Halong Bay, Vietnam

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Halong Bay is a must for anyone visiting Vietnam. The unique sea/landscape is a pleasant retreat from the busy streets of Hanoi. We decided not to rush and stayed two nights on a “junk.” The boats are not authentic junks but have been fitted with sails to give tourists the illusion.

We had read that the bay would be overcrowded. While there are a lot of boats (500 on any given day), it certainly didn’t feel that way once we left the harbor.

Mike cooling off after climbing to the top of one of the islands. I was still nursing scabs from my accident (it takes forever to heal in this climate) but the heat won out and I jumped in too. The European tourists were probably thinking, what the heck? as I was floated on my back while Mike propped my injured feet and ankles above sea level.

Several of the three thousand islands in Halong Bay.

A massive cave filled with stalactites where Vietnamese hid during US bombing of North Vietnam.

After the cave tour, Mike and I moved to our own junk. Cruising around we couldn’t help but feel environmentally guilty. It was just us on a giant boat with a crew of five.

We should have been king and queen for the day but Mike preferred the role of pirate.

Local fishing village where the people live in floating houses. Most of the homes have fish farms where Californian Ranchers have manicured lawns.

A fisherman hauling in his net.

Back on our original boat, with a new set of passengers, Mike worked his way up to the top deck where he finally took the plunge.

Early evening in the cove where we kayaked through a cave into an area completely enclosed by the giant karsts rising around us.

The sunrise on our last morning in Halong Bay.