Ha Long Bay: A natural geomorphic wonder in North Vietnam

#1 Jan 17th, 2015, 14:29
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Aug 2006
  • nycank is offline
In the Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast from Ha Long City, about four hour drive from Hanoi, are thousands of limestone outcrops that form a spectacular natural viewscape. A UNESCO world heritage site, it is also a very popular tourist destination.

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The geomorphology of these limestone islets is unique and forms a delicate biodiverse ecosystem along with CatBa nature preserve.

#2 Jan 17th, 2015, 14:51
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Aug 2006
  • nycank is offline

Of karsts and caves

Tourists spend one or two nights on boats as it cruises amongst the various islets and caves. The caves are a major highlight of a trip to Ha Long Bay. These limestone caves attract thousands of tourists a day.

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#3 Jan 17th, 2015, 15:23
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  • nycank is offline

The saga of the floating villages

Doting these outcrops and islets are few of the remaining floating fishing villages. Most have been moved by the government and resettled in the mainland. The villagers, many of them ethnic minorities, had historically been living in subsistence level, trying to survive on catch off the bay, and selling to coastal communities, and later to the tourist boats cruising the bay.

With funding from UNESCO and other international ecopreservation agencies, the remaining villages have seen some improvement in their daily lives, but not something one would expect of their mainland brethren who have access to healthcare and educational opportunities.

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#4 Jan 17th, 2015, 15:36
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Aug 2006
  • nycank is offline

Did you eat well ?

Cat Ba island, where we had some field engagement, and that was a perfect excuse to spend a weekend cruising amongst the various islets and caves. By all accounts, a trip to Ha Long Bay is considered amount the move expensive excursions unless you are a group of dozen or more persons, and negotiate a private charter, or luck out by joining a group of scandinavian retired technocrats.

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Oysters from the bay.

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Tofu in garlic sauce.

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Stir fried pork.

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Rice with mixed vegetables and a helping of tofu.

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Fried fish with tamrind sauce.

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Anything goes with cold beer. IN this case fresh fruits.

One of the highlights of a private charter is that you get to eat good authentic north vietnamese cuisine that is normally not found in regular boat tours, where it is modified to what is expected by the non-vietnamese tourists.

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My bed in the boat - No single supplement charges here
#5 Jan 17th, 2015, 16:14
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Dec 2008
  • vaibhav_arora is offline
That dragon fruit looks good
#6 Jan 17th, 2015, 17:02
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
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Dec 2005
over a 'wine-dark sea'
  • theyyamdancer is offline
Lovely reporting, nycank.
#7 Jan 17th, 2015, 17:10
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Jul 2011
  • Fing Fang is offline
Great Pics! Halong Bay is beautiful.
#8 Jan 17th, 2015, 17:41
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Aug 2006
  • nycank is offline
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post Great Pics! Halong Bay is beautiful.
You could live and work at Catba Archipelago if you tried earnestly

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