Early morning the next day after spending a night at Ha Long Bay, our next activity after having a hearty breakfast was to explore a Ha Long Bay Hidden Lagoon. Not too far from where we were anchored that night we took a small boat, which can cross through a low passage under a lime stone karst. This would be our last attraction to visit, after this we would be going back to the port of Ha Long and drive back to Hanoi.
Aside from cruising the numerous karst islands of Ha Long Bay, another activity along this UNESCO World Heritage Site is spelunking. There are a number of cave systems on some of the thousands of islands dotting the bay. On our first day of exploration, we were able to visit one of the popular caves at the center island of the bay called Sung Sôt Cave. Found on Bo Hòn Island, the cave has also been known as the Amazing Cave or Cave of Surprises.
I’ve been eying Ha Long Bay for some time now. In fact, I was supposed to go here on my first visit to Vietnam but ended up in the central area instead. But that place didn’t disappoint as well since it has 3 World Heritage sites that each yielded a unique experience: from the elaborate citadels and tomb raiding at Hue, warping back in time at the French Colonial streets of Hoi An and exploring the Ancient Kingdom of the Champas at My Son. But the natural wonder of a karst-filled bay has quite an appeal that I went fidgety with delight when my buddy Oggie informed me he was going to northern Vietnam. After much convincing and being accompanied by a
clown good friend, I just couldn’t pass this up and joined the trip.
“Same Same… but different” is one of the popular quotes you’ll see and hear when you visit Vietnam. And it’s funny in much ways this is how I saw things as well during my recent visit to Northern Vietnam with my buddy Lagal[og]. I guess it’s one of those trips where I’m reminded more of home and really appreciate what we got. Don’t get me wrong, Vietnam and it’s natural wonders have a unique charm on their own, but I found it not that far being a neighboring country of the Philippines.