We quickly stopped at the hotel to check in and change into our bathing suits, and headed to the mud baths. This was optional but everyone in our group signed up for it. We all got pretty close with each other pretty quickly! We lucked out with an awesome tour group - 14 in total. Bo and I were the oldest, and the only married couple. There was one other couple, two sets of sisters, two friends, and four solo travelers. We had one other American, two Irish, and everyone else on the tour was from Australia. It was a great mix and we made fast friends with everyone. Also, thanks to everyone else for posting their group pics on facebook, many of which I've borrowed here :)
First, we took a mineral shower to rinse off before getting in the mud bath. This was not at all what we expected. It didn't really feel like mud at all, it was more like sitting in warm chocolate milk. It was a little gritty and made our skin super soft.
We took another mineral shower to rinse off all the mud and then got in the hot tub, which I enjoyed a lot more than the actual mud bath. Our tour manager was friends with the people who worked at the mud baths, and they brought us all beers from the store across the street. They taught us to say one, two, three, cheers! (Mot, hai, ba, yo!) and kindly took pictures for us. Yo!
We were having so much fun, that the random group in the hot tub next to us asked if they could join...so we obliged. They were from China and very excited to meet all of us, until Bo and I said we were American and they all groaned. Not sure what that was all about, but at least they liked our new Aussie friends.
That evening we had a group dinner on the beach at The Sailing Club. Their claim to fame is the jam jar - basically just a really large liquor drink. We had a few too many of these and hung out on the beach for a while before making our way to the dance floor.
We spent the whole next day on a private boat cruise in the South China Sea. This was one of our favorite days, and again reminded us a lot of the Bahamas. While waiting on our boat, we all bought ridiculous floaties which were totally worth the three bucks.
We tied up next to a few other boats around lunchtime. Our crew cooked lunch for us on the boat and turned all the seating into a banquet table. After we ate, we went over to the boat next to ours, where they put on a little performance for us. The boat captains/cooks are also a boy-band who play covers for popular songs from each of our native countries. Quite the multi-talented crew.
One of the boat captains/cooks/boy band members was also the bartender, and he served us all shots of something for happy hour from his buoy bar. Cheers to a great day out on the water!