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15 thoughts on “Halong: Bay of the Descending Dragon”

    1. Thank you, Nano! I was surprised as well. I visited Ha Long some twenty years ago, but I don’t remember that I saw such beautiful things. Maybe I was too young, and the caves was too dark and scary 🙂

    1. It would be more beautiful when the sky were clear! Or at sunrise 🙂 Although there are more tourists, the bay is less chaotic than in the past. I can still remember that my boat was constantly chased by hawkers, who want to sell seafood, and stuff from China 🙂 It was very annoying!

  1. Vietnam’s north is a part of the country I have yet to visit. Depending on how many days I have when I do go one day, I hope I’ll be able to see Ha Long Bay myself, apart from an obligatory trip to Hanoi. From the stories and articles I’ve read and heard, the country’s capital sounds like a very interesting place to explore. Back to Ha Long Bay, when you were there how busy was it? I know it has become one of the most popular places in Vietnam now.

    1. I must admit that it was less crowded (and less chaotic) than I expected 🙂 Yes, there was a lot of people, especially at the ticket booth. But we were able to get our admission tickets and book the ship in less than 20 minutes. Probably because we chose the morning tour. The busiest time would be at noon, when the tour buses from Hanoi arrive.

      Each ship has a maximum capacity (40 seats I think), and it departs whenever it’s filled. So you don’t have to worry about being tucked on an overloaded ship. Most of the ships (if not, all ships) have an open deck, where you can climb up and make photos of the bay.

  2. Another great post, Len! You know, I suddenly remembered the 007 movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” with Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Ha Long Bay featured prominently in that movie!

    1. Oh really? I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info. The latest movie (that I know) featuring Ha Long Bay is Kong: Skull Island. Ninh Binh was also featured in that movie.

  3. Hi, Len – thanks for updating and republishing this entry on Halong Bay. I must have missed it the first time around. Your account of the legend made me smile, especially at the bit about the Mother Dragon and her children protecting ancient Vietnam from the northern invaders. So much of Vietnamese history seems to be about fiercely safeguarding the country’s independence. I’ve heard the weather in Halong can be very fickle; people tell me it is often cloudy, rainy, or misty, so it’s great to see your photos of the seascape bathed in sunshine and with blue skies! The caves are very impressive too. I hope I can visit with Bama one day. 🙂

    1. I think the legend of Halong Bay is partially based on the first Battle of Bach Dang which marks the independence of Vietnam from China. But instead of dragons, there were sharpened stakes that sank the entire enemy fleet.

      The weather in Halong is indeed unpredictable. I could only see the blue sky on my third visit. April is a good time to cruise the bay 😛

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