I went to visit the crazy geology of Halong Bay last weekend. It's a UNESCO world heritage site - and home to over 1,600 limestone islands in the Gulf of Tonkin (which is famous for a different reason). You can get there from Hanoi in a few hours - we started out at 5 AM with a xe om (motorbike) to the bus station, where we caught a bus to Haiphong and a speedboat from there to Cat Ba island. At that point, it was about 10 AM, and we met up with the fella we''d hired to take us around for the weekend. Around eleven we got aboard and started motoring, stopping first to pick up our kayaks at one of the floating villages and eat a lunch of fish and rice en route. Finally, around 2, we had arrived at the set of islands we'd been looking for to do a little deep water solo climbing.
The idea of deep water soloing is that if you're climbing on a cliff that's over deep water, you don't need safety equipment. I have to admit, I wish I'd had some safety equipment for my fingers. The limestone was SHARP! I had to dig a bit of it out of my hands just a few days ago.
From "Halong Bay & Rock Climbing"
Check out more of my pictures in the Halong Bay album on picasaweb.google.com/kathryn.lankester