Halong Bay made the cover of Condé Nast Traveler this month. As many of you known, CNT is one of America’s top two travel magazines (the other is Travel + Leisure), and so making the grade on their cover is no small feat of exposure, especially when the headline on the cover reads - as April’s does - The Greatest Journey in the World. That Halong Bay is the stand-in for such a statement will get no argument from this helm.
And the writing in this piece gets no argument from us either. The writer of this article, Hanya Yanagihara, visited Halong Bay while embarked upon what the magazine calls ‘The Grand Tour of Asia.’ Over 55 days, this writer-on-the go covered an amazing roll call of destinations, from Sri Lanka to Mumbai, to Dehli, Kathmandu and so on, all the way to Halong Bay. The story is an impressive read.
But what we want to call your attention to here is the focus on Halong Bay. It’s often hard to do justice to the wonders of the natural world with the pen. Pictures generally do better communicating the splendor of it all, but as we read this paean to the bay, there were several moves we thought worth sharing.
Ms. Yanagihara describes the waters of the bay as “jungle-green,” which is a fairly fresh way to think of the water. Typically, we refer to the bay water as jade green or emerald green. Jungle green is some nice spin on the color. She also talks about our limestone karsts as “tree-crusted rocks.” Again, that’s a cool image - crusting. And about our fog, she labels this a “perpetual dreamy mist.” We know a National Geographer photographer who’s photographed the bay a number of times, and who calls our weather, when it’s raining, “sexy.” Some could call him a man who always sees the glass half-full, but he, like Ms. Yanagihara, understand that the bay’s weather is a character in its own right, sometimes sexy, sometimes dreamy, always irresistible.
While we’re on the subject of the media’s treatment of Halong Bay, let us share with you what several other media outlets recently said about Emeraude Classic Cruises and the experience of cruising Halong Bay. A writer for the World, a travel magazine out of New Zealand, recently noted that watching Indochine on our top deck is perhaps the most appropriate setting to watch this movie anywhere in the world since significant portions of the movie were filmed on the bay.
Likewise, Expat Living out of Singapore also calls out the experience of Indochine on the Emeraude and heralds the boat as a one-of-a-kind experience amidst a “sea of junk boats.” We understand. There is the Emeraude, and everything else is junk.
A Food & Travel writer also urged Singaporeans to cruise Halong Bay on the Emeraude. What to do while you’re on board: “Sit in silent contemplation on the sun-deck as the ship sails past limestone karsts.”
We all celebrate our own private experiences of this magical place, and we all struggle with the ways to communicate the experience. We’d love to hear how you’ve described the bay. If you’ve groomed any poodles, send them our way.