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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay (In Vietnamese “descending dragon bay") is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a very popular travel destination, an hour and a half to the east of Hanoi in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam.

The beautiful and mysterious bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Hạ Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes BÁi Tử Long bay to the northeast, and CÁt Bà islands to the southwest. Often shrouded in mist, the towering rocks are hung with rich vegetation and shot through with caves and arches.

 

Within the bay system are a number of floating fishermen's villages where entire communities live (complete with all the trappings of modern life) on boats of all shapes and sizes which are served by the conveniences of floating ship-shops.

Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets.

 

26 - Ha Long Bay-1

26 - Ha Long Bay-2

26 - Ha Long Bay-3

26 - Ha Long Bay-4

26 - Ha Long Bay-5

26 - Ha Long Bay-6

26 - Ha Long Bay-7

26 - Ha Long Bay-8

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Images (8)
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-1
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-2
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-3
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-4
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-5
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-6
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-7
  • 26 - Ha Long Bay-8

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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Comments (4)

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Thanks for these pictures, and for opening a new vista. I've usually thought of floating villages as connected to cities such as Bangkok...but the idea that they could exist on their own is fascinating. Is this area unique in that way, or are there others in Vietnam?

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

I'm glad that you liked the pics Paul. The floating villages there are the only ones quite like it that I recall seeing in Vietnam. Down on the Mekong it is quite usual to see extensions to homes built far out over the water that they pretty much classify as floating! There are a lot of house-boats on the Mekong too but the villages in Ha Long bay are much more substantial in that they are made up of floating platforms upon which several houses can be built together.

 

In Cambodia a similar way of living can be seen at Tonle Sap lake, the largest inland lake in south east Asia, the level of which rises and falls very significantly between the monsoon and the dry season. Here most of the houses are built on very tall stilts (4-6 metres high I would estimate) and take on the look of floating villages during the monsoons.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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