|Scenic Halong Bay, the most popular oceanic travel sight in Vietnam|
I'm off the coast of northern Vietnam, in the gorgeously scenic Halong Bay.
|A lone boat is dwarfed by karst islands|
|This floating community in the bay includes a school!|
|Boy brings boatload of snacks and drinks to sell to visitors|
We step back onto our tour boat, and continue our sea voyage. Soon a rowboat pulls up, commanded by a young boy. His boat is packed to the gunwales with snacks and drinks for tourists. I admire his rowing skills and entrepreneurial spirit, but shouldn't he be in school? And isn't he too young to be selling alcohol?
After my fellow tourists make a few purchases, we're back on our way. Eventually we stop in a sheltered cove, where they have kayaks for rent. I don't see any heavy ocean waves and I'm handy with a canoe,so I figure I'll be fine in a kayak.
After paying the rental fee, soon I'm out paddling around the bay, as a lone kayaker. Dip... dip... dip... my double bladed paddle makes the only sound I hear, as I slowly make my way around these oceanic towers of stone.
|The serenity of paddling a lone kayak|
|Colorful cave that was long hidden in Halong Bay|
Returning to our boat, we close our day by stopping on one of the bay's islands. Many tourists take overnight cruises in Halong Bay, but I'll head home tonight. This island is one of the few with a bay big enough to allow many boats to dock alongside. We do so, and soon I'm trudging up an island trail. Soon we arrive at the entrance to a cave. This island is big enough to hold a cave? Sure enough, walking inside, we find familiar stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone that dripping waters have formed over the past millenia. Our guide tells us, that this cave was only discovered in recent years, it's a wondrous sight. They should have filmed the James Bond movie in here.
As we board our boat and cruise back to the mainland, I smile. I'm pleased to know, that there are still discoveries being made in today's Vietnam.
|Lone lady rower heads for home in Halong Bay|