Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Halong Bay, Vietnam

We took a three hour bus ride from the capital of vietnam- Hanoi to go and see Halong Bay. The bus ride was rather ropey and very full but we met some very friendly people on the way there.

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World heritage site and very popular travel destination, and it is very easy to see why! The bay features thousands of Limestone Karsts (small isles) in very different shapes and sizes.

The Spectacular View  

We booked ourselves a day boat trip around the Bay, which consists of more than 1900 islet, most of which are limestone. The limestone has gone through 500 million years of formation to give them all the different shapes and sizes.

One of the many isles

We sunned ourselves on the boat and took lots of pictures as we gazed at the amazing scenery. The area is so vast that you could easily get lost out there. People had built their own houses on the sea and their was even a school. Crazy stuff! I couldnt imagine living at sea for all of my life! But researching the area on the internet and it says human beings had been in the area for tens of thousands of years. Half way through we stopped at a little floating fish farm and the man on the boat said if we wanted we could buy a fish of some shrimp and the chef on the boat would cook it for our lunch.

Fish farm

After visiting the fish farm we sat down to lunch on the boat and ate fish, tofu, chicken and beef mixed with rice. Lovely! We then carried on our journey and headed to some caves where the boat docked and we had the chance to take a boat underneath and through some of the limestone rocks. It was breathtaking to see the limestone so close up.

Limestone Time
After this we headed towards Sung Sot Cave (Cave of Surprises), which is the largest cave in Halong Bay. Located at the Bo Hon Island, the cave got its name from a French admiral who was surprised at the size of the cave when he discovered it.

The caves were massive inside and had different coloured lights shining allover the rocks, but the cave has been highly developed for tourism, it has a cement pathway and even gift shops outside. Kind of ruins the feel!
 After seeing the caves we got back on our boat and went back to land and took another 3 hour bus ride back to the city. We had such a great day and saw some amazing things!

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