Friday, March 30, 2012

March 19th – Misty Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of the few scenic places you can visit in almost zero visibility, and still be blown away by the sights. Obviously, it would have been nice to have done the boat trip around the spectacular limestone islands in the bay in gloriously sunny conditions, but the thick clouds of mists blowing across the water did give the area an extra, mysterious ethereal quality.

At times, the visibility must have been down to around 10 metres, so it would have been difficult for our helmsman to steer – on one occasion, we did have a little collision with another boat, but it wasn't a major impact. But, every now and then the mist would suddenly clear, and we'd find ourselves surrounded by sheer limestone islands covered in greenery that was somehow clinging onto the vertical sides of the cliffs.

Whenever the fog opened up, the sights were good enough to take your breath away, while the free-flowing champagne kept everyone happy whenever the fog closed in again.

As this was my 6th trip into the Bay, you can get a little blasé about this amazing natural phenomenon, but if it can still impress even in weather like this, it must be pretty special.