The Bay of the Descending Dragon

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Legend has it that two dragons, a mother and her child, were sent by the gods to help protect Vietnam from invader ships. The dragons spat jewels and jade that turned into islands creating a protective wall against the foes. After the war was over, the dragons chose this bay to rest on Earth. With a legend and a name like these ones, there is no way that Ha Long Bay can disappoint. The UNESCO World Heritage site houses more than 1500 limestone islets that come in every size and shape possible. Most of them have no beach and are covered with algae, lichens, and trees. Coupled with the dark color of the limestone and the turquoise waters of the South China Sea the landscape is breathtaking.

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We embarked on a 3 day cruise through Ha Long Bay and the smaller Bai Tu Long and Lan Ha bays. We opted for a 3 days cruise rather than the popular 2 day one as it is the only way to visit the other bays. It was worth it! We went to Lan Ha bay during the extra day in a smaller boat and there were only 6 of us on it. We swam, jumped from the boat, kayaked, and basically had a wonderful time.

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Vietnam_Ha_Long_Bay_Viaje_Asia_2014-2015_IMG_7762Celebrating Marily’s 60th birthday with some bubbles!

One of the other sites you are taken to isย  “Surprising Cave”. This is one of the largest caves in the bay and it’s really worth the visit, even though it’s always full with tourists. The cave has three main chambers and, as always, your guide will point out stalactites and stalagmites that have names based on their shapes.

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Although the bay is definitively a very touristic spot and a lot of people visit it, there is enough space for everyone and the government controls it very strictly. Besides, the boats at night look beautiful with their lights on against the silhouettes of countless islands.

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All and all it was a great trip and we enjoyed the quiet time on the ocean but it was time to go back to the mainland and continue the adventure!

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