The landscape of Ha Long Bay, located just a few hours east of Hanoi, is among the most unique in the world. According to legend, several thousand years ago the burgeoning nation of Vietnam summoned the Mother Dragon to help them fight off an influx of invaders, which they did using divine fire and giant emeralds. The remnants of this fictitious battle can now be seen in the form of immense limestone pillars and tiny islets surrounded by emerald blue waters. This stunning series of earth and water formations combined with a multitude of classic junk boats, give the place a mystic, timeless feel. This UNESCO World Heritage site should be high on your adventure list--here are a few tips to make the most of your visit!Read more
About: John Hasse
Born and raised in Berkeley, John is a West Coast native who grew up ten blocks from Backroads’ main headquarters. He was fortunate enough to travel in Europe and extensively in France as a youngster thanks to a Francophile mother and his time at a French-American elementary school. After completing a BA in Environmental Studies at Pomona College in Los Angeles, John made a whirlwind trip to visit friends in Asia where he fell in love with travel. Before returning to the Bay Area, he enjoyed a stint in the Pacific Northwest where he grew a love for nature photography and ultramarathon running. When he’s not working at his job on the Custom & Private Trip Team at Backroads, John can usually be found photographing the beautiful wildlife and landscapes of Northern California or experiencing the wonders of life in San Francisco.
Recent Posts by John Hasse
Fall in Provence is a magical time. The weather is usually crisp and clear due to the mistral winds blowing hard from the northwest. The usually silver-green hills turn a vibrant reddish orange and the air smells of smoky olives as farmers burn the cuttings pruned from their crops.Read more
It’s often said that one of the best ways to explore a city is with your nose. Fortunately, Paris is no exception, as the city is burgeoning with intoxicating aromas wafting from bakeries, bistros and bars. From sweet to savory, creamy to crunchy, no matter what neighborhood you find yourself in, there’s a plethora of places to eat in Paris. And the best part is that many of the city’s tastiest meals are small, simple and inexpensive.Read more
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