Halong Bay is by far the most beautiful place I've ever been to... It's like the movie Avatar minus the blue guys and destruction. Tall peaks jump out of the water all around you, and floating villages are hidden around every bend. If you travel to Vietnam, definitely make a day trip to Hanoi and spend it relaxing on a boat in the middle of the bay.
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In Halong Bay, families in the nearby Floating Villages with travel out to the tour boats to sell their fruit and handmade jewelry. They're kind and friendly, and happy to guide your boat back to their part of the village to show you around.