Tor and I signed up for the Vietnam Backpackers Hostel Castaways 3 Day 2 night tour of Halong Bay. Immediately once we got on the boat, the party started. We cruised the 4-hour cruise to Castaway Island. I met a bunch of Americans, and we immediately became “Team America” for the beer pong championships, which would occur that evening. The quick 3-day, 2-night trip was like a mini-version of the Kiwi Experience. It was a boat of 16 people there to have a good time while exploring the wonderful UNESCO site, Halong Bay.
Jumping off the boat into the bay
The only somber moment came when we were all heading out to Halong Bay, and I had just met the group of Americans. One of them asked the date, and I looked down at my watch to read the date: “9-11.” It was a bit bizarre and somber moment where we all were pretty quiet.
Once we arrived at the island, however, we were there to party and have a good time. There was a pontoon that people swam out to.
That night was definitely a time to let loose…lol.
Team America. (I hadn't met many Americans on my trip, but then met a core group during this trip: Bobby, Danielle, and Beth)
Beth, Danielle, and I created a boy band. Although it sounds a bit awkward/predatory now, it was pretty thrilling at the time.
Here are some mates doing the flabongo
The next day, we woke up and went tubing behind the speedboat. I hadn’t done that since I was a kid on a family vacation. It was hilarious!
Then we did some rockclimbing.
The next day, I was planning to do a Deep Water Solo rockclimb, which is where you climb the limestone rock and then jump into the water from wherever you climbed to. It's also good because if you fall, you fall into water. Today, we were just rockclimbing, and then I was supposed to go wakeboarding after. Notice I keep telling you about what I was planning. That’s because when I was rockclimbing, I fell. The guide who was belaying me told me to lean back. Only when I did there was a bit too much slack so I dropped a few feet. To top it off, the rope was caught on a rock at the top, so when I dropped, the rope tried to straighten up. This action resulted in me making a huge swing and slamming my back into the rock. It was very painful. My belayer slowly lowered me into the water, but I couldn’t move. He had to carry me to a table, where I rested for a good 2 hours, just trying to be able to sit up. Essentially, I had just nailed my lower back. Finally, I was able to sit up. With the help of a stick, I was able to move (slower than a grandmother, mind you) and walked to bed, but not before I enjoyed a bit of the night with new friends.
The next day, my mobility improved and by mid-afternoon, I lost the stick. My main concern was having to carry a 18 kg backpack with a back injury.
So in the end, my back injury threw a wrench into an otherwise great couple of days. After all, I couldn’t partake in the late-night skinny-dipping in the bioluminescent waters like everyone else ☺
The night we all returned, being a bit more mobile, I partied with the group, and as you may be able to tell from the photo, what a party it was!!