Halong Bay

Trip Start Nov 05, 2007
Trip End Jun 22, 2008

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Saturday, December 29, 2007

We purchased a 2 nights-3 days tour (one on the boat, one in a hotel) and headed down to magnificent Halong Bay. Our minivan made it to the pier from Hanoi in about 3 hours and we shipped off on an "Junk" though the bay. A Junk is a Chinese sailing vessal, the English names comes from Javanese djung, meaning "ship" or "large vessel." Junks were originally developed during the Han Dynasty (220 BC- 200 AD) and further evolved to represent one of the most successful ships types in history.

Halong Bay, with more than 3000 islands rising from the clear, emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, it is a Unesco World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's natural marvels.

As you can see from the pictures the vegetation-covered islands are dotted with innumerable grottos created by the wind and the waves. Halong means "where the dragon descends into the sea." The legend says that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon that lived in the mountains. As it ran towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses; as it plunged into the sea, the areas dug up by its tail became filled with water, leaving only bits of high land visible. When you see it, you can believe the story!

We anchored out in the middle of the bay for dinner and spent the night in our cabin. The next morning we set sail for Ca Ba Island for a day of trekking in the National Park. Ca Ba is the only populated island in the bay. After lunch we took a small boat to "Monkey Island" where about 30 monkey's live.

As you can see the bay is very busy with fishing, and other commerce. When the ship stops, woman row up in their small boat selling fruit and other items. The weather was some-what hazy, but still a beautiful view.
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