Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). When I included Ha Long Bay in my itinerary around Vietnam, my expectations were quite high – maybe too much I must admit. The point is that I saw this places many times in postcards or websites, and I decided that definitely it was “the place to go”. As you probably know, the typical landscape of Ha Long Bay is made of hundreds islands – big or small – covered with green trees, which are in contrast with the dark gray of the rocks; and this was what I was expecting to see. Let me say, I was wrong.
As it happens frequently, my expectations were probably too high, or perhaps my eyes were already so full of that image – seen so many times before – that once I was finally there, in the famous Ha Long Bay, I was not so motivated in photographing it. Isn’t it weird? However, something else captured my attention, particularly two things; the first one was the life around that place: it was not a place only for tourists (as popular destinations normally are), but there were people living there, fishermen, pearl farms and so on. I found this unexpected authenticity quite impressive. The second one was the general quiet: thanks to the many islands around, the water was totally calm, without even small waves. And no wind at all: around me there was only silence and peace, I got the impression of being in a sort of lagoon, more than in a bay.
For this reason, when I saw this man fishing on his boat close to a typical rocky formation and on a very calm water, I thought it was the most representative photograph I could take of Ha Long Bay – at least, the most representative for what Ha Long Bay was for me.