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Halong Bay (Vietnam)

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City: Halongbay / Country: Vietnam / World Region: Asia

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      23.02.2011 19:32
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      A natural phenomena that will leave you speechless.

      Halong Bay.

      Halong bay is a designated Unesco world heritage site just off the coast of Northern Vietnam not too far from the Chinese borders and approximately three hours by bus from Hanoi. It is a very large site covering an area of approximately 1500 Kms and contains nearly 2000 small limestone kasts or little islands some of which are inhabited and others uninhabited due to the cliff like sheer drops of up to 100 metres into the South China Sea. The rock formations were created around 300 million years ago due to the tropical weather patterns, tides and rain. They were at one time part of the mainland but due to erosion they ended up detached from the mainland as the sea flooded in and encroached the lower land mass.

      Halong bay is translated from Vietnamese meaning 'the bay of descending dragons'. Local legend has it that a dragon spat gems into the sea to create these small gems of islands sticking up out of the sea in order to afford protection to the people from marauding invasions. The dragon then settled in the area to protect the people.

      To give you an idea of what the area looks like if you can recall the small islands in the James Bond film The man with the golden gun they are similar to those islands although those were in Phang Nga Bay,Thailand. Not only are a couple of Islands inhabited but there are also four sea villages where the inhabitants live in wooden huts on wooden pylons above the sea. The fishermen ply the seas catching fish and eking a living from their hauls.

      There are many tour boats where you can go and stay on the boat for two or three nights however we did not have the time to stay here and to be honest I did not really relish the thought of staying on one of these junks overnight due to the safety records and the unpredictable weather. There are also 100's of boats that will take tourists around the islands for a couple of hours to full day tours.

      When we were in Hanoi we took a day trip by coach to visit this remarkable area passing paddy fields on the way and delightful little villages. As we approached Halong bay the sight of these weird limestone structures could be seen through the morning mists and looked absolutely spectacular standing erect and defiant just off the shore. In order to visit these small islands we took a pleasure junk boat which was made of wood with sails for when the wind was blowing. The day we went there the sea was like a mill pond and there was no breeze at all. There was a small sea mist which quickly burnt off as the sun rose higher in the sky.

      Some of the islands were quite big and inside some of them there were internal lakes and you could decant from the larger sea going junks into small canoes to explore the inside of the caves and caverns that contain stalactites and stalagmites. It was a beautiful sight looking at the small islands covered in lush vegetation. There were several types of birds flying over the islands and some were diving into the sea to catch fish. You could see shoals of fish swimming about in the clear water. Each island appeared to be different some had very small bases eroded due to the constant battering of the waves. The islands that were covered in trees contained some wild life and you could quite clearly see some monkeys sitting in the trees feeding themselves and preening each other.

      When our junk passed one of the fishing villages some of the villagers rowed out to the junk trying to sell their wares such as straw hats and wooden carvings. Some of the smaller boats brought out fresh fish from their catches and fresh food and fruit to the boats to sell.

      The boat took approximately 40 passengers and stopped off near a small lagoon where we were served a delightful seafood lunch. There was the opportunity for some of the passengers to have a quick swim in the crystal clear waters. Our trip on the boat lasted for about 6 hours and soft drinks were available throughout the trip.

      Sadly the toll of tourism has taken it toil on the natural beauty of the area where tourists have snapped off stalactites and stalagmites as souvenirs plus leaving rubbish instead of taking it home with them. Those tourists need shooting in my humble opinion destroying something that has taken millions of years to evolve! Why on earth do people act in such a way and with such vandalism is beyond most sane peoples behavior.

      If you are in Vietnam then I think that it is an essential trip on one of the junks to visit the islands as they are a magnificent sight to see. It really was quite a highlight of my trip to visit Halong bay however I am mindful of the many lives lost through bad weather in the area and most recently last week where a boat sank within minutes early one morning with the loss of 12 tourists who were sleeping in their cabins below deck. But to put it in context the area receives thousands of tourists every year without any problem but it is just sad to think that some die unnecessarily due to poor safety standards on some of the boats.

      I would thoroughly recommend a visit to this natural beautiful site to discover the unique little island jutting up through the sea towards the skies. They look fantastic and to think each small island has been sculptured by nature and the force of the winds and seas. It is definitely a must see and a spectacular sight.

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        20.01.2011 17:00
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        A must-do in Vietnam

        One of the highlights to my recent trip to Vietnam was a junk cruise exploring Ha Long Bay. Junks are traditional style sailing ships, many are very modern now with en suite facilities and air conditioning in your private cabins, they are still styled in the traditional way. You will find hundreds of these junks offering tours out to the bay, the one we went on was Huong Hai Junks, and this review covers my experience. We only stayed for one night, but there was almost a mutiny as we all wished to stay on and not go back to Hanoi. Unfortunately the crew ignored us and took us back anyway.

        GETTING TO HA LONG BAY

        Ha Long bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Quang Ninh province on the North Vietnam coast and is approximately four hours drive from Hanoi. The bay is made up of up to 2000 small limestone islands, some of which are little more than dramatic rocks sticking out of the water, some are much larger - a few are inhabited - containing caves or magnificent beaches. The best way to explore Ha Long Bay is, of course, by boat, hence the proliferation of junk cruises to the region. We took a coach from our Hanoi hotel to Ha Long, as we were only staying one night we just took a small bag leaving our large bags in storage at our hotel. Arrival at the port was quite confusing, it took a while for our tour guide to locate where we needed to go, as we looked out onto the bay there were literally hundreds of junks lined up, ready and waiting for the tourists. We accessed our junk by tender.

        THE JUNK ITSELF - FIRST IMPRESSIONS

        I was relieved that our junk was of a darker wood, it makes no real difference to the quality of the cruise, I just thought it looked more authentic! The lower level, which you entered onto, had a passageway all around, you were covered over your head but the side was open above waist level. Here is where you accessed your cabins. I am not sure how many cabins were on our boat, I am guessing about 8-10, all twins. I was impressed with the size and décor of our cabin. I had expected it to be more cramped with bunk beds, but we each had single beds (I think they can be combined to make doubles, but for one night we were not too worried) and there was a good sized bedside table in between. Obviously not a massive room and smaller than a normal sized hotel room, it offered hooks and enough space for our requirements for the short time we were on here. It also had a modern air conditioner with remote control, which was very effective and quiet. The air-con and lights are also operated centrally, so if people are not in their rooms, say at mealtimes or whilst off the boat, the air-con goes off, but as it is so effective this is not a problem. The crew will turn it on for you if you request it at other times, and it usually worked whilst we were in our cabins. Décor wise the cabin and furniture is all done out in dark wood which fits in with the 'look' of the boat but means it can be quite dark in the cabins. There are a number of lights in the cabin, so there is enough to read by, although all that sea air usually sends me to sleep in seconds! All cabins have an en-suite wet room, with shower head, lavatory and sink. Towels are also provided, as are robes and flip flops. There are also provided toiletries - soap, shower gel, cotton buds etc. Each room was lockable, but there are no safety deposit boxes - we put ours into the hotel safe in Hanoi- but in all honesty where would anyone go with your valuables? On the deck above was the dining area and a terrace, and above that a small sun deck. There were also a couple of public toilets - one western, one more local just down the steps from the dining room if you did not want to return to your cabin.

        DINING AND DRINKING

        We were divided up into four tables of four - as there were two vegetarians in the party we were asked to sit together, which wasn't a problem, as all dishes came out as a platter for two. The room could have been laid out as intimate tables for two or one long table had we have wished. Décor wise it was quite formal, with table clothes and fabric covered chairs with tie-backs, much like at a wedding. Lunch was eight dishes and dinner was nine. Meat/fish eaters got a lot of seafood, so I would advise informing them on booking of any dietary requirements as I would imagine it is hard to stock up after the boat has left. Some of the dishes had by meat eaters included jumbo king prawns, elephant clams, squid plus soup and stir fried meat and fish dishes. As a vegetarian I also had a veggie soup, stir fried vegetables, tempura vegetables, deep fried apple and pear (the former worked, the latter didn't) and tofu. The only dish we had replicated across the cruise was rice, although as veggies we did have a few deep fried vegetable/fruit dishes but always with different veg or fruit. We certainly didn't go hungry and each meal was finished with a portion of fresh fruit (included as one of the eight or nine dishes). Portion sizes were generous and not everything got eaten. Breakfast included fruit, chips (French fries), vegetable spring rolls, pancakes and a few other dishes.

        Drinks were not included in the cruise (except tea and coffee at breakfast) so you need to bring some money for that. As you would expect some drinks were more expensive than the mainland, but in the case of local beers, bottled water and branded soft drinks the price was fairly typical of what we had paid elsewhere in the country in restaurants. I didn't enquire as to the price of spirits or cocktails (although they seemed to have a fair stock) but we did decide to purchase a local wine with lunch and dinner. Da Lat is the local wine, and we tried the white variety. This cost US$18, which is about double the price I had seen it in other restaurants. Imported wines were even more expensive. However I was keen to try and so were my table-mates. For the record the Da Lat white is very dry, after you have pulled a face you will need to sip a few mouthfuls and you will get used to it - unless you like sweet wine of course! I do recommend trying it, I found it very drinkable once I got used to it, but the cruise ship is probably not the cheapest place to try it unless you want to treat yourself. However, imported wines started at US$26.

        Should you require drinks at anytime then you just need to attract a crew member's attention. However they usually discreetly glide around checking if you need anything, so this shouldn't be a problem. If you give them your cabin number, they will then keep a tab and you can settle up at the end - you can pay in Vietnamese Dong or US dollars. I certainly had no cause to fault the service we received.

        THE JOURNEY AND STOP OFFS.

        We set off a little after noon and spread out across the terrace sipping chilled drinks and spying on the other junks. You don't see to many of the other limestone islands for a bit, and then they start to pop up. I found the travelling very peaceful and gentle, sometimes eating in the dining room looking out of the open window with a bit of a breeze or relaxing on the terrace with a book, I felt very chilled out.

        The first stop off was at some caves, known as Hang Sung Sot, or better known as the Surprise cave (a polite way of referring to the large phallic like stalagmite). The junks pull up right by the caves and you will need to climb quite a few steps to access the caves, and quite a few down again. We were here about an hour in all, and about three-quarters of the time was in the caves themselves. It is lovely and cool in the caves after the tropical humidity outside, like all caves it is damp inside and there are lots of steps both up and own to traverse so you need to be fairly fit and able bodied to get around as the steps can be slippery. The caves are a popular stop off, so do no expect an intimate experience, and your time may be held up by the crowds of people in front of you. Whilst there is lighting inside the caves, some bulbs will be out, so you need to watch your footing carefully, generally the caves are large and cavernous, so claustrophobics should be fine - there are just a few short (a few metres) and narrow passages to walk though. As busy as it was in the caves, they are pretty impressive with their size and well worth a look.

        Most trips will also give you the opportunity for some swimming - you will moor up in a quiet area and have the opportunity to jump from the boat or climb down he ladder, I didn't go as I had a foot injury that had been aggravated in the caves so sat with a massive bag of ice, provided by the helpful staff on board, on my foot. I am assured that the water was lovely, almost bath like and that it wasn't difficult to get back on the boat. It was also quite salty, so it was easy to float.

        The night was spent near a lot of other junks, I believe it is a legal requirement for health and safety reasons - there is mobile phone reception here on the local networks - so should anyone be taken ill or anything happen help can easily be sent from nearby Cat Ba island, which is inhabited. You can hear some sounds from other junks nearby if you are on the terrace, but it is not really intrusive. I heard nothing in my cabin and slept like a log. They did offer some squid fishing off the backof the boat in the evening but had no bait, the squid were not fooled.

        In the morning we took a small rowing boat (that we came with the junk) early (about 7.30am - this wasn't a problem as we were so relaxed we all had early nights) to Ho Ba Ham or Three Tunnel Lake in the middle of Dau be Island. At the time we visited, there was just one low tunnel available to access the lake. You can't take motor boat, so it was either large rowing boat (which is what we had) or kayaks. It is very quiet and peaceful in the secluded lagoon as we were the only group. Others arrived a bit later, but we had it to ourselves which made it really special. Not all junks had their own boat, but there is a place where they can be hired, the advantage of having our own one meant we got in before most other people, when it was still quiet. Back on the boat we had breakfast before heading back to the mainland, arriving about 10.30am.

        Huong Hai operates a number of junks in Ha Long bay of various sizes and classes. We had the Deluxe class and I think one of the largest boats, although our tour group of fifteen plus guide had the boat to ourselves. As I have already mentioned there are many companies operating tours in the region, so it is a case of finding the one for you. There will be luxury ones, budget ones and party boats offering karaoke (*shudder*) so check carefully before booking if you are travelling independently. I would urge you to go for a two night trip minimum if you have the time in your schedule, as I would have loved to have stayed on longer and experienced more of the bay. I was there in August and the weather was over cast with occasional drizzle, so not the best sunbathing weather, but the temperature was still hot. This was a definite highlight of my holiday.

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          23.04.2010 13:12
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          One of the highlights of the holiday

          Halong Bay was the second place we visited on our mini-tour of Vietnam. It's about a 2 hour drive from Hanoi and is a real tourist trap for day and overnight tours. I was actually a bit gobsmacked by just how many boats were docked at the port and how many tourists were milling around.

          We went for one-night stay on a Junk boat. The Junk we stayed on had 8 guest rooms (each with a private bathroom) and a dining room on the top deck. Some Junks have sun lounger areas on them as well, but ours didn't unfortunately. We were greeted at the port by our Guide, Hai. He ensured we were ushered onto the correct boat in order to be shipped to our Junk. He also stayed on the Junk overnight and until we were on dry land the next day. We arrived on the Junk at about midday and were told that we'd be dropped again at about the same time the next day. Upon arriving on the Junk we were welcomed by a member of staff serving a free juice drink and a refreshment towelette. We were then shown to our room and informed of when lunch would be served.

          Once everyone had boarded the Junk set sail through the foggy but beautiful setting of Halong Bay. You can't really see the islets of Halong Bay as you first set out and you have to travel for a short while before the islets come into view, but they are all pretty breathtaking. Halong Bay is another Unesco World Heritage site (there seem to be quite a few of these throughout Vietnam) and it is littered with hundreds of islets (most of which are limestone, apparently). Very few of the islets can actually be visited by tourists because they are too steep or dangerous but in the space of 24 hours you can certainly drive past a lot of them.

          On our tour we visited one islet which was filled with caves (the 'Surprising' caves, so called because many of the rock formations resemble something surprising) so there were lots of steps up to and then down into the caves. Apparently the caves were inhabited by Vietnamese many years before, but when the Government took them over as tourist attractions the residents had to ship out (pun intended). We also visited a second islet which had a beach on one side of it (where people were playing volleyball) and then steps all the way to the top where there was a sort of band-stand type construction for people to stand in and admire the view. It was 425 steps up to the top and it was absolutely knackering, but there is a stop-off halfway up for those who aren't quite fit enough to get to the top. The next day consisted of a small boat ride to an island full of monkeys. You get to throw them some fruit and watch them all come out and eat. Very exciting!

          Whilst on board we were served lunch and dinner on the first day and then breakfast and brunch the next day. The food was mostly seafood-based but there is also plenty of fruit available. Wine was available to buy by the bottle but it was all a little on the pricey side (clearly how they make their money). If you're not a fan of seafood then I would advise taking a supply of food with you as there won't be much on offer to you apart from that.

          Whilst driving round Halong Bay we came across several floating houses as well as floating 'shops' (a person in a boat which is stuffed full of food supplies). These 'shops' would approach the boat and try to sell the crew and tourists food. We didn't buy anything but I can imagine that they do a roaring trade considering how many Junks we saw about. It was also strange seeing the floating houses. I can't imagine what it must be like to live permanently on water with no proper dry land for miles around.

          The weather isn't known for being all that great in Halong Bay because it is in the North of Vietnam. We were there at the end of March and although it was warm and dry, it was pretty grey and cloudy the whole time and the tops of the islands were covered in mist. The wind also got up some speed because we were so exposed on the open waters. The views, however, were quite spectacular and more than made up for the grey weather. I don't think I've ever taken so many photos in such a short space of time. Every islet is different and all of them have their own interesting shape or feature.

          Halong Bay is a definite must-see for anyone in the North of Vietnam. I have only taken off one star because of the weather.

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            08.04.2010 21:00
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            Major highlight of north vietnam

            Halong Bay is a Unesco World Heritage site and deservedly so. I had seen pictures of this area however did not expect the majesty (this is the only word I could use) that is Halong Bay. To those unaware of this place it is basically a bay with hundreds of small islands in it. We had booked a 2 night cruise on a Chinese junk with a kayak excursion and was excited because we had heard so much about the area but also we had been roughing it for the past week or so was looking forward to chilling out.

            Halong itself is dumpsville, luckily our bus just drove through it to the dock, but would not recommend anyone stay there, it looks tacky and total tourist tat. There is no benefit to staying there. Our boat was fabulous and won't review on that now but will leave this for another time.

            The bay itself is very busy with a number of boats doing overnight trips and also day excursions so don't expect to not see anyone else about this is definitely not the case. However the other boats are not intrusive or not in my experience, so they do not make a negative impact on your trip. It is a very quiet place and very peaceful, the islands of which there are hundreds rise out of the sea and are just dotted around with the majority of them having no people living on them. There are some lovely beaches on the islands and many of the boats do drop off for either a BBQ or just to give the travelers some time to do some watersports or just chill out. The water is fine to swim in and is actually quite warm, many people swim off the beaches but others (as we did) just jump in from the boat which is great as there is nobody about when you are swimming. The water is calm so if snorkeling or kayaking, it does not take a lot of effort and is very enjoyable. I don't think the viz is any good if you want to go diving though I'm not sure about this.

            The weather is generally quite misty however this doesn't detract too much from the experience but I bet it is fabulous once the sun does come out, which I understand is not that often! One of the best experiences is as the sun is setting and we lay and watched the sun go down while drinking a chilled glass of wine, it was very magical and one of those things we will never forget.

            There are a number of people who live in the area as there are a number of house boats and fish farms dotted around so sometimes if you do an excursion it is possible to view these a bit more intimately and it is worth remembering that a lot of these peoples income come from tourists so remember to buy a drink or something small at least.

            In summary the area is peaceful, magical and truly beautiful and although it can be a bit of a pain to get there it is very definitely worth it. If possible try and go for one of the overnight trips as the area is lovely on a night and it is very pretty (and romantic) when all of the boats are lit up on the bay .

            Any questions about the place please PM me and I will do my best to help.

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              13.08.2008 17:21
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              Good trip very worth doing, unique scenery

              The legend:
              Ha Long Bay - means "Bay of the Descending Dragon" in the Vietnamese language. The local folk tale says that dragons descended from heaven to help locals who were under attack by spitting jewels and jade to the sea, forming a natural fortress against invaders; these precious stones are now the lush green outcrops. After this the mother dragon settled in Ha long Bay and still protects Vietnam from the weather (the bay is usually fairly calm and protected) and also from outside invasion.

              Location and History:
              Halong Bay is in North Vietnam, 170 kilometres north-east of Hanoi (about 3 and a half hours driving) in the Gulf of Tonkin near the border with China. It was listed by UNESCO as a World heritage site in 1994.

              Description and geography:
              The bay is a mass of limestone islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation sticking out like random lumps from the ocean.
              Some of the islands have enormous caves. Hang Dau Go (Wooden stakes Cave) is the largest grotto in the Halong area. It has three chambers with large stalactites and stalagmites. There are many steps to climb to reach the grottos but they are lovely and cool after the heat of the sun outside. Inside the rock formations are quite splendid and you follow a sort of path through the chambers coming out to a splendid view of the junks in the bay beside the inevitable souvenir/ice-cream shop.


              Some of the islands have floating fishing villages surrounding them which are quite charming to look at but I'm not sure I'd like to be so restricted in my ability to wander around. There is a bountiful supply of fish and seafood in the area. We had sumptuous meals while aboard our junk, seafood that would be found in luxury restaurants in most other places in the world. The Vietnamese also present their food beautifully almost as a work of art so that you almost feel a bit guilty spoiling it.

              A lot of the islands have names based on someone's interpretation of their shape; eg Voi Islet (elephant), Ga Choi Islet (fighting cock), and Mai Nha Islet (roof). Apparently nearly 1000 of the islands have been given names. There are also birds and animals including monkeys, and iguanas and others living on some of the islands.

              Halong Bay and its maze of islands and channels has saved Vietnam being invaded on a number of occasions and during the Vietnam war the American Navy laid mines which are still a threat to shipping today. This little snippet of information I did not know until we were actually floating around on our junk in the bay.

              Our Trip:
              We had two days, one night aboard our junk. Our cabin was air conditioned and had a little en-suite bathroom. Everything you could ask for really. The main area inside was quite small with tables for eating. There was a small couch area but that seemed to be taken over by the staff which was a bit annoying but hey! The top of the junk was set up with loungers but it was far too hot to stay up there for long without being frazzled. The staff on board was very attentive and waited on us with the usual Vietnamese smile.

              The first day we arrived at the quay and followed our guide over about a dozen moored junks to find ours. I'm not sure how we would have known which ours was or how to find it if we had not had Thuy with us!! We were welcomed with a drink and shown to our cabin. After a while we were joined by a French family with two young (presumably adopted) Vietnamese girls. Another French couple with older teenagers and that was our group. My French is limited so we didn't make much conversation, just smiled politely at each other. We sailed around the bay through the various small islands while we enjoyed our lunch.

              After lunch we stopped and visited Hang Dau Go before sailing on again through more splendid scenery before putting down our anchor to watch the sunset in a small baylet. There were a few other junks moored near us but they really only added to the atmosphere rather than made us feel part of a crowd. We enjoyed a few drinks watching the sunset and then had our wonderful seafood dinner. As it was dark you couldn't see much apart from the stars and the other junks also there wasn't really anywhere very comfy to sit, we had an early night and read in our little air-conditioned cabin.

              The next morning we enjoyed a fresh fruit and Danish pastry breakfast with coffee before getting into a small boat to be rowed through a hole in a huge wall. After going through the hole we were in a completely enclosed sort of lake. This hole as the only way in and was only accessible at low tide - the previous night it has been so small you could only have swum through it. It was quite an eerie sort of feeling inside with a sort of hollow potential echo. The slap, slap of the oars on the water but otherwise very still and peaceful, until another group came in a boat with an outboard motor (there's always someone who spoils things for others isn't there?).
              Then we were back on the junk for a leisurely sail back towards Halong town enjoying a lunch on the way back before disembarking at the quay again. Ready for our scary drive back to Hanoi.

              A little aside:
              About the driving in Vietnam. A bit like crossing the road, the traffic seems to wend its way in and out of each other.
              At a roundabout you drive on - no filtering- and then about ten lanes of traffic, cars, bikes, vans, lorries and motor bikes all weave in and out of lanes until they get to the exit they want. If they can't get there by weaving and winding then the horn is used. Overtaking: If the vehicle coming towards you is smaller than you ( bike or motorbike) then ignore it and overtake anyway. If the vehicle is the same size then go for it, the other one might slow down if not then it will have to go off the road onto the unmade up rough part and let you through, especially if you blow your horn too.
              If it is bigger than you then it is a toss-up, if you are feeling confident then still go - he can move off the road or if really necessary you can always drop back again.
              My husband is quite happy to drive in most countries but said that Vietnam was not one he would risk driving in because of these unwritten rules. So be warned I wouldn't recommend hiring a car.
              Summary:
              This could be a tricky trip if you are disabled as you have to clamber over several junks before reaching yours and on the junk the space is VERY limited.
              I can't give you prices as it was all part of the tour we booked and organised through Selective Asia www.selectiveasia.com/ ( mentioned in my Hanoi review) although I'm sure you can look up on the internet.

              Sailing in Halong Bay was like being on a film set floating in a junk through spectacular scenery while enjoying seafood that would cost the earth back in U.K. I would certainly recommend the trip - pure luxury as although the cabin was small it did have its own ensuite, air-conditioning and a window to enjoy the view.

              Also published under my name catsholiday on ciao.

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                12.08.2007 18:42
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                world heritage site,worth visiting.

                In the northern side of Vietnam, apart from Hanoi-the capital, Sapa, Halong bay is another worth visiting address.

                __How to get there__
                Located near Vietnam's north coast.The nearest city called Halong ( just the same name). If you were in Hanoi, it just take two hours on the bus to go to Halong- the city and then one more hour on the cruise to the bay. All cost about 10$( if you want a nice cruise, you'd better pay more).

                __Landscape__
                Known as Natural World Heritage site, Halong bay consists of over 2000 islands and islets as well as some limestone rock with hundreds of different shape. As you are on the cruise , you can see them closely and relise that they even have their 'soul'. Each of them has its own name such as:
                *Hon Trong Mai ( the cock and hen islet ).
                *Hon Thien nga ( the swan islet).
                *Hon Dau nguoi ( the human's head islet)
                *Hon Am ( the kettle islet)
                ...
                All these name just base on their specialised shapes, have been made by Mother nature through milions of years.

                There are also caves on some of the islands. Those caves are full of mystical stalactites which were shaped through million years of water erosion. The leftover become stalactites and the mineral which has come out , dissolved in water, makes the color green.
                Halong bay looks just like a mystic emerald of the sea makes it the most beautiful bay in the world. Therefore, remember to bring lots of film , you might have some good shot.

                __Hungry ? where are the restaurants?__
                Well, you might feel hungry after going around the bay for hours but coming back to the city now finding some restaurants isnt a good idea though. But don't worry, you'll be surprised, there are two or even three restaurants just around the bay( of course, it's all 'man made'). They float on the water's surface just by some huge sponges. Sea food there is really cheap, fresh , so how can it be better, enjoying good meal, fresh air and beautiful scene at the same time!
                ....restaurants just in the middle of no where so you might think the environment there can be polutted? No way!, all the trash and rubbish will be send back to the mainland ,keeping the sea environment clean.

                There are many other interesting things about the bay that I'm about to say but i think it mghit be better if you could find out by yourself.
                Thank you for reading.

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