Customize your trip to Halong bay

Halong bay tour for couples and families Top in the list of Vietnam travel attractions, Halong Bay is a destination you should definitely visit in your trip to Vietnam. As the creator has made it magnificent masterpiece. Usually you have to spend a significant budget for a trip to Halong bay, however with my experience you can arrange a private Halong bay cruise with a moderate cost.

Halong bay junk cruise

Halong bay junk cruise

Halong bay is about 160 km from Hanoi and you can save the cost by catching a public bus which departs at Luong Yen or My Dinh stations in Hanoi, it takes 4 hours to arrive in Halong city. You can have a bit of comfort and convenience by renting a private car at the cost 75 usd one way. If you are going to do a private tour with family we recommend that you arrange a private car as you will be picked up at hotel at the start of your trip.

Tours in Halong: Arriving in Halong city around noon you can have lunch at one of the restaurants near the wharf, price is reasonable and you can order from the menu. In the early afternoon walk to the tourist port and rent a boat to visit the bay, note that you have to pay entrance fees separately, cost for a private charter boat is 80 – 120 usd for a 4 or 6 hour cruise, in summertime May to August price is probably higher.

There are 2 types of tickets to visit Halong Bay are day trip tickets for a cruise in 4 hours and 6 hours. The 4-hour ticket allows you to visit Heavenly cave, Dau Go grotto, Fighting cocks islet, and cruise around near the shore. For 6-hour ticket you can visit further places such as Amazing Cave, Titop island…

For those who take 2 day tour staying on board the cruise you will have more activities. There are many tour company offering private charter cruise with full service such as Paloma cruise, Helios cruise, Victory Star cruise. Spending the night on the bay is really a nice experience although price is much higher than the hotel stay.

Cruise itinerary Typical itinerary for the 2 day private Halong cruise is after arrving at the port you will check in the cruise, lunch will be served on board as the ship is cruising. About 3pm passengers will visit Amazing cave, spending about 1 hour in the cave and then continue the cruise to Titop island beach for swimming, towards the end of the day you will be taken to a deserted place for kayaking. The second day will start with a taichi excercise on the sundeck, after breakfast the ship will sail to Bai Tu Long bay that is a more wild and untouched area where you can visit Luon cave by rowing boat, stop and visit a floating village and other beautiful sites such as Stone dog islet, Swan islet…you will return to the port in another way, the last meal will be served on the way back. About 11.30 you will arrive at the dock. For the 3 day trip passengers will spend the whole 2nd day kayaking, rock climbing or other activities, some cruises will combine Cat Ba island in the package.

Charter rates for private cruise: – Standard cruise, 2 floors, capacity 48 people: 15 usd/hour – Superior cruise, 2 foors: 25 usd/hour – Deluxe cruise, 2 floors with air-conditioner: 36 usd/hour

Entrance fees to tourists sites in Halong bay From 2014 entrance fees to visit Halong bay have increased, In general sightseeing tickets to Halong Bay in the day time from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm is 6 usd, not including entrance fees to islands, caves… Entrance fee to one of the attractions that was invested by the state: Soi Sim island, Ti-top beach, Cua Van floating village…ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 usd/person. Fares fore passengers staying one night and visit Halong Bay is 16 usd, two nights is 23 usd. Children from 7 to 15 years old, elderly people aged 70 or older, poor people, people with disabilities will pay decreased 50%, children under 7 years old will be exempted from entrance fees.



Natural beauty of Halong Bay

With its spectacular archipelago of islands towering out of misty water, Halong Bay takes the breath away with its mysterious yet enchanting beauty. These 3,000 naturally-formed limestone pillars, known as karst, are what make Halong Bay a unique place not found anywhere else in the world, and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1994. Here, you can explore a landscape of fascinating caves, arches and lakes, filled with rare wildlife, Halong bay boat trips

Cruise in Halong bay

Cruise in Halong bay

Karst are not unique in Asia, as these limestone towers are also found in Thailand’s Krabi island and China’s Guilin region. But Vietnam’s Halong Bay leaves other karst formations in the dust, as the islets here fill the entire bay as far as the eye can see, almost like a civilisation that has been drowned by the ocean. Some of these islands are also so large that they have lakes, beaches and forests filled with animals.

Located in Northeastern Vietnam, Halong Bay is 165 kilometers from Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, and forms a part of the Gulf of Tonkin. It is possible to arrive by land via Halong City, but the best way to come is actually by boat from Hanoi, which also offers lovely sea views on the way and the opportunity to spend a night sleeping on a boat. International cruises also frequently come this way, bringing visitors to shore to visit the islands. Halong bay beaches

With its mild tropical climate, Halong Bay is a great place to visit at any time all year round. It does have a winter season, but temperatures typically hardly ever dip below 10°C, usually staying between the range of 15°C to 25°C. Frequent rainfall in the months of February, March and April mean that the air in the bay will feel moist but cool, and a romantic fog will fall over the water, shrouding the islands in its distinctive mist. In the hotter months, visitors should expect sudden thunderstorms, which can affect cruises and water activities depending on severity.

It is unlikely today to see any dragons in Halong Bay, but the bay is a place full of biodiversity. The islands and coastline are covered with beautiful rainforests where wildlife lovers can spot many species of colorful birds and amphibians. Underwater, it is a marine paradise of corals and many endangered species of fish and marine animals, including the dugong.

Unfortunately, the natural wealth and beauty of Halong Bay has also made it a target for those who wish to exploit its resources. Today, it is in danger of losing much of its magnificent aura due to the pressure of overfishing and hunting in the area. Game hunters are fast reducing the populations of rare animals, while many precious coral and shells in the sea are being ripped out to turn into souvenirs and trinkets for tourists.

Halong bay cruises – The government has tried to put a stop to this by creating national parks and reserves to protect the bay, but visitors can play a part by rejecting wasteful exploitation and embracing a more environmentally-friendly form of eco-tourism. Only then can they ensure that the beautiful Halong Bay will remain a treasure that can be kept for future generations to come.


Unforgettable Halong Bay trip

If you have booked a trip to Halong Bay or are seriously considering visiting this amazing place, I have to congratulate you. You have made an excellent choice. Put simply, it is a feast for the senses. If you have ever wanted to visit a place that engages on you on many different levels-intellectually, visually, audibly, among many others, you couldn’t have picked a better place. Halong Bay offers a majestic coastline that features many islands that seem to float off the water. The coastline also has great sand you can talk about for months after your trip. There are also sleepy coastal fishing villages that harken back to a long-lost era. All these sights, sounds, smells, and touch add up to a distinctly ethereal out of this world adventure. This isn’t your typical sun, surf, and sand water adventure. No. It goes much deeper and further. Halong cruises is like peering into one’s psyche-traces of the past, hints of the future, and a heaping dose of the unfolding mysteries of the present all rolled up into one exploration you won’t soon forget. If you want a truly luxurious Halong Bay stay, follow the tips below. Halong bay trip from Hanoi

Luxury as simplicity

Halong travel

Halong travel

There are many ways to define ‘luxury.’ Indeed, the number of definitions seem to only depend on the number of people doing the defining. Still, the vast majority of definitions cluster around the idea of excess. There is this creeping idea that for something to be luxurious, it has to be more. Halong Bay turns this idea on its head. Real luxury is not about heaping servings or chewing on more than you can swallow or swimming in excess, Halong Bay’s luxury is more Buddhist in nature. The old Zen maxim of ‘less is more,’ is definitely in play when it comes to Halong Bay caves. There is a certain richness you can’t find elsewhere in viewing mist roll in through Halong Bay and slowly swallow the tops of islands as you sit on the shore. There is an unmistakable sense of affluence that emanates from trekking up the side of a mountain and gazing down into a sea of green dotted by tall limestone islands. Luxury, is all about simplicity not excess. Real beauty, like that of a woman, doesn’t come from the rich gold, sapphire, emerald, and jade baubles she’s wearing. Real beauty comes from her imperfections-quirky smile, off kilter looks, awkward laugh. Enjoying Halong Bay and truly tapping into its very essence is the height of luxury. There is no need to prove anything to anyone at anytime. Things just are. And that is what is so beautiful and so rare about this place. It is as if nature itself gave the world a rare gift that few people have bothered to find out about.

The value of fragile memory
There is a fragile quality to Halong Bay. From its views to the experiences it provides. One second, you are climbing up a hill to see a better view of the coast. The next second, mist, rain, or something else happens and the view has changed. You are forced to live for the moment, and that is the true beauty. It offers a magical snapshot into your very being-one second at a time.