Top in the list of worth visiting site in north Vietnam is Halong bay, travellers going to Halong Bay usually spend 2 to 3 days, overnight on board the boat, the boats are designed elegantly as a floating hotel, halong bay cruises range from cheap to deluxe, some boats are built in standard of a 5 star hotel, with all facilites like sauna, spa…
Active travellers would find halong bay kayaking a very interesting activity, kayaks are made of plastic, a kayak can carry 1 or 2 people, kayaking can be arranged at 10-20 usd/kayak, traveller can explore the limestone rocks on the bay by paddling through hidden lagoons, under mountain caves and going on little islands for sun bath
The best area to go kayaking is near Cat Ba island, there are small islands with white sand beaches which are ideal for kayaking, some resorts built right on the beach also offer this services free for guests staying at their resort, such as Ocean Beach resort or Monkey island resort
Cat Ba island used to be part of Halong Bay tours, and is a popular destination for backpackers and active travellers, going to Catba island visitors can take a trip to nearby islands, visit Catba national park, go trekking in the forest, long trek can take up to 7-8 hours, crossing Viet Hai fishing village, frog lake…
Beside kayaking in Halong Bay and Cat Ba island, travellers who love wild nature also visit Quan Lan island. Located in the Bai Tu Long bay, Quan Lan island is about 3 hours by boat from Halong Bay, travellers can catch a public boat from Halong city or from Cai Rong town, Bai Tu Long bay is by no means less beautiful than Halong, and the beaches in Quan Lan is just wonderful, Minh Chau beach is considered as the best one, other beaches like Viet My, Son Hao are also popular.
There are not many hotels in Quan Lan island, neither restaurants and shops, visitors have only a few choices, Viet My resort is built right on the beach, there are more than 10 wooden houses, in summertime it is always crowded with tourists, mostly local Vietnamese, however it is almost empty in wintertime, other choices are Ngan Ha guest house, a simple family hotel right in the center of village, the host is a very friendly woman and great cook, and their restaurant is almost the only choice in the place
Bicycling is a popular option for visitors, the concrete road from the town centre to Minh Chau beach is especially beautiful, during the ride visitors can take photos of local people working on the rice fields, catching Sai Sung, a kind of sea worms, along the way sand dunes and pine hills stretch out through the horizon.