Halong Bay -Halong meaning “Descending Dragon”- is named after the thousands of island with bizarre rock formations and limestone cliffs that are within the Gulf of Tonkin, in the north shores of Vietnam. It is composed of more than 3000 islands of all shapes and forms, covered in green vegetation and protruding from the ocean’s surface.
If you are a nature lover, this place will enchant you with its many awe striking sites, and majestic natural composition.
Halong Bay has plenty of grottos created by the wind and the emerald water of the gulf; it is a beautiful example of the effect wind and water erosion has on the landscape.
Among the sculptured islands and rock formations, Halong Bay also hides many deserted tinny white sand beaches that you can visit by boat, stop and enjoy for a while. In these locations you’ll be surrounded by nothing but nature.
A wonderful aspect of Halong Bay is that it has so many islands and rock pillars that every turn comes up with a surprise: another astounding sculpture, a perfect archway through the mountains, a peaceful lagoon where you can Kayak and enjoy the scenery……
Another curiosity of Halong Bay is that, while sailing through it, you will occasionally come across floating fishing camps that are stationed in the middle of nowhere and are also an interesting site.
I was in Halong Bay during the rainy season, it fortunately didn’t rain but there was a lot of fog and the sun hid on and off behind the passing clouds. I reckon April would be a better month: no clouds, no fog; plus, when the sun shines and illuminates the Bay, it comes to glow in its entire colorful splendor.
I reserved my boat trip in the hotel I was staying in Hanoi and the service was very good. I had a cozy little cabin with a queen size bed and private bathroom in a wooden double decker old fashioned boat, with a windowed dining room from which you could appreciate the view and a deck to enjoy the fresh air; just perfect.
Cat Ba Island
The Boat Tour through Halong Bay includes an overnight stay in Cat Ba Island, the only populated island of them all. Cat Ba has a little town of about thirteen thousand plus inhabitants and nice long beaches, where you can swim, take nice walks, sit back and relax, or enjoy a sea side meal. But most importantly, Cat Ba Island is home to Cat Ba National Park, where hiking, trekking and/or biking are a pleasant way to explore the local flora and fauna.
Kayaking Halong Bay
Trekking Cat Ba National Park and Kayaking Lan Ha Bay & Halong Bay