The inspiration from Avatar's floating mountains (Hallelujah Mountains) may have come from the Zhangjiajie Stone Forest in China... however, as I toured Ha Long Bay (in Northern Vietnam), I couldn't help but to be reminded by that movie. When the boat first embarked, there was no wind... the sea was perfectly still and looked like glass. As we left the port, we could see stone mountains towering out of the water. It looked as if they were floating above the sea. The experience was unlike anything I've done before. I wish I had more time to explore the region.
Hanoi is a unique city. These are some photos I took while wandering around the downtown area. Hanoi has the charm and character of an old European City... and if it weren't for the constant roaring of the motorbikes (and humidity), it would feel like you've transported yourself across the world. There are many winding alleyways, open markets, outdoor cafes, friendly people, and fantastic restaurants. It's definitely worth exploring.