Southeast Asia 2023 – Vietnam: Hạ Long Bay and Cát Bà Island

Still trying to stay off my feet, I continued my trip by traveling from Laos to northern Vietnam, starting first in the iconic Hạ Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Cát Bà Island. My primary means of transportation were ferry, cruise boat, and motorbike to explore amongst the thousands of karst islands over a few days. This allowed me to see this incredible landscape in various weather conditions and at different times of the day. Please enjoy some of the photos I took.

There are a lot of boats moving between the mainland and Cát Bà Island, but only the ferries could take me with my motorbike.

Approaching the archipelago felt like stepping back millions of years.

Back on the mainland, this was the view of another part of the archipelago from a large mall in the city of Hạ Long.

At the market, I could quickly tell what this delicacy was (“Umm… no, thank you.”).

But what are these??? I couldn’t find anyone who could help me identify them in English. Do you know?

A little more research solved the mystery: these are peanut worms!

Speaking of food, I wonder if DoorDash can deliver on the bay as well as these folks…

Author: Chris

Until 2019, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia focused on Community Economic Development. Before that, I was a high-tech executive, small business owner, consultant and business broker.

5 thoughts on “Southeast Asia 2023 – Vietnam: Hạ Long Bay and Cát Bà Island”

  1. Hi Chris,

    It must have been a challenge to not take an endless number of photos in this fascinating landscape of water and hills, changing at any move on the boat ride.

    Could the animals in the second photo of the market be “sea cucumber”?

    There a many species with basically a “cucumbery” shape in a wide size range, different colors, and surfaces.

    Years ago I have tried sea cucumber in Japan. NEVER EVER.

    Thanks again for food for thinking.

    1. Hi, Jürgen! I hadn’t thought of sea cucumber, but I suppose there are many sub-species, so it’s a possibility. The sea cucumbers I’ve seen around the world when diving (and eaten in Japan and China), have been much larger. To my eyes, these resembled the grubs I’d seen in Laos. Still wondering…

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