« « On Our Way To Ha Long Bay!
Last Of Ha Long Bay » »

 

Ha Long Bay. The sun is setting and we mere mortals fall prey to the sights and sounds of the bay. A cool sunset breeze blankets our naked bodies, still wet from swimming in nature’s warm waters.

A view of 3,000 islands portruding valiantly from the waters, untouched by man, reminds us a world we never see. The azure, rouge, and royal purple sky tantalizes while lapping waves against our boat lulls us into meditation. We are seduced into slumber, but the unparalleled vista beckons us to stay with her.

— 6/09/10

 

 

Over 200 pictures were taken (they’ll be up on Flickr soon), but here are a few more of my favorites, starting off with a blatant competitive stand-off with Wikitravel.org

 

Photo from Wikitravel. This is the picture that I mentioned in the "About" page that inspired me to go on this trip in the first place.

And the picture I took.

Driving from Hanoi to Halong Bay was an attraction in of itself:

CDS_2759

CDS_2764

CDS_2753

CDS_2770

 

Boarding the boat:

 

CDS_2796

 

And sailing off:

 

CDS_2805

CDS_2810

CDS_2822

CDS_2830

CDS_2829

CDS_2845

CDS_2848

 

Exploring one of the rock formations:

 

CDS_2851

CDS_2856

CDS_2870

CDS_2873

CDS_2890

CDS_2900

CDS_2906

CDS_2924

CDS_2929

CDS_2930

CDS_2951

CDS_2956

 

Enjoy an evening sunset:

 

CDS_3025

CDS_3090

CDS_3097

CDS_3106

CDS_3138

CDS_3149

Ha Long Bay just got served. Ignore the gross bug bites.

 

Ha Long Bay is exquisite. As the pictures show for themselves, you need to be there to believe it. I admit, when we arrived there I felt a sense of uneasiness: the place was PACKED with backpacking tourists and I felt a little shame I was adding to the chaos. And looking in the bay I couldn’t help but say “this is it?”

But you need to book a junk (the name of the boats that take you in the boat) that’ll allow you an overnight stay in the Bay. We did it through our hotel for $45 USD/a person (all inclusive including lodging and food; drinks NOT included). They’ll:

  1. Pick you up the next day at 8am in the morning
  2. Drive you for 3 hours to the bay
  3. Pick up your tickets
  4. Ferry you to your junk
  5. Feed you lunch
  6. The junk will take you more into the bay; this is where the “ooh” and “ahh’s” start.
  7. Take you for a cave exploration
  8. Let you kayak and swim
  9. Feed you dinner
  10. Let you stargaze/sleep in
  11. Feed you breakfast
  12. Ferry you back to the Bay
  13. Feed you lunch
  14. Drive back another 3 hours back to your hotel in Ha Noi
  15. Leave you with countless memories you’ll never forget.

Things I cannot forget from Ha Long Bay:

  • Kayaking in the bay.
  • Cave exploration (pictures to come up soon); spelunkin’ like Indiana Jones.
  • Diving into the bay and swimming in its warm waters.
  • Getting out of the bay from a swim to see 2 GIANT jellyfish come towards us.
  • Losing my watch in sea after taking that dive you see above (i’m losing something every week!).
  • Watching the sunset in the bay.
  • Falling asleep on the roofdeck of the junk, watching a star-filled night sky occasionally flashing with lightning in the distance.

– At time of posting in Ha Noi, it was 89.6 °F
Humidity: 75% | Wind Speed: 7km/hr | Cloud Cover: n/a