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Monday, June 25, 2007

OUR TREASURES: Halong Bay





If there’s going to be a phrase to best describe the spectacular Halong Bay; it has to be “A living art painted in watercolor.” I haven’t seen anything like this in the whole world! *me, acting as if this is the first time I saw it* 1,600 islands and islets rises majestically from the sea, rich jungle vegetations on top, lots of formations to leave a lot to the imagination.

This is one of the few places in the world where I can say “Now I’ve seen it – this is a good day to die.” If I’m gonna be myself here, I’m going to describe it as: *gasp* “Whadda?” in complete awe, lost for words, goose bumps and all --nothing can describe this place.

Legend has it that long ago, the gods sent a family of dragons to help the Vietnamese defend their land from Chinese invaders. When the dragons landed on what is now Halong Bay (translated as “Bay of Descending Dragons), they spit out jades and jewels. The jades and jewels turned into islands and islets to form a natural barrier to keep the invaders out. The land they kept safe is believed to be the ancient cradle of the Vietnamese people. *Hmm… it pays to have dragon friends eh? Awesome!*

Our guide further said that one of the dragons still lives around the bay up to this day. *left eyebrow arching slowly*. I think he’s just pulling my leg because I look like a dude who would believe anything and will actually wait for that damn dragon to appear – yeah that’s me, thank you very much – but not today, not today dammit! So shut up.



But it’s not actually pure legend at all! (well, at least the invaders part) History shows that the Vietnamese actually stopped invaders through Halong Bay – the Chinese on 3 occasions, and the Mongols, which the Vietnamese stopped from further sailing to their shores.

Halong Bay was declared a World Heritage Site on 17 December 1994.

From Saigon, we flew to Hanoi *on an airplane of course, we haven't had much dragon friends yet*. Halong Bay is around 3 hours and 30 minutes drive from Hanoi. You can choose to go kayaking on the bay and make sure you got a guide or you’ll be lost in this gigantic watery maze. If you’re a bigtime cheapskate, you can just admire the view from the shore OR if you looooove yourself and not on a budget, rent a junk and cruise for 2-3 days. Nothing can compare to a morning sunrise at Halong Bay --should I mention the sunset too? Ha! *and the darn dragon, if we're lucky!*




The water is forever calm, the air is forever fresh, the limestone pillars forever majestic and Vietnam is forever awesome! You have to visit this place –don’t die until you did. Take that!


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9 Comments:

Bjarne of Norway said...

LOL. This is so you, so you!

Mariani said...

I think it's Puff the Magic Dragon. Is this where they got the inspiration for the song? It was on the Vietnam War, wasn't it?

Aki said...

Dude I would love to follow you and Morgan there. Next time count me in, alrighty?

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

AKI!!!!!!! Fucken out dude! First time you left a message here. Did you check Misterhub's blog? Did you leave a message? Huh? Huh? So I guess I should feaure you now huh? Not that you're perfect, but you're ok. Hahahahahaha!

Nam Nguyen said...

The last time I was in Halong it was in the middle of winter. It rained so hard and stayed misty all the time. Obviously, I did not get a chance to see the nice sunset and sunrise like you did. What a pity!

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Oh sweet! A new reader! Thanks for dropping by Nam.

We really enjoyed the week stay in Saigon and Hanoi but the rain kept spoiling the action. We're going back there again in 2 weeks!

Nam Nguyen said...

No prob! The pleasure is all mine. A very nice and interesting blog.

How lucky are you guys? Coming back to Vietnam again in 2 weeks? I am jealous.

Rhiannon said...

Are all the posts here like this? By gahd I enjoyed reading! Give me sometime to go thorugh it all. You got a gift. Cheers!

pen said...

Discover the splendors of the bay aboard a wooden junk that combines classic beauty with modern comfort...
For more detail, please click http://www.cruiseshalongbay.com

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