Photo Journal: Finding Peace in Halong Bay, Vietnam

I’ve always liked to think of myself as a tomboy. After all, I’ve had my fair share of rough-and-tumble encounters: bodyslams and piledrivers with the brother after Saturday WWF WWE, bruises and scratches after little league practice, and bald patches as a result of fights with playground bullies. But by high school, I was just a tom-eunuch. (I google-imaged “eunuch” for kicks… and wish I really hadn’t)


So when Anna, one of my best friends from junior high, heard that someone was picking on me during my freshman year of high school, she (who will always have nerves of steel) trekked all the way up to the Bronx to confront the girl face-to-face.


Needless to say, I never heard from that girl again.


And Anna? She’s since been my superhero.


So when Anna and her newlywed husband decided to come out to Asia for their honeymoon, I just had to make the trek out to meet them. Of the five cities they booked, we met in Halong Bay, Vietnam for a 3-day, 2-night cruise through the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s stunning ocean limestone rock garden across the South Pacific.


In contrast to my most memorable image of Anna’s fist, this trip was quite the opposite — peaceful. We took tranquil hikes to the peaks of limestone formations, watched beautiful sunsets in silent awe and lovingly reminisced about memories over nearly two decades.


It did take us two decades to appreciate the beauty in a less rowdy scene — but I guess you have to grow up sometime?



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  • I love getting to experience your travels with you — thanks so much for taking me to places I’ve never been!

    22 July 2014 at 11:02 AM
  • Another great story accompanied by some amazing photography. So great that you were able to connect with one of your superhero’s in such a magical place. And thank you for the cruise info. This is now on my travel list. :-)

    22 July 2014 at 7:39 AM
  • Yet another place I wish to visit one day. Love your story and I too was a ‘tomboy’ of sorts…bit to cowardly for fights thought! So glad you could meet your friend, it’s a wonderful thing friendship; that and reminiscing over past days….. thank you for your photos…so powerful and yet so gentle…

    20 July 2014 at 7:07 PM
  • As always some really fantastic photos! Ah yes…growing up. Sometimes I don’t actually recommend it. But I think in this case…yes, probably a very good thing.

    19 July 2014 at 12:55 PM