The Legacy of Green Spirit - “Halong Bay in My Eyes 2014”

Since it opened for tourism at the end of the 20th century, Halong Bay has seen an immense rise in popularity to become one of the most sought-after destinations in Asia. Many tourists come daily to the bay in search of the ideal paradise that is advertised heavily throughout the country, and many find it aboard a cruise ship as they sail serenely through placid waters, out of which rise limestone towers in utterly unique shapes and sizes.

The side that many tourists don’t see, however, often lies below the surface or in the mangroves of its untouched islands. Rubbish cast off from boats, left behind at tourist attractions and discarded into the sea by the locals all adds up to a polluted bay with piles of rubbish that amass daily, destroying entire systems that have been in place since pre-historic times.

To highlight the impact that such careless practices have, V’Spirit, a part of Incredible Asia Journeys, developed Green Spirit, an initiative that aims to keep Halong Bay clean and free of the pollutants that threaten the beautiful and ancient way of life here. In cooperation with Hanoi’s Foreign Trade University and the Université de Nantes in France, Green Spirit held a children’s art exhibition on Soi Sim Beach, one of the beautiful white-sand offerings in Halong Bay.

The exhibition, hosted on the 16th April 2014, was called ‘Halong Bay in my Eyes’. Local children from Quang Ninh province were asked to participate, and we were blown away by some of the insightful submissions that we received. It seems that even in the eyes of a child, Halong Bay’s problems are severe and need to be shared with its visitors. Their drawings expressed a love for the environment and a clear desire for more environmentally friendly practices, such as disposing of litter in the correct manner, helping to clean up existing rubbish and refraining from overfishing.

This was just a small exhibition, but many visitors, locals and even the media made the effort to see it. We are very proud of the kids’ contributions and their desire to see a cleaner, greener Halong bay in the future. ‘Halong Bay in My Eyes’ showed us that the future is brighter for Halong Bay if its little ambassadors are as passionate as the members of Green Spirit!

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