Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, Feb7th, Halon Bay
Halon Bay is best known for its 3,000 limestone and dolomite islets sprinkled over 1,000 square miles. Legend has it that when the Vietnamese were under attack long ago, a dragon came to their aid, splitting mountains to impede the progress of the enemy. Wind and water weathered the porous limestone in the course of a million years, and this process created the limestone cathedrals, colonized by stunted and twisted vegetation. The romantic setting of rugged island peaks and bays dotted with ailing junks has inspired a whole genre of Vietnamese paintings.
Our drive to Halon Bay carried us past colorful rice paddies and a hundred miles of roadside shops. We made a pit stop at a favorite charity store filed with stone carvings, embroideries, scarves, bags, and ceramics. Arriving at the dock, we took a small motor boat out to the waiting junk. For the next 24 hours, we relaxed amidst 30 other tourist-filled junks enjoying catered lunches and dinners, and views that couldn't stop being photographed.
For a link to the complete set of photos for the last two days, and to a YouTube video of some of our recent experinces, click on: Monday, Feb 7th, Halong Bay, Tuesday Morning, Feb 8th, Halong Bay, and video of Halong Bay and Hanoi on Tuesday Night: (Halong Bay Video)
Ps. For the one who asked about the hotel we stayed at in Siem Reap, it was the Somadevi, and it was great. Centrally-located, great pool, and terrific restaurant.