After the cosy and remote Sapa, we ended up in Ha Long. A pretty ugly city famous for its bay. However due to extensive ongoing constructions along the coast line there is a big wall all along the bay that makes it impossible to see anything except uglyness. The plentiful hotel, restaurants, cafees, attraction park and casinos were deserted at that time which gave it a ghost city feeling as soon as we went in direction of the bay. Also it seems that the main tourists there are chineese, looking at the type of food on the menus.
But we came for the bay, not for the city, so we booked a tour for the next day. The bay is beautiful, if you can make abstraction of the tons of tourists and the sea with plastic items floating at its surface: revolting. The local people and tourist still did not get the concept of not littering.
Luckily the tour quality was soo good, that we had the chance to share our lunch tables with rat poop, kayak inbetween trash for 10 min and on top of that we had to take a taxi back because the bus left without us. A beautiful place, but still lots of room for improvement.