Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vietnam: Halong Bay

Halong Bay, located in Quảng Ninh Provincenorthern part of Vietnam, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its emerald waters and thousands of limestone karsts.

The term Ha Long is derived from Sino-Vietnamese "下龍" which means "descending dragon" and legend tells us that this spectacular seascape was created when the great mountain dragon descended and incinerated the enemies of ancient Vietnamese with their divine fire and giant emeralds. These emeralds scattered in the Gulf of Tonkin after thousands of years became 1,600 pillars of islands and islets in distinct size and shapes.

When visiting Vietnam, Halong Bay should be on top of your must-see places. Our trip started with a 7:30am shuttle pickup from Hanoi Guest House, then we had a short stop over in one of the shops for quick toilet break, breakfast and some souvenir shopping around 10:30am.

Souvenir shop
Thread painting with the locals
Photo op muna with sister ;)
This is where she is good at :D 
Entire trip took us almost three hours from the hotel all the way to Tuan Chau Group Office where we get our tickets for the boat cruise for our Halong Bay trip.

Tuan Chau Port
Boat wharf
Around 12:30pm when we board the Alova Day Cruise as our much awaited Halong Bay cruise begins. The tour comes with a Vietnamese set lunch served aboard during the cruise. After the sumptuous food, our first stop is a floating fishing village where tourist get to try kayaking to explore the bay or have a boat ride through the help of a local Vietnamese to paddle and navigate the boat traversing different areas of the Halong Bay.

Me, Jasper, Glaiza and our local Vietnamese rower :D
Boat ride with the locals
Passing through one of the caves
One side of the bay
Fishing village
After the mystical experience of boat riding through the bay, we then visited Dong Thien Cung cave located in one of the islands in Halong Bay.

Bridge walkway to Dong Thien Cung
Port access to the cave
View from the island
Stalactites formation inside the cave
Natural light passing through the cave
Synthetic colored light inside the cave
Overall our Halong Bay experience is not only satisfying to our appetite(because of the lunch aboard) but also to our eyes.


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