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April 11, 2010

Halong Bay - they call it Guilin arising from the sea

As the legend told, there was a family of white dragons sent by god to defend the land when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders long long time ago. To protect the land against the invaders, these dragons spitted out jewels and jade, which later became the islands and islets surrounding the bay. By then, the family of dragon defeated the invaders and the land later became the country of Vietnam today.

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After that, dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the earth, and then decided to live here. The place where the mother dragon descended was named Hạ Long, the place where the dragon's children attended upon their mother was called Bái Tử Long island (Bái: attend upon, Tử: children, Long: dragon), and the place where the dragon's children wriggled their tails violently was called Bạch Long Vỹ island (Bạch: white- colour of the foam made when Dragon's children wriggled, Long: dragon, Vỹ: tail). (adapted from Wikipedia)

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Hundreds of junks and boats available, only the quality and sightseeing route differs. Usually one day sightseeing route does not allow kayaking/canoeing, but ours yes.

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Dragon head.

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My junk.

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Private junk. Only for us.

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Jina, Cheryl and Steve.

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Another loving Korean couple. They're taking a train ride (3D2N in train!!!) to Ho Chi Minh City the very next day.

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See how many more junks out there!

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Ninh and us.

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The complete group: Malaysia, The Philippines, Korea and USA.

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Windy day!

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Jina, my Hanguk chingoo (Korean friend)

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Fried squid. Fresh!

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Omelet, fish, chicken, squid...

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Our scrumptious lunch~


The bay consists of a dense cluster of over 3,000 limestone monolithic islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, rising spectacularly from the ocean.

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Posers at Halong Bay.

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Arriving at Hang Sung Sot (Sung Sot Cave).

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Funny looking limestone cave.


We made a stop at Sung Sot Cave (Cave of Surprise). See if you feel surprised too.

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Feels like Guilin arising from the sea?

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If you want to capture a good background at Halong Bay, this is it.


Here we are inside the cave or 'surprises'!

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This is definitely the most attractive part in the cave. Tell me what do you see??

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Uh huh.. Now you get it.

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The "male".

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...pointing towards the "female".

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Very well-maintained.

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The beauty of nature enhanced by colors and lights.

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They name this part of the cave as "The Opera".

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Coming out of the cave.

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Strolling along the bridge at the fishing village

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Big butt... Gotta slim down a bit... But I couldn't help eating when I travel!

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Going to the fishing village.

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Life of a boatman, perhaps I should call her boatlady. She was selling fresh oysters and clams. But the thing that attracted me was the shells!! I love shells!!

My reflex action -- "Hello lady!! Are those shells for sale??"
She looked up -- "1 dollar each."
Then she put all the shells into the net and raised them up to the bridge for me to choose.

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Yippie!!! I got 2 of these!


We always go canoeing whenever it's available during nature excursions. Same for Halong Bay. Initially I wanted to overnight on the junk, but we were running out of time due to the lousy flight schedule... Sigh.. So we only spent an hour plus at the fishing village for canoeing.

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Simple life. Survivors.

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Fresh seafood for sale at the fishing village.

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Sometimes we really need to balance our hectic working life with the peaceful rural life. That's why I love nature excursions whenever I go travel. To relax. To rejuvenate. And then back to work with a fresher mind. Life's about working smart and playing hard. If you always find that you're working too hard, then something must have gone wrong in your way of working.


Canoeing in Halong Bay is not easy. There are big junks and cruises coming along when you paddle around. I didn't bring along my camera because there's always high risk of falling into the water.

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Canoe time! 

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Taken by Jina.

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A baby learning to crawl.

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Boat people selling goods to the tourists.

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Sigh...if we could have another day here...


So I guess I'll come back here the next time. I might opt for the luxurious cruise next time, if our friend (the owner) could offer us VIP service at "VIP" price...hahahaha... LOL. (Interested? Ask me.)

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Luxurious cruise.

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More cruises coming when we're about to leave. These cruises will park here for the overnight tour at Halong Bay.

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Waving goodbye to Halong Bay!~

3 comments:

wow.. the place does look like Li River in Guilin..would like to visit the place

Very nice trip of Guilin! ^.^
Hope can see your photos of Macau!

Rafael: That's Halong Bay in Vietnam ler... ><"
Ya, I'll definitely snap a lot in Macau.

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