Ha Long Bay is quite breathtaking. It is probably quite unlike anything you have ever seen before. It consists of over 700 large and small islands and rocky outcrops emerging from the sea in a 200 km stretch of coastline in the North of Vietnam. The pictures that I took on our three day cruise of the Bay by junk portray it far better than I could ever do here in words.
The rocky crags emerging dramatically from the sea owe their existence to the “Karst limestone” geology of the region. This same effect can be seen inland in neighbouring Laos. The difference here is that there is sea between the rocks and mountains rather than land. It is a quite awesome place. During our visit the views were often shrouded in mist but it was incredibly beautiful nonetheless. The name means Bay of Descending Dragons and when you are here you can easily understand that the dramatic and scenery and slightly eery atmosphere could engender beliefs like this.
Sung Sot caves is well worth a visit, as is Cat Ba Island, a UNESCO heritage site and the largest island within the Bay.
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