Many hollywood movies shot some of their scenes in asian countries. Like ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the movie where they had some of their beautiful tranquil shoots of padi fields in Ubud,Bali. ‘Avatar’ that took some of its sceneries shoot in the stunning Zhang Jia Jie National Forest Park in Hunan,china. And the all time favorite action movie ‘James bond – The Man with The Golden Gun’ that took place in the exotic islets of Pha Nga Bya, Phuket,Thailand.
If we talk about ‘James Bond’ movies, not just that one movie that took place in Asia, but many. They managed to shot some of thier scenes in Japan, Macau, Hongkong, China and also Vietnam.
I just got a chance to visit Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. A breath-taking islets in Quang Ninh Province, a place where the shooting of ‘James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies’ took place.This world heritage site has been selected by UNESCO since 1994, got famous by ‘James bond’ the movie in 1997 and has its great jump in tourism in 2002.
Ha Long Bay literal meaning is ‘Descending Dragon from Heaven’. The ancient story says that in the old times, the heaven sent a dragon down to earth to help the people of northeast Vietnam from intruders. And the islands now, are formed from the fire and emerald that came out from the Dragon’s mouth when it tried to defend the Vietnamese people.
For the sea-lovers like me, This place has a lot to offer. It has about 3000 islands and islets that you can enjoy; from cruising through the limestone islets topped with rainforest, cycling through the halong beaches, mountain climbing for the energetic people, and one of my favorite activity, kayaking through the caves to hidden lagoon.
And not to be missed, traveler need to visit Thien Cung Cave, dragotto; where we need to hike about 150 staircase to see an epic natural stalactite and stalagmite in many forms and shapes, and accompanied by beautiful and colorful lights to enhance its greatness. This cave has a small entrance, yet have a very high ceiling and quite an extensive length. Traveler can find some very unique rocks inside as well, where it naturally formed similarly to wings of an eagle, trunk of an elephant, and a statue of a lady. A place where you can challenge your imagination, and surely a place for me to enjoy this jawdropping nature.
After enjoying the greatness of this huge cave, traveler can enjoy a refreshing coconut drink that cost about VND 15.000-20.000 (IDR 9.000-12.000) and buy back some souvenirs.
If many seas allow its visitor to swim, dive and snorkle, traveller could do that as well in Ha Long Bay. Just that this place is not as recommended as other water-sports in Vietnam, such as Na Trang.
To get to this natural wonders of the world, travelers need to fly first for 3 hours to Saigon-ho chi minh, then take another 2 hours of local flight to hanoi, followed by 4 hours of bus ride to Ha Long area. There’s no direct flight from Jakarta to Hanoi as for now.
To explore this area, travelers need to arrange boat transportation in advance. They have few options, from staying 2 days 1 night, or to just hire a boat for few hours of sight-seeing. They have a lot of hotel option in Ha Long Bay area as well if you prefer to stay on the land. Most of the local people there lived as a fisherman. After traveller arranged the transportation, normally they will always serve you with sumptuous fresh seafood delights for the lunch and dinner. If you have seafood allergy, Not to worry, you can always order other things too!