Kayaking in the South China Sea

by - 4/11/2024

 This post is a continuation of the activities that would start in my next post! I know strange right! What I mean is that I am going to talk about the Lan Ha Bay cruise in my next post. And here I am discussing the most exciting activity that we did on the cruise.. getting down in the sea!

Since our cruise ship was too big for the lagoon, we first disembarked on a smaller boat, which took us to a pier and then were allotted kayaks.

Me and my Dad took one and my husband went with our first born on the other. We all started rowing after a set of basic instructions, and followed our guide. Basically we understood that no one could actually help us, it was a long ride and we needed to be strong to complete this. Thankfully we had kept a bottle of water in the kayak.

We rowed and rowed on the calm waters of the South China Sea that had formed the Gulf of Tonkin. Rowing straight wasn't that challenging, but whenever it came to turning at a protruding cliff , it drained all our energy. And then came the real obstacle..the first cave. It was a light cave as natural light could be seen at the end of the cave. It took some time to cross.

Our next hurdle was the dark cave. Our guide as well as the guides of other groups showed us the way through their flashlights. There was no natural light inside. It was pitch dark! Quite a commotion as some of the kayaks (of other ship) were going back. But finally we made through it!

Then at the next light cave, we got stuck in a kayak jam. Too many kayaks and too many stalactites and stalagmites. So the path inside the cave was already very narrow, space for a single kayak to pass. And there were two rows of these waiting to pass; the other from the opposite direction. It took a considerable amount of time for us to pass, it's just not our boat, we had to wait for the other one too with my husband and daughter.

Finally we reached a green lagoon where it was surrounded everywhere by these limestone kursts. We spotted some exotic monkeys and listened to end number of songs by the local birds there. It was pure bliss.

This is how our ship looked from a distance. Can you spot my mom and my younger one 
 on the deck?

Our guide asked us to drop our oars, close our eyes and take a deep breath. He asked us to feel the surroundings, to express our gratitude and that how lucky we are to have witnessed this natural beauty. It was pure heaven.

On the way back, my father got into a competitive mode and asked me to row fast so that we could leave the other boat behind. We rowed so fast that we surpassed all the kayaks of our group. There were none around us and we panicked that we have lost our way in the lagoon!
Finally we could see the dock from a distance. What a relief! We were the first ones to reach back. The downside? In order to row fast, I missed soaking in the natural beauty on our way back. Our arms really hurt the next day, it was exhausting but we collected memories of a lifetime!

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  1. Haha. Sounds like you had a great time. We rarely hear about the South China sea in a good light nowadays but this was cool~