Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vietnam 29: Halong Bay (Part I)

Locals fishing with just line - no poles.
by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It consists of more than a thousand uninhabited islands and large limestone protrusions in what is truly one of the natural wonders of the world.  We were there for a four-hour cruise, but others come for cruises of up to several days.  It was overcast the day we were there, so my pictures aren't the greatest - but there are numerous sunny photos of Halong Bay all over the web.  Check them out.

One of hundreds of tour boats at Halong Bay
Our ride was a fairly large watercraft that could have accommodated twenty people or so, but it was ours exclusively - me, Murphy, and our guide.  We were given a sumptuous multi-course meal on the cruise - so much food that we didn't even touch the last plate that was brought to our table.  After the meal, one lady in the crew, I think she was the cook, brought out postcards and a collection of hand-embroidery for us to sort through and purchase.

It took us approximately four-hours to make the long drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay.  Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook) and his entourage had been there a few days earlier, but they flew directly to the bay by helicopter.  His way was more convenient, but we got to see a lot more of the countryside.  If I believed in Facebook, I would post my photos of the drive up there so Zucky could enjoy them also.

Another tour boat - most had plants on board
Daniel Murphy, PhD
Looking out of the dining room of our boat
Topside of our boat
Our Hanoi guide
Another cruise boat weaving through the islands
Some small islands of Halong Bay

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