The next destination after Hanoi on our 16 day AmaWaterways Vietnam and Cambodia trip was Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. This beautiful area made up of about 1,600 islands and islets is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Junks used to be the traditional wood color (brown), but in early in 2012, the Vietnamese government decided that all boats had to be painted white by April 30, 2012 or the operating license would be provoked. So now you see these white boats floating in Ha Long Bay.
Originating in China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD), you can find junks today throughout southeast Asia, India and China. Though size and rig design vary greatly, the junk’s most distinctive feature is the broad, fully battened sails.
AmaWaterways strives to provide guests with an intimate look at everyday life in the destination visited. At Ha Long Bay, we went on a sampan ride to explore the area. A sampan is a small boat propelled by oars and they’re common in rural parts of southeast Asia and China.
It has been a fascinating experience so far. As I write this, we are in Cambodia and have already explored the ancient Angkor complex in Siem Reap. Please revisit the blog on Monday as I share this amazing destination with you. For live updates, follow me on Twitter @BlaineTravels.