Friday, 10 April 2015

A few views from Halong Bay Vietnam....

"Getting in touch with the beauty of nature makes life much more beautiful, much more real."
You Are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh
Halong Bay is beautiful, magical and impossible to capture.
There is a majesty in the simplicity of these limestone karsts. It's difficult to accurately capture their scale & depth.
But there is another side to Halong Bay.
The side that is on the brink of bring overdeveloped, exploited and ultimately depleted. The abundance of tourists & boats is overwhelming.
It was hard not to feel guilty at times for being there and being a part of the environmental destruction.
But there were bays and coves where one could feel like you were the only person left on earth (except for the crew on the boat!) The silence was extraordinary - broken only by lapping waves and birdsong. The peace and serenity, though fleeting, were healing in their purity. And their unexpectedness.
Like Venice, one could focus on the rubbish floating around the busier sections of Halong Bay. 
Or like Venice, you could focus on the marvels of the (natural) world.
I chose to focus on the magical beauty of Halong Bay. But the detrimental impact of human beings was never very far from my consciousness or conscience.

I sincerely hope that the Vietnamese government can work out a reasonable and environmentally ethical solution soon to this dilemma. It must be possible to enjoy this world & it's simple beauty without destroying it at the same time.


  1. This is so beautiful but I also know what you mean about an area being overwhelmed with litter or poverty in the midst of the beauty.


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