One of the first days I after I arrived in Vietnam I knew one of the destinations that was high on my list was Ha Long Bay. It was my highlight of Vietnam and one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the chance to visit. The bay is made up of hundred of Limestone Islands, and it is a Unesco world heritage site.
After spending my first few days of Vietnam in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi, I decided to book a day trip out to Halong bay.
The trip was 4 hours each way on the bus, so it meant hopping on a bus nice and early. I think we boarded our bus at around 7am and headed off out of the city towards the coast.
The bus ride itself was interesting, looking out onto the Vietnamese landscape as we weaved in and out between cars and motorbikes. The views were so scenic and a much needed peaceful contrast to the loud active atmosphere of the city.
As we approached the coast, I could spot some of the Limestone islands sticking out of the clam ocean. It was my first sight of things to come and I was excited, they looked so majestic as they protruded out of the still water.
We soon hopped on our boat that would transport us around the huge Limestone isles for the next 4 hours. We got settled started to move towards the islands, they were getting bigger and bigger as we got closer.
Heading towards the giant limestone isles
It was hard to judge the size of them from a distance, but once we were much closer it was an amazing sight seeing the sheer size of the huge vertical cliff faces.
After a little while of exploring around the different islands we stopped off at a floating village in which we could go on a small rowing boat and visit a cave. Once we got through the small opening and through to the doughnut shaped inlet, there was huge cliffs surrounding us on all sides.
We then hopped back onto or big boat and headed for some caves that were on one of the islands. The caves were a lambranth of tunnels and they were lighted up with lights situated through out the caves, It added shadows and color to the interior of the protruding stalagmites and stalactite.
The cave had loads of lights that lit up the protruding rocks with lots of colors.
Seeing the twisting cave structure was amazing, there was paths and passages to other caves through out the entire place. I could hear water falling from some areas, but couldn’t see it.
After our exploration of the cave we headed back onto our boat and passed a few more isles as we headed back to shore.
The sun was just beginning to set as we approached the harbour, the islands were shrinking on the horizon on the yellowing light. I looked back at the beautiful isles back lit from the sun, wishing I could spend more time there.
The sun setting over Ha Long Bay
If you are going to visit Vietnam, I would recommend that the one thing you must see is Ha Long Bay. Being among the massive isles, moving across the water in between the gigantic limestone rocks.