Ha Long Bay

10th August 2016

One of the more famous places in Vietnam is Ha Long Bay so that’s what I went to see. From Hanoi it’s a cramped 4 hour bus ride to the bay and I love to complain about transport but this bus was so cramped.Half way I managed to stretch my legs and get some feeling back in my knees. The bus pulled into a service stop filled with people selling overpriced things. From here it was another two hours passed driving through the Vietnamese countryside past rice field after rice field.

Tapestry sweatshop reststop - Vietnam
Tapestry sweatshop reststop – Vietnam

The journey there was amazing despite the legroom issues. As the bus got closer the rice fields changed into hundreds of little mountains. We pulled into the harbor, got on some boat and they served up loads of food before heading off. I made the mistake of going to the toilet and seeing two rats run into the kitchen. Pirate rats?

So the boat pulls out and heads towards the islands. First impressions are that it looks like a scaled up version of Krabi/Phuket. It looks like Guilin in the ocean. I was expecting this place to be amazing but honestly; it wasn’t.

Tourist boat harbor - Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Tourist boat harbor – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

You go out 30 mins on a boat trip, some people did some kayaking then you go to a cave. I didn’t fancy getting my stuff stolen/wet so I stayed in the boat. It felt like the islands are not that interesting so they make people do other things to fill time. Guilin, China was one of the best things i’ve ever seen and compared to Guilin; I feel that Ha Long Bay is over hyped. If you have not seen anything like this then it would be amazing but it was underwhelming.

Floating house at Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Floating house at Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Busy bay - Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Busy bay – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Caves at Ha Long Bay - Vietnam
Caves at Ha Long Bay – Vietnam

Ha long bay was good, it was an awesome day out but I wouldn’t recommend going out of the way to see it. A full day tour was about £30; you get picked up at 8am then get back about 8pm. If you are in Hanoi then it’s an awesome day trip. Vietnam is an amazing country, I just was a bit disappointed with Ha Long bay. Perhaps the trip would have been different from a helicopter. You don’t get a sense of scale stood on a boat going past a load of islands.

I feel that my photos suck. I only shoot street photography and I don’t know how to take good photos of anything else. I don’t have any lenses, I just shoot with a 35mm so it’s not the best focal length for everything.

This post isn’t what I was expecting it to be, i’m just being honest about my experience. It was a good day but it’s good to criticize things. I could do as everybody else does and write a positive post. In my opinion it’s good if you haven’t seen anything similar.