Up early to checkout and jump on the minibus to Halong City. No stopping for 3 hours which was pretty hard on the bum. Then a half hour at a tourist trap. Looked at some marble statues which were about 10 times the price in Saigon. Another hour and we got to the bay. Once we got on the boat we recuperated quite quickly with a welcome drink and fruit. Small cabin as you would expect but rather pretty with our own bathroom. Small group with two Italian men, two Italian brothers, two Germans(Johnny and Gerry), a Kiwi with an Irishman (Kate and Leo) and two American kids (Arslan from NY and Courtney from California).
Halong Bay is rather beautiful. First stop was Surprise Cave. It has three chambers and was well worth the visit. Then the Responsible Adult surprised me yet again by jumping into a kayak with me We had a good paddle around the floating village, hassled by boat touts before returning to the boat for dinner. Apparently the current floating village mob are decendants of the original inhabitants from the last ice age.
The boat has Peter Lehman wine so we knocked a couple of bottles over with some cocktails and ended up a bit pissed.