High in Vietnam’s northwest lies the beautiful mountain town of Sapa. In the shadow of Mt Fansipan and 1,600 meters above sea level, Sapa started out as a retreat for French colonialists desperate to find respite from the heat and humidity of Hanoi and the plains of Vietnam.
An emerald sea dotted with thousands of towering limestone islets, pillars, and arches, each coated in thickets of green jungle. That is the allure of Halong Bay, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, and huge 1,553 kilometer2 seascape east of Hanoi, in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province.
Last February, Rich and I started the process of plotting out the details of our wedding. With a guest list that would see people flying in from the United States, Australia, Sweden, Hong Kong, and Japan, we needed to find a venue and location that could mix the tastes of East and West, spark the curiosities of all, and work as a happy mid-point for everyone.