Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay: Emerald Bay Cruise in Vietnam

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.

Various trips

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%!

CD Review: The Tossers "The Emerald City"

The Tossers
“The Emerald City”
Victory Records
Producer: Andy Gerber
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Originators of Celtic punk rock The Tossers are back with a new album titled “The Emerald City”. This will be the bands first studio album in 4 years and is packed with 14 upbeat numbers that will have you up on your feet in no time. The album was produced by Andy Gerber and is the follow up to the bands 2008 release “On a Fine Spring Evening”.

Leroy Brown better take notice because The Tossers are back with their blend of Irish tinged punk rock that will surely have the entire South Side of Chicago dancing in the streets. Probably the bands most ambitious album to date each song is carefully crafted to employ the wide range of instrumentation the band is known for. Songs such as “Here’s to a Drink With You” and “Where the Beer and Whiskey Flow” are destine to become St. Patty’s day staples with their raucous, upbeat approach while tracks such as “Where Ever You Go” and “The Southside of Town” feature more traditional, laid back approaches that the whole clan can enjoy. Each track on “The Emerald City” seems to compliment the next as T. Duggins and company seemed to have really given their all with this album. Producer Andy Gerber and mixer Ken Sluiter should be commended for their work as each musical layer seems to be recorded and mixed to near perfection. Fans of Celtic Punk rock will surely want to grab a copy of this album before sitting down with a big pint of Guinness.

Track Listing:
1.) The Rover
2.) Here’s to a Drink With You
3.) Emerald City
4.) Wherever You go
5.) USA
6.) St. Patrick’s Day
7.) Bombo Lane
8.) The Break of Dawn
9.) The Southside of Town
10.) Where the Beer and Whiskey Flow
11.) God Bless You
12.) Johnny Mcguires’ Wake
13.) The Fermony Lasses and Sporting Paddy
14.) Slainte