What is Halong Bay?
Halong Bay is certainly one of Vietnam’s best-known destinations. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen in my life, with over 1,600 stone islands that seem to float on emerald waters.
The best way to know this paradise is to take a boat trip, which can be one or three days between the islands. Most travelers who take the trip do not know that one of the routes may include Bai Tu Long Cruise, which is also part of the Halong Island set, but because it is located a little further north and further from the port from which it is located. The cruises leave, it turns out to be a less explored tour and therefore where you will find even more untouched landscapes in without the excess of tourist boats.The legend and the names
In ancient Vietnamese, Halong means “dragon descended”. And the name of the bay comes from an old country one. Legend has it that during the formation of the country, the Vietnamese had to fight invaders from the north by sea. Feeling sorry for the country, the “Jade Emperor” sent Mother Dragon and her children to the land to help the ancient Vietnamese defend their territory.
Realted: Halong Bay Day Trips
Go to Halong Bay
To get to Halong Bay, the best way is to go to the capital – Hanoi – and book a cruise. Businesses pick up hotels and hotels in Hanoi and take you back after the tour. The trip from Hanoi to Halong takes 4 hours, and most transfers stop at an NGO where underprivileged or ill Vietnamese people learn and sell local handicrafts. It is very worth seeing the work and it is impossible to leave without a souvenir. Enjoy a snack and hydrate for the rest of the trip to the port. If you didn’t buy a cruise in Hanoi, you can also go by bus to Halong and stay there. Buses leave from Gia Lam station for between 5 and 10 dollars. Another alternative is to hire a private transfer or a shuttle bus.
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When to go
The best months to visit northern Vietnam are February and March, when it rains less. We went in September and got lucky with the weather.
How long to stay
There are day trips around the islands, but I certainly do not recommend it. We took the two-day and one-night cruise, and I confess that we left with that taste of “I want more”, as there are a multitude of islands with beaches, lookouts, caves, floating fishing villages, so much to navigate. But if you have the days numbered on your trip, and don’t want to spend too much, this tour is enough and a great value for money.
What to take
The cruise staterooms are quite comfortable but small. So, avoid carrying too much luggage. Be sure to bring a bikini or swimsuit to get in the sea, comfortable hiking clothing (if you visit the caves and lookouts) and a cool night coat. Preferably waterproof clothing, as there is always a risk of rain. Sunscreen, caps and repellents are always indispensable!
Which cruise to choose
Hundreds of companies offer the tour. From boats that carry more people with cheaper prices, boats focused on young people, with party and drink released, to more luxurious boats, with fewer cabins and, obviously, saltier prices. Prices will vary widely, from $ 60 to $ 500, depending on the number of days (most do not exceed two nights) and the luxury of the boat. I recommend booking early, as if you leave it at the last minute, you may only have very expensive cruises or half-hearted cruises.