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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.

3/28/2013

Beyond expectation service

We booked a Halong Bay 2 day/1 night on Indochina Sails and it was the highlight of our trip in Vietnam. Everything was smooth from the beginning to the end. 

Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are so wonderful in its nature. The boat was spacious and nicely decorated. Our cabin has a very big window with a view of the water and the islands so we could lie in bed enjoying the bay view outside.

The staff couldn’t be faulted in any way; they were very helpful and professional. The food was plenty and really, really excellent (the buffet dinner with a lot of seafood – yummy!). We had the best meals there during our trip in Vietnam. Our two boys looked bigger than they used to be after coming back from Halong Bay – they couldn’t stop eating!!! Can’t say enough how good the food was.

We did love to do kayaking which allowed us to go to quiet areas in the bay. After kayaking, we lay ourselves on the sundeck to admire the beauty of Halong Bay. Luckily, it was sunny the entire time we were in Halong Bay so we took a lot of beautiful pictures. The Amazing Cave is a nice place to visit but only if there had been fewer people. I didn’t try the Tai Chi exercise in the early morning and really regret for missing it (we slept so well on our comfortable bed that we slept through it).

It’s a long way from Halong Bay back to Hanoi, however, our driver did a good job so we were comfortable and we could sleep as well.

As it is our family trip with our two boys, the most important thing for us is making sure we are taken good care of in Vietnam by a company with a high reputation. We would pay more to have an enjoyable trip. Surprisingly, we had a very good price quote.

Excellent cruise made it an excellent trip. We highly recommend to use Indochina Sail and we are sure that you’ll get more than what you expected.

Source: Tripadvisor
Supported by Indochina Sails - The most luxury and safest cruises in Halong Bay
Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150

3/26/2013

Bai Tu Long National Park: A national treasure

The Bai Tu Long National Park Located in the northern province of Quang Ninh, Bai Tu Long comprises 40 islands, either earth or limestone, scattering across three communes, Ha Long, Van Yen and Minh Chau of Van Dong district.
The bay covers a total area of 15,783 hectares, including 6,125 hectares of land, and is home to 1,090 species of fauna and flora. The park is considered a priceless national treasure.

According to Associate Professor Dr. Bui Tat Thang from the Strategic Development Institute of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Bai Tu Long includes all three fundamental ecosystems: forest, wetlands and sea – a diverse area for different species to live and develop.


In the park, 102 rare and precious species, including 72 species of fauna and 30 varieties of flora listed in Vietnam ’s red book of endangered species can be found.

The park also has 1,000 hectares of wetlands, which includes mangrove forest, sandy and rocky tidal banks and seaweed that provide food and shelter for animals.

The wetlands ecosystem, with its impressive scenery and biodiversity, has attracted many eco-tourism, environmental education and research activities.

The area of coral accounts for only a minor section of the park, but has an important role to play as an aquatic resource. It has high biological productivity and is a gene bank for many types of sea species.

Besides the extremely diverse biological environment, the park also has archeological value, with evidence of ancient Viet people residing here 14,000 years ago.

Operational since April, 2002, Bai Tu Long National Park is a stunning tourism spot with a rich ecosystem, therefore it should receive sustainable protection, conservation and development.

3/15/2013

Sailing Halong Bay


In my hometown of Vancouver, we take topography for granted; we’re spoiled by scenery. Moving to Bangkok, your perspective changes; scenery morphs into concrete. Traveling out of Bangkok reminds you how much you miss a “nice view”. Traveling to Ha Long Bay reminds you that you have no idea what a “nice view” really is.

Vietnam is blessed with scenery that is staggering. Yes, Hanoi is tangled with traffic, incessant honking, sealed beneath a constant haze and a muggy sweat. But that disappears as you travel north across the Red River towards Ha Long. Hills begin to roll; jungles engulf you until the reveal of limestone karsts in Vietnam’s most prized UNESCO heritage site.

Ha Long translates roughly to “descending dragon”. Locals used the term to describe what they thought they saw floating off shore, out in the bay. There, hundreds of towering islands rise from the South China Sea. Partially hidden in the mist they resemble the humps of a sea monster floating in the bay.

We booked our trip through Indochina Sails, opting for the deluxe cabin. I was skeptical, keeping hopes low to combat disappointment that was sure to follow taking a cruise. I have to admit we would have never considered ourselves “cruise people”.

Before moving to Southeast Asia I assumed “Chinese Junk” was just the leftover containers from last night’s Kung Pao, not the beautiful wooden boats restored to navigate through emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay. Gorgeous, rich, dark teak with gold accents surrounded us as we walked into our deluxe room. Small? Not at all. Our room was large with a plush comfortable queen bed (unusual for Southeast Asia) and included a stunning marble en-suite. Our bags were waiting for us on our bed, which we promptly ignored and climbed up on the top deck as we cruised into the midst towards the mouth of the dragon.

Sails down, the ship chugged silently through the haze towards limestone dragon tails. There were 14 other cabins on our boat and 25 fellow travelers – the perfect amount to feel alone and part of a group at all times. The Vietnamese staff were friendly and hardworking aboard a Chinese made ship piloted by a captain from, of course, New York. He left his job in the city to travel through Southeast Asia, landing in Vietnam, never leaving. Floating in the bay, we understood why.

Lunch was served shortly after departing. A mix of American and Vietnamese to choose from, served a la carte. A glass of wine with good food, was a perfect way to cruise towards our first stop; Luon Cave (aka the bat cave). The ship dropped anchor as we dropped into kayaks and paddled towards the cave.

Gliding silently in individual kayaks through the cave without being accosted by any bats, we could hear them up in the dark. Through the cave we continued following our guide next to the jungle walls. He brought us to another cave and warned those who didn’t do well with tight spaces (aka me) should consider waiting.

I looked to my wife for a way out, of which she gave none and we continued into the darkness. At one point in the cave, I had to lean as far back in the kayak as I could to navigate the dark. I fought the urge to panic as I my nose scraped the dark rock above me and continued towards the light.

We emerged from the cave into a lagoon of glowing green water surrounded by walls of silent verdant jungle, save for the occasional monkey or bird call. We sat there and took it in for as long as we could. The guide noted the tide was rising and that tight cave we just came through was getting tighter. You didn’t have to tell me twice.

Back on the ship we sailed to our next stop; Titop Island. The island is a favorite amongst Chinese and Vietnamese tourists. Its small sand beach was packed with families splashing in the water. We passed on the beach and climbed the stairs to the top of the island to get a clear view of where exactly we were and received new appreciation for just how beautiful the area was. Hundreds of limestone atolls standing in stoic silence as those beautiful wooden boats drifted in and out of view.

We re-boarded and sailed towards our anchoring spot for the night. There was wine tasting and barbecue on the top deck for those that wanted and a huge buffet in the galley for those who didn’t. We sat on the deck sipping wine and taking in all of the scenery before we headed to our cabin. Eventually we fell asleep looking out the window at the water that glowed a neon green beneath our boat, lit by the floodlights of our ship.

If you don’t know, coffee in Vietnam is ridiculous (a remnant of its Colonial French history). But coffee on the deck of a gorgeous boat floating in Ha Long Bay first thing in the morning is existential. We could’ve done Tai Chi, we could’ve hiked to a nearby cave, we could’ve bartered with locals of the nearby floating village, in the end we chose to sit and sip coffee, relax and read a book in the morning steam of the bay.

All too soon, we were making the 2-hour cruise back to port while we ate breakfast. We wished we had done the 2-night cruise instead of the one, we wish we could say the kayaking was the best part, we wish we could remember the names of everyone we met, but our minds are lost in that morning sipping coffee surrounded by dragon tails without a care in the world, amongst some of the most amazing topography on earth.

By Scott Holmes
Source: From the Deck Chair
Supported by Indochina Sails - The most luxury and safest cruises in Halong Bay
INDOCHINA SAILS
Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150

3/06/2013

Indochina Sails Recommends Tips for Female Travellers When Stay in Vietnam


The International Women's Day is coming soon. On this occasion, Indochina Sails - the most luxury cruise & safest in Halong Bay sending to all women over the world love and wishes your day is as unique and special as you are! 

Vietnam is a peaceful country and female travelers certainly do not face any particular safety issues. Yet, it should be noted that women in other countries, especially in the West, enjoy so many freedoms, some are just in dreams of Vietnamese girls. Indochina Sails would like to suggest some simple tips to women travelers should  follow to ensure their safe and fantastic trips in Vietnam. 


# 1

When it comes to clothing, it is advisable to follow the local way of dressing. Vietnamese people do not dress traditionally or religiously in their daily life, so you do not have to worry about putting on something exotic or awkward. However, Vietnamese women, especially those in the countryside, dress quite conservatively and modestly and tourists should try to do the same. Accordingly, leaving your showy stuffs home would certainly help you to integrate more easily into the community. Besides, when visiting holy places and national monuments, you should avoid wearing shorts and tatty beer T-shirts, even in hot days.

# 2

Female solo travelers are likely to become prey for pick pockets, bag snatchers and frauds. Petty crime is becoming less common in Vietnam, mainly taking place in crowded areas such as markets, bus stops, rails station and no-go areas although most vacation spots in Vietnam are considered as safe places for traveler. Yet, basic precaution should be undertaken. It is necessary to pay attention to your luggage and other bags at all times. One of the best ways to work the issue out could be considering staying at higher end hotels and always leaving your valuables and your essential things such as your passports, your visa and your credit cards in the hotels and avoid bringing too much money with you when going out. 


# 3

If travelling alone, you are likely to be bombarded with questions about your marital status, your home, your family or in brief, your personal life. Expect curious look if you are over thirty and still single or you have been married for 3 years without a kid. It could be a bit annoying to you after a while, but take it easy as it is just part of Eastern culture. Otherwise, in order to end those conversations before they go too far, you could wear a wedding band or tell a lie about a made-up husband, if you want to avoid flirts - which are rather uncommon in Vietnam.

# 4

Friends in Vietnam do not hug or kiss each other as greetings. Therefore, to not create any misunderstanding for your local male friends, it is wise to not show any kind of close manners like that. As a solo traveler, surely you should leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted friend or relative and keep in touch with them at regular intervals.
Be alert and aware and sensitive of your surroundings, surely you will enjoy your vacation in Vietnam.

Supported by Indochina Sails - The most luxury and safest cruises in Halong Bay
INDOCHINA SAILS
Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150

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