Ha Long Bay – Just cruisin’
Huge rock formations that rise from the sea like countless islands. Traditional sailing ships that float on the blue water and sail from island to island. Green mountain peaks full of tropical plants and extensive parks where endangered animals can live in peace. Welcome to Ha Long Bay, the most beautiful place in Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay is the name of Vietnam’s most photographed landscape. Ha Long Bay, in the northwest of the country, encompasses nearly 2,000 islets and is characterized by the wispy karst mountains that rise everywhere from the blue-green water. Board an iconic cruise boat for an unforgettable adventure in one of the most scenic places on Earth.
In Hanoi, many organized excursions to Ha Long Bay are then offered, and a multi-day tour including bus transportation and boat accommodation shouldn’t cost more than if you head there on your own. Many tourists choose the first option, as it can be difficult to arrange an overnight stay on a boat on the spot.
Take a cruise
Those who want to view Ha Long Bay will in most cases do so by boat. With a traditional junk boat you can explore the scenic landscape of Ha Long Bay in two or three days. During the day you sail between the karst mountains and floating fishing villages, visit ancient caves and in the meantime you also have enough free time to sunbathe and swim in the most paradise spots of the bay. Once the sun has set, the boat will anchor at one of the islands and you can enjoy a traditional Vietnamese meal on board.
Tip! For comfort, book a cabin with air conditioning and pay attention to the condition of the boat when choosing.
Do you love water sports? Then you’re in the right place in Ha Long Bay. The water is calm, and you can discover the many deserted islands, hidden caves and small bays while paddling. It is possible to rent a single kayak on some islands, but most cruise boats also have them on board.
Tip! Check before booking a cruise to make sure the kayaking is included.
Visit a cave
The impressive karst mountains are what make the landscape of Ha Long Bay so special, but what is on the inside of those mountains is at least as special. Inside you will find gigantic spaces full of ancient rock, in the most bizarre shapes and sizes. Most caves are also beautifully lit with coloured lamps, which makes for a breathtaking spectacle. Keep in mind that the better known caves – especially on weekends – can be full of other tourists.
Tip! Do you want a place for yourself? Then arrange a guide and go on an individual excursion.
Spend a night on a deserted island
What could be better than waking up on a private beach on a deserted island in the middle of the bay? If you have time, book the 3 days, 2 nights cruise and spend 1 night on a deserted island. There are different island from which you can choose by booking your cruise.
Tip! Stay on the beautiful island of Nam Cat. Just the perfect place to spend a night.
Find pearls in an oyster
There are in Ha Long Bay two pearl farms which you can visit. The farms in the floating village, where they are located, was founded in 1995 by Japanese experts. They were for some years in charge, but it is now owned by a Vietnamese company.
While some oysters die, after the pearl is removed from the shell, others oysters remain alive. You will not believe it, but the harvesting of pearls is already 4000 years old.
Tip! Try to open one of the oysters yourself to see if there is a pearl hidden inside.