Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Halong Bay and 1st Wedding Anniversary

Yup.  That's it.  I'm not sure if I could have dreamed up a more serene, majestic and jaw-droppingly beautiful place to celebrate our 1st year of wedded bliss.  As luck would have it, the plan was to spend the night aboard a 'junk' sailing Halong Bay.  Things only got better when we realized that the boat was just for the 2 of us!  So we set sail on a rainy and grey morning and we ended the day - if you can believe it - with a massive rainbow and the sunset...at the same time!!  I kept running from one side of the boat to the other in total disbelief and because both were so beautiful I couldn't choose which one to take in longer!  Thankfully Matt was there to make both scenes live on in his photographs for us to enjoy for years to come (sunset above).  I'll always look back on this as an incredibly special anniversary and I can't wait to see where we will celebrate the next one!
Our vessel the "Princess"
 In the mist it looks like all the outlines of the rocks are just super-imposed on each other, like a negative.  There are over 2,000 natural islands that rise out of the water of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Hiking up one of the rock faces on our way to the caves!
 The huge rock faces of Halong Bay are full of amazing caves that have been carved over ten of thousands of years.  Just don't get stuck in there when the tide comes in!  The cave entrance floods and you can't get our for hours.
Kayaking in the rain on the bay.  We got soaked!
While we were kayaking our crew passed the time by engaging in sand soccer match, which Matt prompted joined as soon as we were on shore.  Check out that header!
The rain finally started to clear in the afternoon and we took a swim in the bay.  Just us and a few baby squids. :)
Puffy clouds means the sun is coming!
I don't even think the picture does it justice.  Rainbow over the bay...
...and sunset on the other side!
Our 1 year anniversary dinner on the deck.

The crew then surprised us by serving us our three main courses with a succession of amazing fruit carvings.  Apparently, it's just something the chef does "in his spare time".  They were amazing.  We couldn't stop taking pictures!
The cranes.
The falcon.
and a watermelon replicia of the actual boat we were on!  Complete with 'Shaver-Mueller' sails.  In included the paddles, the deck chairs, the cables - everything!  and was lit inside by candlelight.  It was truly extraordinary.  Everything you see is fruit!
The next morning we took a tour of some of the floating villages on the bay.  Families live out here full time!
Boarding our tender to get to the sampan.
We were offered traditional hats for our journey.  Matt appeased me with the picture.  I wore mine the whole time, the shade was great!
Puffer fish comes to say hi!
Even the dogs are relaxed in the bay.
One last shot - because I literally can't help it!

1 comment:

jimdad said...

You're either continuously improving your photography and narrative skills, or you're honing your choices of places to visit. Probably both.

Thanks for a breathtaking tour.