1: Halong Bay, Vietnam
The Vietnamese call it the ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1994. Most visitors regard it as a highlight of their trip to Vietnam. There’s no denying that Halong Bay is one of the most breathtaking bodies of water in the world.
The bay is dotted with thousands of towering limestone pillars and tiny islets, which rise from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Fishermen still ply their trade here, living on floating villages and casting their nets between the karsts, and a variety of tourist vessels ply the waters every day. An overnight cruise is best.
2: Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Imagine a Norwegian fjord plonked down in the sunny Adriatic, and you have a rough idea of the immense beauty of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. Surrounded by dramatic mountains and dotted with ancient villages and medieval churches, it is an irresistible spectacle. Perhaps that why the locals simply call it ‘Boka’ – the Bay.