Jameel & Hilcia

Expedition Vietnam! Ha Long Bay

One of the reasons that we love Vietnam, among others, is the truly amazing scenery.  Ha Long Bay, which is just outside of Hanoi via shuttle bus, is one of these beautiful places.  It is a vast Bay, around 1500 square kilometers, that contains literally thousands of isles, some large, some just bits of rock.  But the vistas and incredible horizon, as these isles jet straight out of the Bay, are a stunning sight to behold.

We decided we wanted to explore Ha Long Bay a little more than just a quick boat ride around the harbor, so we joined a three-day, two night cruise on a boat that sleeps around forty. A really wonderful ship, great accommodations, which we didn’t expect at all, and fantastic crew, made for a mini adventure that was experiential in so many ways…

Ha Long View

Ha Long Inlet

Our cruise started on a cool, somewhat misty day, adding to the mystery and ghost-like quality of the mighty rocks protruding from the Bay.  Every nook and cranny that our ship explored granted us opportunity after opportunity of beautiful views and great photos to add to our collection.   Emerald colored waters throughout the Bay embellish and reflect the isles creating wonderful shadows, and spots for wildlife and fishing families alike to live and thrive here.

Ha Long Majesty


Ship Deck

Jameel Sipping

Every day we had a new choice of an activity, some choosing very chill and relaxed, while others choose adventure.  Adventure for us please, we can always chill any other day, any other place!  We hopped off the ship to explore the Hang Sung Sot caves, one of the ancient remnants of prehistoric caves that have been situated for a wonderful cool walk through experience.  The incredible scale once inside these caverns is astounding!  You will feel small and really insignificant while walking the paths…

Hang Sung Sot Main Cave



Tour Boat

Next, a little side boat trip around the Bay as we get close up views of the vertical cliff surfaces and visit the local floating fishing village.  There are approximately 1600 people still living here within Ha Long Bay squeaking out a living fishing, as their families have done for generations and hundreds of years, if not thousands of years.  These people are truly the last of a generation, as technology and other vocations call to the younger members within these families.  A sad loss for Ha Long Bay and local history…

Our final destination was a great bike ride through the hills and rice fields of one of the larger isles which contained a small village, school and farming community within its mall hidden valley.  The fresh air, verdant green fields, and wonderful communal living really inspired Hilcia & I to ponder…to think about slowing our lives down, to search for what is truly important and two take stock on how to live a more simple and more purposeful life…

Ha Long bay will do that to you…if you let her.

Vibrant Rice Fields


Boat Vendors


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