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 thrust upwards 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.
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
Driving from Hanoi to Halong Bay was an attraction in of itself:
Boarding the boat:
And sailing off:
Exploring one of the rock formations:
Enjoy an evening sunset:
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:
- Pick you up the next day at 8am in the morning
- Drive you for 3 hours to the bay
- Pick up your tickets
- Ferry you to your junk
- Feed you lunch
- The junk will take you more into the bay; this is where the “ooh” and “ahh’s” start.
- Take you for a cave exploration
- Let you kayak and swim
- Feed you dinner
- Let you stargaze/sleep in
- Feed you breakfast
- Ferry you back to the Bay
- Feed you lunch
- Drive back another 3 hours back to your hotel in Ha Noi
- 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 32 °C - Humidity: 75% | Wind Speed: 7km/hr | Cloud Cover: n/a