Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam...

Ha Long Bay was recently named as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It includes over 1600 islands and islets of limestone cliffs.  This bay is know for it's emerald still water and sky scraping cliffs.  The day we went was misty and raining the whole time, but it created a mystical effect while sailing through the islands.  Could not get over how amazingly beautiful it was!  I would like to come back here in the summer to go swimming of one of the boats in the bay.  Another crazy thing I couldn't get over was how cheap having a private junk boat with a gourmet Vietnamese seafood lunch was... $4 for 4 hours plus lunch!!!  Yes please!
One of the ancient legends is that the islands were formed by the Mother Dragon who was sent to protect Vietnam and its people.  Everywhere she surfaced, an island was formed.  

This little girl actually jumped onto the side of our junk boat and was trying to sell us some fresh fruit.  We had to keep saying "No thank you" until she left.
A floating village fully equipped with a bank.  They also had a school house and other random "stores".

Our own private junk boat! 
Steamed prawns with veggies and hard shelled crab cakes. 
Fried spring rolls and "fried potatoes". 
Stir fried squid... delicious!
Best part of the meal!!  Fried butter fish with a fresh tomato and scallion relish! 
Katie and I devoured the meal!  They just kept bringing out dishes of food, so we kept eating!  Good thing we both LOVE to eat :)
A cave in one of the islands that was just discovered about 10 years ago.  Crazy it's been here so long, but it was just discovered!  It kind of reminded me of Ariel's Grotto the way they had a lot of the colored lights in it.
The only actual light in the cave. 

Overlooking Ha Long Bay Cove from the cave.

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