Upside down candy corn - Halong Bay
Aug 24, 2008
Aug 01, 2009
It is strange to be here. We watched Valerie Pringle on TV cruise through this area, saw photos in National Geographic, and have seen the magical 'upside down candy corn' mountains numerous other places over the last 20 years or so. And now to be on a small boat floating amongst them seems surreal if only because they are strangely familiar. There are some 3,000 mountains in the Halong Bay area. Two thousand are above the water and another one thousand are below, making the area a contender for one of the most photographed in the world. Our camera was just as busy as the others on the boat. Every mountain is so unique, and then there are the other boats that make worthwhile photo's with the mountains in the background. There are Chinese Junks with large sails, small flat boats with women paddling slowly but effectively with impossibly thin oars selling drinks and cookies to tourists. There are fishing boats, and then there are boats like ours, a tourist boat. They are all quite similar in size, holding perhaps 30 passengers. We bought a 'supreme' package. After our experience on the Chinese cruise ship down the Yangtze, we wanted to ensure that we would get a clean room with good food. This trip didn't disappoint. The food was amazing. In fact it was the most gourmet food I've ever eaten! There were so many different dishes and all so well done. The start to one meal was a vase full of flowers, that's nice, but where did they get the flowers? Wait, those aren't flowers, they are vegetables, cut to look like flowers. On the rim of the vase shrimp are hooked, waiting our consumption. Next came a plate of cucumbers and tomotoes cut finely and placed to look like a boquet of roses! They had a spicy sauce on them so they weren't plain in flavour nor appearance.