I’ve mentioned that Halong Bay, Vietnam, is a conundrum for travelers concerned about their impact on sensitive areas. This time, let me take you a bit further into the sights of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Here are a few Halong Bay photos I didn’t get to in my original post. And these photos are the real thing, not Photoshopped and HDR-modified into cartoonish caricatures of reality (one of my travel pet peeves I’ll dive into at a later point).
At any given time, there’s an absolute fleet of vessels headed to and from Halong Bay’s most-popular spots. Here’s our view of it as we head into the karst islands.
The small ships carting passengers all over range from opulent to barely afloat. Ours looked better inside than it did from the outside.
Reaching many of the destinations requires a small boat to cart us in from the larger boat. This gave me a chance to snap a nice shot of our boat/ship/floating thing.
This is one of my favorite Halong Bay photos – a bit of quiet away surrounded by chaos. I’m not sure what these guys are up to … but it’s definitely a nice moment to witness.
You’ll hear a lot about the floating market. It’s kind of a letdown, especially after some time in Vietnam conditions you to equate “market” with “place to buy anything from poop chutes to bulk cinnamon to sea cucumbers to textiles.” This was pretty much a floating ramshackle convenience store.
Sunlight reacts very nicely with the tall, sheer mountains bursting out of the water. I shudder to think what sort of lens flare J.J. Abrams would add to his personal stash of Halong Bay photos.
Some of my favorite Halong Bay photos are from Sung Sot Cave, an enormous show cave. But I really longed for a look into the undeveloped parts of the cave. I notice that Asian countries haven’t latched onto the adventurous side of caving. People like me love getting dirty and seeing caves as they really are.
If you don’t know why I think this photo is awesome, you probably haven’t plunged into the depths of my terrible sense of humor.
This is a huge cave, and it’s lit very well to score some sweet photos.
I alluded in a previous post to booming construction to a sensitive area. The signs are all there …
I snapped this shot on the way to a pearl farm. The pearl farm was fairly cool.
The light and hazy sea air are just so inviting for a camera.
We spent a night in Cat Ba City, which is on … wait for it … Cat Ba Island. I didn’t take enough photos of the city. It was a really cool experience, especially when we wound up wandering through a neighborhood. We hiked around a good bit, and I spotted this cool scene from the top of a seaside cliff.
Well, those are my favorite Halong Bay photos!