Halong Bay – In pursuit of the Dragon Trails

A panoramic view of Halong Bay

Are dragons for real?

Searching, your eyes will seek the legendary creatures even when you have a doubt. But then the tales of Halong Bay says otherwise.

So, maybe…maybe they are real! A small part inside you will want to believe the unbelievable.

You are now on your own adventure of discovering the truth and so shall you.

Cruise ship

By this time your cruise must have left the busy port of Tuan Chau, Hon Gai or Got Pier from wherever you have boarded your ship. The white liners with colorful flags have bid adieu, leaving behind the human world. Scattering in the vast expanse of the emerald water, each on its quest to answer the question you like many other travelers have borne in their hearts before.

Not far from the port a thick haze separating the mortal realm awaits you to enter the fantasy land. Curiosity is bound to grip your heart for you know the truth lies only on the other side.

As you draw nearer, like a newlywed bride lifting her veil, the mist ever so delicately will float upwards. Its lazy upward journey pauses only to build upon your anticipation.

Hovering mist

Then as the soft golden sunrays tenderly sift the white smoky fog the images in front of you become clearer. One by one the apparition of the monoliths emerges taking a more solid form. Singular limestone crests standing as a shadow of their former selves, separated by the jade water and dense mist hugging them in a tight embrace giving the appearance as if they are floating mid-air. Everything around you will seem surreal. Visibility dropping to nil. Smelling the memory of rain and tropical lush green vegetation you will know by now you have entered the other realm.

Wrapped in a primitive hush, time will slow down for you. The soothing hum of your boat and intermittent whistles from other invisible boats will be the only proof that you are still moving, weaving in and out of the dotted islets as you search for the dragons.

In front of monoliths

Close your eyes for a moment and let the surrounding silence tiptoe around you like a small child playing hide and seek. And then gradually open them and you shall see you dragons! Sleeping with their hunch backs just above the water where wisps of fog trails are the thickest. And you will be lost in the legend that has named this very place.                                                                                                                             

The story goes back to the days when Vietnam was a newly formed country. Halong, which translates to ‘descending dragon’ was not safe from the threatening hands of the foreign invaders. The Jade emperor coming to rescue, sent for the mighty Mother Dragon along with her children to protect the inhabitants. As the war wreaked havoc, the dragons spewed divine fire which became a defensive wall, today which have become the ethereal limestone monoliths of Halong Bay. The Vietnamese won the battle at last. It is believed the dragons have taken shelter in this very inlet, resting in their peaceful slumber.

Hunch backs of sleeping dragons

Your cruise along the Halong Bay will reveal mysteries that are both mythical and of course magical. It will teach you to be your own muse. Explorers of adventure, admiration and aesthetic can find it all here which including kayaking in Luon Cave, visit to Titop Island, and unending entertainment onboard like learning the art of tai chi.   

In your pursuit of the dragon trails, you shall undoubtedly embark on a journey that will forever linger like a distant dream in your memory.

Ti Top Island – place to have a bird’s eye view

Yes, the world believes the dragons are gone but people of Halong Bay and now probably you shall know otherwise. The dragon sleeps for now and may not wake up for millions of years to come but then you never know!

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