King Kong was filmed here!
Posted on 04 July 2019
Source: Ammie Ngo / Unsplash
Whether you fancy a thrilling adventure or a laid-back cruise, head to northern Vietnam to experience a natural wonder like no other. Officially regarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is a surreal maze of islands that will wow you at every turn. 1,600 limestone islands covered in rainforests - most of them untouched by human habitation - are scattered all over the jewel-toned azure waters of the bay.
The result is a breathtaking tropical labyrinth that you definitely won’t be in a hurry to escape, but wait… there’s still more than meets the eye! Hidden beneath the grandeur of the limestone islands are caves and tunnels where marine and coastal ecosystems thrive.
Source: Nam Viet Voyage
The name “ha long” was derived from Vietnamese folklore about a dragon that descended from the skies to protect the people from invasion. The dragon exhaled fire, emeralds and jade jewels all over the area, giving the bay its turquoise tint. While we’re not entirely sure whether this tale is true, we certainly know how the limestone islets came to be. Seashells and sediments sunk into ancient sea floors to form solid rocks, and over millions of years, limestone islands gradually rose from the waters.
Source: @viajaentusofa / Instagram
How to Explore Halong Bay?
What is the best way to explore this beautiful bay? The answer would depend on which trait best describes you as a traveller: adventurous, luxurious or thrifty?
Source: Halong Bay Tourism
Bamboo sampans and junk boats are popular means of getting around Halong Bay because they’re relatively inexpensive. You’ll typically enjoy the convenience of a guide and someone to operate the boat for you if you’re not up for some rowing exercise. If you value your privacy, small boats are also ideal for smaller tour groups consisting of 2 to 5 people, allowing you to enjoy the view peacefully.
The best part about sampans and junk boats is that you’ll be so close to the glistening blue waters and compact enough to explore the hidden tunnels of the bay. You’ll be within arm’s reach of passing boats selling fresh fruits and live seafood.
Source: Halong Bay Tours
Moreover, adventurous travellers can also go swimming, snorkelling or kayaking in the crystal waters of Halong Bay. Nothing will compare to the view of the towering limestone islands from your own kayak. You’ll also get to see the deeper layers of the islets as you pass through hidden tunnels and flooded ancient caves.
Source: SzeVoon’s Travel Blog
For a comfortable and relaxing tour of Halong Bay, you can choose to go on a cruise. You’ll get to enjoy an amazing view of the bay from your own cabin and the amenities available onboard (e.g. sundeck, Taichi class, massage). Most cruises will also organise kayaking, swimming and night fishing activities, so you need not worry about missing out on experiencing Halong Bay up-close.
Source: Calypso Cruise
With different kinds of activities set up, a cruise will make your trip to Halong Bay a perfect wellness retreat. In fact, stay for a night or two! You will appreciate the extra time you get to explore the vast bay.
There are plenty of affordable luxury cruises around Halong Bay, such as the 4-star Calypso Cruise and Flamingo Cruise. For a limited time only, Packist is offering an exclusive deal for 4D/3N Hanoi + Halong Bay Vietnam Private Tour with 4-Star Cruise and Hotel Experience. For a limited time only! Book your Vietnam retreat today with Packist and we’ll help you take care of the rest.
Join the Conversation