C'est Magique


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Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay
June 21st 2009
Published: June 22nd 2009
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Underwater Angels!Underwater Angels!Underwater Angels!

Also a web-borrowed shot, since I could not get my tripod into place, and my camera shutter will only open for 2 seconds at a time. Isn't it fantastic???
I want to share with you an absolutely magical moment that occurred while I was in Ha Long Bay this past weekend.

It was Saturday night. The stars were all out in a clear moonless sky, and the water in our beach cove was as smooth as glass. I was standing about chest-deep in the sea and waving my arms around under the water.

As I did so, thousands of bioluminescent plankton emitted sparks of bright green light.

I felt like I was swimming in stars, with stars above, and all around me ringed in by the dark masses of the limestone karst islands. I have never in my life seen anything more beautiful.

Earlier in the night a bunch of us walked out into the water and started squealing with joy when we saw the phosphorescent phenomenon. We took turns standing on the deck of the speedboat and watching each other swim. We looked like underwater angels, or something out of "The Abyss."

"C'est magique!" was what Julien, our French-Canadian companion said when he stepped into the water.

Hours later, the novelty still had not worn off. I outstayed nearly everyone, floating on my
PhosphorescencePhosphorescencePhosphorescence

This I got from an open source on the web, but it gives you the general idea...
back and watching falling stars in the sky, then standing back up and creating my own field of stars in the water. With my head submerged, I could hear the clicking of hundreds of tiny crabs eating away at the coral below. They got pretty friendly, and some of they even offered to accompany me back to my tent, clinging to my fingers and legs.

I wish I had pictures to show you, but there's no way to capture it, I suppose, without professional photography equipment.

You'll just have to come see it for yourself!


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1st July 2009

We watched Nim's Island last week and this is in the movie too!
15th June 2014

I MUST see this
Hi there, my name is Adam Zunder and I have been tavelling Asia for the past 3 weeks. I was in Koh Rong, Cambodia about a week ago now and they had these plankton as well but unfortunately I had food poisoning and wasnt able to experience it! I was looking forward to it so much and I missed it! I was so excited to hear that Ha long Bay had these p[lankton too. Ill be there within the next week or two and I noticed that is the time you were there back in 2009. I was wondering if you could tell me where exactly you went to see the plankton or what company or agency took you to see them? This is definitely at the very top of my list so if you could let me know where I need to go to be completely blown away by this phenomenon i would SUPER appreciate it! Thanks so much. Cheers, Adam
15th June 2014

Ha Long Bay
Adam, saw your comment, & I'm sorry to hear about the food poisoning - that troubled me there, too. I booked my trip to Ha Long Bay through my hostel. It was billed as kind of a party tour, we stayed on a boat for one night and camped on an island the second night. I really could not tell you the name of the island or the company. It has been such a long time. I suggest you ask around the backpacker hostels or local tour agents, specifically about the bioluminescent plankton. I'm sure someone could help give you more details. Best of luck! Becky

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