30 May 2010

Cruising Halong Bay


Jane looked at me in complete happiness and remarked, “this is what my heaven will look like”!  We were both completely surprised by how stunning this place was and although we were expecting a spectacular place it still took our breadth away.   If you saw the movie Avatar, and remember the mountains in the sky……that’s what it looks like…except the mountains are in the ocean or the Gulf of Tonkin to be precise!  


Halong Bay is world heritage listed and home to about 2000 limestones islands strung out quite densely in the Gulf of Tonkin.  They are covered in lush, thick, green vegetation but there isn’t a beach in sight.

IMG_8838  Some of the outcroppings are hollow and have enormous cave systems with stalagmites and stalactites inside.


Our next surprise was lunch.  A five course meal of baked crab, shrimp, squid, bok choi, and fish served with steamed rice and followed up with fresh juicy pineapple was laid out before us while we cruised slowly through this bay on our own private boat. 

Intrepid_ Vietnam-22 The boat was amazing.  It was massive and came with a number of private bedrooms each with its own ensuite in case you wished to spend a few nights here.  If I ever came back I would spend a few nights on a junk..how delightful would that be!

IMG_8810 Our first stop was Hang Dau Go, one of the larger caves on these islands.  My photos will paint a better picture than any words I use to describe their beauty.

IMG_8780 IMG_8783

They were lit in the most delightful colours..

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and completely delighted us.

IMG_8797 We spent the night at Cat Ba island, one of the few that have inhabitants and would leave for Hanoi the next day.  It was another exhausting but amazing day in Vietnam.  We will always remember the beauty that was Halong Bay.IMG_8794

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru


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