I opened up my hotel bedroom window fairly early in the morning and realised that all I could see were big hotels recently built or undergoing construction because Bay of Halong does clearly draw people' attention and the available accommodation is not enough for the number of incoming tourists from both Vietnam and all over the world.
We soon drove to the harbour terminal where huge crowds gathered and where some typical Vietnamese musicians seemed to entertain the multitude of people around them, which we were to join as well.
We feared we wouldn't be able to clearly see the UNESCO World Heritage sight designated bay the way we had so often seen it in postcards, because it was fairly greyish as if a discreet curtain of fog had invaded the pinnacle shaped limestone and dolomit outcrops scattered across the 1,500 square kilometre area.
Because we would be having an eight hour boat ride we let ourselves immerse into the legend and be surprised by whatever meteorological conditions accompanied us all the way through, so long as it didn't rain.
The hired boat was very comfortable and though we settled in its interior cabin we soon made it onto the open deck once we could better admire the landscape around, greyish as it looked.
(To be continued)