Vietnam – Halong Bay
So, finally…from all the pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Videos on Youtube…we’re finally here in person-infamous Halong Bay.
Although we knew the weather wasn’t gonna be perfect, due to our busy itinerary, it was our only shot. So, we bought the tickets at the local agency in Hanoi for 40€/person, kids under 110cm were free, so yeeeey for that ;). Included in the price was transport there and back, lunch, water, boat cruise and all entrance fees. So, all in all, quite a good deal.
It was raining in Hanoi when we left around 8AM and it took us 3 hours to get to a marina in Halong Bay. Here you can find all sorts of little cruise ships waiting for the tourists eager to see this Unesco World Heritage Site, which contains more than 3000 limestone islands of all shapes and sizes. The name “Halong Bay” roughly translates to “Bay of the rising dragon”. Usually, you can pick between two options-either 2 day tour or 1 day tour. We opted for the one day tour, because the weather was gonna be even worse the next day.
So, once we boarded our vessel, we had lunch and it took us around one hour, to get in between the first islands. It was quite windy and even rained for a minutes at a time-but, because it was windy, we had no fog…so there’s something good in a bad thing ;).
First thing we visited was “Hang Sung Sot” or The Surprise Cave. And we were quite surprised. It is magnificent. Great halls inside caves, full of nature-made pillars, stalactite and stalagmite formations everywhere, and it took us more than one hour to get accross. Worth seeing for sure. Next stop was “Hang Luon” or The Luon Cave. Here you go by kayak or a paddled boat inside an island through a cave. If it was wormer and sunny we would probably swim here, now we just made a circle around and went back to the boat. Last stop was Titop Island. It has a sandy beach, which must be really beautiful during the summer and an incredible viewpoint on top of the island. It takes you around 15 minutes up the stairs for an incredible views. It was incredible in our weather, I can only imagine how it looks like in a sunny weather.
If you come to Vietnam, you have to come and visit Halong Bay…it is really mind-blowing.