Halong Bay, Vietnam March 2017

On March 19th, I departed Hanoi for a two night cruise on Halong Bay. First, a four hour van transfer from Hanoi, not scenic. I listened to 4 hours of “Down the River” by Edward Abbey.

Along the way, we stopped for a break and chance to buy souvenirs. I don’t buy souvenirs these days, but there were a large group of female embroidery artists who were creating some very beautiful art you may enjoy:

This is not Elvis velvet paintings. What they are achieving is dazzling.

Soon we were out in the nearly 2,000 karst limestone pinnacles in Halong Bay, part of the Gulf of Tonkin.

We were not alone out there. There must be several hundred boats who cruise out here. A bit of a tourist scene!

Vendors row out amongst the big boats selling drinks and snacks.


I went out kayaking several times, which gets you close with the islands. We stopped once for a swim. The water is colder than Hawai’i, and not as pristine.

monkey from Mel Malinowski on Vimeo.

Halong Bay is unique and interesting. It would be nice if there weren’t so many of us flocking to see it at once, but I am still glad I got out amongst these eerie pinnacles. I did Tai Chi on the top deck of our boat two mornings, and it that was a lovely and peaceful setting.

Back overnight to Hanoi, and then it’s time to fly on to Taiwan, after an eventful 21 days in Northern Vietnam.

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