Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Vietnam - Halong Bay

Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places I have been given to see. I think that here I'll mainly let the photos speak for themselves.

We went on a 3-day 2-night trip, the first was spent on a junk like the one below, the second night was spent on the island of Cat Ba.

Ha Long Bay junk.

view from our junk

In the bay are about 3000 karst islands. Halong actually means 'where the dragon descends into the sea', and legend has it that this is how the bay was created.


more sunset


woman in traditional dress, floating village, Halong Bay

Cat Ba island

Cat Ba island

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Vietnam - Hanoi

After visiting Saigon/Ho Chi Minh we flew to Hanoi :

where we visited Tam Coc, known as 'Halong Bay on the rice paddies'.  Named after three caves through which the Ngo Dong river flows, you let yourself be rowed along the river :

Tam Cốc

This is some of the surrounding countryside :

farmer on water buffalo

We also visited the Perfume Pagoda, about 60km southwest of Hanoi. 

cable car, Perfume Pagoda

at the Perfume Pagoda

unidentified animals, near Perfume Pagoda

Back in Hanoi we went to see the Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 and which saw the creation of Vietnam's first university six years later.

at the Temple of Literature

pineapple seller, Hanoi

We sometimes saw women from the hill tribes dressed in traditional clothes and headdresses.

pagoda, Hanoi

The Hoa Lo Prison, now a museum, was nicknamed the 'Hanoi Hilton' by the American POWs during the war.

'Hanoi Hilton'

mural, prison museum

The centrepoint of old Hanoi is the Hoan Kiem Lake, which means Lake of the Restored Sword according to a legend associated with the lake. The Ngoc Son temple sits on a small island in the northern part of the lake.

Ngoc Son Temple

bridge, Hoan Kiem Lake.

One evening we went to see a water puppet show, which is a thousand year old tradition originating in northern Vietnam. The lighting made it difficult to get a usable photo of the puppets themselves unfortunately, but here are the musicians !

Our last visit in Hanoi was to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

traditional house on display at the museum


traditional houses at the museum.

From Hanoi we made a trip to Halong Bay.

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