Updated: Apr 28
HALONG BAY is a popular travel destination in Northern Vietnam. It is located about 170 km from the capital of Hanoi and is a must-visit place if you are in the northern parts of Vietnam. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Halong Bay has an area of around 1553 sq.km and offers amazing natural beauty with 1960 - 2000 islets, most of which are limestone. A community of around 1600 people live on floating houses in four fishing villages.
The most popular way to see Halong Bay is by boarding a cruise ship for a delightful overnight sail throughout the islets or booking a half-day cruise only. You can find different companies on the internet doing the cruise. I was with Bhaya cruises. Bhaya cruise ship has comfortable, oriental-designed cabins with large windows and en-suite bathrooms. In nice weather, you can relax on deck with a cocktail and witness spectacular sunsets and dawns over the bay. You will also have the opportunity to kayak (or boat) in the emerald green sea and pass by the floating fish villages. You may also join a cooking demonstration of Vietnamese traditional cuisine or a Tai Chi class early in the morning. The cruise excursion also includes a visit to the Cave of surprises, a huge cave that consists of three parts with beautiful colorful lighting inside. Climbing to the peak of Ti Top island from where in clear weather gorgeous panoramic views are revealed, is also included in the excursion. The island has a wonderful small beach where you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
The climate in the area of Halong Bay is quite humid. The periods September – November and March-May are considered the dry season, but it's also the peak season when you can expect to be a lot more crowded with tourists. I visited Halong Bay in the month of March when it was very misty, foggy and humid with temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius.