Halong Bay, Vietnam

Next stop was Halong Bay.  The name Ha Long Bay is literally translated as “Bay of Descending Dragons.” The legend of the area is that long ago, the Viet people were attached by foreign aggressors.  The Jade emperor sent a mother dragon and a herd of child dragons to help the Viet fight the invaders.  While the enemy vessels were launching massive attacks against the mainland, the dragons descended into flocks from the sky.  They spat out innumerable pearls that, in an instant, were changed into jade stone islands linked together into firm citadels that checked the enemy’s advance and smashed their vessels into pieces.  This helped lead to the Viet victory.  Halong Bay is more than 3000 islands and rocks that rise from crystal clear waters.  Here are some photos from our boat ride around the bay (peep the freshly caught lunch!):

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And here are some photos of our group – you’ll see them pop up throughout other posts 🙂

Carolin & Wiebke (from Germany)Image

 

Pernille (from Denmark) & Lousia (from England)

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Our whole international crew!

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The boat made one stop at Thien Cung Grotto.  This is considered the Cave of the Dragon, where the dragon who created Halong (see story above) sought refuge.  There’s a legend surrounding the cave about a young girl who, in order to end years of oppressive drought, married the presiding dragon in the cave, and their wedding was attended by all in the animal kingdom.  It is a “dead cave” in that, unlike many limestone caves, it is no longer dripping water and growing formations of additional deposits or creating new fissures and caves.

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Can you see the dragon’s head in this rock formation?

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We took the boat back to Halong Beach and spent the night there. Not much to speak of in the town, but it was fun to stay to close to the Bay.

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