Ha Long Bay, Northern Vietnam. I don’t know where to start with Ha Long Bay, I really don’t. We took a long and scary bus ride from Hanoi to Ha Long, which took about 4 hours. 4 hours of fear. The driving in Vietnam is just incredible, I’ve never felt closer to death than when travelling on Vietnamese roads, I’m shuddering just remembering it. Ha Long Bay is an amazing series of towering limestone islets, surrounded by a dark green expanse of water underneath winter’s grey skies. Amazing, bleak, cold and massive. The day we visited a tourist boat sank in the night, killing a few people sleeping on board. The level of professionalism, and the attention to (any form) of safety was shocking aboard the boats, not a care in the world. It’s a massive operation, supposedly up to 1000 boats trawling around are there at once in high season. They churn the tourists through whilst dropping a few streaks of diesel and a couple of bags of rubbish in the water. A UNESCO site. What exactly do UNESCO do? Put a place on the map and watch it rot? Nevertheless a beautiful place, but unfortunately not one that will be enjoyed forever. I hope I’m wrong. A few other thoughts on Ha Long here.
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