Halong Bay is the perfect place for taking an unforgettable cruise. The amazing Halong Bay lies at the northwest of Vietnam. There, you can find about 2000 rocks that come out of the sea. It is rightfully the most visited tourist attraction of Vietnam and it is really gorgeous! You will feel like being on a movie set. There are numerous islands and almost all of them are uninhabitable. Halong Bay is on the World Heritage list of UNESCO and rightfully so. There are only two other places in Asia where you can find such karst formations: Yangshuo in China and Krabi in Thailand. Why is Halong Bay in Vietnam a great place for a cruise?
Halong Bay in Vietnam, the place to be for a cruise!
How do you get to Halong Bay?
Halong Bay lies about four hours to the east of Hanoi. It is really easy to book a one, two, or three day tour to Halong Bay from Hanoi. There are options for all budgets to get here. The boats vary in stars and thus also in luxury and price. It is also possible to spend a night in a hotel on one of the islands instead of on the boat.
The option that I chose cost about 125 dollars and consisted of a two day tour on a three star boat. I recommend to take at least a three star boat, because the quality of the lesser ones is really bad (fleas) and food is also limited/bad. In all options, meals are included, by the way, but drinks are paid for separately.
You could of course go to Halong Bay by yourself and decide there what you want to do. Your starting base is then the town of Cat Ba. Here are the hotels and from here, all cruise boats depart.
What is there to see and do at the cruise at Halong Bay, Vietnam?
The view is actually more than enough to entertain you on the boat. Most boats stop, however, also at an island where you can see a cave. Furthermore, almost all boats offer the possibility to go canoeing for an hour. When the boats stand still, there is of course also the option of jumping off and swimming. Many boats also stop at one more island that can be visited.
Why make a cruise at Halong Bay in Vietnam of several days?
The answer is simple: the sunset and sunrise are spectacular. If you do not choose to take a cruise of several days, you will not be able to witness this miracle of nature. So, even if your time is limited, you should at least try to take a two day cruise with a night on a boat. You will surely not regret it.
When to make a cruise at Halong Bay, Vietnam?
Halong Bay can be visited throughout the year. The region around it has, however, hot and humid summers, and dry and cool winters. In the summer months, you must take rain into account, but also during the other months, it can frequently rain.
Tips for a cruise at Halong Bay in Vietnam
• Take your own drinks with you when you get on the boat. Beware: on some boats, this is not allowed. As I wrote earlier, this is usually not included in the price of the cruise. The prices that are asked for on the boats are quite high.
• You can also buy drinks, chips, cigarettes, etc. from the many small boats that approach and you will notice that the prices they charge are quite high.
• Learn in advance what exactly is and is not included in the price. Also what is included in the overall program.
• Check also – for example on Tripadvisor – what are the references of the boat/tour organizer.