Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. How to describe it?
Take a look at the photos and see for yourself.
In the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reknown for its thousands of limestone islands, sea caves, and pillars jutting out of the ocean.
It's quite possibly the most calming place I've ever been.
I never knew Ha Long Bay existed until a few years ago when it was featured in the movie "Vertical Ray of the Sun," by Vietnamese Director Ahn Hung Tran. (You may know his other films "Scent of the Green Papaya" and "Cyclo").
Incidentally, the movie is one of the most visually stirring films I've ever seen. Unfortunately, the plot isn't much to talk about, but that never seems to stop me from getting absolutely lost in it. The film glimpses the lives of three sisters, one whose husband leads a double life and periodically steals away to his other wife living on a houseboat in one of the many fishing villages in Ha Long Bay.
Vietnam Travel Tip#3: Many visitors prefer to visit Ha Long Bay in the summertime when blinding sun reflects off gleaming emerald green water. In my mind, I can certainly appreciate the gorgeousness of that scene, but for now, I'm perfectly happy with my dreamy hazy Ha Long Bay encounter in December.