May 10, 2008

Halong Bay

The middle of Vietnam has become a great memory. We cruised the coast by motorbike in Nah Trang. We burned our tender skin on the beautiful beach in Hoi An. We wandered through ancient streets and alleys and shared rice wine and prawns with local families on vacation. We stood in awe at the chaos of local fish markets. We had clothes made to fit at the very touristy tailor shops. We wandered tombs of ancient rulers in the old capital city of Hue. We rode bicycles through the friendliest of neighborhoods. Amanda’s camera has been busy indeed. After a day in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, we headed to Halong Bay in the northeast of Vietnam.

Halong Bay, with its beautiful limestone karsts, is an absolute must see for anyone traveling to this part of the world. Nearly two thousand islands rise from the sea in a truly stunning display of nature’s ability to produce the most beautiful scenes imaginable. Our boat slowly maneuvered through the maze of silent giants for hours on end. Our cameras snapped their way through memory cards and batteries. The islands rise from the sea in grand fashion with thick jungles looking like a full head of hair on handsome heads that stare into the crowded bay. We anchored the boat and explored further by kayak. As we navigated through multiple caves and marveled at the beauty from a closer perspective, the grandness of it all was truly humbling. We spent the first night in a bamboo bungalow on one of the secluded islands. The second night was spent among the karsts on our boat. We are now back in Hanoi awaiting an overnight train to the mountainous region of Vietnam’s northwest.

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