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Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’

halong bay (one)

halong bay (one), view from a grotto, August 2009, photos
in collection © 2009-2010 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.




Once upon a time, soon after the Việt people established their country, invaders came. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to earth to help the Việt people fight against their enemy. Right at the time invaders’ boats were rushing to the shore, the dragons landed down on earth. The dragons immediately sent out from their mouths a lot of pearls, which then turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls challenging the invaders’ boats. The fast boats couldn’t manage to stop and crashed into the islands and into each other and broke into pieces.

After the victory, Mother Dragon and Child Dragons believed this country to be so beautiful that they didn’t return Heaven but stayed on earth at the place where the battle had occurred. The location Mother Dragon landed is now called Hạ Long Bay and where Child Dragons descended is now Bái Tử Long. The dragons’ tails waving the water created Long Vĩ (present Trà Cổ peninsula) and formed a fine sand beach over ten kilometers long.

~Legend of Ha Long Bay, adapted from Origin Vietnam website



halong bay (three)


girls in boat (halong bay)


village (halong bay)


halong bay (four)


halong  bay (two)


village by the rocks (halong bay)


boat house (halong bay)





Every time I come to Vietnam, I try to see a part of the country that I don’t know. Last trip, August 2009, I went north to World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin. The photos speak for themselves.

Tomorrow, Friday, I’ll fly to the Central Highlands, to the ancient citadel of Hue. (I have been to Central Vietnam before, to the city of Da Nang and the ancient village of Hoi An.)

Sometimes I wonder, How did I get so lucky as to come to know this beautiful country and its compassionate people?

I’m curious. Do you believe in luck? Do you ever marvel at your good fortune? Do you curse bad luck? Let me know if you get a chance.

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Local Color — My Favorite Shots From Hoi An, Hoi An, Vietnam, December 2008, all photos in Collection © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.




I find out on the way to Da Nang that this is rainy season on the narrow coast of central Vietnam. The woman in the seat next to me on the plane tells me in broken English that it rains all day, and she combs her fingers through the air to show me how the water comes down in sheets. “I stay inside this time of year,” she says.

The descent is bumpy and tortuous. We fly through violent rain, and the lights from the plane’s wings flash against the clouds like an electrical storm. At night in bed, the wind’s howl is unrelenting out my balcony window. I pull the comforter to my chin and try not to cry.

This morning, on the way to the ancient city of Hoi An, less than an hour’s drive from Da Nang, there is a patch of light blue. I leave the umbrella from the hotel in the back of the taxi and wander around the town. Last week, I’m told, Hoi An flooded with a foot of rain. By noon I take off the extra shirts I piled on while the sky was still a dreary gray back in Da Nang.

Now it is bedtime. My cheeks are flushed from the sun. Hoi An is one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of beautiful towns), and I am ready to start another work week in Vietnam.


Postscript: I took these photos with a camera loaned by a work colleague. I tinkered (to the best of my ability, which is not much) with the images using a public domain photo editing software, and although I amped the saturation in all cases, the colors and tones seem consistent with my already fading memory of Hoi An.


-Related to posts Love Of Maps (December In Vietnam) and Local Color — My Favorite Shots From The Mekong Delta

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