2018 HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDE | CRUISES, ITINERARIES, BUDGET HOTELS
Ha Long Bay: Vietnam’s “Loch Ness” or an Archipelago of Superstition
The world is full of mythical creatures which gave people something to wonder. From the reptilian dinosaurs which have gone extinct, the elusive bipedal, humanoid figures of remote places, to other winged creatures of lore, there are several things that are still yet unknown.
But even the realms of bodies of water like the lake or sea are not without their own share of mythical creatures whose beliefs resonate even to this day, some of which gave birth to stories that still piques human curiosity.
You had probably heard of the legends about the cryptid of the Loch Ness lake in Scotland which was popularized as a creature of an elongated neck, similar to a Plesiosaur. In Vietnam, there had been a similar case of sighting to this elusive sea creature which thus gave rise to a body seawater being called “Ha Long” which literally translates as the “Bay of Descending Dragons.”
The story of how Ha Long came to be is not without its good foundations, however. There actually were some claims that an aquatic creature of unknown dwelled in this particular site in Vietnam, at least as per witness reports in 1898.
And, surprisingly, how it gained worldwide attention did not start from the locals but from foreign seafarers who had chanced an encounter with a creature described as a “huge sea snake.”
Although this backdrop of Ha Long makes for an interesting ploy to keep the bay a place of interest among thrill-seekers and curious travelers, the makeup of the archipelago makes up for what can no longer be seen.
WHAT IS IN HA LONG
As a group of inhabited and habited islands nestled in the coast 170 kilometers East of Hanoi, Ha Long is an archipelago known for its karst topography and community-sustaining land surfaces.
In places in this archipelago where people settled, there are abundance of trees as well as animals, both tended and naturally-existing, that flock the place. The two largest islands are Tuan Chau and Gad Bah.
Otherwise, the rest of the archipelago’s islands are merely protrusions of bodies of rock which are a sight to behold, especially to an unsuspecting traveler.
In total, this archipelago is consistent with 1,969 unique islands. Due to these islands’ overwhelming numbers, most of the islands’ names are derived based on their shape, typically following the word “Koh” which is a Khmer word for “island.”
While onlookers may find a certain part of the archipelago being visible from afar, adventurers find delight in getting up close and personal by seeing for themselves first-hand the many amazing caves that the archipelago possesses. Of these caves, the largest spelunk is in the island which was formerly known as Grotte des Island.
Although there is no denying that the travel to these group of islands is only possible by both, by it being offshore, the distance needed to travel across the archipelago’s different landmasses does not have to come from the mainland itself. There are actually some businesses that are taking place atop certain islands in this particular spot in the sea.
Halong Bay Cruise
Visiting Halong Bay will never be complete without going on a boat cruise. Engaging on a boat cruise will allow you to see some of the most beautiful Halong Bay’s Point of Interest. Taking a classic boat cruise will give so much convenience and comfort. You need not worry where to eat, where to go next including your accommodation of course.
In Halong Bay you will see mainly 3 types of Boat Cruise as follows:
2 Day and 1 Night cruises (2D1N)
3 Day and 2 Nights cruises (3D2N)
4 Day and 3 Nights cruises (4D3N)
There are cruises which would last only for a day with no overnight stay departing from Hanoi, Halong City or Cat Ba. But of course, you will be missing the night experience on the boat and seeing the beauty of the place early in the morning.
Many tourists would opt for the 2-days and 1-night cruise option. It is not too long and definitely not too expensive.
But for longer boat cruise option, more exciting activities can be experienced, for they usually bring guests to some places via a small boat and would return to the main boat towards the evening.
Halong Bay Cruises itineraries
In choosing your cruise boats and itineraries, make sure to double check what is included in the package to avoid disappointments. Such as activities, food, transfer, etc.
Halong Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay
if you want a more off the beaten path, you may opt for the Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. This itinerary is a combination of the best of Halong Bay couple with some remote areas in Bai Tu Long Bay.
This itinerary is the most popular amongst the tourist, but you should expect that this is the most crowded too.
La Han Bay & Cat Ba island
A few cruise boats offer an option of sleeping a night in a resort in Cat Ba.
Book your Halong Bay Boat Cruise
To book, just click on the name of the Boat Crusie and it will bring you to the booking site.
Alisa Cruise Halong
No.16, Tuan Chau Island, Halong, Vietnam, 200000
Garden Bay Luxury Cruise
Hon Gai Tourist Wharf, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Halong Lavender Cruise II
Hon Gai Pier, Ha Long, Quang Ninh, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Halong Silversea Cruise
Tuan Chau Tourist Wharf, Tuan Chau Island, Halong, Vietnam
Viola Cruise Halong Bay
Hon Gai Pier, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam, 8433
White Dolphin Charter Cruise
6A Le Thanh Tong, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
How to Get to Halong Bay
You can reach Halong Bay from Hanoi by Bus. The distance is 160 km which would take around 3.5 hours travel time. Travel time from the bus station to Halong Bay would take approximately 15 minutes only.
List of Hotels in Halong Bay
Budget Hotels are included in this list as well as the big discounts that they offer. To book a room, just click on the link (name of the Hotels) and it will bring you to the booking site.
City Bay Hotel
156B Le Thanh Tong, Bach Dang Ward, Hon Gai, Ha Long, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
City Bay Palace Hotel
156 Le Thanh Tong Str, Bach Dang, Ha Long, Quang Ninh, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Halong Park Hotel
group 65, zone 5, Bach Dang ward, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam, 0333
Ha Long DC Hotel
No 08, Road 25/4, Hong Gai, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
81 Vuon Dao, Bai Chay, Ha Long, Quang Ninh, Halong, Halong, Vietnam
IRIS HOTEL HALONG
86 Tiên Ông, Bai Chay ward, Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, Halong, Halong, Vietnam, 200000
GREEN CAPITAL HOTEL
No. 38 Hai Truong Street, Hong Hai ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Kocmoc Ha Long Hotel
40 Hoang Dieu Street, Group 8, Zone 2, Hong Hai, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Royal Villas Halong
Bai Chay Road, Halong, Halong, Vietnam, 200000
Son Ha Hotel
27 Dong Ho, Hong Hai, Ha Long, Quang Ninh, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Thuy Duong Ha Long Hotel
20 Halong Road, Halong, Halong, Vietnam
Thuy Nga Hotel Halong
No. 11 Cây Tháp, Hong Gai Ward, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
The Light Hotel Halong
108A Vuon Dao Street, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Halong, Vietnam, 8433
Viet Thanh Hotel
No. 7, Alley 2, Block 31, Nha Hat Street, Bach Dang Ward, Hon Gai Port, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
Zostay Halong Backpackers
7/19 Gieng Don, Tran Hung Dao, Hon Gai Port, Halong, Vietnam
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