HALONG BAY INFORMATION
Imagine 199 or more islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and you have a vision of breataking beauty. Halong translates as “ where the dragon descends into the sea”, and legend claims the islands of Halong bay were created by a great dragon from 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.
Designated a World Heritage site in 1994, this mystical landcape of limestone islets is often compared to Guilin in China or Krabi in southern Thailand. In reality, Halong Bay is more spectacular. The bay’s immense number of islands are dotted with wind and wave-eroded grottoes, and their sparsely for ested slopes ring with birdsong.
Beyond a boat cruise, visitors to Halong also come to explore the caves . theere are few real beaches in Halong bay, but Lan Ha Bay has idyllic sandy cives a chort boat hop from Cat Ba town.
HALONG BAY’S VERY OWN LOCH NESS MONSTER - HALONG BAY HISTORY
The dragon that gave bird to Halong Bay may be legend. But sailors have often reported sightings of a musterious marine creature of gargantuan proportions known as the tarasque. The more paranoid elements of the military suspect it’s an imperialist spy submarine, while eccentric travelers believe they have discovered Vietnam’s version of the Loch Ness monster. Meanwhile, the monster or whatever it is continues to haunt Halong bay, unfettered by the marine police. Vietnam Tourism and the immigration authorities. Enterprising Vietnamese boat owners have made a cottage industry out of the creature, offering cash-laden tourists the chance to rent a junk and pursue the tarasque before it gets bored and swims away. Read more information of Halong Bay Vietnam
CRUISING THE KARSTS: TOURS TO HALONG BAY
There are many ways to experience the ethereal beauty of Halong Bay. Unless you have a private yacht (or you’re an Olympic kayaker). You’ll have to take a tour of some kind.
For a serious splurge, crusing the karst aboard a luxury Chinese-style junk is hard to beat. There’s also a very luxurious paddle cruises, based on a french craft from the early 20th cntery. But be aware that nearly all of there luxury trips operate on a fixed itinerary, taking in the well-known caves and islands, and simply do not have the time to stray far from Halong City. Many two days tours actually involve less than 24 hours on a boat ( and cost hundreds of dollar per person). Read more of Cruising The Karsts Halong Bay
Halong Bay City Vietnam
Halong City is the main gateway to Halong bay. Though the city enjoys a stunning position on the cusp of Halong Bay, developers have not been kind to it, and high-rise hotels dot the shoreline. However, the majority of food, accommodation and other Halong Bay services are found here.
Most travellers don’t stay in town, preferring to a night out in Halong Bay itself. Increase competition for a dwindling clientele means budget hotel rates are some of the cheapest in Vietnam, Chinese and Korean visitors are now more prevalent, preferring to enjoy the terra firma attractions of casinos and karaoke after a day exploring Halong bay.
Sleeping at hotels in Halong Bay Vietnam
Most people stay on a boat in the bay but thre are hundreds of hotels around bai Chay, and prices are very reasonable outside the peak season (june to august) or during the tet festival.
Virtually all budget accommodation is on the hotel alley of Đuong Vuon Dao, home to around 50 near-identical mini-hotels.comfortable doubles are around US $12. Mdrange and top-end hotels are scattered along Đ Halong, many commanding great views.
Novotel(tel: 384 8108; www.novotelhalongbay.com; Đ Halong; r from US $115) thiship hotel fuses Asian and Japanese influences with contemporary details. The rooms are simplu stunning, with teak foors, marble bathrooms and sliding screens to divide living areas. Faclities include an oval infinity pool, an espresso bar and a great restaurant. Checj online for rates around US $80.
BMC Thang Long Hotel (tel:3846458www.bmcthanglonghotel.com; Đ Halong; r US $25-75) this popular lunch stop for Halong Bay tour groups also feature spacious and recently redecorated room, some with ocean views. Despite the hotel’s sprawling size, the staff are warm and personal, and the Bai Chay tourist docks are handily just across the road .
Cat Ba Island Vietnam - Halong Catba National Parl - Monkey Island 3Day Tour
Rugget, craggy and jungle-clad Cat Ba, the largest island in Halong Bay, is emerging as Vietnam’s adventure spot and ecotourism hub. There’s an energetic roll-call of activities, including sailing, bird-watching, cycling, hiking and rock climbing.
Except for a few fertile pockets, Cat Ba’s terrain is too rocky for serious agriculture. Most residents earn their living from the sea, while others work in tourism.
In recent years, Cat Ba Town has experienced a hotel boom, and a chain of ugly concrete hotels now frames a once-lovely bay. But the reat of the island is largely untouched, and with idylic Lan Ha Bay iust offshore you’ll soon overlook Cat Ba Tow’s overdevelopment.