Ha Long Bay in North Vietnam on UNESCO´s world heritage list

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In a canoe exploring Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

There are places in the world that can make us stop and forget about time and place. Places that cause us to lose breath, as we had received a hard blow in the stomach from nature itself. Ha Long Bay in North Vietnam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a place that can provide such a mind-blowing experience. Take a few deep breaths and refill your lungs with fresh sea air. Now you’re ready to experience what Ha Long Bay has to offer because there are plenty of experiences to be found in this North Vietnamese bay.

Get close to Ha Long Bay’s towering cliffs

When you stand on the coast and see the many rocks in Ha Long Bay, you want to get close. Fortunately, there is a lot of advice for renting canoes in several places in the bay so you can explore the secrets of the beautiful bay. With small cruisers it is possible to sail from the coast and out to small raft houses, where you can rent canoes by the locals. These floating rental locations are often located close to beautiful, exciting, and easily accessible areas, so everyone can experience the beauty of the bay from a canoe. It is possible in some places to sail through the large blocks, where the water over time has eroded the hard rock surface. If necessary, ask your guide for this. There is absolutely noiseless in the beautiful bay when the narrow canoe cuts through the water, and you feel like in a wonderland. If you come close to the big rocks, you can sometimes see monkeys that crawl and climb around on gray rock surfaces and through lush, green vegetation. When you have enjoyed the silence long enough, if this is possible, the course is set back towards the canoe fleet. Here, the local Vietnamese are in high spirits at an outdoor volleyball court built on the small raft.

Ha Long Bay

Local pearl production in Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay Pearl Farm in North Vietnam is built as a giant raft on two floors and most of all resembles a small floating village. On the floating farm, wooden houses have been built for various purposes as well as basins which are used to “grow” the beads. These basins are holes in the raft’s wooden planks, which are surrounded by a net under the surface of the water. Clams hang in long rows on cords that go deep into the bay’s calm water, and each of these clams has got small sand grains into it. Sand grains, which over time are processed inside the clam to eventually end up as beautiful shiny pearls. The pearl cultivation basins on the raft are exclusively for smaller sized mussels, but if you look away from these and look over Ha Long Bay in North Vietnam, you see long rows of buoys – here the large beads are grown. These buoys, under the surface of the sea, carry long cords with large mussels, all of which have been sand-grazed. The buoys, which lie some distance away from the pearl-arm raft base, lie in the water on fine rows just as neatly as a well-groomed vegetable garden. And this is actually exactly what it is: A vegetable garden of mussels that produces pearls in the middle of the beautiful Ha Long Bay.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

When the pearls are ready to be harvested, they are peeled out of the mussel and used for, among other things, jewelry production. In the small wooden houses on the floating pearl farm, one can follow the process of the pearls all the way from grains of sand to pearl necklace, and it is also possible to go for jewelry purchases, in the farm’s store, which must be said to have close to everything within high-quality pearl jewelry.

Learn more about Vietnam

  • Read about a city with 200 tailors in Vietnam
  • Visit beautiful French inspired Hanoi
  • See here Hi An on the UNESCO List – a tailor-made day in Vietnam

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