Halong Bay is certainly one of Vietnam’s famous tourist destinations. Considered one of the 7 natural wonders and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is in the northern province of Quang Ninh and 160 km from the capital Hanoi. This is certainly one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen in my life, with more than 1,600 stone islands that seem to float in emerald waters.
The best way to find out this paradise is to travel by boat, which can be one or three days between islands. Most travelers who travel don’t know that one of the routes might be through Bai Tu Long Bay, which is also part of the Halong Island set, but because it is located a little further north and further away from the harbor where it is located. Cruise ships leave, turns out to be a tour that is less explored and therefore where you will find more untouched scenery without the excess of boat tours.
How to get there
To get to Halong Bay, the best way is to go to the capital – Hanoi – and book a cruise. The journey from Hanoi to Halong takes 4 hours, and most of the transfers stop at an NGO where poor or sick Vietnamese learn and sell local handicrafts. It is worth seeing the masterpiece and it is impossible to leave without a souvenir. Enjoy snacks and hydration for the rest of the trip to the harbor.
If you don’t buy a cruise in Hanoi,
you can also go by bus to Halong and stay there. The bus departs from Gia Lam
station with prices between 5 and 10 dollars. Another alternative is to rent a
private transfer or shuttle bus.
When to go
The best months to visit northern Vietnam are February and March, when there is less rain. We went in September and were lucky with the weather.
There are day trips around the island, but I certainly don’t recommend it. We took a two-day and one-night cruise, and I admit that we left with a “I want more” taste, because there are many islands with beaches, observation spots, caves, floating fishing villages, so much to navigate. But if you have numbered days on your trip, and also don’t want to spend a lot, this tour is sufficient and a great value for money.
What must be taken
The cruise cabin is quite comfortable but small. So avoid carrying too much luggage. Be sure to bring a bikini or swimsuit to get to the sea, comfortable hiking clothes (if you visit caves and observations) and a cool night coat. Preferably waterproof clothing, because there is always a risk of rain. Sunscreen, cover and repellent are always needed!
The ship has a socket to recharge the device, but forget the living. You will not have internet signal all the time. Enjoy to enjoy the view and relax.
Which voyage should be chosen
Hundreds of companies offer tours. From ships carrying more people at lower prices, ships focus on young people, with parties and drinks released, to more luxurious ships, with fewer cabins and, obviously, more salty prices. Prices will vary greatly, from $ 60 to $ 500, depending on the number of days (most do not exceed two nights) and the luxury of the ship.
Our itinerary was by Bai Tu Long Bay cruises. Which made us more isolated from most of the boats that make the tour and, therefore, with incredible landscapes just for us. We boarded around noon, and after settling into the cabins, we were greeted with a wonderful lunch. In the afternoon we took a kayaking tour of even more disconcerting landscapes, stopping at a deserted beach on Cap La Island.
Really a must see tour, which we recommend 100%!