The appeal of Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is magnanimous. Its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994, along with its proclamation as one of the new natural wonders of the world in 2012, were compelling enough reasons for me to put this place in my life list and to journey there—and journey there, I did.

Ha Long Bay, translated as the “Bay of the Descending Dragon,” is a wide expanse of water with thousands of limestone karsts and islands. It is located in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province, and the jump-off point to the bay is easily accessible via a comfortable three-hour bus ride from Hanoi, the country’s capital.

The package for an overnight cruise is reasonably priced, filled with gustatory delights and fun-filled activities, and it includes the bus ride to and from Hanoi. In my opinion, the breathtaking scenery and the experience we had were definitely worth more than the cost.

Ha Long Bay can be a romantic setting for couples, a fun excursion for the family, or an exciting getaway for friends. It’s best to see this natural wonder for yourself because the consummate beauty and splendor of the place cannot be fully appreciated through words and photos, but only by being in the midst of it. If you can’t visit Ha Long Bay soon, though, the gallery below might be enough of an incentive for you to add this marvel to your travel bucket list. Take a look at them below!

(All photos by Atty. Maria Dee A. Seares unless otherwise stated.)

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