Move over, honeymooners! Solo travellers can also say AHOY! aboard a cruise ship! ;-)
It was late last year when I found myself booking a Halong Bay cruise package for two…for me, myself and I. It sounded silly— a partnerless lady boarding a luxury cruise ship for a romantic overnight trip along the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I haven’t really traveled alone in a foreign country so when they learned that I’m going to cruise…alone…my friends assumed that I have a mysterious date or I needed some soul-searching. But, the truth was that I just wanted to find out if cruising could also be safe and fun for solo travellers like me.
It was a two and a half hour van ride from Hanoi to the private pier of Emeraude. Surprise, surprise, I found myself in the company of French, Cuban, Colombian, German and Australian honeymooners and couples! I may have looked out of place, but once I saw the breathtaking karsts from the pier, I knew that I would also enjoy this vacation, even without a hubby to share the cold sweet November.
From the pier, we rode a small boat that took us to Emeraude cruise ship, a replica of the French paddle-steamer Emeraude. As we started our cruise, the crew welcomed us with refreshing cocktails on the sun deck.
Twenty minutes before 12noon.
Bikers in their long whites pedaled their way to the temple. There was a long line of worshippers sitting by the entrance, with their bare feet on the floor, and hands clasped into a prayer. They were quiet, as if they were anticipating for something. There were a handful of teens; a lot of old men resembled Confucius. An old man differently dressed in yellow, glared into an abyss outside.
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