Ha Long Bay in Vietnam was the highlight of my trip, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site, a dream for photography, and all around was a great experience. If you haven’t heard of it, you can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%E1%BA%A1_Long_Bay –
We started our adventure in the bay on our ‘junk boat’ a name completely unfitting for what it was, a three story monster of the sea, fitted with a huge crew including a chef, two captains, and a bartender! As we set out to see ha Long Bay, the scenery was breathtaking, I busted out my gear that I had hauled through 1,000+ KMS in the last 8 days by boat, taxi, bus, train, plane, and bicycle and shot away, I was familiar with Ha Long Bay and had an idea of what to expect but was really taken back seeing it in person, truly an incredible unique place unlike anything I had ever seen before.
We first got to stop at a popular tourist area where you can hike up really high to catch a birds eye view of the surroundings, it was REALLY hot/humid out, and my huge camera backpack didn’t pull any favors, I was a sweaty mess at the top and I dropped my bag and started capturing the beauty around.
This is where things got epic, manned with a tandem kayak we got to get out onto the waters ourselves and navigate through the endless limestone Karsts. Huge shout out to my wife who championed the kayak while I snapped pictures, and yes if you’re wondering, I brought my new lens (14-24) and camera onto the high seas, I had a lot of faith in our ability to stay upright! Fortunately everything worked out smoothly, we coasted through and I was able to catch some incredible images. As we were ending the journey, the sun was starting to set, so I told Allyn that we needed to get hammer down and get back to the boat! We paddled hard and I hopped out, ran to our bunk to grab a new memory card and rushed to the top of the deck to capture an incredible sunset.
After I caught a nice panoramic of the sunset, I ripped back to the room and grabbed a zoom lens to capture some other details in the bay! Once the sun was set, I put the gear away, we had an incredible fresh cooked meal on the boat and then I tried my hand at fishing for squids, it didn’t go so well, but was fun to unwind and give it a go.
One early morning after an overnight train ride, we were busing into our home stay which was set in the beautiful countryside, we stopped 3/4 of the way there for breakfast and I opted to rip out to explore with my gear, I asked our wonderful guide if he could just drive up the road once they’re done and I’d keep an eye out for them, it’s times like this on trips where I find the best opportunities to capture unique shots and moments. About 500 meters from where they were having breakfast, there was an incredible rice field backed by big mountains and I was able to get in there right as a lady was tending to her crops, it made for a great candid on the spot shot.
Bonus video! A short clip kayaking through Ha Long Bay.
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