May 302013
 
Halong Bay, Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay was visually one of the highlights of my Vietnam trip. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring  1500-2000 islands and islets in various shapes and sizes, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay (also written as Halong Bay or Ha Long Bay) is located in the Gulf of Tonkin, in Quáng Ninh province, in northeastern Vietnam.

Annika profile - Halong Bay, Vietnam

Annika profile – Halong Bay, Vietnam

Kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam

We went kayaking while surrounded by breathtaking views in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay 1024x768 - Visit50

 

Halong Bay, Vietnam panorama

Ha Long Bay's limestone islands - Visit50.com

Lonely PlanetHalong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’. Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon that lived in the mountains. As it charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses. When it finally plunged into the sea, the area filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible. 

Jumping off the boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Jumping off the boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – so much fun! (more of these to come)

Vietnam - Halong Bay - view from the boatSeveral of the islands in Halong Bay are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish.

sunset in Halong Bay, Vietnam

sunset in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Sarah in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Sarah’s view from the boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, view from just outside a cave

my view from just outside a cave in Halong Bay

Halong Bay - Visit50.com

Halong Bay is magical!

Annika and Lisa in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Annika and Lisa – view from the boat in Halong Bay, Vietnam

It’s often compared favorably to Guilin in China (photos coming soon!) and Krabi in Thailand - Lonely Planet called Halong Bay in Vietnam even more spectacular. It’s beautiful, but not it’s certainly a “tourist trap” so there’s tradeoffs.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Where is Halong Bay?  Halong Bay, Vietnam, is 105 miles east of Hanoi, Vietnam’s largest city, and takes about 3 hours from Hanoi via bus.

Halong Bay, Vietnam - floating school in floating village

This is a floating school in Halong Bay’s floating village, Vietnam

Getting to Halong Bay:  Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam, and book a tour. This will be easily the best way to do it and comparatively it’ll be hassle free.  There’s a huge range in pricing and service – agents will promise the world and offer terrible service. Choosing a tour company.

Flying to Hanoi:  The closest airport is Noi Bai International Airport, 25 miles (40km) north of Hanoi. If you can’t get a direct flight, head to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, and then catch a connecting flight.

More info at wiki-travel

Halong Bay, Vietnam


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