Halong Bay, Vietnam
A UNESCO site, Halong Bay's beauty has to be experienced firsthand. These limestone formations surround you as your boat moves through the waters. We stayed overnight on the boat, with the crew serving us three lovely meals. Some of the group went kayaking, all of us went to a beach and many of us hiked in sweltering heat to the top of one of the formations. We also were given a tour of the "Surprise Cave," which is one of the largest among the many caves scattered throughout the area. Sounds like typical tourist fare, but we learned a lot about the geography and waters of the area, and even about the kinds of people who visit the Bay. Everyone enjoyed walking alongside the Buddhist monks in Saffron robes, with their cell phones, taking pictures of each other at every stop. Everyone has cell phones, tablets, and those awful selfie sticks. You have to get used to ducking under or around.