Some people only come to Hanoi to make the trek to Halong Bay. We actually planned time in Hanoi, and then decided to add a tour to Halong. We heard how beautiful it was, but in an effort to stay on budget we weren’t sure if we should go.
Boy am I glad we did.
Even though the weather wasn’t perfect, it didn’t matter. In fact the mist laying over the stunning rock formations gave a mystical quality. Serene.
We booked an over night tour on a boat – the way most people see this UNESCO Heritage Site. We ended up on the White Dolphin with only five other guests. It was great. We got lucky and had really great tour companions and crew. Our two day tour included four amazing meals, kayaking, swimming, cooking lesson, comfortable cabin, squid fishing as well as great information on our tour from a guide. Well worth every penny.
Although there were lots of other boats with overnight guests, it never felt overly crowded and touristy. Except for the floating fishing village, which is now mostly just for tourist “show”. The ancient way of living and fishing on the water has changed greatly due to efforts to protect the environment of the area. The environmental protection has trumped the historic cultural protection in this instance.
I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves. Halong Bay – magical, mystical, memorable.
Vietnam – Fabulous.