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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – part 3 of 3

By on September 9, 2015 in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, besides being a tourist attraction, is a place where people live and work. There used to be a thriving community living in and around the bay. Sadly, a lot of this has now been lost in the interest of tourism and “progress”.

There are still some people living in the small fishing villages in the bay, but most of the commercial activity now is confined to small boats moving between the larger tourist vessels selling water, snacks and tourist souvenirs.

I was quite amazed at the stamina and determination of some of the sellers as they seem to chase us for long distances across the bay.

ha long bay vietnam

One thing that really struck in my mind about Ha Long Bay was the lack of wildlife. I saw very little. Considering that most of the small islands had vegetation, and scalable cliffs, it was surprising that there wasn’t more seabird life around. Why not?

ha long bay vietnam

One thing that was very sad to see in Ha Long Bay was all the pollution. There was a lot of it. Mainly plastic bottles, and bags.

Always interesting about the pollution was the way it collected in the water. Small tidal flows and eddies seemed to congregate the plastic waste into small areas. Sometimes, you would see a string of bottles in a line just working away across the bay on one of these currents.

ha long bay vietnam

ha long bay vietnam

ha long bay vietnam

ha long bay vietnam

And again, no matter how far we seemed to travel in the bay we would turn a corner and there would be the city in the distance. I assume the city is responsible for most of the plastic waste that I observed in the bay.

ha long bay vietnam

However, despite the pollution, and all the other boats, there is still no getting away from the fact that Ha Long Bay is a stunning location.

ha long bay vietnam

ha long bay vietnam

ha long bay vietnam

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
 

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