Ha Long Bay, Hanoi
If someone should ever compile a list for the seven Natural wonders of the modern world, I'm quite sure Ha Long Bay would make it. It has already been noted by Patricia Schultz as one of the spots in the famed tome "1000 places to see before you die".
1,600 islands and islets, beautiful jade green waters and countless of gigantic limestone pillars. Need I say more? You need to be here to understand what I am saying. Go for a tour package with a reliable agency here. So far ODC and Handspan seem to be the agencies of choice in VT. I went on a 3d2ntour with ODC and had loads of fun!
About USD56 per person for a full board trip. This also included canoeing.
Ha Long Bay is a must visit if you are visiting Hanoi Vietnam. It is about 165 Km north of Hanoi and three hours drive. When we were there it was misty for two days. It wasn’t the best for taking photos but without doubt it was still a breathtaking experience.
Ha Long Bay is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage for its outstanding geological value which is mainly made up of limestone.
Today Ha Long Bay support fishing villages that the fisherman’s in search of many species of fish and many varieties of mollusk. They are four community fishing villages with a population of 16,000. They live in a community floating houses, with some of the catches they will try to sell it to the oncoming tourist Junk Boat.
Ha Long Bay consists of large and small monolithic islands made up of limestone. The smaller islands have sandy beaches where you can go for a swim. Most of the islands have thick jungle vegetation which supports animals such as monkeys, antelopes and lizards (iguanas). You will also find several caves, we visited Sung Sot cave.
When you visiting Vietnam you will hear many legends and Ha Long Bay did not escape of a legend story. The local believed that god sent dragons to help of defending the land from the Chinese invaders. The dragons began spitting out jewels and jades to the sky and when it dropped it turned into islands and the island link together form a great wall against the Chinese invaders.
A visit to Hoa Lu is a worthy day trip out from Hanoi. Considered to be the Halong Bay in land, this has some stunning scenery.
Start with a walk up to Bich Dong temple before setting off on your sampan tour of the waterways. A relaxing day away from the traffic of Hanoi.
The journey to Hoa Lu is entertaining itself - see how many different 'cargos' you can spot on the mopeds and bicycles.
Go to Halong Bay for a day trip, even if the weather isn't the best, which it wasn't when I went in March, 2008.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site which has 1000's of limestone karsts and islands in all different shapes and sizes.
There is a legend here, and it goes like this...... that when the Vietnamese were fighting off the Chinese invaders, the Gods sent a family of Dragons to defend the land. They spat out Jewels and Jade, and these in turn became the Islands and Islets of today. They formed a barrier to prevent the invaders. Afterwards, the Dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing and decided to live there.
The place where mother Dragon flew down is known as "Ha Long," where the Dragon children attended to their mother is Bai Tu Long Island, and where the Dragon children wiggled their tails is Bach Long Vy Island. .....Interesting?
This tour included a visit to the caves, which were excellent, a fish farm, an extra side tour, (excellent) and lunch on the "Junk"
Halong Bay is located in a tropical wet area that only has two seasons, hot and moist Summer and a dry and cold Winter.
It is a great days outing in all kinds of weather, just make sure you take a jacket, it does get cold.
The fog & Mist gave the rocky outcrops an eerie appearance!
IT IS A VERY LONG TOUR, BUT ONE THAT SHOULD NOT BE MISSED WHEN IN HANOI.
Halong Bay is a fabulous area of sheer cliffs plunging to deep blue water. For scenery and photo opportunities, this was the highlight of my trip to Vietnam.
Our 3-day trip started in Hanoi. We took a bus to the city of Halong, stopping at a village for a restroom/souvenir break. Not really interested in souvenirs, my friend and I wandered into the village and through the town's market. Upon arriving at Halong, we boarded our interesting wooden boat with orange sails. After a quick ride, we stopped at the slightly disappointing Hong Dau Go caves. We had a great multi-course lunch on the boat, included in the price. The next several hours were spent on the boat just gawking at the amazing islands. Eventually we stopped in a secluded cove for swimming in the nice warm water for about an hour. Just as it got dark, we arrived at Cat Ba Island, on the back side from Cat Ba town. We had dinner on the boat, had some drinks, then swam after dark in the water as warm as a bath. We slept on the deck of the boat under the stars.
The next morning, we got up with the sun and had an American-style breakfast. We went to Cat Ba town, checked into our hotel, the Sun Flower One, then got on a bus for Cat Ba National Park. At the park, we began a 9km trek through beautiful jungles and rugged terrain. With the intense heat and humidity, this became a taxing nine hour journey (including stops). During the hike, our guide pointed out several animals and a crater from the Vietnam War. We stopped for lunch in a small farming village called Viet Hai. At about six in the evening, we boarded a boat at Lan Ha Bay that took us back to Cat Ba Town.
That evening we had another nice dinner in the hotel, then I wandered around the town to a bia hoi for a few drinks and to watch the people go by. I finally relented to a young man who wanted to take me for a ride in his mid-sized row boat. He gave me a wonderful hour-long tour of the harbor for about US$2.
The next morning we boarded the boat and went back through Halong Bay to Halong city for our bus ride back to Hanoi.
I took one day tour to Ha Long bay.
We're picked up from Hanoi at 8 am, arrived at 11, had lunch and then 4 hours cruise tour by boat, climb a hill and see a cave, see floating houses, and by a smaller boat go through a tunnel.
Arrived in Hanoi at 7 pm. It cost 20 USD.
There's a guide who has intention to speak English but we don't really understand what he was saying.
If you're in Hanoi take at least 1 day to see Ha long . It's really beautiful !
The second time I go Halong bay we had hard time to decide which travel agent to choose. We finally picked Vega Travel (Fansipan) based on Lonely planet recommendation. http://www.fansipantours.com.vn/aboutus.php
We had a great time as their boat is beautiful and clean. Although their boat is bigger than most other travel agents, their group size is smaller only 12 compared to the usual 16. Their itinerary was comprehensive, we did kayaking, visited caves, swimming in ti-top beach, climb -up to have a panaromic view of the wonderful jewel bay.
The food was excellent, we had delicious fish and prawn fresh from the nearby fish farm(some travel coampany only serve egg, veg and small fried fish), their crew also very friendly. In fact after the tour, we had a very pleasant surprise of getting a very good luncheon in a nearby restaurant on land before driving back to Hanoi.
I have no hesitation to recomend them, thumps Up. Especailly their manager/boss Mr Kien is very friendly providing very good service, very prompt in replying to our all email queries before we booked the tour. We were not asked to pay deposit yet everything went on so well on our arrival.
A visit to Hanoi and northern Vietnam cannot be complete without a cruise on Halong Bay
There is a whole range of different "junk" cruises
Preferably choose one that you can spend at least a night on board to enjoy the sunset / sunrise panorama!
Victory Star was what we sailed in and it was a marvelous experience on this newly commissioned vessel
The food, the service and the ensuite room is low and behold fit for a honeymoon!
Do check it out
Any local agent or hotel would be able to help
Halong Bay cruise is a popular trip from Hanoi. There are 1, 2 or 3 days cruises and many agencies organize the group trips, so it won't be hard for you to find a place in a group. I did it with "ODC Travel" and couldn't complain...
The best is to take a 2 days tour, sleeping on board at the bay. You can also sleep in a Hotel in Cat Ba, but is not so charming. The bay's waters are calm, so the boat doesn't move much while you sleep.
Prices were about 26 USD for 2 days /1 night
When we arrived at Hanoi, we walked in to a travel agency, Vega Travel which was recommended by lonely planet guide book, to book a 3 day 2 night Ha Long Bay -Cat Ba Island package. Overall, the travel experience was good with Vega.
The tour guide picked us up at the hotel at 8am. It took 3.5 hours to reach Ha Long Bay, and stopped at Bai Chay town for a drink and toilet. When we reached Ha Long Boat station, we boarded a Vietnamese boat and cruised around many limestone mountains. Some of the beautiful islands and sights scenes including Dog Stone, the fighting cock islet, the floating villages and fish farms. We visited the largest cave, Hang Sung Sot, in the bay. The cave was nothing special, but the views outside the cave was stunning. We spent a night on the boat surrounding by Bai Tu Long Bay, Ha Long Bay and Lan Han Bay. The morning sunrise views worth a night stayed on the boat.
We continued our trip to Cat Ba Island.
Ha Long Bay is a must visit destination in Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay is a one day trip that is well worth the effort.
Ha Long Bay is aprox 1 hours coach ride outside Hanoi, You get driven down there, (via of course the usual souvenir factory/outlet), transfered to a boat and taken out on the harbour for a very enjoyable cruise. Lunch is generally provided which is fabulous (or was for me), you get to visit a floating shop, and also taken to the Song Sut Caves. These are an experiance in themselves and well worth a visit.
Ha Long Bays is a UNESCO heritage listed site, and a very beautiful area to visit.
There are many different tours to this area, some one day, some include overnight stays, you just need to pick one that suits you.
Definatly worth a visit
At least one day will be taken by a trip to the magnificent Halong Bay. But it is still worth it. But better pay a bit more and travel in a small group than in a crowd of 20 to save a few dollars. We spend the night on Cat Ba Island which is not recomendable, a mere tourist trap.
This of course is probably one of the main reasons that a lot of people come to Vietnam for. Unfortunately, although being a Unesco World Heritage protected site, this doesn't prevent the pollution caused by plastic bags and all sorts of stuff thrown overboard from the tourist boats indiscriminately. On the up side though it really is beautiful and even peaceful when you're out on the water. There is no real period for good weather though, it can be misty as I had it, rainy as friends did but no one seems to know the best time for some sushine. But, no worries, whatever the weather it is enchanting.
Ha Long literally means descending dragon(s) and according to local myth, the story goes as follows:
Long ago when their forefathers were fighting foreign invaders from the north, the gods from heaven sent a family of dragons to help defend their land. This family of dragons descended upon what is now Ha Long bay and began spitting out jewels and jade. Upon hitting the sea, these jewels turned into the various islands and islets dotting the seascape and formed a formidable fortress against the invaders.
The locals were able to keep their land safe and formed what is now the country of Vietnam. The Dragon family fell so much in love with this area for its calm water and for the reverence of the people of Vietnam that they decided to remain on earth.
Mother dragon lies on what is now Ha Long and where her children lie is Bai Tu Long. The dragon tails formed the area of Bach Long Vi known for the miles of white sandy beaches of Tra Co peninsula.
This is the best way for you to explore the breathtaking scenery in Ha Long Bay with the six hundred square miles of paradise in the north East of Vietnam, offer the visitor many exciting opportunities to discover the mysterious haven in there. Kayaking is very popular in Ha long and attracts a lot of travelers all over the world. It is considered as a must-do if you really want to adventure Ha Long Bay wholeheartedly.
Ha long Bay is one of the most scenically beautiful place on earth with 3000 limestone cliff, many of which rise in the water. It is worth exploring especially for those who are interested in adventurous sports.
With the diverse coral reef and ecosystem, scuba diving will become a favorite activity for tourist. This is a unique opportunity to cruise and dive through one of the world's great natural wonders in style and comfort. Joining to scuba diving, you will have chance to experience the feeling of conquering the natural beauty and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and tranquility undersea.
Beside the exciting activities during daylight hours, let take part in Squid Fishing to undergo the mysterious night in Ha Long Bay. This is particular interesting for the group of friends or family. Just experience yourself as a fisherman and enjoy the achievements from the fishing. Boat service will be pleased to cook your dinner with the squids and fish captured.
Ha Long Bay has not only beautiful beaches and limestone but also peaceful islands which are waiting for you to explore by bicycle. Imagine you are cycling along the beaches or fishing villages, and enjoy the light of stunning sunset. It is really awesome.
It is wonderful if you can enjoy clear and blue water of Ha long Bay, play with waves and build sand castle or simply just lying on the beaches and enjoying the tropical sunlight. You can enjoy the best services in luxury cruises.