Halong Bay, the spectacularly scenic bay in North Vietnam, consists of thousands of limestone karst islands of varying sizes rising from the placid waters like so many sentinels standing guard is a must-see attraction.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's best seen from the privacy of a junk like the one in the picture. Large tourist boats are available but be prepared to be elbowed in the chest and other body parts.
With me were a European couple. I sat on an arm chair as we cruised silently through the bay. At mid-day we anchored off an island, and had a refreshing dip in the cool water. The European couple swam to the island about 100 metres away to frolic on the beach there. But since I couldn't even pass my swimming tests I decided not to pretend I was the next Michael Phelps in the making.