Thursday, 15 May 2014

Enchanting Halong Bay

Halong Bay, about 4 hours east of Hanoi, was the high point of our 6 week trip in terms of scenery.  It's the kind of scenery that always made me wish I could paint as it was so hard to capture the essence on camera.   It was foggy and hazy when we arrived in the early afternoon, after a bumpy ride on a highway under construction.  I was worried that it would stay that way, making it almost impossible to take a good picture as even the foreground was barely visible.  We were lucky that by mid-afternoon, the sun broke through and there was a combination of light and haze that allowed us to take some decent shots.  It lasted a few hours and that was it for the rest of our cruise, including the following morning.  While it was magical to watch the rock formations through the fog, we were glad we got our pictures in that window of a few hours.  You could see the results below.  The first photo was taken when we first arrive, it was impossible to capture both foreground and background in the haze.  Interesting as the fishing boat was, one couldn't place it in Halong Bay without capturing the background.

The haze slowly lifting...
These two rocks look like cocks fighting

Small fishing boat with nets and floating markers
A small floating fishing village
A small temple built into the rock face across from the fishing village

Eagle like rock formation as we approached the limestone cavern

There was a moment of sun before we entered the cavern, by the time we came out, it was gone.  This was a view from the cave exit.

The walls and ceiling of the limestone cavern were quite spectacular

The people on the path provide an indication of the huge size of this cavern

A floating shop just outside the cave

The many caves in the area are great for kayaking

Fishing boat on its way home

We cruised around the bay and then anchored in a sheltered cove together with other cruise boats for the night.

In the morning, it was like a Chinese brush painting...


  1. Reminds me of 'Man With the Golden Gun'.

  2. Gorgeous pictures! Does Halong mean Black Dragon in Chinese? I've been fascinated by it since I saw Indochine 20 years ago (ok so it wasn't that great of a movie!)

  3. Thanks, HG. I had thought the same for many years because there is a place with a similar name in China (HeilungJiang) which means Black Dragon. Here it actually means the way it sounds Halong is Descending Dragon.