Halong Bay was beautiful and tranquil… there were countless islands and grottos amoungst the limestone waters. Sorry for the long post, but pictures do speak a thousand words… so enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Halong Bay, Vietnam - boat villages

During our boat ride, we feasted on a huge gourmet banquet, explored some fluoro-lit caves and visited a fishing village. Below, is a floating school… part of the fishing village.

Halong Bay, Vietnam - school at boat village

Halong Bay, Vietnam - boat

Halong Bay, Vietnam - grotto

This grotto looks low but we managed to slip beneath it…
I was also fascinated with the lifestyle of these boat villages. It was sad to see little kids forced into labour by their parents. This young boy was selling fruits to passing tourists:

Halong Bay, Vietnam - boy on boat selling fruit

Just before lunch, we had the opportunity of picking live seafood from a fishing boat…

Halong Bay, Vietnam - live seafood ready for lunch

And for lunch, there were salads, spring rolls, fried hot chips, tofu with tomatoes, pipis, squid and much more!

Halong Bay, Vietnam - lunch on boat (salad, spring rolls, fried hot chips)

Halong Bay, Vietnam - lunch on boat (fried tofu with tomatoes)

Halong Bay, Vietnam - lunch on boat (pipis)

The next couple of pics are from Thien Cung Grotto… The Jenolan Caves just don’t compete against these crazy neon illuminated caves.

Halong Bay, Vietnam - bridge to Thien Cung Grotto

Halong Bay, Vietnam - neon / fluoro-lit Thien Cung Grotto

Halong Bay, Vietnam - illuminated Thien Cung Grotto

Halong Bay, Vietnam - sea lion show, circus performance

Another thing to note, is that most of the beaches in Halong Bay were man-made. The sand was shipped in from Nha Trang (which I visted later in the trip).
Beach lounges , umbrellas and huts were dottled all along the beach, but unfortunately were not free of charge.

Halong Bay, Vietnam - huts on the beach

Halong Bay, Vietnam - wooden beach chair

This is Mai, our tour guide from Vietnam Open Tour:

Halong Bay, Vietnam - Mai, our tour guide from Vietnam Open Tour with Bryan

Halong Bay, Vietnam - pink flowers

Overall, Halong Bay offered breathtaking views in a tourist-driven atmosphere. Luckily, as a listed world heritage site, I know its beauty will be preserved ๐Ÿ˜‰
Lastly -this is where I stayed:

Halong Bay, Vietnam - Atlantic Hotel

Atlantic Hotel
Tel: +84 (33) 842842
Web: atlantichotel.com.vn

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydneyโ€™s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • Julie

    hey jennifer! what a rip off to charge for huts? how much was it?
    your food pictures always turns out really nice ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wow those photos are pretty fantastic! That poor little kid selling fruit looks so much like he doesn’t want to be there. ๐Ÿ™
    Those lights in the caves look awesome – that must have been a wonderful experience.

  • Daniel.P

    great photos. Have you ever been to a floating market where small passing by boats can cook a meal like pad thai on the spot and hand it over to you. That would be such a novel experience compared with today’s drivethrus.
    Also those caves are naturally or artificially lit with normal lights?

  • Seemed you had a good time in Vietnam. I love your images.

  • Good news and wonderful sightseeing. We will visit soon Halong Bay Vietnam
    http://www.halongbay-vietnam.com visit Halong Bay Official website.

  • Jen

    Hi Julie, it wasn’t expensive… maybe a few AUD’s… i can’t remember specifically ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hi Katie, yep, the caves were amazing… I’ve always wanted to go to the Jenolan Caves so I suppose now I don’t need to!
    Hey Dan, nope, haven’t been past a floating kitchen! sounds fabulous though!
    The caves were artificial…hehe… with neon lights!

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