Halong Bay: Between luxury and legends

 
 
 
  • The best way to explore Vietnam’s magical Halong Bay? An overnight junk boat cruise. (Nadia Krige)
  • The bay bustles with activity both day and night, as various companies charter junk boat cruises, while residents of the floating villages make their living by fishing or tending the pearl banks. (Nadia Krige)
  • Local residents wait to take guests on a canoe trip into Vông Viêng floating fishing village. The rowers are mostly young men and women. (Nadia Krige)
  • The sight of picture perfect little houses, the type that might be surrounded by a picket fence in a quaint English town, bobbing around on secured rafts caught me completely off guard. (Nadia Krige)
  • One of the incredible natural rock formations found throughout the bay. (Nadia Krige)
  • Women from the floating villages, visit the junk boats early in the mornings and late afternoons to sell strings of pearls, shells and tiny mementos. (Nadia Krige)
  • Junk boats typically have three levels, two of which house guests in charming little cabins. (Nadia Krige)
  • As soon as the Autumn-leaf like sails are raised, the boats come to their full beauty. (Nadia Krige)
  • Oh captain, our captain. (Nadia Krige)
  • A perfect view from the top of Sung Sot cave. (Nadia Krige)
  • Each cosy cabin on board the Bhaya Classic IV junk boat has a double bed, shower, toilet, basin and even a romantic little balcony. (Nadia Krige)
  • Legend has it that the bay was formed when a family of heavenly dragons descended to earth to help protect the Viet people from foreign invaders. They dropped jade and pearls into the water to form a wall, and these turned into the gorgeous, green outcrops Halong Bay is famous for. (Nadia Krige)