Although it was a very short hop to Ha Long Bay, we still started off at dawn, which is one hour earlier because Vietnam’s time zone is different than China’s. (Apparently China is pretty much all one time zone, which is amazing for such a large country.) Breakfast was at 5:30, and what a surprise; it was very much a continental breakfast, offering crisp baguettes, butter, jam and some omlette, served with coffee and tea. Presumably a left-over from the French period. I was delighted.
The road was busy, even at that time of the day, and the main highlight was the suspension bridge high over an inlet to a bay that has significant shipping activity.
Then we dropped down to the resort community of Ha Long Bay, where the primary activity is boat rides out among the karsts in the bay. I have signed up for an all day trip tomorrow.