At about 170 km from Hanoi in the Gulf of Tonkin and over 120km of coastline, is one of the most breathtaking landscapes that we see along the unique geography Vietnamese.
The name of Ha Long, which translated means descending dragon, refers to a legend according to which a huge dragon jumped into the water descending from the nearby mountains as it passes sweeping all before it. With its plunge into the sea, filled all depressions that had caused with his paws and tail, resulting in this wonderful landscape.
It is pretty easy to schedule a visit to Halong bay from Hanoi. Hundreds of agencies offer the opportunity to do so although you can do from the same Ha Long and Cat Ba Island. We recommend before hiring anything, make clear the kind of trip you want to do: type of vessel, number of passengers, visitors and activities to do, etc.. Vietnam is in full “boom” tourism and “anything goes” prevails at home in the tourist areas
The cheapest but also the easiest way is to book a tour from Hanoi. Hundreds of agencies offer the opportunity to do so although you can do from the same Ha Long and Cat Ba Island. A nornal “cheap” backpacker tour to Halong Bay will cost about 40-60 usd per person. This is for 3 days including the transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay and back, all your food and accommodation is included, you will just pay for extra drinks! Most backpacker boat tours are the same, and you can have an “open” choice, that is you can book a 2 day tour and then extend 1 more day on boat or travel more with a longer stay in Catba island. The morning of the second day you will be dropped (if you slept on the boat) and you are free to stay as long as you want. If you want to go back, you give this to a pre-arranged office and you the next day back to Hanoi. However, if you do not return to Hanoi, you better book a tour spot in Halong City or discounts in Hanoi. From Cat Ba you can easily take a boat to Hai Phong and so further south.
What can you see and do in Halong Bay?
Halong Bay is as already mentioned a really beautiful area. It is since 1994 on the world heritage list in 2011 and is also nominated for the World’s 7 Natural Wonders. The most common is that with a tour 2 days on a boat sailing through this great bay. But do not expect that you’re the only one because like all beautiful, fascinating places on earth are more tourists. This can be noticed especially when the evening anchor is thrown and you look around you! All boats have been required to be recorded in the same place! The little tour is included and always swim with a little luck your boat and kayaks also what you can towards the sun during sunset paddle. You go visit beautiful caves which, unfortunately, a sort of disco have been transformed. The most strange lights are focused on the stalagmites and there is even a waterfall pieced together. Also, you will have one day go ashore on Cat Ba. famous for the beautiful National Park where you do a drawing. Very beautiful of course but take shoes that you can easily walk in the mountains! You have choice to this day on the boat or at the hotel to sleep. The boat is highly recommended! What could be better than with other backpackers from the deck to see the sun go in this great environment and in the evening under the stars a drink!