It is no secret that Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay is absolutely spectacular. But it’s still worth saying: Ha Long Bay is absolutely spectacular! According to ancient Vietnamese legend, the islands come from pearls dropped there by the mother dragon during a battle, to protect the Vietnamese people. The enemy vessels crashed into these islands and the local people were saved. Ha Long actually means “descending dragon”.
It’s no wonder people from all over the globe flock to this UNESCO Heritage Site. Experiencing its magic while relaxing on a boat is like something out of a dream.
The bay’s popularity means that your boat will be amongst hundreds of others sailing around to witness the natural beauty. But that doesn’t necessarily take away the wonder of this place: Around two thousand tree-topped limestone islands rising majestically out of green waters. Indeed, everywhere you look will be worthy of a photo.
Depending on your tour, you’ll be able to do some amazing things. Visiting Ha Long Bay’s largest cave to check out how drips of water develops limestone pillars over millions of years. Or kayaking into secret spots through caves made from waves eroding the islands over the years. If you’re lucky, you might see some monkeys! You can also relax on the beach, trek to the top of an island for a great view, jump off the boat for a refreshing swim or go squid fishing! And you’ll be served your meals, which should be included, on the boat. All of this with the most amazing backdrop.
And it’s an important place for Vietnamese people. The influx of tourism provides loads of jobs plus there are several fishing villages where people live and work around the bay.
So if you’re in Vietnam, it’s an absolute must do. It can be pricey, yes, but you’ll kick yourself later if you skip it. And it’s pretty easy to get there. Every man, woman and cat in Hanoi will try to sell you a tour which range from dirt cheap to luxurious. Saving money is tempting but keep in mind, you get what you pay for. You can do a day trip or spend a night or two on the boat or an island. So be sure to do some research and pick one that works for you.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
All year. But October to March can get cold. April to September is warm but rainy season is May to August.
What you need to know:
The area gets the highest yearly rainfall in the country and most of that happens in rainy season.