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Rosi & Jen's 11 Thousand Beach Odyssey Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do, then the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream...."

Halong Bay

VIETNAM | Tuesday, 11 March 2008 | Views [1932] | Comments [2]

Friday saw us take off on yet another tour, this time to the mystical Halong Bay.  It’s situated on the North East Coast of Vietnam and consists of 3000 or more islands jutting out of the Bay of Tonkin. According to our guide Tien the legend has it that Halong means “where the dragon descends into the sea”  The Vietnamese believe that Halong Bay was formed when a great dragon that lived in the mountains charged toward the coast, it’s tail gouged out valleys and crevasses.  When it finally plunged into the sea the area filled with water leaving only the pinnacles visible.  It truly is a jaw droppingly beautiful, ethereal  and majestic place. 

We stayed one night on the middle of Halong bay on a Vietnamese Wooden Junk.  The group consisted of different travelers of different ages  from all over the world and it made for a diverse and interesting time.  We spent two hours kayaking through Halong Bay which was truly magical.  We visited floating villages where the people have lived for over 60 years making a small living fishing.  It’s hard to describe these villages.  Imagine 40 or so mobile homes sitting on top of floating 44 gallon drums with make shift bamboo landing strapped to the outside of them.  Some of them are strung together and some stand alone.  We saw groups of these villages throughout Halong Bay some consist of thousands of huts some only a few in isolated stretches.  They have dogs and kids and TVs.  They get about Halong Bay in woven Bamboo boats which they row sometimes standing up sometimes with their feet.  It’s truly one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen.

We climbed 455 stairs to the top of an idland called Titop to see the view across Halong Bay.  I nearly collapsed half way up but I made it!!! We climbed another 100 stairs into what they call the Amazing Cave.  Think Indiana Jones,  think anything directed by Stephen Spielberg.  It looked like the set of a Hollywood adventure blockbuster.  This place was a massive 3 chamber cave carved out by rainwater and the sea over millions of years.

The second night in Halong Bay we spent in a Bamboo Hut at a private beach “resort”.  I use the term resort lightly because it was fairly primitive which is of course what we wanted.  However the food was great and we could sit and have a couple of beers and watch the view, or play fetch with the rock loving German Shepard who lived there.  The whole experience was extremely relaxing especially after the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.

Tags: The Great Outdoors



Hi Rosi and Jen - just finished reading a book that included Halong Bay - I can pciture you there - have a geat time

  Jenni H Mar 12, 2008 8:08 PM


Hi Rosi and Jen
Thanks for putting this on the net. My husband and I are going to Vietnam in Jan for 14days and even though this is a short trip your stories and ideas will help me do our itinerary. Many thnaks

  Trish Nov 13, 2008 2:14 PM

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