A Vietnamese photographer has just released photos taken from a seaplane that show the stunning panoramic view of Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam.
Hai Dong, a local photographer, took the pictures on Monday morning when he traveled on a seaplane from Hanoi to the bay located in Quang Ninh Province. He published them right in the afternoon.
Dong said that he had pressed the shutter button so fast that the camera’s memory card could not work properly after seeing the exquisite beauty of the bay from the sky.
“The view of Ha Long Bay from the sky was extremely stunning. I was really surprised and speechless when watching it from the seaplane for the first time,” Dong told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Dong started as a reporter and photojournalist in 1994. In 1997, he was invited to be the photographer for a show of Vietnamese designer Minh Hanh, which inspired him to start his career in fashion photography later.
Ha Long Bay has won a slew of awards and honors, including the World Heritage Site title given by UNESCO in 1994 and 2000.
It comprises around 1,600 islands and islets on a total area of 43,400 hectares, of which more than 980 islands have been given names. Most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by humans.
“The outstanding value of the property is centered around the drowned limestone karst landforms, displaying spectacular pillars with a variety of coastal erosional features such as arches and caves which form majestic natural scenery,” the World Heritage describes the beauty and attractiveness of Ha Long Bay on its website.
Besides the UNESCO recognition, the bay has also received other titles and is among the most popular travel destinations in Vietnam.
In February, it was chosen as one of the Top 10 Valentine’s Day Retreats, among other romantic destinations around the world, by National Geographic’s book “Four Seasons of Travel” and was described as “a vision of astonishing beauty.”
On June 5, Ha Long Bay ranked fourth among the top eight green spaces and national parks with an average mark of 4.23 out of 5, graded by world-renowned hotel booking website Agoda.
In July last year, the Vietnamese bay was also listed among the world’s 10 most dramatic coastlines by well-known American online news site The Huffington Post.
On June 18 last year, Ha Long Bay was honored in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice: Asia Destination Awards 2013. The bay ranked 25th on their list of the top 25 destinations in Asia while the other Vietnamese tourist destinations Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An placed 14th, 15th and 17th, respectively.
It was also selected as a natural wonder of the world in the New 7 Wonders poll in 2012.