Another World Heritage SIte

Trip Start Oct 02, 2005
Trip End Sep 28, 2006

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Friday, August 25, 2006

The Vietnamese people are very friendly. They've always got a smile on their face and are genuinely interested to hear where you're from and all about life back home. They keep this smile on their face even through the day to day hardships they face. This is a very poor country, and the Vietnam war is just one in a long line of invasions this country has endured, fought and eventually won. I like it here.

I took a day trip to a World Heritage Site north east of Hanoi called Halong Bay. This place is beautiful. 3000 islands rise out of luke warm emerald water and are covered in tropical vegetation. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves inside. Hanlong Bay means "Bay of the decending dragon." Local legend says that long ago when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders, the gods sent a family of dragons to help defend the land. This family of dragons descended upon what is now Ha Long Bay (hence the name "Bay of Descending Dragons"-duh) and began spitting out jewels and jade. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, linking together to form barriers against the invaders. The people kept their land safe and formed what later became the country of Vietnam. And ever year on the 12th of July they all join together wearing sashes and march to celebrate this victory..... oh wait, thats something else.

It was worth coming to Vietnam just for the photographs of this place. The Vietnamese call it the 8th wonder of the world, and it's not hard to see why. Walking into the clear green water is like walking into a giant hot bath. Every where I look I'm surrounded by postcard views. This truely is an amazing place.
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