One of the chambers of Sung Sut Cave
Our tour included: a visit to Song Sut Cave, an impressive cave of two enormous chambers decked out with stalagmites and stalactites that are illuminated by well-placed lighting; 45 minutes of kayaking where my son and I headed off on our own; a visit to a pearl farm and a stop at a sandy beach for about thirty minutes of swimming.
In between stops, we visited with our fellow travelers that included three women from China, a Russian couple, a couple from Britain, two other Americans, a woman from Argentina, three women from New Zealand, and a couple from Vietnam.
Our guide who was with us from our hotel pick-up to right after our pearl farm visit the next day, kept us entertained and informed, and made sure that no one, including the only teen in the group–my son– was left out.
Meals were main events starting with the lunch that was served as soon as we had dropped our belongings off in our cabins. The travel agent had not steered us wrong. The dishes, served family style, were a mix of western and Asian fare with enough variety to satisfy everyone’s tastes and our two twin bed cabin was well appointed and comfortable. The air-conditioning wasn’t turned on until the evening in order to save on fuel, but with such stunning scenery, who’d want to stay inside?
While we dined on lunch the boat headed to Sung Sot Cave, our first stop. Our second stop was kayaking followed by a trip to the beach. Once back on the boat, there was an evening cocktail on the deck, then dinner followed by karaoke.
After lunch the next morning, we headed to the pearl farm which turned out to be a fascinating tutorial on how cultured pearls are created. After the pearl farm, we had a cooking lesson back on the boat where we learned how to make spring rolls. The spring rolls were served at lunch, the last meal before our bus trip back to Hanoi where the bus dropped passengers off near their hotels.