Halong Bay is one of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam. This is an impressive collection of 1969 islands, covering an area of 1,500 sq km in the Gulf of Tonkin. Legend has it that the Mother Dragon came down to help the Vietnamese against a foreign invader. She thrashed her tail against the Earth, creating the huge bay and descended into the bay. The thousand of islands are dotted with lagoons, coral beaches, and grottoes created by wind and waves, while here and there are sandy coves nice for a swim.
Mai Chau is a wonderful collection of farms, villages and stilt-houses surrounded by verdant rice paddies against a backdrop of steep limestone mountains and outcrops. Mai Chau is the closest point from