Photos - Vietnam > Halong Bay

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Thu 2 May 2013 05:17

Halong bay

We left Hanoi to spend a couple of days on a boat touring around Halong Bay.  We were going out onto the highway when we encountered a funeral, they were actually blocking traffic on the highway, our driver honked and started to yell at them and they finally moved.  Our guide explained that it is illegal to take the funeral procession onto major roads. It

The deceased is in the truck.



It took about four hours to get to Halong Bay and they had a lunch ready for us at a restaurant right across from the dock.  We finished and we were waiting for our driver to tell us where our boat was, but he had been on the phone all through lunch and on the bus as well.  He finally came over to our table and explained that the trip was cancelled due to bad weather; we looked outside at the sunny windless day and told him the weather was perfect and we wanted to go anyway.  He told us the Marine Police were closing the bay down at 6pm heavy winds were expected later on and the boats cannot handle any kind of seas or winds. After a lot of buts and what ifs our guide found a boat that would take us out for three hours, so off we went.  We had no sooner boarded the boat and set off than dark clouds came out and the sky was overcast , for the next three hours, oh well, more moody photos.


Moody photos of the karsts in HaLong Bay.  Halong Bay means where the dragon descends into the sea.  Apparently according to legend as he wended his way down from the mountains his tail scattered rocks and threw them into the bay.


The skies started to clear for us, nice to get away from the moody photos.

We left our boat and were rowed around the floating fishing village.



These are the four sisters from Malaysia.  They called themselves, numbers one, two, three and four.  Number one was in her seventies, they were very funny and just about the happiest four sisters we have ever seen.






Our guide explained to us that one of the conditions of Halong Bay being accepted as a Unesco World Heriage Site, is that no one can be living within the "Site". This means that the government must move the people from their long term floating village to a distant part of the body of water that is outside the boundaries of the "Site". This is a tramatic change for this fishing community whose people are born and die here….. well not too sure about what they do with the bodies.

He said they will be expecting a lot of resistance but he didn’t know how it would in the end be forced to happen. We found the Vietnamese do not like talking about the government out in public and when they do they whisper!!!




As we passed by their homes you keep on thinking they must have to go into town once in a while, I guess they have people who go into town for provisions, etc…..and as were finishing our paddle around, we saw a women paddling her boat with provisions that she was delivering or selling to the rest of the community.



These floating pontoons must help when there are heavy winds.

You never can get away from doing laundry.


The kids can manoeuvre these small craft like pros.


The fishermen resting after an early morning out on the water catching fish.


This little guy showed us his fish that he was going to have for dinner.



Time to go back to the bus.



Back to the moody photos, the fog was coming in again.

Kissing chickens karsts

You can barely see the bridge

Halong Bay city and a four hour drive back to Hanoi.  We enjoyed our three hours in Halong Bay.  Maybe we will get back for a two day tour.