In the morning, our tourboat puttered up to a walk-through cave, and we all clambered out and took goofy photos with the goopy looking rock.. and were promptly covered with mud and slime. Nice! Worth it.
Towards lunch time, we dropped anchor in a secluded emerald ocean nook, and while the crew cooked our vegetable seafood broth and rice, we scampered into brightly colored plastic kayaks and took off for the water caves!
It was truly the highlight of the day. Through silent teal waters our oars dipped, and as we plunged into a low opening below the island, bats zipped around our heads and shrieked. I was terrified, but as we burst into the sparkling sunlight of the hidden lagoon, the risk of rabies became worth it. Monkeys and birds sang from the jungled islands as we explored every corner of the watery wonderland.
We found another, narrower dark cave and penetrated into it to find a third, even MORE hidden lagoon. Amazing!
Carefully, we passed a camera between our boat and our awesome new German friends’, and snapped photos like crazy, trying desperately to capture the wonder on film. Oooh, the way the sun illuminates the green water at the end of a dark cave! And when you gaze downward… millions of tiny fish dart beneath you!
At this point we decided to try to moor the kayaks and swim, because the day was getting steamy. “I’m scared!” I whined to David, “The rocks look really slippery and have these sharp shells all over them!”
We got her back into the kayak and paddled rapidly back to the tourboat. They had no antiseptic, but they did have a band aid, and I had hand sanitizer. (Thanks again, Zoe– best Bon Voyage gift ever!)
We sterilized the heck out of the gashes on Annett’s hand and side, as wounds can get super-septic in this tropical climate. Annett couldn’t hold her chopsicks so her boyfriend Sebastian fed her the Vietnamese feast himself. Sweet!
Scrapes aside, kayaking and walking through Halong Bay caves is breathtaking.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!