The world’s catching on, or I should say, catching up, with Halong Bay. Lonely Planet magazine just hailed this bay as the second most remarkable destination in the world to go boating. See the news about that here.
We’re better than New Zealand. Better than Greece. Better than the Galapagos Islands. These kinds of surveys are subjective, of course, and it’s impossible to say, in all seriousness, that this is the second best place in the world to go boating.
But it is true that huge numbers - millions of people every year - are so bowled over by the spectacle of these karsts, and the grottoes within, that they’re telling everyone they know that a Halong Bay cruise is the way to go.
I’m going to go high-brow on you for a second because it’s one of the first things that occurred to me when I first glimpsed Halong Bay. I was reading a story about the place, and looking out at the islands, when I experienced wonder as Spinoza defined it — as a disconnect between what you’re seeing and everything else you know.
When that disconnect happens, the mind, says Spinoza, “comes to a stand.” He means stand-still, I suppose. The mind stops. The gears stop turning. Because you just can’t process all of this.
That’s Halong Bay. That’s why some people believe there’s no better place to go boating, unless you’re talking about the Norwegian Fjords.
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