Halong Bay

Giant limestone karsts erupt from the water,
Green clings to rock and escapes into the sea,
A sea dog barks on a floating market,
Wooden boats glide without making waves.
Mountains of stacked volumes that tumble,
Orange dragons hide in giant caves,
A conical hat, two paddles and a boat,
Macaques fling down from branches up high.
Flying fish skim the surface like rain,
Junk boat sails bleed over peeling white decks,
A lost world looms over us as we pass by,
Gradients of blue fade into the haze.
Phantoms of fat pulsating jellyfish,
Sky of lilac and gold spills under helms,
Silhouettes stretch their shadows towards us,
Mercury oozes from the wake as darkness falls.
Edible flowers, rice and pink shrimp,
Fork lightning with powerful rumbles,
Futile effort to capture some squid,
Local Dalat wine with a sell by date.
Dusky dawn that is smudged by lead clouds,
Hundreds of boats at rest in the bay,
Formations that shape imaginative beasts,
The ethereal play of light and shade.

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Notes

‘A wonder that you cannot impart to others.’ – Ho Chi Minh [date unknown].

UNESCO, World Heritage, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/672

Fantasea Cruise 2 days and 1 night tour, US$75, http://halongfantaseacruise.com/en/ha-long-bay-information.htm

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