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Diary of a trip to Halong bay

Halong bay fishing vilalgeWe arrived in Hanoi after a long and tiring trip in Sapa, we spent a few days in Hanoi and took a 2 day tour to Halong Bay

The drive to about 180 kilometers away from Hanoi, Ha Long Bay takes you past endless rice fields and the field of Vietnamese coal-mining. Here the streets are sometimes black from the dust of the coal, and in some places the coal is also called "manual mode" smelted in small plants, operated directly on the street, from one or two men.

The Port of Halong is full of pleasure boats that will take visitors to the limestone cliffs. To that end we pass some distance transport heavily laden barges. The sky consists of a dense cloud cover, it's foggy - and now and then a slight fall from the sky. the boats, all decorated with a dragon head figurehead, almost empty.

Our first destination, the island's Hang Sung Sot , the "Amazing cave" a two-high dense rock formation, somewhat larger than the neighboring islands. And smooth - - stone steps to the entrance of the grotto where we go ashore, the steep climb. 30 meters high the ceiling of this "underground cathedral" is "supported" by a mighty stalactite pillars, now lit up in all sorts of psychedelic colors. There are aisles and "vault", and an entire village would find comfortable shelter.

Nexe our ship cruise to a "floating fishing village", a village consisting of interconnected life-boats in which fishermen and their families are in the long run. There is even a school here. But in any case, here are is a floating fish farm between the islands. In the underwater cages that hang between the bars, arm-length romp just a few fish still enjoy their lives. This fish farm is visited mainly by Japanese and Koreans who eat the fish raised here also like raw.

We stopped at Vung Vieng, a floating village, and we get four of each order in small boats. Local women to row us close to the dwellings. About 300 people live in Halong Bay in floating villages. It may look quiet, almost every house has a veranda with a hammock scurry, dogs around on the platforms, in between playing children or men-fishing. But as in the Hmong in the mountains, the idyll is deceptive. Even here, people struggle to survive, because the income from fishing and tourism are not very profitable, is also their habitat due to increased shipping and marine pollution threat.

We cruise past a series of rocky islands, which are like a cord strung together in the water, now in the mist only in its outlines visible, then turn to take back to the mainland.

Before we drive back to Hanoi, we pass through the tourist area of Halong city, this is actually no more than a beach promenade, some hotels and restaurants, but now seem to have only a few guests.

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