Uncovering the Pristine Beauty of Ha Long Bay from German Visitor’s Perspective Over a Century Ago

Back in the early 1990s when tourism was not as developed as it is today, Ha Long boasted a completely different charm. The authentic beauty of the UNESCO heritage site some 30 years ago was, fortunately, captured under the lens of Hans-Peter Grumpe, a German teacher with a great passion for photography.

0
783

As an ardent lover of photography and a passionate traveler, Hans has dedicated most of his holidays to exploring unique destinations across the globe. With an avid interest in Vietnam, he embarked on three captivating journeys to the country during the 1990s. Armed with his camera, this German photographer seized countless moments, encapsulating the diversity of Vietnamese landscapes, everyday encounters, and the vibrant local culture. Throughout his memorial trips, Hans immortalized the essence of Vietnam through his artistry behind the lens.

The mesmerizing beauty of Ha Long Bay is internationally renowned. This magnificent natural landscape, intricately crafted and bestowed by Mother Nature, is often described as a true marvel. Over the years, as tourism has flourished, this UNESCO heritage site has only grown more stunning and impressive, captivating visitors from all corners of the globe.

Located along the renowned Bay of Nestle, Bai Chay beach is a highly-regarded summer destination in northern Vietnam, loved by beach enthusiasts. The captivating images showcased below were skillfully captured by Hans from 1991-1993.

a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Hans visited Quang Ninh in summer 1991. At that time, Ha Long city was yet to be established, therefore, the province’s center was Hong Gai commune. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Bai Chay was the second most famous beach in the north at the time, thanks to its n the North at the time, due to the beautiful natural terrain and crystal-clear water, calm sea. In the 90s, it took around 30 mins to go from Bai Chay to Hon Gai by ferry. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Tourism services at that time were very simple. Many agencies sent their officials, employees to Bai Chay beach on vacation trip. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Services on the beach included renting swimming-belts, bathing suits, photography and fresh water showering before and after swimming (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Standing with the swimming belts beside was a trendy pose at that time. Since camera and cellphone was rare, visitors often hired a professional photographer to take memorial shots and got the photos a few hours later (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
One family taking photos on the sea (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
In 1991, the Bai Chay area was also a B12 petroleum port, with many large ships anchoring right on the bay. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Cruise ship on Ha Long Bay in the 1990s did not include meals on board and overnight stay like today (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Two visitors visiting Dau Go Cave, Sung Sot Cave. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Ha Long Bay has 1969 large and small islands, of which about 40 are inhabited.(Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
The area where fishermen anchor their fishing boats (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Cruise ships and fishing boats were berthed at the same place (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Cruise ships would take visitors around the bay in around 2-3 horus (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Each boat was the house of one nuclear family, on which the all family members spent their entire life on(Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Local people earned a livelihood by catching seafood and exploiting coral to selling to visitors. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Money earned from seafood and coral catching were the main income of many households (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
In 1994, Ha Long Bay was recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site, with strict constraints on nature, environment and landscape conservation. (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Two boys selling cigarettes (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Children lived on the water since they were small, thus, they were familiar with the water, could boat well and help their parents sell coral and seafood to tourists on floating market (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
(Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
Fishermen in Bai Chay (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
The traditional coal craft of Quang Ninh province (Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)
a pristine ha long bay some dozen decades ago under german visitors lens
(Photo courtesy of Hans-Peter Grumpe)