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The Ha Long Bay covers an area of 1553 square kilometers, including about 2000 islets, mainly of limestone. Numerous caves can be found on the islands. Ha Long Bay is also a biotope and home to many animals and plants. Birds, deer, weasels, squirrels and a few species of monkeys, mainly white-tabby and red-haired monkeys, live on the islands. There are also approx 100 different species of reptiles.
A part of Ha Long Bay was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Within this area, the islands are uninhabited and only a few limited exceptions permit to enter. Residents should give up their floating villages, but they refused (rightly). For generations they live on the sea and make their living from fishing. From time to time the people can earn a trifle with tourists.
Ha Long Bay Day 1
In the port of Ha Long we find a myriad of excursion boats. We will meet many of them again within the following hours. But first we move into our cabin. It is simple equipped but for one night it offers everything you need, except internet :-).
Finally, the ship departs. A luxury hotel on a small artificial island in front of the port entrance makes us realize, that this area is only at the beginning of a tourism boom.
After the first steep rocks, the ship dives in a bizarre world, which we have never experienced before. With every meter, new perspectives and new views arise. Countless forms, that nature has created here. We are amazed and enjoy the view for hours, interrupted only by a snack for lunch.
We finally moor at Hon Ti Top, a little island. On top of the island is small observation platform. The rock is not really high, but the steepness of the path is remarkable.
Add to this the warm temperatures. Both together are the reason for many tourist to reverse halfway. However afterwards one can enjoy a bath in the sea, if one is in the mood for it. A broad sandy beach invites to swim.
Our ship departs and looks for an anchorage for the night. In the evening, some of us spend time with fishing, but the fish had no sympathy with them and are not eager to bite. After that we get an instruction how one best prepares Vietnamese food bite-size. Right afterwards it is time for dinner.
One offers us European wine, the bottle for $ 30, which we found too expensive. In the 2nd run we are offered a Vietnamese dry wine for $ 20.-. We decide to take a bottle. It tasted excellent. Later in Ho Chi Minh City, we have got the same wine for $ 8.50,-. But we are contented and spend the evening in a comfortable conversation with the fellow passengers.
In between we enjoy the bright lights of the ships in the Ha Long Bay.
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