Photo Journal // Ha Long Bay
Sometimes words just don't do a place justice, so I'm going to limit mine here and let the photos do most of the talking. We visited the otherworldly Ha Long Bay following our time in Hanoi, and it was, simply put, pure magic.
The best way to experience Ha Long Bay is by boat, so we hopped aboard an overnight tour with Indochina Junk, who guided us through a lesser-trafficked area known as Bai Tu Long Bay. Filled with thousands of prehistoric karst peaks that jut from the bay's emerald waters, Bai Tu Long looks like something out of a storybook. The limestone hills are blanketed in green, and years of erosion have carved grottos in their underbellies which appear as if they may be doorways to another land.
A misty sky encircled us for most of our first day onboard. We feasted on artfully prepared multi-course meals, kayaked through the open water, and explored a cave that was alive with formations, dripping from the ceiling and sprouting from the earth.
The clouds parted just before daylight's end, giving way to a spectacular sunset that lit the bay on fire.
Nighttime on the boat was serenely quiet, and we had the most blissful sleep knowing that another dreamlike day awaited us at dawn.
The next morning we woke to discover colorful floating villages, inhabited by the farmers and families who call Bai Tu Long Bay their home. Stepping onto their docks felt like stepping back in time, to a simpler way of life and a world not yet touched by technology and consumerism. The warm smiles on their faces indicated that perhaps the residents of Bai Tu Long Bay have it all figured out.
Located at: 58 Au Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel.: (+84 4) 3923 2559
Indochina Junk specializes in off-the-beaten-path experiences, taking you to a lesser-visited area of Ha Long Bay with pristine waters and very little boat traffic. Transportation to and from Hanoi is provided by luxury van.
We sailed Bai Tu Long Bay on the Dragon's Pearl junk boat. Our food onboard was superb, and our cabin had one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept on. We combined our overnight cruise with a tour of Yen Duc Village, which I highly recommend and will be writing about in more detail very soon!