your good vibes!!!
A two-hour flight from hot sunny Bangkok to cold with some chilly wind and raindrops in Ha Long City gives me some aches and pains because of the weather alone.Good thing, I have my best coat to keep me toasty and dance in the rain (metaphorically) with the challenges especially when it goes on for 3 days.
After all, the flu and rain can’t stop me from roaming around the charming city.Yasss girl! Hit the road! And I’m glad I did because I was able to see the reflection of the Ha Long Mirror even if the sun didn’t kiss me on my skin.
So, I turned on my own GPS to find my happy place and I found these five sunny spots for you to check out when you drop Ha Long City.
1. Ha Long Cruise
When I arrived in my budget hostel in Ha Long, I immediately asked the hotel tour desk what are the differences between the various cruises to Ha Long Bay. As expected, the higher bucks you pay, the higher service you get. But of course, I’m on a tight budget so it’s ideal to consider my personal requirements and the things that I just wanted to see. So, I ended up booked the Ha Long tour that costs me around 10 dollars, including the cave tour and transfers.Good deal huh!
Beyond everything, I was amazed how spectacular the UNESCO World Heritage Site attract humans from different countries all of the over world no matter which boat you’re on or your exploring on your own. It’s just as interesting how the distinctive zebra-striped appearance of the limestone.
I attempted to pose like Rose in Titanic movie but these three people in front of me are taking the whole scene.Oh, well.
Kayaking is the best way to explore the beauty of Ha Long Bay.
2. Ha Long Bay Cave Thien Cung Grotto (Heavenly Cave)
One of the highlights of the cruise is going through along the bay and visiting inside the caves with other thousands of tourists and I was in the group where we visited the Thien Cung Grotto, which is known as “Heavenly Cave”.The viewing deck over the gorge of the cave caught me offguard aside from the dramatic lights and icicle-shaped formation that hangs from the ceiling of a cave but Nguom Ngao Cave in Cao Bang City is still the most gorgeous cave I’ve visited so far.
Four pillars are bound to welcome you once you enter the not-so-long-walk cave
3. Quang Ninh Museum and Library
How limited my time is, but I still managed to visit this simple yet elegant libraryy and museum block, which is located in Cot 3 Area, Hong Hai Ward, Ha Long City. I just simply love how the Spanish architect laid out the galleries on each floor and how they organized the artifacts from whale skeleton hanging on the ceiling down to the small pieces of newspaper clips on display.I simply fall in love with this kind of thing.
You should not miss this if you’re a history buff because you will find interesting facts about mining, especially coal industry which is Quang Ninh Province is known for. And what I like the most is I was able to see and experience how they work on site from holding the old and heavy corded telephones to pushing the cart that miners used back in the days not to mention it was my first time! Life filled with firsts brings happiness! Pretty dope!
So happy to know that it’s open on Sunday! Peace out! BTW, the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, except Monday and holidays.
Mainly to keep when you go inside the museum. Grab yours!
4. Old Town Coffee
As might be expected, I was hungry and wanted to eat something different and ended up by the corner coffee shop near to the museum, which is kinda random, though. But I’m happy I did because I really missed the Vietnamese coffee taste and just simply linger for few hours before checking out and heading to the next city.
I ordered the black coffee with a layer of sweetened condensed and added a half-full hot water to cut the intensity of the strong and bitterness of the coffee (please note–this will come sweet if you do the same thing I did, what works for me, may not work for you).Whether you like plain black coffee or not, just get what you want because you’ll be the one enjoying it at the end.
My sweetened coffee plus the stunning view in the background wants me to enjoy the stillness of the nature.You can spot this place in So 10, Tran Quoc Nghien, TP Ha Long.
We filled our stomachs first with hot and cold drinks coupled with one whole pizza before we go separate ways.
5.Ha Long Night Market
This city is not nearly as big as Hanoi but Vincom Center is newly erected shopping mall in this area but if you’re not willing to spend much money then, you better off hit some markets if you want to buy some souvenirs for your family and friends.Ultimately, shopping is not about big malls with branded items as an old adage goes ” It’s the thought that counts”.
Halong Night Market is one of the markets that you should check on your bucket list. The market is a crowd of more than a hundred stalls which sell a variety of products, such as handicrafts, handmade accessories, clothes, bags and even “au giay” on the basement. While on the second floor, you can grab some Vietnamese coffee and special delicacies to eat not to mention that vendors here are friendly who can speak English quite well, so you should not be worry how to haggle down and pose for a while since they can have a nice chat with them about this charming city. Halong Night Market opens 7 days a week, from 6.00pm until 10pm.
You can scout some goodies like handmade seashell necklaces, colorful bags, and even customized cards on the basement floor.
Once you moved up to the second floor, you can savor the smell of the coffee beans inside the box that spreads all over the area.
Always remember this quote, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Not only sunshine can bring happiness to you. What about you? What’s your favorite quote when you deal with life’s messes especially when travelling? Please share your thoughts down below.