Mr and Ms X did not need to refer to TripAdvisor to help them choose a Tour Company for the must-see Halong Bay. They had their own trip-advisors in the form of Ms C and Ms A. ” you gotta go with Vega Tours” was the message, so the booking was made with Vega.

Advice no. 1. 
Always read the itinerary carefully
 
Kayaking? I don’t think so Ms X was heard to mutter as soon as she set foot on the boat.
Activities? I don’t think so, I don’t do activities that require perspiring willingly whilst on holiday, she tried to tell the Tour Leader as he pointed to the luxury boat nearby that sails around and just has its passengers looking at the sights. Ms X soon realised that she was really on the wrong boat. She was born to go cruising in Halong Bay on the very big luxury boat. Too late!
Advice no. 2.
If you want to feel your age, then go with Vega
During the 4 hr bus trip to get to the Halong harbour from Hanoi, it was soon established who was on the bus and what personality traits they brought to the group. The tour leader “Duckie” asked who knew what sign they were according to their birth year. Ms X, always the student who was attentively listening and willing to answer announced that she knew she was born in the year of the monkey. Duckie of course wanted to verify that so asked for her birth year and calculated 1956. Mr X said he was an Aquarian….. Ms X had to explain that he was in the wrong system, and that if she was a monkey then of course he was one too. Monkeys are smart the bus was told as Mr and Ms X nodded with their smug faces. Their smugness soon left as the other 9 members of the group yelled out their birth years. Ok, ok.  Chickens, snakes, Tigers and dogs were identified and all BABY ones as our intrepid tourists soon discovered they were on board with many having a gap year. They were BY FAR THE OLDEST AND OLD ENOUGH TO BE EVERYONE ‘S PARENTS!!!!!
Advice no. 3.
If you want to enjoy yourself, then go with Vega!
So, with 2 Brits, 2 Spaniards, 1 Canadian, 1 Austrian, 1 German and 2 Dutchies, Mr and Ms X had a great time. As the seniors on board, the younger set looked after them, especially when the 2 elderly citizens did not bring any water along on the hike through the ‘surprising Caves’. Mr and Ms X have a bad habit of doing this…. Remember Cinque Tera in Italy?? Thank goodness for the Dutchies and the Brit who both looked after the absent minded pair.


Thank goodness for Canadian Trish who partnered up with Mr X who wanted to do the water sports.


Whilst Ms X ‘minded the big boat’ which was really hard work!



Cooking classes making “Halong Summer Rolls”, relaxing on the sundeck whilst the youngen’s hiked to the top of a big rock


and watching the picturesque scenery

 


Having THE BEST tour guide in Asia, Duckie, also assisted in the Adventure- Cruise being such a great experience. His personal anecdotes, dry sense of humour and local knowledge were excellent.


And of course Mr and Ms X had their traditional-kissing-holiday-snap whilst all the backpacking babies looked on and were heard to say ” Awwww, aren’t they cute”


 
Cute? Those seniors could think of worse words to be called.