“what a wonderful world”
Here is part 2 of my amazing trip to the motherland. After Cambodia, we flew to the Northern part of Vietnam to visit the country’s capital of Hanoi and the scenic beauty of Halong Bay. I feel very, very blessed to have the opportunity to see and experience so many places.
Hanoi is Vietnam’s second largest city and is just as bustling at Saigon. However, Hanoi has its own unique charm about it. At the center of the city is a beautiful lake called Hoan Kiem Lake. We stayed near here and spent most of our time wandering around and taking in the beautiful sights of the city.
The famous red bridge on the lake:
One of the big tourist attracts in Hanoi is the Temple of Literature, which is the sight of the oldest university in Vietnam.
A popular form of entertainment in Hanoi is catching a show at the Water Puppet Theater. Here are some of the water puppets:
Hanoi had a lot of great places to eat, but one of my favorites was a charming restaurant called KOTO which stands for “Know One, Teach One”. Not only is it a place with delicious food, but I just love the message behind it. KOTO is a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program that is changing the lives of street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.
Yes I was thirsty.
After a couple of nice days in Hanoi, we took a 4 hour bus ride to Halong City. From there, we boarded our junk boat to set sail overnight to Halong Bay:
This is our cute lil’ room.
Ok let me just say Halong Bay is one of the most BREATHTAKING places I have every been to in my life. Halong Bay is UNESCO World Heritage site and features thousands of limestone isles in various sizes and shapes. As good as a photographer as I am :), I don’t think my photos even did this place justice. The bay was simply beautiful, with an incredible calmness and peacefulness about it. I spent most of my time sitting a top of the junk boat, wondering how I became so fortunate to experience such a magnificent place. It’s times like these that I feel so blessed and so in love with life. I hope one day you will experience this sensation as well.
Halong Bay has various caves and one of the caves was visited was the amazing “Surprise Cave”:
It was so unbelievably large and grand inside:
Stunning, isn’t it?!
Now this is why I came to Halong Bay. This scene I witnessed and captured here makes the 16 hour flight and 4 hour bus ride to Halong Bay all worth it and more. We caught the beauty of the bay right before sunset and it was so moving to me. This is probably my most favorite photo of the entire trip:
Sigh…how I wish I was still there!
Halong Bay at night…no flash here folks.
And before you know it, PART 3 of my amazing adventures will be here!!! Stay tuned!!!