I couldn't help but think we were in a fantasy world. I could almost picture the scene we were looking at illustrated on a paperback book with a dragon or Pegasus flying by. Heck, if the limestone outcroppings were floating in the air we'd be in the world of Avatar. I wonder if James Cameron was inspired by Ha Long bay.
We spent just a day and a half on a boat on Ha Long bay, it seemed a little rushed to take in the breathtaking scenery. This a UNESCO world heritage sight that does not fail to impress. Just floating among the limestone karsts and islands is worth the trip. We had pretty awful weather while we were there. It was really windy and cold, yet the views were still amazing. We would love to go back sometime when it's warm and sunny, I sure the blue water glows.
We toured an absolutely massive cave called Sung Sot. The cave was pretty touristy, I'd like to say we were adventurous spelunkers, but we're not. We were with a couple hundred other tourists led by a roped off trail and color flood lights illuminating the cave walls. It was still pretty cool, well worth seeing.
Our favorite excursion was to a floating fishing village. Ha Long bay has four floating villages that line the sheer limestone cliffs of the bay. These villages literally have no hard ground to walk on. They are just row of floating houses bound together. Just like any little village there were many kids at play, except here they were chasing each other in row boats, pretty cute. It was almost dark when we made it to the village, excuse the blurry images. Getting photos to be in focus on a small boat, in the wind with nearly no light is a bit tricky!
Throughout our travels this was one of the most naturally beautiful places we've seen. The limestone shooting out of the water far into the distance blurred reality with fantasy, travel is an amazing thing.