Halong Bay, Vietnam - the Most Beautiful Place
Posted Date: 3/7/20133:20 AM
We were picked up by mini van at our hotel in Hanoi early one morning and taken out of the city with a group of around 20 other people. As often happens in Vietnam, we discovered they were a real mixed bag, students, backpackers, people who were doing a trip around the world, a retired teacher, a woman who was a nurse for six months of the year and then traveled for the other six months.
The mini van trip to Halong Bay took around three and a half hours with a couple of stops for the bathroom and a shopping opportunity. Eventually, we stopped at the side of what looked like a large lake. It was then I had my first glimpse of Halong Bay.
The air was damp and misty. A light fog was curling off the water and coming inland and, out in the bay, poking eerily out of the water and mist were enormous limestone crags.
Halong Bay is more than 1,500 square miles, and has over 1,600 of these limestone islands and islets. It’s also dotted with caves and underwater grottoes, and sailed by traditional Vietnamese junks and sampans. To this day, it still looks like something out of another world.
As we were walking down to the water, our tour guide told us that Ha Long meant “dragon descending” and was named after a dragon who was asked by the Emperor to help him stop his enemy who were invading. So the dragon spat out jewels, which turned into rock formations and stopped the enemy in their tracks. To this day, it is believed the dragon still lives at the bottom of the bay waiting to help again.
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