In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Friday, March 1, 2013
Into the Mists of Halong Bay
Halong Bay Vietnam, Dec 30th, 2012:
Up at dawn on the crowded city bus, we cram into the front seats and head out east along farm roads winding along rice fields and through villages to one of the most famed locations in all of Asia, Halong Bay.
It's not often one visits a UNESCO World Heritage Site... and Halong Bay doesn't disappoint.
We arrived at the busy port dock with all the dismal ferry boats with the cracked paint and the chipped wood, already loading and heading out into the mist.
The rocks, worn down by the ages, are hidden in shadow and fog... yet life surrounds them. Tiny boats rowed by young men, little houses clinging to the quiet waters along the stones. (Above, a floating school with children playing tag on the porch outside. )
There are hundreds of these mountain-like hills rising out of the sea. More than can be counted and mapped effectively.
We sit on the lower floor of the boat eating a sweetly prepared lunch of steamed rice and veggies, small cakes and nuts. Then stand out on the upper bow as we approach the rocks.
I thought this dog was pretty funny looking...
Pity, on a clear day, more rocks can be seen... but I didn't care. It reminded me of the Oregon Coast.
Vietnam is always full of surprised, with beauty too... but nothing compares to Halong Bay. Breathtaking and majestic. What an amazing place to see and explore.