Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vietnam Halong Bay

We are in the north of Vietnam in a place called Halong Bay and it is most probably one of the most beautiful places on earth and for sure one of the most photographed places in Vietnam. It is about 3 hours drive from Hanoi, so not too far off the beaten track and there are plenty of resorts one can spend the holiday.
Again this is a UNESCO World Heritage sire, yes, tick off the list, and is a stunning but small section of the Gulf of Tonkin. There are over 2000 Islands which are dominated by tall limestone karst formations (Karst is formed when very soluble bedrock, in this case limestone, is dissolved at its surface by mildly acidic water)
Our little brochure reads that the karst formations in Halong Bay are the worlds most spectacular formations. The islands here in the bay are actually remnants of mountains which formed 67 Million years ago. The erosion of the limestone only started 2 million years ago and the caves formed 67000 years ago.......just some useless information for anybody interested in a bunch of rocks!
There are Vietname Junk boats bring many tourists into the national park. One of the many attractions is the Sung Sot Cave. It is a spectacular cave that was only relatively recent discovered. There is a staircase  to climb 75 feet to the cave mouth, but then the view is spectacular. There is a concrete path going through the cave system which is beautifully lit to enhance the features.
This is such an amazing place here, if anybody goes to Vietnam, one just has to come here and see Halong Bay. We loved every moment of it, the Junk ride, the cave, the woman selling fresh fish (all to the junks) while on the phone. It is a wonderful place to go, I think a total must while in Vietnam.
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