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Stunning Scenes of Halong Bay (Vietnam Part III)

Research trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Co Loa and Halong Bay for my upcoming novel "Woman at the Citadel."

View Vietnam 2008 on AC Frieden's travel map.

HALONG BAY, Vietnam (Jun. 18, 2008) -- After two days in Hanoi, it was time to take a side trip to Halong Bay, one of the most scenic places in Vietnam. Although I haven't decided weather to include scenes from Halong Bay in my new novel Woman At The Citadel, I wanted the opportunity to see the area before making a final decision. It was also a good opportunity to relax after a rather intensive research visit in Hanoi and HCMC.

(above) The 900 meter long Bai Chay Bridge (built by Japanese engineering firms in 2006) over the Cua Luc strait is the most imposing man-made structure in the area. It is the first prestressed concrete, single-plane cable-stayed bridge in the country and has the longest such span in the world, at 435 meters. More importantly than its beauty and world record, the bridge replaced the cumbersome Bai Chay Ferry, helping speed up traffic in Halong's urban area and linking Highway 18, a key economic lifeline stretching from Hanoi to Haiphong and to the mining region of Quang Ninh.

(above and below) The full beauty of Halong Bay is hard to capture, even with these spectacular photos. The picture above is Titop Island, located about 8 km southeast of Bãi Cháy. It was named after Soviet cosmonaut Ghermann Titop, who visited the site accompanied by Ho Chi Minh in 1962. The picture below is the view from the top of Titop Island.


(above) The Sung Sot cave is impressive, with three main areas, the largest one pictured above.

(above and below) The luxurious Bhaya Cruise junk, where I stayed two nights in suite 111, a wonderful cabin at the front of the ship.


(above) One of nearly two thousand similar rock formations in Halong Bay. At low tide, as pictured, the water level descends about nine feet from its high tide level, allowing certain caves and grottos to be accessible only by day. I had the pleasure of going kayaking into some of these caves -- very exciting!

--- Summary of Travel Spots (and Ratings) ---
Hotel: Bhaya Cruise junk***** (10)
Restaurant: on board the Bhaya junk (9)

All photos and text Copyright © 2008 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted without prior written approval by A.C. Frieden. For reproduction rights and higher resolution images, send email to afrieden[at]avendiapublishing.com.

Posted by AC Frieden 15:54 Archived in Vietnam

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