Halong Bay The “Descending Dragon”

So, you’re thinking about traveling to Halong Bay? Why would you want to go and do a thing like that? I mean, sure, it’s considered one of the natural wonder’s of the world, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site, and it’s filled with stunning limestone karsts, pristine ocean views, unique cultures, and an incredible range of things to see and do. But why would anyone want to go to Halong Bay?

You might want to go to Halong Bay because it’s stunningly beautiful. With over 2000 islands jutting out of the emerald waters of the sea in an other-worldly display of incredible creation, it is a truly unparalleled experience. It was listed as one of the Natural Wonder’s of the World in 2012, but has been in the making for thousands of years.


Maybe you want to go to Halong Bay for the cruises aboard traditional ‘junks.’ (Hang on, don’t let the name throw you– these boats are anything but junk!). There are boats for every budget, from backpacker junks to luxury junks, these cruise ships will take you drifting out onto the sea to explore Halong Bay up close. You’ve got options depending on your schedule, whether you want to go for just a day, 2 days and a night, or the big trip of 3 days and 2 nights. The shorter the trip, the less you’ll be able to see and do in Halong Bay. You really should go for at least 2 days if you can (it’s the most popular option), but if you’ve just got a day, then go and make the most of it! It’s always worth the trip, no matter how long you’ve got to spend. For the 3 day trip expect to get out into the more untouched areas of the bay for the most authentic experience.


Or I suppose you might want to go to Halong Bay because of all the fun and exciting things to do. Taichi on the deck in the early morning mist, kayaking through coves and caves with ocean life teeming around you, rock-climbing the craggy karsts, pampering spa treatments to completely relax, or simply watching the sun rise and set as you cruise through the bay. There is such a wide range of activities for you to do in Halong Bay, no matter what your reasons for traveling may be. Whether you’re an adventurer, a family with kids, a honeymooner, or someone looking for peace and tranquility– there’s no running out of options in Halong Bay.

I guess you might go to Halong Bay because there are so many different places to see. The floating villages of Vung Vieng, Cua Van, and Cong Dam, offer a rare glimpse into the life of traditional Vietnamese fishermen living in a tiny ocean-surrounded town, and are always a highlight of the cruises in Halong Bay. Take a ride in a little sampan, meet the locals and see their crafts, visit a local school, and have a taste of a life vastly different from your own. The inhabitants of these floating villages have been there for generation upon generation, surviving off of the sea and its many whims, and drifting with the tides.
Then there are the winding caves to explore, where myths of Halong Bay’s ancient past are still alive and well, written into the stony walls. Thien Cung Cave is known for the stories that surround its mythical past. Dau Go Cave is the ‘Cave of Wonders,’ named for the variety and color of its many stalactites and stalagmites. You can also explore Sung Sot cave, which is considered the most naturally beautiful of the Halong Bay caves, with leafy jungle foliage all around and wide open expanses within its ancient halls.
You could also always head to a white sand beach, if that’s more your style. Spread out in the sunshine and listen to the surf, swim into the emerald expanse of the sea, or enjoy a dinner of fresh seafood on the shore. At Ti Top beach you’ll find a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, crystal waters and friendly beach bar. Soi Sim beach offers shallow shores perfect for floating away, and nearby hiking to amazing panoramic views of the bay. And then you still have the many islands of the bay to visit, like Monkey Island, where you can go climb a mountain trail, wander incredible landscapes, spot some of the last wild langur in the world, or swim in rushing waterfalls. Each stop of the cruise will bring you somewhere new and different for you to experience and enjoy.
Alright, so there maybe a few reasons to visit Halong Bay. But then, how do you ever choose which cruise to take? There are so many choices, and each line offers their own special spin on this amazing place. Pelican Cruises, for example, are a newer cruise line that have an unmistakably colonial French flair. Glory Legend Cruises have a long running history of consistently excellent customer service, and are especially attuned to their guests’ needs. Paradise Peak Cruises is another newer line that focuses on luxury and relaxation. They’re a more exclusive line, and offer wonderful spa treatments so you can fully unwind. There’s also Paradise Luxury Cruises, who are a 5-star rated luxury line that takes a less traveled route from Tuan Chau Island. Each of their boats is uniquely designed, so you can choose the one that best fits your own travel style. And these are just a few examples of truly excellent cruise lines in Halong Bay. There are many more, so you can always find the cruise line best suited to you.
Halong Bay from Bai Tho Mountain perspective
When all is said and done, there are so many amazing reasons to go to Halong Bay. From exploration to relaxation, and from appreciation of the natural world and other cultures to going on your own special journey – there is a time, a budget, an activity, and an adventure for every traveler. No matter what your reasons are, expect to have an unforgettable experience in a truly unforgettable place. So, now the only question to really ask yourself is this – When will you be going to Halong Bay?


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