Halong Bay (Vietnamese: Vịnh Hạ Long) was part of my itinerary when I visited Vietnam last month. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes.
This tourism spot is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam. It takes about 3 and a half hours drive from Hanoi city to reach the jetty of Halong Bay.
Every tourist who visits Vietnam, will not leave out Halong Bay in their traveling itinerary, trust me on that!
Look at the amount of tourists from all over the world.
The woman in blue shawl is from Canada, and she was helping the Thai lady to cross to another boat.
The Canadian woman was on her 5-month vacation around South East Asia. She just spent a week at Ho Chi Minh City with her husband before she came to Hanoi. She did mentioned that she visited Malaysia before her trip to Vietnam and she even planned to return to Malaysia before heading back to Canada.
On the other hand, the Thai lady was taking a long break from her herbal business in Bangkok. From what she has told me, I could gather that she is a filthy rich businesswoman that has even stayed in Port Klang, Malaysia for 4 years and in Singapore for 2 years. Not only that, she was able to speak in English, Vietnamese and French apart from her native tongue.
Tourists are given a choice to take a small boat, a junk or a medium-sized boat like ours.
The bay consists of a dense cluster of 1,969 limestone monolithic islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, which rise spectacularly from the ocean.
Isn’t it beautiful?
The first stop during the Halong Bay tour was the fishing village. Originally in Halong Bay there was only one fishing village. Now there are about ten.
According to the tour guide, they live on floating houses and are sustained by capture fishing and marine aquaculture (cultivating marine biota).
I have no idea what is the name of this fish. Perhaps, you can refer to those who study marine science??!!
Is this cuttle fish?
These are crabs!!! And they are so RED in colour!!
I see an octopus and some unknown (read: I mean I don’t recognise these creatures) seashells. Err, wait, are they seashells?? Oh crap, I really do not know what is that!!!
After the fishing village, lunch was included into our Halong Bay package. Trying out the Vietnamese typical lunch was awesome. At least we know what they do normally eat.
The boat continued to tour around Halong Bay where the bay has a 120km long coastline and is approximately 1,553 square kilometres in size!!
The lime stone islets really come in different sizes and shapes. Just like this one. From afar, it looked Disney’s “Lion King” proudly standing on its own!!
As I came closer for a better view, MAN…. it really looked like LION KING!!!!!!
Our second and final stop was Dong Thien Cung.
Here, we were brought to visit a cave found in 1993 by a fisherman who was seeking shelter from a storm.
There were lots of formation of stalamites and staglatites.
It is funny when the tour guide told me that this formation looked like ” A Dragon eating mushrooms”. I was like ‘HUH’??????
Caving in a cold temperature is not a good idea anyway. I don’t feel that comfortable caving in a jacket, hand gloves and a neck scarf! Funny!!!
As I finished caving, there were lots of souvenir stalls whereby the local people will persuade you to get one.
How am I going to get a good souvenir when they only sell such things? Monkeys as souvenirs???
The local people doesn’t stop persuading you when you’re at the cave, they continue in the boat when you’re on the way back to the Halong jetty.
This time, they will sell pearls to you. They claim that these are genuine pearls which they rear in Halong Bay.
How genuine the pearls are, I really don’t know. But I am not ready to spend US $6 on the bracelet with a few pearls!
One thing for sure, I know I will be missing Vietnam when I return to Malaysia.
Truly, I am missing Vietnam, missing Halong Bay!