Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moments in HaLong Bay

Sunset from Cat Ba Town

An overland journey from Laos brought me to the incredibly maze like city of Hanoi, Vietnam. From there I went for some kayaking and exploring in the massive limestone wonderland of Ha Long Bay on the Northern Vietnamese coast. In Ha Long, a different typo of bamboo boat exists. They are large oval baskets rowed with two oars used throughout floating island fish farms in lost sea shore canyons of green covered cliffs. 

Floating Islands of Lan Ha Bay

It was a relaxing week, as I make my journey homeward after a year of true, wild, adventure. I took a boat to the island of Cat Ba, the largest in Ha Long bay, the majority of which is national park and rugged vegetation midst impossibly steep cliffs. 


Bamboo boats tied together for living


It feels as if almost every nook and cranny of this place, covered in steep dark cliffs hiding from the VIetnamese sun is a mystical place waiting to be explored. With a kayak or the calm sway of the bamboo boats its east to find yourself moving through arch gateway cliffs of clear and untouched water or in secret bays, any of the million.


Resting bamboo bats, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam


From Cat Ba, I explored Lan Ha Bay, where villagers live on floating islands made mainly of plastic containers. There they farm fish that they catch in the bamboo boats. Other than experiencing a few moments on the bay, it was a relaxing, unbusy, last week in Southeast Asia. 



Lake of Literature, Hanoi, Vietnam

My final week on the Watson journey, will be spent with the Ainu, the indigenous of Japan, in the northern island of Hokkaido. I am going there to visit friends Kennji, Maki, and their daughter Maya Sekine. I met them in Waitangi and they told me of their canoes, traditional carvings, weavings, and other beautiful traditions. This will be a meaningful place to end such a journey, and begin new ones.

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