Saturday, November 30, 2013
Soi Sim Island hill, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
2013 November: Short climb up a hill at Soi Sim Island, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay and Soi Sim Island
Vietnam's Ha Long Bay is truly beautiful. No wonder so many people visit the place.
Usually you see the islands (which are limestone karsts) from a boat. But depending on the boat's schedule, it may drop anchor at Soi Sim Island, one of the many islets dotting the Bay. There is a hill in this island. Its summit is around 60 meters above sea level - 10 minutes to climb up there - where you will get a different perspective on the islands of the Bay.
Photos from boat
First, let me present 3 pics taken from a boat, showing the colours of Ha Long Bay at different times of the day.
1) Ha Long Bay basking in morning sun
2) Ha Long Bay at noon
3) Ha Long Bay in the evening
Soi Sim Island
4) As mentioned earlier, Soi Sim Island is one of the many small islands in Ha Long Bay. Here is an interactive map of the Bay. If you zoom right in (click on the small "+" icon a few times), you can see the Island and a trail from a beach to the top of its highest hill marked by the green pin. From there, you get a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding islands which make Ha Long Bay so famous.
View Soi Sim Island, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam in a larger map
5) Our boat approaching Soi Sim Island in the late afternoon ...
There is the beach.
In the middle of the pic, you can just see a set of stairs ... it leads to the top of the hill on the left side of the pic.
6) What better way to loiter away the time than to take a swim here ! ... especially after you've climbed to the top of the hill.
7) Can you see the stairs at the back of this thatched roof shelter?
Climb to the top of the hill
8) Here are the stairs heading up the hill.
9) The stairs soon peter out to this type of dirt trail ... nice view down at the beach and the sea below
At the top of the hill
It is only a short walk ... 10 minutes should get you to the top which is only about 60 meters above sea level.
The rest are some of the scenery from the top of the hill ...
14) I like this the best ... a magnificent view of Ha Long Bay ... you can't see this type of scene at the boat level.