A sudden rain in the morning made the scenery in Halong City more fanciful. From a distance, there were white boats and mountains.
We arrived at Bai Tho Wharf. A few minutes later, it stopped raining and masses of white clouds gradually appeared. We got on the Bai Tho, a 3-star boat which looked like a giant white swan. Le Xuan Hoa, manager of the boat warmly welcomed us and we were eager to start our 2-day journey.
The boat took us to visit Halong Bay which has been twice recognized as a World Natural Heritage site. On the third floor of the boat, a feast had been prepared but all passengers still stood on the deck to enjoy the fresh air and contemplate the scenery of the bay. I have visited Halong Bay several times, but this time I had a different feeling. I wanted to learn about the changes of the bay after it was voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world.
Halong Bay, covering a total area of 1,553km2, consists of 1,969 islands. Most of them are limestone islands. The core area of the bay has large and acreage of 334km2 with 775 large and small islands. The bay is endowed by nature with charming scenery and a system of plentiful caves. There are also many historical relics, temples and pagodas of great traditional cultural value that have been preserved on the bay.
Hoa was a travel specialist who worked in a manner of politeness, friendliness and thoughtfulness. He said: ai???There have been many changes. Many years ago, visitors to Halong Bay often took a cruise to visit some islands and caves on the bay and then returned to Bai Chay Beach to swim and rest. Now, they have many options in terms of sightseeing and staying. They can stay overnight on luxurious tourist boats which anchor in the bay, or stay at well-furnished places on the island.ai???
Our boat anchored in the bay among other ai???white swansai??? with different names. In the afternoon, we left Bai Tho Boat and got on a small motor boat to visit the attractions. After a five minute ride we reached Sung Sot Cave, one of the most beautiful and largest caves on the bay. Discovered by the French in 1901 Sung Sot is a typical karst cave with high scientific values.
With a total area of 10,000m2, the cave is considered an opera house on Halong Bay. Visiting the cave, people can admire the extraordinary beauty of many stalactites and stalagmites in different shapes and the magnificence of the wonder that nature has bestowed upon human beings.
Then the motor boat took us to visit Titop Island. Hoa advised us to climb to the mountain top to behold the bay and take photos before swimming because the sky was still clear and sunny. The beach was beautiful with smooth yellow sand and clear blue water. In the distance there were beautiful white boats floating on the water.
A lot of passengers rushed to the sea. We decided to go to the mountain. The way to the mountain top was made up of hundreds of stone blocks running under a canopy of trees. We had to stop several times to rest before we reached the top to take photos. I suddenly remembered an introduction: ai???Halongai??i??s beauty is made up of three elements: rocks, water and skyai???. It is not wrong at all! The scenery of the mountains and islands and the beauty of the white boats with red sails mingling with the blue sea under a sky with white clouds created a magnificent painting. Only until then did we feel excited with the appearance of the white-painted boats looking like a flock of swans on the bay. Such a pleasure for the eyes!
As the sun was setting, all of us went up on deck to drink beer and watch the sunset and the kayaks at sea. We felt closely connected with nature in a poetic sense. When night fell, the bay looked sparkling with rippling waves of water lapping the side of the boat. The night was pure and silent with a gentle breeze.
The next morning we welcomed the sunrise on the bay. Our boat weighed anchor and returned to the dock. The beautiful, modern city of Halong gradually appeared. Before disembarking we shook hands with the crew. Waving goodbye to us Hoa said: ai???See you again! Halong has many more appealing things.ai???
Surely, with a healthy marine environment, a diverse ecosystem and many beautiful attractions together with the titles it has achieved, Halong Bay is becoming an interesting tourist site attracting an increasing number of domestic and international visitors.