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Discover Halong Bay - World Heritage of Vietnam

If Hanoi is the grand old dame of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City is the brash young floozy, then Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An are the alluring mistresses you encounter along the way.

How to find safe travel in Halong Bay

Having read the news about tourist boat sunk in Halong Bay, Vietnam some days ago, ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA would like to give out some advices about how to travel safely and enjoyably in Halong Bay.

Cruising Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay looked picturesque and was sunny and warm. Indochina sails, Ha Long bay , Vietnam We got up early today as we need to catch the bus for our trip to Ha Long Bay, about 3 hours west of Hanoi.

Kayaking and Cycling in a World Heritage Bay

Halong Bay is one of the most spectacular, and therefore heavily 'touristed' attractions in Vietnam. Kayak on Ha Long bay, Vietnam .

A Look into Beautiful Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site and it really deserves the designation. It is one of the most exciting unusual places I have been to in my life.


Daily life in the Halong Bay

The beauty of Halong Bay is not only famous for Vietnamese but also for people all around the world. Beside the different size limestone mountains and the unique ecological environment which attracts visitors, there is another beauty ofHalong which is not well-known, that is the picturesque daily life.

Halong Bay is acknowledged to be the natural heritage of the world and the topography heritage of the world by UNESCO. Halong Bay is also voted to be one of the 29 most beautiful bays by the Beautiful Bay Club since 2003. The amount of visitors to Halong Bay is about 6.2millions in 2011. The beauty of Halong is not necessary to talk about much, because it is proved by those numbers.

Visitors who come to Halong could not forget to come to the bay. Besides, there is a charming beauty painted by the people of this very bay.

People of Halong are also hard working, mild and quiet. People in here often live by fishing. When the tourism is not famous in Halong as currently, people often come out to the sea every morning and back in the afternoon with smile of full fish boat. Today, there could be so many other tourist services and the living standard of Halong people may be raised. However, there is a peaceful Halong outside in the fishing village.

There is the scene of the morning with fog and boats going out for fishing, joining in the floating boat, that creating a part of Tumult Sea. There is a mast with so many patch parts. There is an old woman sitting and chewing the betel, and the sound of the children calling each other to school.

What could be more real daily life than that? What could be nice and simple like that?

Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150
Email: info@indochinasails.com


Discovering Halong Bay by Kayaking

If you’re looking for a different and fun way to experience Halong Bay, I can assure you a kayak tour is the best way to go. Though notorious for being misty this time of the year, the scenery was incredibly dramatic as it created a mystical- almost magical type of environment with the limestone rock formations producing truly beautiful reflections on the water.

Seeing the other boats pass us with the rock formations in the background made for great photos ops and at times, it felt as if we were part of a scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The journey to our kayak destination took approximately 1.5 – 2 hours and guests had the opportunity to stay inside the junk boat or make use of the sundeck to enjoy the spectacular scenery in a truly tranquil environment. This route is a little more off the beaten track than the normal Halong Bay by Boat tour, but talk about destination immersion!

Once at anchor, the kayaks were brought to the boat and the brightly colored orange and yellow of the kayaks against the water and rock formations presented yet another great photo opportunity.
Once our lifejackets were snug and secure and we were sitting comfortably in our kayaks, our guide shared important paddle instructions with us before setting off for two hours of kayaking. The sense of peace and tranquility was simply overwhelming. You heard nothing but the soothing sounds of paddles gliding through water. Along the way, the local mountain monkey made an appearance – which only served to enhance the trip even more.

Once back on board, we were treated to a delicious seafood buffet of prawns, crab, calamari, spring rolls, fish with rice and cabbage as well as fruit for desert. Many guests then moved to the deck to rest on the loungers while the boat returned to the jetty.


The Beauty of Halong Bay

For generations of visitors arriving by sea in North Vietnam, the geological marvel known as Halong Bay has been their first introduction to this remarkable country. The weathered limestone Karst pillars can be seen at several locations across southern China and northern Vietnam, but Halong Bay is the only place where they emerge from the sea. The bay received its name –“Bay of the Descending Dragon” – from a mythical dragon – Long in Vietnamese- that was assigned by the gods to protect Vietnam from invaders, and it spat lumps of jade into the bay, which grew into islands to protect the coastline.

A Rocky Wonder

The 3000 limestone outcrops harbour a variety of species of flora and fauna. Over 200 species of fish and 450 species of molluscs call Halong Bay home, and the environment helps sustain a unique community of fishermen and their families. Halong bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its celebrated biodiversity is subject to several ecological studies. Lucky visitors might see some of the unique species, including the Horseshoe Crab (TachypleusGigas), a truly amazing living fossil which has not evolved significantly in 450 million years.

An Unforgettable Backdrop

Rising spectacularly from the mirror-like Gulf of Tonkin, these islands create an atmospheric backdrop for a cruise on a traditional junk, past the many small fishing villages, and mooring for dinner (locally caught) and prepared by on-board chefs. The tours can run for up to 3 days to allow visitors a chance to explore this remarkable environment. The Chinese-style junks are equipped with traditional boom sails and modern engines, and all have 5-star accommodation and cooking facilities. It is possible to purchase fish from the floating fish market and have it cooked for you on board.

Cave of Surprises

For a supplementary payment it is possible to rent a tandem kayak to allow visitors to explore the pillars more closely. The archipelago is full of caves and grottoes with amazing stalactites, many of which are big enough to explore on foot. Centuries of waves and tides have hollowed these caves out of the porous limestone. Sung Sot Cave, known as the Cave of Surprises, is by far the largest cave, and the most suitable for exploration.

A National Treasure

The fragile marine environment has led the Vietnamese government to set up a national park area in the south-west part of the archipelago, known as Cat Ba National Park. This is the home of one of the most critically endangered species of primate, the Cat Ba Langur. Visits are possible, and the limestone pillars of the Cat Ba National Park are best accessed with a guide, as an unfamiliar visitor may have difficulty locating the trails.

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