Photo Essay: Sailing Halong Bay in Black and White

by Ekua on May 23, 2013 in captured on memory card,Vietnam

The weather in Southeast Asia has been clear skies and only short bursts of rain until the day we reach a persistently gloomy Halong Bay. As we descend the precarious steps to our junk boat, we know we will not be seeing the sparkling bay we had envisioned, but we are eager to embrace serenity and muted tones and a slow day on the water.

Aboard our junk boat, we sail amongst enormous limestone rocks that rise impossibly out of the sea and little villages that float in between them. We sail beyond all the other tourist boats that are out there that day and much of the time, we are the only ones in this watery world. There are moments when it feels surreal; that if there was such a thing as the edge of the earth, we’ve reached it and it won’t be long until we enter nothingness.

As we get closer to Cat Ba Island, we see more floating villages where people make their living off of fish farming. It’s remarkable to see people living directly on the water so far away from the mainland. Children of the water villages wave to us as they row small boats home after a day of school on Cat Ba.

After hours on the water, we reach Cat Ba, the largest island in Halong Bay. As night begins to devour what little light has escaped through the clouds, we say goodbye our beautifully misty and somber day.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Silly Medley May 24, 2013 at 10:44 am

Beautiful photographs!


Ruby Ella May 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Great story and great photos, love that you chose to do them in black and white, surely adds a mystic to them.


Erin July 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

These pictures are fantastic! My husband and I are heading to Hanoi for a couple of days and were planning to do the Halong Bay cruise – any other recommendations?


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