Halong Bay

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The name Ha Long means, Where The Dragon Descends Into The Sea.  Halong's distinctive scenery is said to have been created by the lashing tail of a rampaging dragon.

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One of the natural wonders of Vietnam.  Some 3000 islands stretching over 1500sq km and reaching the Chinese border.

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The Tarasque, a mythical creature, is said to inhabit these waters.  Vietnam's own Loch Ness Monster.

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In boats not much different from this one, the Vietnamese have been fishing on Ha Long Bay since the 7th century B.C

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Strange rock sculptures jutting out of the tranquil waters make this a truly memorable and picturesque spot.  It must have  looked just like this for thousands of years.

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Village clinging to the limestone cliffs on the shores of the Gulf of Tonkin.

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Family life on Halong Bay.  These tiny craft house whole families.  On the bow is a tarpaulin on a bamboo frame to provide shelter from the rain

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At anchor, cooking the evening meal

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The wind and waves have created countless caves and grottoes.  Around the entrances  are tiny floating villages whose inhabitants have fish, seafood, shells and coral to sell.

 

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Fun for the whole family.  Mother, father and their many children enjoy bursting Tony's bubbles.

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Ships that pass,  these fishermen share a joke with us.

 

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Sunset

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The town on Cat Ba Island, the largest of 366 islets and islands making up the Cat Ba Archipelago.

 

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Cat Ba Island is a National Park and when we visited had very limited facilities for visitors.   Some more recent visitors tell me it now has multi storey hotels. 

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One of several beaches, this one is reached by means of a tunnel.  The owner has been known to demand payment for access.

 

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The island was devoid of visitors in March 1994, the  primitive accommodation, lack of amenities and the unrelenting rain drove us back to the mainland after only one night. 

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