Natural wonders of the world are some of the best travel destinations. While they often require extra time and money to reach than a city center, their scope and size make them worthy of the effort. Whether it be summiting a mountaintop or forging through a jungle, discovering and chronicling natural wonders is one of the greatest and longstanding traditions of human exploration.
Ha Long Bay is regularly featured as a top natural wonder of the world. Only accessibly by boat from nearby Hanoi, Ha Long Bay is a 600 square mile area composed of 1,960 limestone islands. The area only has a population of about 1,500 people, most of whom live on floating villages. Often described as the “Grand Canyon of Asia,” Ha Long Bay is one of the most iconic natural wonders of Southeast Asia.
When planning our trip my brother and debated if Ha Long Bay was worth the effort. It would require a long plane trip north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, a few extra days added to our trip, and an overnight stay on a boat. Despite all this extra logistical effort, Ha Long Bay ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.
You don’t have to summit Mt. Everest or trek to the South Pole to participate in the tradition of human exploration. Thankfully modern technology and tourism industries allow us to have similar experiences at a much lesser effort than early explorers! However, when planning your next trip, think about ways you can embrace the human desire for exploration that exists in all of us. While you will likely push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will have the satisfaction of participating in the tradition of human exploration!