HaLong Bay Part I

By Vy Primozich - 11:15 AM

Ha Long Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam.

Imagine an emerald bay with about 2,000 (1,960 to be exact) spectacular islets with vertical karst limestone walls contrasted by the jade green water below, calm and quiet. The limestone islets are said to be over 500 million years old.

The name Ha Long reveals the legend that the place was created by a great dragon from the mountains and was once the site where dragons descended into the sea.

Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam
However, scientists suggest that the landscape was formed through tectonics and water erosion. In another words, Halong Bay is a karst landscape formed by the dissolution of limestone in the area that occurred over millions of years.

The Vietnamese legend folktale sounds much better, if you ask me.

Nonetheless, Halong Bay is truly a nature magical wonder.

This breathtaking UNESCO heritage site has recently received the honor of being named one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the world and is not surprisingly one of the most popular attractions in Vietnam.
Halong Bay Vietnam

Last I left you in Mekong Delta, the opposite direction where Halong Bay is. Chris & I hopped on a plane and a short flight later we were in Hanoi, the northern city of Vietnam. I’ll save our adventures and evening food tour in Hanoi with you in another post.

Bright and early morning we were being scooped up in an air-conditioned van from our hotel by our tour guide (Duc). We weaved our way out of the city, made our way eastward out of the city and pushed our way to suburbs, to rural and to a body of water that would eventually deposit us in Halong Bay. We dodged pedestrians and motorbikes, played chicken with big trucks, and zipped by the slower bicycles.

Halong Bay Signature Cruise
street of Hanoi Vietnam

As we drove through the countryside, tall and thin houses appear in sight. As Duc (our tour guide) explained to us, Vietnamese government tax the house/property based on how much physical land it occupies. So families build their home really skinny houses that go up 3-4 stories, even out in the middle of the countryside.
We made one pit stop and stretched our legs at a local Vietnamese art and craft shop.

This is no ordinary shop, it provides jobs and a way of living to handicapped people in the rural towns between Hanoi & Halong Bay.

arts and crafts in Vietnam

From handcrafted marbles to hand-sewn paintings to arts made from eggshell.

arts and crafts in Vietnam
arts and crafts in Vietnam

Paintings made from eggshells. 

paintings made from eggshell in Vietnam

And another hour drive later, we arrived at the port in Halong Bay and joined many other tourists. Because the limestone formations are just that beautiful, there are over 600 boats in Ha Long Bay serving local and international tourism.

Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay Vietnam


Having boarded one of the small boats, we cruised away from the docking area and into the open water where our cruise is awaiting patiently.

As we were get closer and closer, you could spot the staff greeting and waving at us.

Halong Bay Vietnam

We were greeted by the staff of Signature Cruise with the warmest smile and handed warm hand towel and cold pressed watermelon juice.

A photo posted by Vy Primozich (@vy.primozich) on
After an introduction of the staff we were given our key and shown to our home for the next couple of days.

Halong Bay Vietnam Signature Cruise
Halong Bay Vietnam Signature Cruise
Halong Bay Vietnam Signature Cruise
Halong Bay Vietnam Signature Cruise

As usual I took way too many photos.

To be continue...

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