Halong Bay - legend of a dream

 

 

Looking down from the above, Ha Long Bay looks like a huge and extremely lively water-coloured painting. They are exquisite art works that represent the talents of the Creator and the Nature. Thousands of inanimate and quiet stone islands become perfect sculptures and paintings with all charming appearances that are both familiar and alien to man.

Intriguingly shaped rocky outcrops, turquoise waters, limestone peaks and turrets that seem to pierce through the sea’s surface, caves and caverns, traditional sampans whose brown sails stand out against the horizon at sunset … You’d think you were on a film set. Yet you can be sure that nothing in this remarkable landscape is artificial. All this breathtaking beauty is entirely natural. Ha Long bay, unique and spellbinding.

 

 

 


It is also called the”descent of the dragon” for the many local legends that surround it. Whether you believe the stories or not, there is one thing that everyone agrees on: the bay is quite simply stunning. Hidden in the heart of those islands were beautiful caves such as Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot, Trinh Nu and Tam Cung … This is really a castle of the Creator on the earth.

 

 

We arrived at Halong Bay before noon. It was cool, foggy and beautiful. After a bit of a wait, we, and the rest of our fellow adventurers, were ferried out to the “Dragon Pearl” junk. Soon we were on our way. Halong Bay is renowned for karst islets, which seem to rise almost vertically out of the sea. There are as many as 2,000 of these islets in a relatively small area. The resulting scene – leaden skies, pewter seas, sheer rocks, wifts of fog - was stunningly atmospheric. It was hard to describe and impossible to forget. It was also cold – so cold that we passed on the chance to kayak when we arrived at one of the larger islets…we’ll stay in here where it’s warm, thank you. Our cabin, below decks, was small but had a comfortable bed and serviceable bathroom. We didn’t need much room as we’d only brought a bare minimum of luggage, having left most of our stuff back at the Hanoi Elegance. The food at dinner was OK. Afterwards, the kitchen crew dazzled us with a series of carvings they’d done…a pumpkin carved into a phoenix, a watermelon combined with a pumpkin and carved into a replica of the Dragon Pearl (the watermelon was the hull). We met a couple who were some of the very few Americans we saw on this part of our trip – most of the tourists we met in Vietnam, particularly in the North, were French.

 

 

The next day was still cool but a bit less cloudy. We stopped at a floating village and were ferried about in a small boat by a villager standing in the back with a long-handled paddle. The boats had unusual rowing system. Instead of pulling on the oars, they stood and pushed forward on the oars. The village was set amongst karst cliffs and the houseboats were painted different shades and combinations of blue and green.

Anyway, back to our fun getaway. After a scrumptious meal of many courses and much seafood, we hung out chatting as our boat dropped anchor for the night amidst the sea and stars. Silhouetted against the night sky were the forms of dozens of looming limestone cliffs—it was surreal. It’s said to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world. And one of the most mysterious, too.

 

 


 



Testimonial

Mrs. Helen
We will be back soon
Traveled from 07 Oct 2013 to 18 Oct 2013

"We returned home safely and just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our journey in Vietnam. We are all so happy and better informed about life in Vietnam after the trip you so carefully organised for us."

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