Ha Long bay
Back in 1992, I watched a film called Indochine set in 1930’s French Indochina (today’s Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos). The film did a clean sweep of European awards, and in the US won both the Academy and Golden Globe awards for best foreign film. The love story is nice, but what really stuck with me was the cinematography and the stunning landscapes the movie depicts. If I had to name a reason I am in Vietnam right now, it’s probably this flick.
One of the lanscapes that really struck a note was Ha Long bay, a bay in the North East of Vietnam that has close to 2000 islets that jut up from tranquil water and a hazy fog that frequently persists. Most people visit this area when they come to Vietnam, and while the sail-powered junks traded their sails for diesel engines and they carry tourists instead of cargo, the natural beauty did not change.
I spent three days cruising around Ha Long bay and environs and with three nice girls from Australia and Canada. We had our entire Junk to ourselves and were served wonderful meals three times a day. I was always hesitant about booking a cruise, but now I can say I do love them 🙂