Nuffnang Space

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bay Of The Descending Dragon in Vietnam

Before we went to Vietnam three years ago, I didn't read up on the places we would be visiting. I knew that Ha Long Bay was in our itinerary, but thought it was just a seaside resort we were going to , to chill, so to speak. When we got there from Hanoi, we were stunned! This place was not just fabulous, it was fascinating and famous!
We learnt that Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A greater honour was awarded to this site when the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation included Halong Bay on its list of nominations as one of the World's Seven Natural Wonders. No wonder we found this place so wonderful! 

The golden dragon figurehead pointing the direction to where we were heading - in search of the descending dragon.
The seascape is beautiful in the slightly misty atmosphere of the morning. There were eerie-looking shapes rising out of the water like sentinels guarding the bay. These formations are limestone karsts and small islands which had taken 20 million years to evolve.

The morning sun's rays breaking through to greet us a GOOD morning on the bay.
The bay is situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, and has about 1,600 islands and islets. The limestone pillars that jut out from the seabed are so steep that most of these islands are uninhabited.

Islands like this tower up to a height of 50-100m 

There are caves and other landforms on these limestone islands and the larger islands even contain numerous lakes.
 Fishing is the main occupation here. The shallow bay is said to have 200 species of fish and 450 types of shell-fish.

The still, shallow waters here must make it easy for the fishermen to get a big haul daily, I presume.

Small floating fishing villages like this one spring up by the fringes of  islands which have hostile towering perpendicular cliffs.

Wonder if the fishermen go abseiling in their backyard.

These islands are named for their shapes. 
Voi Islet looks like an elephant, Ga Choi Islet resembles a fighting cock! 

What would you name that island in the background?

Ooh, just look at this image below. So reminiscent of Milford Sound, so serene and mysteriously majestic.

Scenic wonder...that's Ha Long Bay!

The famous formation on the bay, aptly named "The Kissing Rocks"

Why would a rock want to kiss another rock? Solve that one for me, please.

I like this formation. A fish head followed by its body?

I am not one for scaling  heights, but I didn't want to miss the view from the vantage point, so I bravely inched my way up (literally!) and was rewarded with these precious images. A view worth the knee-shaking, vertigo-inducing  climb down the cliff-side.

Just too beautiful for words.

For Watery Wednesday:


  1. breathtaking pictures here!! i love all of them! very wonderful pictures of vietnam. thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. Just in time, i've just been reading a book about vietnam. great place to visit.

  3. Hi Rosie,

    These photos are breathtaking. I love this new blog of yours. I know that I will never get to go to some of these places, nor would I have even heard of them. You might want to list this on your profile page too.

    Thanks again!

  4. What an amazing sight! I have heard Vietnam ia a beautiful place to visit. With sights these, I can understand why. A Beautiful photographic series with an excellent and most interesting commentary.

  5. Oh wow, these are wonderful! What a beautiful place!

    Thanks so much for your visit to my Watery Wednesday post last week that brought me here - I have really enjoyed this visit. Lovely blog.
    I've had the flu and am now trying to catch up on comments. Hope you're having a wonderful week.