Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Halong Bay

While in Vietnam, Katie and I decided to take it easy and only do one big trip to Hanoi so that we could see Halong Bay, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. And so like all tourists, we signed up for an overnight boat ride. Best decision ever. 

At first it was pretty foggy because a lot of people were burning local rice fields.

But then it cleared up, and we had great visibility, which was lucky from what other people were telling us. 

Part of our trip included a trip to one of the caves in the bay. Very beautiful. Although it was a bit strange that they had lit it up with neon lights. Afterwards, Katie and I went for a nice long bit of kayaking just around some islands near this cave. 

We chanced up on a woman with a LIVE octopus and way too many fish for my comfort level.

I don't know if you guys can see this, but it's oil on the water. Halong Bay is absolutely gorgeous, but it's quite obvious that the Vietnamese haven't thought about preserving it in the long term. There are hundreds of boats packed full of tourists just leaking oil into the water every day. It's awful. It's like they are capitalizing on this natural beauty, which no one can fault them for, but in a way that maximizes profit for only a couple of years. It just reminds me of how, like them, we also usually see things in the short term. Just take a look at our politics and policy over the century on everything from the environment to welfare. Instead of really getting at the problem, we just create more "solutions" that only create more problems down the line.  But I guess it's hard to think in the long-term when you are struggling to make enough to get by everyday.

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