It’s synonymous with Vietnam, this picture perfect wonder of towering limestone karsts rising out of emerald green waters that is not only one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although Halong Bay was formed due to geological processes over billions of years, Vietnamese legend has it that dragons helped defend the country from would-be invaders and emeralds spilling from their mouths formed the islands that dot the bay. “Ha Long” Bay literally means the bay of the descending dragon.
It’s breathtaking even in overcast conditions and spending a night on board a junk in the Bay is a must when visiting northern Vietnam.
I couldn’t help feeling though that despite being regulated, there are too many boats in the Bay at any given time and I worry about he long-term environmental impact. A few plastic bags and bottles floating in the water reinforced this as we moved through the waters slowly to explore a magnificent cave.
That said, life on the water is fascinating to experience, from the houseboats and fisherfolk to the floating peddlars.