Jun 11, 2011

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay/Hanoi

Sunset dive, a really magical moment!

Ha Long Bay offers a spectacular show: thousands of karstic islands disposed randomly in emerald waters. The breathtaking landscape could be a good version of paradise and creates feelings of serenity and mystery. Navigating through this natural wonder became an important tourist attraction which brings in essential revenue for the region.

View from Hang Sung Sot cave

To visit the bay, we opted for a tour that included sleeping on a boat and we were lucky enough to enjoy two sunny days of cruising within a small group of twenty people.

Our boat

Making spring rolls on the boat during a cooking class

Some caves can be explored in the bay. We visited Hang Sung Sot cave. Its three huge beautiful chambers look like a moon scenery. We also saw Vung Vieng floating village in Bai Tu Long Bay where lives about fourty families. In brief, in a floating village, every house and building is floating on the surface of the water. And people gets around by boat from an house to another. A fascinating way of life! We were surprised to see that nearly every family had pets, one or two dogs and some cats.

Hang Sung Sot cave

Vung Vieng floating village

 A kid going to visit his friends? ;)


The old quarter of Hanoi fits pretty much the idea we could have of an Asian city: busy narrow streets with conical hats everywhere and a crazy traffic, especially motorbikes zigzaging around. We witnessed a very stupid accident: a scooter saw a couple crossing the road on zebra crossing but his first reaction was to look for a way to avoid them instead of just slowing down... This mentality resulted in his losing the control of the motobike and falling.

Daily life is happening there, in the streets: family restaurants with customers sitting on strangely low stool, fruit and vegetables stalls on the ground, workers welding iron in the middle of the sidewalk, etc.

The capital of Vietnam hosts some of the most important spots of Hi Chi Minh's cult. An entire district is dedicated to his memory with his mausoleum, an Ho Chi Minh museum and some buildings around the presidential palace where he used to live and work. Even with the long minutes in a sinuous and never-ending queue, a visit to Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum really deserves the pain! The body is exposed on an altar protected by transparent panes of glass and above all by four very serious and armed military guards at every corner of the altar. It is impressive to see the crowd in a contemplative silence full of reverence and the nearly translucent face of the great leader..

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The recently opened Ho Chi Minh museum displays some documents about the life of the father of the independance but also some very surprisingly conceptual rooms illustrating some themes of Vietnam History during Uncle Ho's time.

In Hanoi we also enjoyed the Temple of literature. This complex of more than one thousand years is a quiet and peaceful place which used to be dedicated to teaching and studying. Nowadays it still hosts some cultural events.

A long time we had not gone to a theatre.. we went to see a traditional water puppets show, a uniquely Vietnamese art form!

Municipal Water Puppet Theatre


  1. Waaaaaaa ca donne envie de decouvrir l Asie! Trop choeutte vos articles et les photos, merci de nous donner la possibilite de suivre vos aventures!

  2. Mercii! Ca fait toujours plaisir! :)
    Gros bisous et bon courage à Haïti