Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long bay

I booked a trip to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site. Ha Long means “Descending Dragon”, and as is the case in most of the Orient, there is some cockamamy story as to how it got its name. I’m too lazy, you can read it here.

As with anything of a tourist bent, it was a long day of travelling from Hanoi (4 hours) and the roads were bumpy and the driving bad. I mean, you could look at the driving in one of two ways: they are really good drivers  to weave all over the road, crossing lanes, driving into oncoming traffic and not kill anyone doing so, or they are terrible. I tend to go with the terrible because it took a long time to go about 170 km.

Here are some pics:

Boat leaving the pier

A Vietnamese floating village, which was shut down shortly after I visited it.  All the villagers were reassigned to the land because, officially, it was unsafe for them to live on water, even thought they’ve been doing so for hundreds of years. (Real reason: there is oil in the water, and you gotta get the poor people out of the way before you start drilling.)

Village on water that no longer exists
For an extra $7 USD, you get this invisible lady to row you around in the bay
Going through a hole in the rocks to a smaller bay that was pretty stinky.
Floating village people hawk their wares
In 1969, it would have been like this
About to enter a cave up on one of the cliffs
Garishly lit interior of the mountain blob

By and large, it was a long day to get to Ha Long Bay for not much of a return. I’m not much of a boat person, but if you are, maybe this would be good for you.

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