Hạ Long Bay was visually one of the highlights of my Vietnam trip. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring 1500-2000 islands and islets in various shapes and sizes, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.
Hạ Long Bay (also written as Halong Bay or Ha Long Bay) is located in the Gulf of Tonkin, in Quáng Ninh province, in northeastern Vietnam.
Lonely Planet: Halong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’. Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon that lived in the mountains. As it charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses. When it finally plunged into the sea, the area filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible.
Imagine seeing a shark with a long thresher-like tail with a can be as long as the total body length, up close. Introducing Thresher Sharks!
Thresher Sharks can only be consistently spotted in a few places around the world, and one of them is off the coast of the island of Malapascua in the Philippines at sunken island of Monad Shoal.
They’re mostly known for the size of their tail (“upper caudal fin lobe”), which is typically equal to the length of the rest of their body! Check out this below photo:
Why do Thresher Sharks have large tails? Thresher sharks are active predators – they use their huge tails not only to swim, but also to swat and stun much smaller prey fish. Whack! When hunting schooling fish, thresher sharks are known to “slap” the water, herding and stunning prey.
What do Thresher Sharks eat? Thresher sharks eat squid, octopuses, crustaceans and small schooling fish such as bluefish, mackerel, needlefish, lancetfish, lanternfish, and more.
How big are Thresher sharks? Threshers range from 8 feet long on the small end, to as big as 20-25 feet long! That’s 2.5 meters to 7.5 meters. 1,100 lbs!
The clear water reminded me of the clear water in some islands in the Caribbean and some islands in Thailand.
I took fun jumping pics in nearly every country I visited – check out the ones I’ve posted so far.
There’s nothing quite like experiencing a breathtaking sunset, and it makes for some awesome sunset silhouettes.
Imagine snorkeling with massive Whale Sharks! They’re the largest fish in the sea, and they migrate right through The Philippines annually. It provided a perfect opportunity to not only see whale sharks up close, but get in the water and actually swim and snorkel with them. Wow. It was certainly one of the highlights of my trip!
Happy 2013! Ahhh, the new year. Each and every year, millions of people decide they need to get in better shape. Sometimes this is travel related, to look great for your next trip. Do you want to get ready for the tons of travel photos and bathing suit weather for your winter getaway? How do you do it? Start by setting a goal, and then focus on both the fitness and nutrition. Most people ignore the nutrition part, and then get discouraged with the lack of results. I made some small changes with big results, and you can too.
Check out this post on the 7.5 steps to get in shape for your next trip. Most lists focus on the fitness, so I’m going to focus on the nutrition, which could be even more important. These are little adjustments in your diet that make a huge difference – they did for me. I’ll show you how!
Do England, the United Kingdom, and Great Britain, all refer to the same place? What’s the difference, and what’s included in each? Here’s the answer in a 5-minute video that breaks these down, and I’ve also highlighted some quick answers below that. You’ll understand your initial question in the first 30-seconds, but this clip does a great job with the natural follow-up questions like why the Queen is on Canadian currency, and where do Belize and the Cayman Islands fit in? Enjoy!
Here’s a quick breakdown:
England contains about 80% of the population of the UK.
Great Britain includes England, Wales and Scotland. Great Britain is a geographical term referring to the island on which the greater parts of England, Wales and Scotland are situated, and a legal one referring to those three territories considered together. Great Britain is the largest island of the British Isles, which is most of the UK but not all.
Where does the name Great Britain come from? The name GB originates from the Latin ‘Britannia’, the ‘Great’ being introduced to distinguish it from Little Britain, which was the French province later called Bretagne, or Brittany.
The New York Times just posted their annual travel destinations article, The 46 Places to Go in 2013 – love it! Which should we visit next??
Of these, Nicaragua, Rio, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Paris, and Casablanca Morocco are already on my list. The Falkland Islands sound really interesting – a “Galápagos-like spot swarming with penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife” off the coast of Argentina.
I loved Singapore, Hvar, Philippines, Jackson Hole Wyoming. I also liked Chichen Itza, Bangkok, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico
The introduce some interesting places, like an arid mountainous area in China called Ningxia that’s been transformed to a wine region that LVMH is investing in.
I’ll be posting about these locations in upcoming weeks…
Photos from the original NY Times article.