There is always a time in your life when everything suddenly goes out of control. But what do you do to deal with these unplanned changes? Panic or make a fuss?  My dear, the best method is to keep calm and stay positive so that you will find a way out sooner or later. That is the lesson I learned from my holiday trip a few days ago and I think my experience would somehow come in handy for you in case you have the same situation.

I come from Vietnam, a country considered as an ideal location for a holiday trip. For that reason, my folks and I decided to spend a few days away from the suffocating urban city to enjoy the fresh atmosphere in Co To island, which is famous for its intact nature with beautiful coastlines.

However, everything didn’t go according to our plan. Just when we arrived at Cai Rong Port waiting for the ship to take us to Co To island, an unfortunate news popped up. I remembered clear the voice from the loudspeaker announcing that the wind was too strong for the ship to set sail despite the sunny weather. Hence, we were in dilemma whether we should wait for the turbulence to go away or completely change our plan and jump for another location.

After a few hours longing for the ban to be removed, we asked for advice form the local who were surprisingly friendly and supportive. They sincerely told us not to go on the ship even if the ship is allowed to set sail because of the possibility of rough sea from the strong wind. Besides, they suggested that we should come to Ha Long Bay which is within distance. And there we went, in just a blink of an eye, we made up our mind to shift to Ha Long Bay with our heads up high, full of hopes that it was our chance to discover something novel. We tried not to think about the failed trip to Co To with disappointment and stayed optimistic as much as we could.

A corner of Ha Long BayPhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

A corner of Ha Long Bay
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

A captured moment in Ha Long Bay in the morningPhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

A captured moment in Ha Long Bay in the morning
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

Luckily, our faith was right. We packed our bags and started the unexpected journey like nothing we had experienced before. It took us 3 hours by bus to come from Cai Rong Port to Ha Long Bay. The moment we reach the destination, the sunset started to glow making such a splendid view for every visitor. After settling out luggage in a hostel along the coast, we headed right away to the beach and enjoyed the calling from the wind whispering through our ears, cooling the atmosphere of hot summer. The moon was shining so bright that night as it was the mid of June in lunar calendar. Just merely by walking on the white silky sand and letting the wave embrace your feet, I could truly feel my soul at peace. All the tiredness from long hours of travelling vanished.

I have a weird opinion when it comes to vacation. For me, it doesn’t matter how magnificent the landscape is. The people and peaceful atmosphere are those that count the most. Therefore, I saw Ha Long Bay as an ideal location to find the calmness and spent the next morning on a boat for sightseeing.

The boats waiting to be allowed to set sail for touristsPhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

The boats waiting to be allowed to set sail for tourists
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

The boats with colorful ornaments to catch tourists’ attentionPhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

The boats with colorful ornaments to catch tourists’ attention
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

Well-known as a World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay lived up to its reputation for having a glorious beauty. Standing atop this boat, we could feel the breeze blowing by slightly and breathe the fresh air from surrounding nature. In the afternoon, we took some time to swim along the beach.

When we took a sefie on the boat in Ha Long Bay. Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

When we took a sefie on the boat in Ha Long Bay.
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

Canoe parachuting in Ha Long BayPhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

Canoe parachuting in Ha Long Bay
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

We also had fresh seafood, which is a must-try. We picked the ingredients, waited for a few minutes, and there we had the best seafood experience.

A dinner with various types of seafood Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

A dinner with various types of seafood
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

On our final day, we woke up earlier than usual and went to the beach to watch the sun-rise. The sky was so blue and clear that it somehow could purify any heart and soul. For a second standing there, I felt immersed in the sea and the mountains.

The blue morning sky in Ha Long BeachPhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

The blue morning sky in Ha Long Beach
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

We suddenly came up with the idea to go somewhere else besides the sea. We chose Thai Binh, an area famous for the green pasture that grows one of the best kinds of rice in Vietnam. It is also the hometown of one my friends and nothing is better than travelling with a local mate.

We quickly packed our bags and moved. After 3-hour bus ride, we reached Thai Binh Province, dropped by our friend’s house, then took a walk around the fields. The smell from the ripen rice was subtle in every breeze hovering around. Again, we found ourselves at peace. And somehow, that was enough for a summer vacation to escape from the heat and suffocating atmosphere in daily life.

The peaceful sunset in Thai Binh ProvincePhoto credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

The peaceful sunset in Thai Binh Province
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

At first, our trip may seem to be a bad luck as everything went wrong but in the end, it turned out to be the best ever. I think everything happens for a reason. Because of the failed trip to Co To, I had the chance to actually witness the beauty of Ha Long Bay and Thai Binh Province. Hence, even if your plan for holidays may go wrong, you can always find a solution for it. The key to keep your mood up is to be spontaneous, decide what you really want and bravely jump for it. For me, it is the peace and purity that Ha Long Bay and Thai Binh Province possess that make my trip memorable and enjoyable.

The moment when we stay positive and keep the spirit of “young, wild, and free”Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

The moment when we stay positive and keep the spirit of “young, wild, and free”
Photo credit: Nguyen Thu Thao

 

By Nguyen Thu Thao, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam

 

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