Exceptional natural site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay has always been the dream for travelers. Give in to the temptation of a cruise to discover the largest marine karst in the world, considered one of the seven wonders of nature. It is the showcase of what Vietnam has to offer in terms of natural landscape.
Covering 43 thousand hectares, Halong Bay is the largest marine karst in the world. A geological landform shaped over millions of years and today offers 1,969 limestone karst islands and submerged rocky peaks. Halong Bay is a site of high beauty, sculpted by nature over geological periods that you will never tired of contemplating.
There are several popular legends surrounding the creation of Halong Bay. One of them says that once upon a time, a dragon "as big as the world and as high as the sky" lived in the waters of Halong Bay. It was so big that when it spread out, "its body supported all the land of Annam, its heart was in Hue and its limbs stretched between the north and south deltas". This mythical dragon is said to have helped the Vietnamese defend themselves against the invaders. During a battle, the dragon would not have spat fire, but pearls that would have turned into islands.
Halong, Lan Ha or Bai Tu Long, which berries to choose?
Under the generic term of Halong Bay, we must in fact distinguish three bays that make up the largest marine karst park in the world: Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.
- Halong Bay is the most famous of these three bays, an unmissable national touristic site that has become one of Vietnam's great emblems. Halong Bay captivates by the exceptional beauty of its limestone landscapes, rising up from an emerald sea. Climb to the top of the Titov rocky peak to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of this unique landscape.
- Lan Ha Bay, which is close to Halong and less touristy, is narrower, more compact and is characterized by its concentration of floating fishing villages, karst islands and islets with surprising jungle-covered shapes.
- The bay of Bai Tu Long is the furthest from the coast and is therefore the least frequented of the three. Going to Bai Tu Long Bay will allow you to discover beautiful and still wild islands such as Quan Lan, Ban Sen or Co To.
Take a cruise in Halong Bay
A cruise is the flagship activity to discover the enchanting landscapes of Halong Bay and will remain an unforgettable souvenir of an unforgettable trip. If it is possible to take a day cruise from Hanoi, we warmly recommend you to take a 2-day cruise with one night aboard the boat in a private cabin. This 2-day option will allow you to sail deeper into the chosen bay and do some nice activities such as discovering caves, kayak rides, visiting floating fishing villages, swimming, cooking or taking tai chi lessons on the boat, squid fishing... Moreover, it is nothing more pleasant than watching the sunset and sunrise from the upper deck of the boat.
Choose your cruise in Halong Bay according to your budget and comfort wishes. A whole range of boats will satisfy all your cruising desires without any problem. If you are an already constituted group, think of reserving a private junk to enjoy your cruise in all intimacy.
For those who have time and wish to explore Halong Bay in greater depth, it is possible to take a 3-day cruise combining the discovery of several bays.
The wonderful island of Cat Ba
The island of Cat Ba is the largest of the eponymous archipelago made up of 367 islands and islets recognized as a biological reserve by UNESCO. Cat Ba Island can be the occasion of a nature and seaside holiday before or after a cruise in the surprising bays of Halong, Lan Ha or Bai Tu Long. Cat Ba Island shelters a natural national park extending over more than 16.000 ha, characterized by an extraordinary subtropical vegetation, habitat of 50 animal species including a rare species of endemic monkeys: the golden-headed langur. Climbing, cycling, walking, kayaking or boating will punctuate your stay in Cat Ba Island.
Halong Bay from the sky
To enjoy a unique and grandiose panorama, you can treat yourself with a seaplane flight over Halong Bay before or after your cruise. Great memories guaranteed!
What are the best times to discover Halong Bay?
It is preferable to visit Halong Bay in spring, summer and autumn even if sometimes in winter the bay offers superb landscapes when it is wrapped in mist scarves.
Be careful, when there are heavy rains or storms, cruises are usually cancelled by the local authorities for safety reasons.