Halong Bay Travel Guide
Halong deserved a special in every traveler’s heart because this place is the closest timeline with human’s origins. With many visitors come here every year, it still keeps me raising my eyebrows because the well-protected nature and the curiosity to discover more and more hidden or neglected places in the most beautiful bay of the world. Not only nature brings visitors sophisticated thoughts but the quality service of Halong Bay cruise also stretched out the stress which was accumulated over the years. Here are some guidelines for the best experience in Halong Bay
Why do You should choose Halong Bay as your top ten destination lists
First of all, if you’re in doubt that you’re going to waste money while traveling to Halong, it’s wrong. In many travel reviews websites, medias and have acknowledged that Halong Bay is the most beautiful bay in the world. Because it has immensely landscape that was combined by 3 different type of areas: the land, the sea, and the island, among them, there are many other forms: grottoes, limestone cliffs, islets, archipelagos, beaches, not mention about the way of life at here, the floating villages that was lasted long for hundreds of years where children swimming to school, people buy and sell goodies on the boats. The modern life in the mainland with the animated rhythm of life and where you can try the freshest seafood that have been just harvested in the net for less than an hour ago.
Halong Bay is the perfect combination of people and nature live harmony together with legend stories of how Halong Bay firstly came about which the most popular story is the outlands infiltrate by going through Halong Bay and the Jade Emperor sent down a dragon to stop that from happening, people believed that the way the dragon expelled the Outlands was the origin of Halong Bay in which the dragon splat the pearls from its mount and formed as the today islands. The magical in both the history of Halong Bay and the geography of 2000 islands bring you the most amazing experiences that one individual can have.
The limestone cliffs and caves
Which are the most common shapes you can see in Halong Bay, if you have a flycam to carry with, you’ll see that Halong Bay is not one perspective view site, the depth of the spiky limestone cliffs covered by the bluish flat waters make your picture will be much like in 3D.
Many unexpectedly weird shapes like human head, saddle, finger, islets. All you can visit with hiring boats or cruises, see it by yourself and find out why the locals call the islets with those names.
The Human Head Island – If you’re in suitable position, you can see its figure
The Saddle Islet where you can feel how awesome it is to go through under the islet
It has very funny shape and the islet’s called finger for reason.
The caves also have some of the most memorable moments too, the lasting long love story in Trinh Nu Cave, the surprising stalactites in Sung Sot, the recently discovered Thien Cung Cave, three chambers of Dau Go cave.
Small fees entrance is all it required to explore, for most of the part, Cruise tours often includes this in the itinerary and you’ll have a guide who tell you the stories of these caves from heartbreaking love couple, the braveness of people who dare to stand up and resisted the invaders, which are amazing and curiosity tempting
Besides, Dining in the cave is such a glamorous memory for the couples to here. The lights of the candles, the cool atmosphere or the quite space brings not like any other 5 star restaurants in the world. This is a unique activity that you can only see in Halong Bay
The beaches and islands
When you visit the beaches of Halong, you also have a chance to the islands, each has a unique feature than others, like in Quan Lan island in the remote area of Bai Tu Long Bay, no crowd beaches, no stores, only locals with homestay
Ngoc Vung island still keep unchanged from the development and has beaches that stretch for kilometers, set your bare feet here and you’ll feel the original sand beach. Since it’s not a tourist attraction so only few guesthouse available, or rent a room from local’s house isn’t a bad ideal with reasonable price and some house owner will cook the meals for you.
The artificial beach Bai Chay, you won’t recognize the differences between other nature beaches and Bai Chay. For many years, this place has received millions of visits from both in domestic and foreigners, you want hard to enjoy parasailing, diving, jet skiing and eating fresh beach sea dishes.
Some of the notable beaches are Ti Top with a beautiful point of view, Van Chay for high ocean waves and sports games, Hong Van where you can hold a BBQ party near the beach.
You won’t feel lacking islands in Halong Bay but choosing your best islands is a little bit tricky and depends on what’s your type of travel.
For brisk travelers, you can choose Cat Ba Island, this place is the most famous island in the bay and the only place has the national park, it has numerous beaches with clear water and many beaches and water sports bring thrilling moments like parasailing, kayaking, beach volleyball, night fishing, etc. Not only the beaches but also the national park with diversified biology for an isolated island, trekking with unlimited time but your shoes will have likely to be worn out before you can explore the whole Cat Ba. Did I bring up about Lan Ha Bay? Oh you will how small of you when paddling on the water which was clipped in between of the cliffs here
For quite seekers with less touristy attractions, Co To is the place, the serene beaches Hong Van, Van Chay, Bac Van hasn't let anyone down with the isolation, the rock cliffs, the lighthouse and untouched islands, all combine in a great nature volume. Since Co To hasn’t a major tourist destination yet so electric generators are very common and you can come across with some blackouts, surprisingly that the accommodations aren’t so hard to find, you can choose to stay at Committee’s guesthouse or the local’s with the price around 10$ - 15$ per 4 people/night
The last one and the only original island in Halong – Quan Lan, as I mentioned above, you cannot find any accessible islands more nature than this place, all are still raw like the fishes you catch at Quan Lan’s beaches. The sand hasn't got many footprints yet, the only sounds you can here are of the nature. It’s like a castaway island in Tom Hank’s film, but not ending like the film of course because you’re on traveling and boats often anchor at Quan Lan. The price for common expenses is a little bit higher than Co To because the locals in Quan Land depend mainly on the supply from the mainland
The cruising tips
- Remember to bring some waterproof bags, you don’t want to see your phone or clothes get wet unexpectedly
- Bring motion sickness pills if you don’t familiar with the bobbing on cruise
- The longer time of the cruise duration, the more places you can visit
- Bring sunscreen, the sun in Vietnam’s summer is fierce, so be sure to bring it to protect your skin
- Dollars are acceptable on the most of Halong’s cruise ships
- You cannot jump right from the cruise to water and avoid kayaking to extraordinary remote areas. It’s for the safety of tourists because there’re some eddies that showed up when the tides change,
- You can skip planned activities offer from the tour operator to have more free time
- The cruise will stop at picturesque places for you to enjoy the landscape
- There’re happy hours to drink with cheap prices on cruises
- Mostly cruise services are free
- If you have seasick or common sickness, the cruise staffs will bring some meds to cure you.
- You don’t have to tips for cruise staffs, it’s not a rule in Vietnam, the staffs always fulfill their duties. But if they bring good services, It’s nice to give them some extras
- Free wifi is available at every cruise in Halong Bay