Friday, 12 October 2012

Ha Long Bay

From Hoi An we flew up north to Hanoi. We only had a half day here exploring the old down before our side-trip to Ha Long Bay for a night. Ha Long Bay was breathtaking. You can't imagine the expanse of the bay with all it's thousands of islands – over 2000 in total. Our boat, the Emotion, was a little old and dated, I have to admit. But all the ships out seemed the same way.
We gently cruised through these mountains jutting up out of the sea before heading to a cave. It was all very 'Pirates of the Caribbean' like. Awesome.
Hundreds of islands as far as the eye can see.
A familiar sight by the end of the trip were floating shops. I saw mostly women rowing their way around the bays selling everything from Oreos, softdrink, batteries, to cigarettes. Tough job.
During the tour we visited an island called on Titop Island. Here we climbed the peak to take in the incredible view from the summit. Edu and I stayed up there most of our shore-leave time just snapping away and enjoying the view. Others swam at the beach below.
Hard to get the full impact of the view from a few photos, but it was an incredible sight to look out over all those little islands from above.
The next morning we explored a floating fishing village in one of the bays and went to visit the Surprise Caves.
The caves were pretty big and lit up like a Christmas tree. Apparently it all use to be lit with red lights (a virtuous colour in Asia), but on feedback from Westerners (ie, it was looking a little 'Hell'-like they changed it up a little).  Then it was back to the port and time to head back to Hanoi, for our final few days of holiday.

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