Some ideas to help visitors get the most out of cheap Halong bay cruises

Cruise Halong bay

Cruise Halong bay

When cheap Halong bay cruises in Vietnam is mentioned travelers would think of boat cruises sliding among limestone karsts. While most travelers associate Halong Bay with water activities, there are many other experiences that can be enjoyed during a trip on the bay. Not only will visitors be able to swim, canoe and kayak in the water, but they will also be able to hike, walk and tour different islands. Here are some ideas to help you get the most out of your hiking expeditions.

Where to Go
There are many places where you can enjoy lengthy treks and invigorating hikes around cheap Halong Bay cruises. Many of the islands are perfect for sightseeing on foot, and they offer beautiful views of forests, wildlife and the bay. One of the most popular places for hiking or backpacking is Cat Ba Island. This island has the National Park that is famous for its wildlife and flora, and many visitors can spend a day or more exploring it. Ban Sen Island is another popular stop for hikers and has an amazing view.

What to Expect
In some cases, you will be allowed to explore the area on your own. In other cases, you will need to take a guided tour. This is especially true if you want to take a jungle tour of Cat Ba Island. There are both short and long tours available, so you will need to schedule yours according to your tour group’s itinerary. The longer tour can take as long as six hours, so this tour is best if your tour of Halong Bay stretches across multiple days.

What to Take
Wear hiking boots for your trek across the islands. Their no skid soles are also good for keeping your footing on slippery boat decks. Take a patch of moleskin to add to your shoes if blisters start to form. Keep a backpack full of snacks, water, bug repellent and a camera. You will want to capture all of the beautiful sights as you hike, and a waterproof camera will do double duty on the island and in the water. You should also wear layers of clothing so that you can remove or add clothing as necessary. A first aid kit is also handy for any scrapes or cuts that you get as you hike.

A cruise on Halong Bay will offer you a great view of all of the beautiful islands and mountains in the area, but you won’t be limited to swimming and cave adventures. Broaden your horizons by scheduling a hiking expedition into your schedule, and you will get to see even more of what makes Halong Bay such a wonderful travel destination.


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.


Halong bay in north Vietnam

Halong overview

Halong overview

The north of Vietnam offers many different superb holiday destinations as well as many different types of holiday. Halong bay overnight cruises The country’s capital city, Hanoi, is of course in the north and is an excellent choice for anyone interested in Asian cities. It’s architecture is amazing with many delightful French colonial buildings blending perfectly with the older Eastern architecture and the modern glass towers. The Old Quarter here is a wonderful place to spend time. Bohemian by nature its many art-house style coffee shops, bars and restaurants are fascinating to visit. This part of town is becoming recognised as the artistic capital of Southeast Asia with many galleries and art collectives now finding permanent residence in the city.

Sapa of course is easily attainable from Hanoi. The overnight train drops travelers off in the early morning ready for a fleet of minibuses to shepherd them into the hilltop town. From here trekkers head out in voyages of discovery into the exquisite surrounding countryside. Hill side rice terraces form a wonderful backdrop to any walking holiday here. Many choose to climb Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest peak. The mountains here are actually the southern most part of the Himalayas.

Islands in Halong bay All of these superb destinations are among the biggest tourist attractions in the country. It would take something very special indeed to top them. That they are topped, is testament to one of the greatest holiday experiences in the world. Halong Bay, is quite simply, heaven on Earth. Five hundred million years in the making, this six hundred square mile paradise is home to an abundance of rare flora and fauna, some of the greatest scenery imaginable and people who have lived their lives in much the same way, for centuries.

Halong Bay has won just about every accolade that is available to it. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also one of the “Seven Wonders of Nature” voted for in a global poll. The most popular and by far the best way to see the bay, is to book a cruise on one of the many cruise boats that ply their trade in the area. These are of an exceptionally high standard and offer comfort to the standard of four or five start hotels. Sipping a cocktail on the top deck off one of these vessels, whilst watching the sun bid farewell to the day, in Halong Bay, has to be one of life’s great experiences.

The bay has almost two thousands islands, most are no more than limestone karst formations that jut imperiously out of the water and tower above the boats. Many cannot be landed, but those that can offer delightful beaches, magnificent views and mysterious caves. The cruise companies offer holiday makers the choice of either 5 star total relaxation or adventure on a grand scale. Many choose to go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing, trekking, fishing or all of the aforementioned. Late night beach barbecues and party boats are also very popular.