Being Women

Do You Believe In Dragons? Join In Chasing the Real Dragon Trails In Halong Bay

The existence of dragons is more real than reality. The world believes that the dragons are gone, but the people of Halong Bay probably know otherwise.

Do you believe in dragons?

Yes, you read it right! Dragons! And I am asking you right here right now who is reading this piece.

No? Maybe?

Hold on. If you fall into any of the above sceptical categories, then you better keep your opinion aside for a while. Perhaps after reading this, you will want to change your view.

So let’s begin our journey to a place where, by the grace of nature, the existence of dragons is more real than reality.

The Story

The story goes back to the days when Vietnam was a newly formed country. Halong, which translates to ‘descending dragon’, was not safe from the threatening hands of the foreign invaders. The Jade emperor, coming to the rescue, sent for the mighty Mother Dragon along with her children to protect the inhabitants. As the war wreaked havoc, the dragons spewed divine fire, which became a defensive wall. Today, it has become the ethereal limestone monolith of Halong Bay. The Vietnamese won the battle at last. It is believed the dragons have taken shelter in this very inlet, resting in their peaceful slumber.

Nature here has its way of showing us that the dragons are the least fabled, as we believe them to be. Searching, your eyes will seek the legendary creatures even when you have a doubt. But then the tales of Halong Bay say otherwise. And in every tale lies the truth. So, maybe… maybe they are real! A small part inside you will want to believe the unbelievable. Once here, you are now on your adventure of discovering the truth, and so shall you.

By the time your cruise leaves from any of the busy ports of Tuan Chau, Hon Gai, or Got Pier, from wherever you have boarded your ship, the white liners with colourful flags will bid adieu, leaving behind the human world. Scattering in the vast expanse of the emerald water, each on its quest to answer the question you, like many other travellers, have borne in their hearts before.

Are dragons for real?

Not far from the port, a thick haze separating the mortal realm awaits you to enter the fantasy land. Curiosity is bound to grip your heart, for you know the truth lies only on the other side. As you draw nearer, like a newlywed bride lifting her veil, the mist will ever so delicately float upwards. Its lazy upward journey pauses only to build upon your anticipation.

Then, as the soft, golden sunrays tenderly sift through the white, smoky fog, the images in front of you become clearer. One by one, the apparition of the monoliths emerges, taking on a more solid form. Singular limestone crests stand as a shadow of their former selves, separated by the jade water and dense mist hugging them in a tight embrace, giving the appearance as if they are floating mid-air. Everything around you will seem surreal. Visibility dropped to nil. Smelling the memory of rain and tropical lush green vegetation, you will know by now that you have entered the other realm.

Wrapped in a primitive hush, time will slow down for you. The soothing hum of your boat and intermittent whistles from other invisible boats will be the only proof that you are still moving, weaving in and out of the dotted islets as you search for the dragons. But hand on! There they are, right in front of you!

Close your eyes for a moment, and let the surrounding silence tiptoe around you like a small child playing hide and seek. And then gradually open them, and you will see your dragons! Sleeping with their hunchbacks just above the water, where wisps of fog trails are the thickest in the form of tiny islands, you will be lost in the legend that has named this very place.

Your cruise along Halong Bay will reveal mysteries that are both mythical and, of course, magical. All you can do is marvel at nature, making you wonder how she has the ability to make a mere imaginary beast become a reality for the rest of the world, both in name and appearance. Chasing the dragon trails, you will undoubtedly embark on a journey that will forever linger like a distant dream in your memory.

Yes, the world believes the dragons are gone, but the people of Halong Bay probably know otherwise. Shhh now… The dragon sleeps for now and may not wake up for millions of years to come, but then you never know!


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