Considered on of the 7 Natural Wonders, HA LONG BAY in Vietnam was without a doubt one the most beautiful places I’ve been in Asia. The place has an amazing landscape but also a positive vibe that makes everything more special about it. Pictures can’t tell the real beauty. You have to go to see for yourself.
The bay has more than 1600 islands and islets and most of them are inhabited. The rock formations above a flat sea makes the landscape.
Where is it: Quang Ninh province, northeast of Vietnam, 165 Km apart from Hanoi.
How to get there: To visit Ha Long Bay, you have to fly to Hanoi, Vietnam capital. From there arrange a transportation to Quang Ninh province and then take the cruise.
To visit Ha Long Bay the ideal and only way I know is to take a cruise on a boat. Ideally to spend at least one night at the boat.
Many companies offers this kind of cruise there. I used Paradise Cruise , one the most famous and recommended companies. Another good one is Indochina Sails. The Paradise cruise has 3 boats categories, all of them good and with luxury amenities. I went for the Paradise Peak, which is their newest one and also smaller, meaning less cabines and less people. All of them have great rooms, amazing food and friendly staff.
The cruises can be from 1, 2 or 3 nights. I did the 2 days and 1 night cruise. Its enough time and I think more than 2 nights can get a bit boring.
For my cruise ( 2 days and 1 night) the boat makes 2 stops. First one at Sun Sot Cave and the second one at Tip Top Island. Both you get to see a wonderful view of the whole bay from the top, and different angles. But the best of all is to experience the cruise at the boat, having breakfast surrounded by the most amazing view ever.
The package includes all the 3 meals. The transfer from Hanoi to Ha Lon Bay cruise is offered by these companies and I strongly recommend to pay this extra cost. Its US$ 50 dollars per person. The transportation in Vietnam can be tricky and and roads are not so well signalized to go by your own.
When to go: A Hight season is from November to April, which is the dry season, meaning no rain. But also the crowd one and the temperatures in this area sometimes can get low. May is the beginner of summer, temperatures are only beginning to get high and also less rain. The best thing is to avoid July to September.
I went in May and it was perfect. No cloud in the sky and seems its a rare thing in Ha Long Bay.
Without a doubt, I can say that Ha Long Bay is one of those places you have to go before you die.
See you next time.