Halong Bay

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Planet View: N21°03.081′ E106°40.349′
Street View: N21°03.081′ E106°40.349′

Halong BayAs with our trip up into the mountains to Sapa, Halong Bay is similarly one of Vietnam’s most famous tourist destinations.  The waters around Halong City are home to an astonishing 1969 limestone islands jutting out of the green waters of Halong Bay.  We explored the bay on an overnight trip on one of the many Vietnamese junks running tours, sharing the boat with a fun group of travelers from Australia, Ireland and England.  As the crow flies, Halong City is only around 85 kilometers from Hanoi, but the bus trip through the myriad of tiny towns and traffic-choked streets took us over three hours.  Our digs on the boat were fantastic, a wood-paneled room with views of the water from our bed and balcony to the rear.  Our crew of five Vietnamese boys cooked up some fantastic traditional meals during our trip, buying fresh seafood from the fishermen cruising the bay, so fresh…  The fishermen in the bay all live on the water full time, there’s over 2000 people living in floating villages in the protected waters of the bay.

Leaving the harbor at Halong BayHalong BayLocal fishermen in Halong Bay One of the many boats filled with drinks and snacks for touristsOne of the many floating villages in Halong BayOur room on the junk at Halong BayOur Vietnamese crew for the trip Lisa on the boat in Halong BayHalong BayHalong Bay 

Hang Thien Cung cave in one of the islands of Halong BayHang Thien Cung cave in one of the islands of Halong BayWe took a side trip to explore Hang Thien Cung, a 250 meter long cavern in one of the bay’s islands frequented by many of the tourist boats.  The size of the place was astonishing, a massive amphitheater carved into the limestone, full of stalactites and stalagmites.  The views out of the cave’s opening were also pretty awesome, a good spot to take in the seemingly never-ending expanse of islands stretching to the horizon.

Lisa in Hang Thien Cung cave in one of the islands of Halong BayLisa in Hang Thien Cung cave in one of the islands of Halong BayBoats lining up to enter Hang Thien Cung cave Halong BayOne of the few islands with a sandy beach in Halong BayHalong Bay Halong BayHalong Bay Panoramic view of Halong City as we chug back into the harbor

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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2009 at 4:50 PM and is filed under Vietnam. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Halong Bay”

  1. Steve Danek says:

    Gotta do a blow-up of that panoramic! Can you post a link?

  2. Our Walkabout » Archive » Vang Vieng says:

    […] River.  While not as grand as the massive limestone amphitheater we visited in Vietnam’s Halong Bay, the small opening of Thamchang welcomed us into some brilliant caverns that stretch back into the […]

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