These photos are from my trip through Halong Bay.
Halong Bay is full of gorgeous karst (limestone) islands like these...unfortunately it rained on the way in and out, so I didn't get many good photos.
Man paddling a boat in Catba Harbor.
Limestone formations in a cave in Halong Bay. This photo does not do the cave justice...it was amazing, but my photos mostly didn't come out.
We went hiking on the second day, passing through a flooded forest...
...another forest photo. We scrambled over some very dangerous, sharp, slippery, and muddy rocks for five hours...
...emerging into this beautiful valley...
...where we ate lunch in a minority village. Northern Vietnam gets quite chilly, so this thatched hut is daubed with mud on the outside to strengthen it.
Scorpion brandy. The Vietnamese have a very strange taste for putting odd animals into brandy or whisky as tonics...I saw silkworms, geckoes, three different species of snake, crows (!), and seahorses (among other things).
A funeral procession in Bat Trang, a potterymaking village (aka tourist trap) near Hanoi.
A mechanical loom with 36 harnesses, running off a string of punchcards at top right.
The punchcards. It was mesmerizing to sit there and watch the loom weave...I wish Id' been able to ask more questions.
A green treesnake in brandy. I kept waiting to see the giant clear glass vat with an entire cow suspended in it...I'm sure they've got one *somewhere* in Vietnam.
And yes, they *do* actually drink the stuff. Even the ones with 1000 silkworm caterpillars in the bottle...