Teaching, writing and adventuring around the globe, Angela Lewonczyk currently lives in Paris, France where she pursues her creativity and travels. Former actor, current writer, forever performer and imagination enthusiast.
Halong Bay, Vietnam is filled with a variety of activities, from caving to kayaking to cruising. One of the best ways to see the sights is a cruise through the emerald seas surrounding the distinctive karsts sprinkled throughout the bay. While there are infinite companies and deals for cruises around Halong, two of the most popular options are a day cruise or an overnight tour. There are benefits to both, depending on time and resources. Here are some of the differences between day trip and overnight Halong Bay cruises.
Overnight Halong Bay Cruise Opportunities
The most important benefit of an overnight cruise option is time. For those with a few days to play around with, overnight cruises provide a wonderful opportunity to see more of the sights and sounds around Halong Bay. You will get more onboard services like cooking classes and tai chi lessons. You will also be able to visit more of the astonishing parts of Halong Bay and beyond. This means more time for things like sunbathing and other water sports. And of course, a luxury night in a quality cabin. As you walk around the boat deck at sunset, you will be able to take stunning photos, have romantic moments or meet some new and interesting fellow travelers.
Seaplane & Overnight L’Azalee Deluxe Cruise
Hai Au Aviation offers two cruise options which are great examples of overnight service. Both include a seaplane experience of some sort. With one option, you get to fly over the beautiful bay for a 25-minute seaplane scenic flight. The other option includes a seaplane transfer from Halong Bay back to Hanoi as part of the tour. Either way, you get to have a magnificent trip through the sky and see the charms of the bay from above.
Cruising Day One
In terms of the cruise aspect of the package, the L’Azalee combination allows you two days worth of time to explore. The first day begins with lunch onboard the vessel “Spirit of the Bay”. You will then cruise through the waters of Halong Bay to Cat Ba Island. You will visit a local Pearl Farm in the Lom Bo Canal area and have time for kayaking or swimming before anchoring for the evening. A night of dinner, games and squid fishing awaits.
Cruising Day Two
After a tranquil night sleeping soundly out at sea, you will wake up to a stunning sunrise glimmering off the surf. Day two begins with tai chi instruction before breakfast, followed by a tour through the Sung Sot Cave. Here, you will have even more time to adventure through the cave and spend some additional time kayaking. It’s an amazing way to get a taste of Halong Bay without feeling like you are rushed. You will be able to see parts of the bay only accessible by boat but still have time to relax in the spectacular scenery.
Another great overnight example is the seaplane flight combined with Emeraude Cruise. With this package, you once again have the choice of transfer or scenic tour with Hai Au Aviation’s seaplane service. However, there is a few difference to consider when choosing which itinerary will best suit your needs.
Cruising Day One
Once you have landed in Halong Bay, an Hai Au buggy will pick you up and bring you to the Emeraude café to check in to your cruise. After your departure, you will have a Vietnamese buffet lunch on board the ship. In the afternoon, you will be treated to a guided tour on Sung Sot Grotto and go to Ti Top Island for some swimming or hiking. Emeraude is known for their Vietnamese spring roll cooking class in the evening, followed by dinner, and a choice of evening activities such as squid fishing or viewing the film “Indochine.”
Cruising Day Two
On day two you will also have the option to wake up bright and early for a tai chi session and a nice sunshiny continental breakfast on the deck. You will then have the opportunity to either visit the Pearl Farm or suit up for some adventurous kayaking. After a lovely brunch on board, you will cruise back to Halong Bay and make your way back to Hanoi.
One Day Whirlwinds
For those travelers with limited time in Vietnam, a one-day cruise poses its own unique advantages. You will still get a sampling of the sights and sounds but on a much swifter schedule. The downside of a one-day cruise is that you won’t be able to delve into the local culture as completely. You also won’t be able to drink in the beauty as the sun rises and falls on the horizon. The benefit, however, is that you will still get a chance to see what Halong Bay is like out on the sea and have plenty of time for fun and photo opps. If you are on a strict time restraint than a one-day cruise is an optimal way to fit Halong Bay into your itinerary.
Seaplane & One Day L’Azalee Deluxe Cruise
Once again, Hai Au Aviation offers a combo deal with seaplane service and L’Azalee deluxecruise. You will still have the option to choose between a 25-minute scenic flight or a seaplane transfer back to Hanoi. In this case, a seaplane is even more beneficial because it cuts transfer time to and from Hanoi down by less than half. Instead of spending 4-hours each way by car or shuttle bus, a seaplane will get you back to your hotel speedily and safely.
Day Cruise Deluxe
After embarking on your terrific tour, you will get to have lunch while the anchor is dropped around Tung Lam Island Bay. You will be able to see many notable landmarks such as Thumb Island, Cock Fighting Island, Incense Island, Ba Hang Floating village and Dog Island as you glide through the sparkling sea. Finally, you will get the opportunity to visit Thien Cung Cave before heading back to port. While you won’t get to engage in water sports and activities with this option, you will get to see a wide variety of local spots. It’s a picture perfect glance into the life and soul of Halong Bay: some time at sea, an adventure in a cave, and some local cuisine.
For those with time to spare, an overnight Halong Bay cruise offers one of the most exciting ways to get out there onto the sea and truly experience Halong Bay from within. Combined with a seaplane flight, you will see the best of Halong Bay both from above and below. However, anyone visiting this area of Vietnam is advised to spend at least a day in Halong Bay. For those who have limited time, the day tour is an ideal antidote. You will get to see some hot spots of the area and walk away with the beauty of the bay in your thoughts. Whichever option you choose, a cruise through Halong Bay (hopefully accompanied by a seaplane experience) is one of the best ways to truly enjoy this area of Vietnam.
Vietnam is one of the most magnificent areas of Southeast Asia. It is home to amazing cities and countryside filled with culture, history and stunning sights. It is a country jam-packed with seasides, mountain ranges, and national parks. For tourists planning to explore this exquisite country, there is no end to the options available to explore. Having built upon centuries of history, Vietnam is a fascinating mix of ancient and contemporary ideas. From world heritage sites to the top cities, this country has something for everyone.
HERE ARE THE TOP TEN PLACES TO VISIT IN VIETNAM:
One of the most well-known Unesco World Heritage Sites in the world, Halong Bay is a must-see when visiting Vietnam. With emerald seas and captivating karsts, it is an amazing place to explore true natural beauty. Take a cruise through the floating villages and caves or fly high through the clouds in a spectacular seaplane. Spend a day swimming or kayaking then lounge on one of the hidden beaches out at sea. It is a top spot to visit in Vietnam and easily accessible from Hanoi.
Ho Chi Minh may not be the capital city but it’s certainly one of the most captivating. It is considered the commercial hub of Vietnam and has tons of shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. Motorbikes flood the streets and intriguing architecture reigns supreme. The mix of culture and history makes this city a necessary stop for anyone wanting to experience various activities.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and certainly, lives up to its name as a hallmark of Vietnamese culture. The city can feel crazy with natives and tourists constantly roaming the streets. However, this is where to go if you want to jump into the local scenery. You will be able to see all manner of attractions from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to the Grand Opera House to the Presidential Palace. It’s also a great way home base for day trips to the country or seaplanes to Halong Bay.
Hue is one of Vietnam’s most historic cities, sitting on the banks of the Perfume River. It harkens back to the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen Emperor and boasts a plethora of relics to prove it. There is a wonderful amount of palaces, pagodas, and temples to explore. It is also known for a variety of interesting local cuisines such as the Bun Bo Hue (beef noodle soup) and one of many different types of rice cakes.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
For those who loved the karsts and caves of Halong Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is another great place to explore. It is also a Unesco World Heritage site, located in the Quảng Bình Province on the North Central Coast of Vietnam. Stalagmites and stalactites abound in the sprawling caverns. The world’s largest cave, Son Doong, reaches up to 200m in height. The caverns and grottos are ideal for seeing some of the most distinctive and beautiful aspects of nature.
My Son is an important archeological site dating back as far as the 4th century. It was a center of Hindu worship and is home to approximately 20 temple structures for religious worship dedicated mainly to the Hindu god, Shiva. The temples were created by the kings of Champa from the 4th to the 14th century AD. It is the third Unesco World Heritage on the list and no wonder based on its unique structure and fascinating history. You could easily stare at the enchanting architecture for hours.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Another historic and architecturally stunning city is Hoi An. It’s notable Old Town is famous for its cultural ambiance. Wander the winding streets and you will find charming lanterns, flowers, and dainty decoration. You can visit the old merchant houses and get a real sense of the ancient culture still so prominent in this beautiful little haven. The Japanese covered bridge is one of Hoi An’s most delightful discoveries. Outside the city, you can find rice paddies and floating villages to see even more of local life.
Sapa was a French hill station in 1922 and is now a center of ever-growing tourism. While the city itself is a simple market town, the countryside surrounding is the true hot spot. The gorgeous views and valleys are the perfect place for trekking and traversing the Vietnamese terrain. Local hill-tribes including the country, ethnic minorities including the Hmong, Giay, and Red Dzao make this a truly diverse place to visit.
Phu Quoc Island
If you’re looking for stunning beaches surrounded by crystal clear blue seas, Phu Quoc Island is the place to be. Located off the coast of Cambodia but part of and only accessible by Vietnam, this idyllic island boasts nature, resorts, bars and a generally romantic atmosphere. You can visit parks, Buddhist pagodas, and traditional villages. It is another one of the Unesco World Heritage sites so prevalent to Vietnam. Among all of the hot spots on the list, this is an amazing place to kick back and enjoy the scenery.
Sometimes called “Vietnam’s Rice Basket,” the Mekong Delta is a lush cornucopia of local life. You will find rice paddies, floating markets, bird sanctuaries and all sorts of local life and nature to feast your eyes upon. Start in Can Tho and take a boat ride through the labyrinth of waterways and get lost in the natural beauty. This area is a vast grove of natural beauty and vegetation.
There are so many dazzling things to see in Vietnam. Undoubtedly, it can be difficult to decide on which places you will visit. Depending on how long you have to work your way through the vibrant cities and exquisite countryside, you might want to start with some of the top highlights. Anything you choose will yield memorable results, from taking seaplanes to Halong Bay, trek through the Sapa Countryside or boats along the Mekong Delta.
Seaplanes are becoming more and more popular throughout Asia. In countries often surrounded by water on at least one side, amphibious aircrafts are a no-brainer for everything ranging from emergency situations to tourism. The idea of creating vessels that could both float and fly is something that goes back as far as the late 1800s. Pioneers such as Alphonse Pénaud of France and Wilhelm Kress of Austria first created patents and seaplanes at the beginning of the aerial revolution. While their use became more popular during war times, they have since waned in popularity due to expense and practicability. That has, however, not stopped seaplanes from becoming an amazing way to experience the world from above. Asian countries from China to India to Vietnam have latched onto this beautiful way of traveling through the Asian landscape by lots of well-known seaplane services.
Aside from finding investors for seaplane purchase and maintenance, there are many factors to consider when attempting to open up a seaplane company. First of all, the weather has a huge impact on both seaplane function and landing capabilities. Areas that are prone to in climate weather have to be careful where to set up shop. It is also much as important to have appropriately trained pilots and staff. However, when done correctly it can lead to a huge boost in tourism and financial gain. As the following countries are figuring out, seaplane service can be a wonderful way to show off the treasure trove of touristic sites available in Asia.
HEAR ARE TOP 10 MOST WELL-KNOWN SEAPLANE SERVICE IN ASIA 2017:
Setouchi Seaplanes: Japan
Setouchi Seaplanes opened very recently, in August 2016. They are the first seaplane company operating in Japan in over fifty years. Their main type of plane is the Kodiak 100 amphibious aircraft, which is a small 10-seat plane including the pilot. They offer scheduled sightseeing flights from the Bella Vista Marina in Onomichi Floating Port, as well as chartered flight options. Their average rates include 40-minute flights at $295 for weekdays and $340 for weekends. Onomichi is a city in the Hiroshima Prefecture area of Japan right on the coast of the Inland Sea.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China: China
South China has been in the news recently for unveiling what is supposed to be “the world’s largest seaplane” to date. The AVIC AG600 Water Dragon can carry up to 50 passengers and has a maximum range of 4,500 km. While it does not have the largest wingspan in history (that honors go to the Spruce Goose which made only one flight in the 1940s), it is certainly larger than any other seaplane currently on the market. Rates and schedules are not yet available and will depend on companies that purchase them. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China is a state-owned company focusing on all areas of aviation from research to defense, flight testing to construction.
Hai Au Aviation is the single premier seaplane company in Vietnam. They utilize Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX, a 12-seat seaplane, for their fleet. Hai Au Aviation offers a wide variety of seaplane options in and around Halong Bay, Vietnam. They have daily scheduled flights from Hanoi to Halong Bay, as well as short sightseeing excursions. They also have several package deals, combining seaplane service with cruises or hotel options in Halong Bay, in addition to a variety of charter services. Hai Au Aviation ranks as one of the best values for a sea place experience, offering 45-minute transfers for as low as $175. If you add a 15-minute scenic tour the price goes up to only $270 in summer and $385 in winter. Hai Au Aviation was created in 2011 and is part of the Thien Minh Group.
Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt. Ltd. (MEHAIR) launched its seaplane service in India in 2011. It operates out of Andaman & Nicobar islands and intends to launch similar operations in Maharashtra ex-Juhu Airport, Mumbai, and Goa. MEHAIR uses two seaplane designs as part of their fleet: the Cessna 206 and Cessna 208 Amphibian aircraft. The Cessna 208 has a maximum capacity of 9 passengers while the Cessna 206 is a much smaller model with a maximum capacity of 4 passengers. Destinations outside of Andaman & Nicobar islands include Girgaum-Chowpatty, Gangapur Dam and Aamby Valley amongst others. Both scheduled and nonscheduled tours are available. Flight prices vary and are available upon request.
Seabird Seaplane: India
Seabird Seaplane began in November 2012 and is based in Kochi, India. The company owns two Quest Kodiak 100 amphibious aircrafts which can hold a maximum of 8 passengers each. Seabird Seaplane likes to combine the functionality of seaplane transportation with a leisurely trip through the skies of India. In addition to transport to and from Kochi, destinations include Bangalore, Kavaratti Island, and Minicoy as well as many others. You must use the contact form on their website to inquire about rates and fees.
Air Juan: Philippines
Air Juan is a Filipino company started in 2012. Their corporate office is located in Bonifacio Global City but they also operate out of Manila, Palawan and Cebu. They have been growing quickly for the past few years and utilize several different aircraft. Their seaplane model is the Cessna Grand Caravan EX Amphibian, which has a 10-passenger capacity including pilot. You can book all manner of flights and destinations around the Philippines, from Puerto Princesa to Cuyo Island to Busuanga. Rates vary from place to place, but daily flights are available from Manila Bay to Boracay Island averaging approximately $245.
Seaplane Adventures: Philippines
Another seaplane company in the Philippines is Seaplane Adventures. Seaplane Adventures boasts its status as the first commercial seaplane service in the Philippines. The company operates out of Manila and uses 10-seater Amphibious Cessna 208 Caravans. Their services included regularly scheduled flights, charter options, aerial photography excursions and scenic tours. Furthermore, they even assist with medical evacuation and humanitarian relief. Various destinations include Boracay, Zambales, and Coron. Rates and schedules available upon request.
Bali Seaplanes: Bali
Bali is another hot destination for seaplane use. The company Bali Seaplanes was founded only recently in 2016. They started with just one Cessna Caravan 208 and have grown quickly. Bali Seaplanes offer tours, scenic flights and charter options. The Menjangan and the Gili Islands are just a few of the spots they tour too. Scenic flights are approximate $270 and tours average $580.
Blue Water Seaplanes: Bali
Blue Water Seaplanes also caters to the Bali and Lombok regions with similar services to Bali Seaplanes. They too offer seaplane services by way of the Cessna Caravan 208 and have a range of options from regularly scheduled flights to chartered flights to scenic tours. Their routes generally travel between Bali and the Gili Islands and cut travel time to less than half compared to traditional speed boats. However, you must contact Blue Water seaplanes for rates and schedules.
Cinnamon Air: Sri Lanka
Cinnamon Air flies out of Sri Lanka and is managed by Saffron Aviation (Pvt) Ltd. Cinnamon Air’s main hub is Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo International Airport). Their fleet includes Cessna 208 Amphibian Caravans and the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircrafts, both seating approximately 8 passengers respectively. Cinnamon Air offers a range of destinations and experiences. You can choose between scheduled routes or luxury charter services, in addition to various trekking, water sport or safari excursions. Destinations range from Kandy to Dickwella, Colombo City to Castlereagh. A 20-minute scenic tour will cost you around $125.
In conclusion, any trip through Asia will involve extensive transportation. Since the seaplane industry continues to soar, it is worthwhile considering a seaplane as part of your transfer or tour options. It will eliminate unnecessary time spent on slow transportation options while allowing you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful landscape below. As a result, many Asian countries are jumping on the bandwagon to offer this unique experience. It maybe worth it to jump on a seaplane and take advantage of such a rare opportunity.
In the growing age of technology, there seem to be more and more methods of transportation every day. From bicycles to cars to rockets, advances in transportation are some of the main reasons we can explore, defend and communicate. We often overlook seaplanes as a method of transport. Over the course of history, seaplanes have been invented, developed, waxed and waned in popularity, and put to a great many different uses. While they may fly somewhat under the radar of public knowledge, they use seaplanes for a variety of interesting and even important tasks.
AIR TAXI FLIGHT
One of the most common uses for seaplanes these days is air taxi service. Seaplanes are a unique and efficient way of getting from one place to another. The planes are able to fly low and fast. More significantly, since they can take off and land on water, seaplanes have more flexibility when traveling from the mainland to island sites. Many companies around Asia offer seaplane transfers from airports to prime tourist spots. For example, when traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay, Vietnam, taking Hai Au Aviation seaplane is not only an exciting way to travel, but it cuts the travel time down by more than half. Ultimately, you will be able to spend much more of your trip enjoying the sites.
In addition to taxi services, many seaplane companies offer scenic tours. Rather than using a seaplane simply for transportation, taking a scenic tour allows you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. You can glide over the terrain and see stunning panoramas from above. The size and capacity of a seaplane make it possible to soar within range of some of the most spectacular sites in an area. You can take amazing photos and film clips as you fly through the clouds.
TRAVEL TO REMOTE AREAS
Many typical transportation options are incapable of maneuvering secluded or remote areas. Train and cars don’t have access and regular planes cannot land without a substantial runway. Seaplanes can touch down on land or at sea so they have the advantage of being able to fly into much more compact zones. Not only that, but they can approach islands with rocky reefs or small land areas by way of the sea. This means that tourists can experience more exotic locations. Moreover, explorers, law enforcers or even rescuers can access hard-to-reach areas.
SEARCH AND RESCUE AT SEA
When tragedies happen at sea, it is imperative that search and rescue teams get to the location as quickly as possible. They must also be able to get as close as they can to the site of the disaster. Search and rescue teams utilize vehicles from helicopters to submarines, and of course seaplanes. Seaplanes have a marked advantage because they can move faster than boats and will be able to get closer to the accident. They will also be able to quickly disembark with any survivors in need of medical treatment. Air-sea rescue is an important job for seaplanes both in terms of the military as well as civilian mishaps.
Because seaplanes can fly low and have access to both land and sea, they are perfectly suitable for coastal surveillance. They are able to combine land and sea tasks usually carried out by two different vessels. They can observe coastal activity such as border control, investigations or weather anomalies. While countries like the United States do not currently utilize seaplanes in their coast guard, other countries such as India and Japan have considered amphibious aircraft in their coastal surveillance.
China recently purchased what is said to be the largest amphibious aircraft currently in operation. The seaplane will potentially be used for all manner of purposes from maritime search and rescue to law enforcement. This particular seaplane, the AG-600, has a much larger capacity than other models and will continue to be tested for its capabilities. However, law enforcement is an important aspect for countries with large coastal borders. It is yet another way of efficiently tracking and enforcing criminal activities.
FISHERY PATROL AND ANTI-POACHING
Any coastal area will, of course, be home to a wide range of marine wildlife. There are restrictions in place for all of these areas, based on a country’s rules and regulations. Fishing is something that must be monitored and regulated for business, trade, as well as marine life health and safety. Seaplanes are an important way of keeping watch on the fishing industry. They are also able to observe and track poaching offenders who wish to capitalize off of fish that is not theirs or that may, in fact, be illegal to catch at all. Once again, seaplanes have the ability to fly low and enter fishing areas with ease so that things can be properly monitored.
FOREST FIRE FIGHTING
One of the most important uses for seaplanes is fire fighting in forests. Forest fires are hugely dangerous because they catch fast and move quickly. Depending on the conditions of the vegetation and how close the fire is to surrounding inhabited areas, forest fires can easily get out of control. They require immense amounts of water to overcome and ultimately extinguish. Many national parks like the U.S. National Parks System keep seaplanes for this and many other reasons. Seaplanes can fly at low speeds and handle high gust-loading environments which allow them to carry water and help put out forest fires.
Finally, seaplanes are critical in continuing marine biological research. Agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use seaplanes to track wildlife and research marine animals like sea turtles. Seaplanes are also one of the few forms of transport having an allowance on the Great Barrier Reef. The reason is that they won’t ruin or disturb sediments or marine life. They make up an integral part of marine biological exploration.
Over the years, seaplanes have come in and out of favor due to the fact that they can be expensive and inconvenient when dealing with large passenger capacities or work within treacherous weather conditions. However, seaplanes have fallen into important the niches of tourism, research and safety missions. While they are not the mainstream in terms of transport, they provide a unique and vital mode of transportation for various regions.
You can enjoy your flight in a secure environment. Furthermore, behind each seat is a leather pouch that houses safety pamphlets and emergency procedures. Your pilot will talk you through the emergency process before take-off, including where emergency equipment is. Let’s take a look inside Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX!
A CLOSER LOOK INSIDE A CESSNA GRAND CARAVAN 208B – EX
PILOT PROCEDURE 2
If you look ahead, you will see the two pilots sitting in their own leather seats. In front of them are steering wheels and a large control panel below the massive front windows. Each Cessna Grand Caravan is equipped with ‘glass cockpit’ avionics, weather radar, storm tracker system and Garmin GPS. All crew members are experienced and fully trained in all flight and safety regulations. This not only ensures your safety but makes for an enjoyable and memorable seaplane experience.
MODERN SPEAKER SYSTEM
All procedures and comments are relayed through the built-in speaker system. The seaplane is cozy and compact so you can easily hear those around you. However, the speaker system guarantees that you will hear any information that the pilot gives, from safety procedures to tourism advice, loud and clear.
The seaplane seats allow optimal relaxation and legroom. You will have plenty of space to stretch out and enjoy the scenery to the fullest. It won’t be a problem maneuvering the cabin if you have small bags or cameras. You can lean back and take a rest or brace yourself for an exciting flight filled with amazing views.
WIDE WORLD OF WINDOWS
Each row has a window on either side of the plane. The windows are one of the most important features of the plane because they allow for breathtaking sites from above. Each window is large rectangular so that you can easily see the beautiful panorama outside. Whether on an airport transfer or a scenic tour, you can feel free to take photos and videos to document your wonderful journey through the sky.
LIGHT AT NIGHT
If you are taking an evening flight or it is a cloudy day, there is always a reading light available to use. For those more interested in comfortably getting to their destination, the reading light will ensure that you can rest or relax with reading materials or technological devices. After peering through the window for a glimpse of the beauty below or witnessing the stunning sunset on the horizon, you will never find yourself flying in the dark.
If you want to know more about unique features of seaplane, visit here.
Companies can easily customize their seaplanes for the benefit of their passengers. Hai Au Aviation makes sure to provide a luxurious and relaxing environment for each of its guests so that you are sure to have a wonderful trip. The interior of the Cessna Grand Caravan 208 fits right in with the high-end enjoyment guaranteed to all seaplane travelers.
Spring of 2017 is upon us and the options for upcoming holiday time are plentiful. All around the world, travelers are beginning to make their plans for the months ahead. Where to go? What to do? How to book? Any number of questions seep into our heads as we consider what to do with those few precious days we get to fill with relaxation or adventure. 2017 brings with it myriad opportunities to explore new regions and take advantage of new technologies. So, what are the top travel trends for 2017? Here are the eight we’ve decided to highlight for your traveling pleasure.
HERE ARE TOP 8 TRAVEL TRENDS BLOOMING IN 2017:
BUSINESS MEETS PLEASURE
The term “bleisure” may sound like a made up work, probably because it is. This year, companies around the globe are starting to mix business with some well-needed leisure time. Especially in countries where employees aren’t gifted months on end of vacation days, it can be a trial to find a balance between hard work and relaxation. Some companies are starting to realize that happy and productive employees require both. Allowing workers to tack on a few extra days to their business travels gives them the opportunity to actually see the sights rather than just the inside of an office or conference room. Employees may even return with an added spring in their step rather than a battle with never ending jet lag.
There will always be room in the schedule for time spent lounging by the beach or pampering in a spa. This year, however, top jet setters are more interested in high-flying adventures. From adrenaline-inducing sports to hop-on hop-off tours to roughing it excursions through the woods, there are all manner of adventures waiting for the intrepid traveler. It’s not all about getting your heartbeat going, either. Choosing countries that you know nothing about or are off the beaten path can be thrilling enough when you delve into a new culture and come back with stories to last a lifetime.
BUDGET TRAVEL REIGNS SUPREME
Luxury is a time-honored tradition for those with money and resources. In contrast, there will always be those on the look out for the next great deal. Budget travel is a hot ticket this year, as travelers of all means look to simplify their journeys and make the most of their voyage. Living like the locals is one way to experience things on the cheap. Book an Airbnb so that you can experience a real home in the area and cook food from the local market. The internet is also a massive source for deals. Sites like Kayak, Expedia and Skyscanner make it easy to compare flights, hotels and car rentals. Not only that, but budget travel makes it possible to see more for your money and prioritize the destination over the grandeur.
GO GO GREEN
With the world constantly changing and global warming taking effect, many travelers are trying to go more green. In fact, the United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. For some, this might mean traveling more locally so as to reduce their carbon footprint. For others, this means looking into environmentally friendly accommodation or even eco-friendly tours. People may consider heading to countries like Singapore, which has taken huge initiatives in environmental health. It is all about responsible tourism and paying attention to your options.
TRAVEL AGENT TRICKS
Nowadays, information is at our fingertips. It is no longer necessary to hire a professional travel agent to guide you in your travel-making plans. Instead, teach yourself the tricks of the trade and become your own travel connoisseur. Not only can you book everything online these days, but most sites offer abundant information, comparisons and deals to make it easier for you. In addition, sites likes Viator and Trip Advisor provide all sorts of feedback and forums for you to talk to other people who have traveled the same routes. You can even find full-on itineraries for some of the hotter spots around the globe. Though, doing a little research may make it easier to find the budget opportunities as well as the more unique areas to conquer.
EXPERIENCE TRUMPS SOUVENIRS
2017 is not about bringing home souvenirs or trying to find the top-of-the-line materials. It’s about having amazing experiences. Budgeting, packing light and doing your research will lead you to some of the most stunning spots you could imagine. Rather than worrying about how many objects you can fit in your bag coming home, instead focus on the brilliant things you will get to see, taste, touch, and feel. Find the perfect little pizza shop in Naples. Take a seaplane to Halong Bay and stare at the sunset. Get lost in the streets of New York until you meet your new best friend at the cutest bar tucked into a corner of the East Village. Take some pictures of the beauty but spend most of your time living in the moment.
Solo travel is another top trend this year, especially for women. While many people prefer to have adventures with friends and family, it is becoming more common to see the world through nothing but your own senses. Women are a driving force in the world and their voices are only getting stronger. Taking a solo trip is further proof of their independent and courageous spirits. With apps and websites devoted to solo or female travel, it is easier than ever to jump on a plane and enrich your life.
Every year there are lists of top destinations to put on your radar. 2017 offers a wealth of locations to consider in your search for the perfect travel spot. Havana, Cuba is one of the main cities being talked about this year. Now that Americans have gained more access to this beautiful country, tourism is sure to skyrocket. It’s a good time to check out this unique location before external influences make their mark on this relatively sheltered culture. Cape Town, South Africa is another hot spot. From art exhibitions to wine country to the seaside, there is no end to fantastic activities. Cities in Japan from Kyoto to Osaka are top on the list as well. Rather than just focusing on the capital Tokyo, these cities offer the same levels of culture and adventure with the added bonus of being slightly less popular.
Travelling around the globe is an amazing way to see, learn and create. 2017 will be filled with its own wonders and experiences in this ever-growing world of technology. Take the time to figure out where you want to go, what you want to see, and how you want to create your journey. The top travel trends of 2017 are a great guideline to get you started.
Halong Bay, Vietnam is known for many beautiful sights and sounds. Because it is a Unesco World Heritage sight, travelers from all around the globe flock to this stunning destination throughout the year. As a result, tourism is high and tourist locations are sometimes overrun. If you are traveling to Halong Bay for a quick weekend, it makes sense to hit the hot spots. If you have a little extra time or are in the mood for something slightly more unique, however, there are many different ways to see Halong Bay. Rather than ticking off a checklist of universally known tourist spots, consider experiencing Halong Bay like a local.
STAY IN HALONG BAY LIKE A LOCAL
Airbnb is a more recent phenomenon that has allowed a whole new world of accommodation for travelers. Not only can airbnbs often provide more affordable lodging, they are incredibly convenient for people in search of more home-like comforts. You can choose places with private bathrooms, full kitchens in many different locations. Halong Bay Airbnb listings offer a wide range of prices and locations to choose from. The best part of an airbnb is that you can experience the life and culture of your destination first-hand. Hosts are often more than willing to offer advice on local customs, festivals, restaurants or landmarks. Depending on where it is within a city, you may find yourself right in the heart of Halong Bay daily life.
TRY TRADITIONAL BREAKFAST
Tasting traditional cuisine is an ideal way to experience the local life of Halong Bay. Since Halong Bay is next to the sea, it is no surprise that seafood is one of its main specialties. Don’t get caught up in touristy restaurants that only promote international food. One of the best ways to experience local flavor is by having a traditional breakfast. Jump into the local taste buds and try some of the traditional Halong Bay fare. Taste the seafood noodle bowl called Bún Bề Bề or the sweet rice powder-based Gat Gu Cake. Banh Cuon Cha Muc is essentially a fried squid sausage often served with sticky rice. You can find this delicacy for breakfast near Bach Dang cinema. Don’t miss the opportunity to feast on these essential Halong Bay delights.
VISIT BA VANG PAGODA
Ba Vang Pagoda is a Buddhist Temple first constructed in the 13th century. Its first major renovation took place in 1706 by the Buddhist Monk Tue Bich and today’s manifestation is the result of the most recent renovation in 2011. Warring and political drama took its toll throughout the years but the recent transformation makes it a beautiful tourist attraction. The structure faces the Bang Dang River with its back to Ba Vang Mountain. It is a beautiful exhibition of ancient Vietnamese architecture. One of its most defining features is Dai Hung Bao Dien, regconized by Indochina Records Organization as “the largest sanctum in Indochina”. It is also an excellent place to visit for its annual Chrysanthemum festival.
ADVENTURE AROUND DRAGON PARK
Dragon Park is part of a large amusement complex called SunWorld in Halong Bay. It has many thrilling attractions that are perfect for the intrepid adventurer. Some notable diversions include the Queen Car Cable and Sunwheel. The Dragon Park segment is famous for its three riveting roller coasters: the Dragon’s Run, the Mysterious Journey, and the Little Dragon’s Flight. There are also twenty-nine other rides ranging from the carousel to tea cups to tropical gardens. It’s a delightful place to experience a little excitement and local fun.
WATCH THE SUNSET ON SUNWHEEL
After you have spent time thrill-seeking through Dragon Park, stay around long enough to enjoy a magnificent sunset. The Sunwheel is an enormous Ferris wheel that offers spectacular views of the surrounding terrain. Its location is at the top of Ba Deo mountain, 250 meters above sea level. The wheel itself is bedecked in tens of thousands of LED lights. It is amazing opportunity to sit in one of the 64 cars and watch as the sun slowly plummets over the horizon.
HAVE A COFFEE AT ROOFTOP CAFE BAR
Finding bars and cafés is a great way to mingle with the locals. You can question the servers and bartenders or even strike up a conversation with a Halong Bay inhabitant. You can find the Rooftop Café & Bar on the tenth floor of the Halong Telecommunication Building. This café offers food, coffee, cocktails and a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Since it is open from 6 am to 11 pm, you can choose almost any time of day to sit, relax and take in the local culture.
Cruises are one of the most touristy things you can do in Halong Bay. They come highly recommended and offer a wonderful glimpse into the hot spots around the bay. However, when you choose the right cruise you also get a taste of the true local culture. Emeraude Cruise is known for its top of the line cooking courses, one of the many things you can enjoy on board the ship. Attend the demonstration on board and you will be able to see how to make traditional Vietnamese spring rolls. Hai Au Aviation also combines their seaplane experience with an overnight Emeraude cruise, some of the best ways to experience all that Halong Bay has to offer.
TASTE NIGHT TIME STREET FOOD
Breakfast is not the only time to taste the local Halong Bay cuisine. Ben Doan street and Hong Gai ward offer a cornucopia of evening street food. There are about eighty-seven booths in this nighttime market, offering all manner of twilight fair. Seafood is a must-have, from grilled shrimps to grilled spider-crabs and grilled snails. Imagine wandering around the darkened streets of Bay after an early dinner or late night cocktail. The street food of Halong Bay is a necessary experience if you want to understand local life.
SING KARAOKE AT DIAMOND CLUB
For the partiers at heart, there are many local clubs in Halong Bay. While most clubs are full of the brim with dancers and rollickers, trying one of the local clubs is a fantastic way to party like a local. The Diamond Club is open from 6pm to 1am and has tons of drinks, music and food. It’s an exciting environment to witness or participate in karaoke. Sing your heart out and see what it’s like to feel as if you are truly apart of Halong Bay.
RELAX IN THE HIDDEN BEACHES OF HALONG
Most people head to Halong Bay to enjoy the sights, scenery, and emerald green sea. It’s a blissful environment to engage in water sports like swimming or kayaking or simply bathe in the sun rays shining down from above. From the moment you step into the bay, you will see beaches and cruise ships dominating the scenery. Beaches are overflowing with people trying to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere. While it is a highly touristic destination, there are still a few beaches that only the locals tend to seek out.
Ngoc Vung and Son Hao are just a few of the hidden beaches that are still generally left to be explored by the more adventurous travelers. If you make the effort, however, the award for you will be a peaceful afternoon.
The delightful highlights of Halong Bay are numerous and diverse. As it is a small area of Southeast Asia, there are many popular and touristy spots to choose from. With a little work, however, you can easily dive into the local culture and see some of the more traditional and unique locations sprinkled about the bay.
TRAVEL WITH US
Be sure to take the time and see Halong Bay like a local. Join Hai Au Aviation for a trip remembering in Halong Bay.
Most people would agree that the worst part of any vacation is packing. It’s an arduous task that requires necessary organization and forethought. Not only do you have to consider things like where you are going and what the weather will be like, but most travel is now hindered by security and baggage allowances. Halong Bay, Vietnam is a Unesco World Heritage site and top tourist destination. It greets hundreds and thousands of tourists all throughout the year. Because it is a 4-hour drive from Hanoi and is surrounded by emerald seas, packing efficiently is a prerequisite. You want to be able to enjoy your time swimming or cruising through the limestone karsts rather than worrying about what toiletries you might have left behind. To help prepare for your magnificent Halong Bay adventure, here is a list of essential things to pack for your trip to Halong Bay.
HOW TO PACK FOR YOUR TRIP TO HALONG BAY
SUITCASE AND BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Before deciding what you will put in your pack, it is best to do some research on what size suitcase you can fill. If you are traveling internationally, you will usually be allowed more baggage than if you are traveling locally.
However, if you are planning to tour Vietnam or other parts of Asia in addition to your Halong Bay stay, you may want to consider a smaller case that is easier to tote around. The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is the main hub for trips to Halong Bay. While there are many options for transport, some of the most popular are car, shuttle bus, or seaplane. Make sure that you check company websites such as Hai Au Aviation to make sure that your bag will fit within maximum guidelines. Once you have chosen your optimal travel bag, it’s time to start packing.
The most important thing to get in order right from the start are your travel documents. Depending on where you are traveling from, this paperwork may vary. Most travelers will need to have an updated passport at the very least. Make sure that it is not within 3-6 months of expiration or you may not be able to fly. It is also never a bad idea to make copies of your passport in case there is ever a problem.
Other travelers may require an additional travel visa to enter Vietnam, in addition to medical documents like proof of vaccination. It can also be a good idea to print out all of your transport tickets and receipts so that you have them in case of emergency. Even though many airlines will now accept e-tickets, discount lines in particular usually demand printed copies. And if your phone should die or be stolen, it is a great idea to have a backup.
CASH AND CARDS
Traveling with too much cash on hand is never the best plan, but you always want to cover your bases. Thankfully, credit and debit cards are now accepted worldwide and any tourist destination such as Halong Bay will have provisions for international consumers. However, the further off the beaten path you go, the less likely it is you can use cards or foreign money. The currency in Halong Bay is the Vietnamese Dong.
If you are able to exchange your foreign bills at a local bank or exchange center, it is usually helpful to have a bit of cash on hand when you arrive. This will save you from paying exorbitant fees at the airport or having a hard time getting your first snack or taxi. Do some research on exchange rates and figure out how much to exchange before you go, making sure to strike a good balance between cash and card.
FIRST AID AND MEDICINE
If you have your own medical needs, be sure to prepare for those in advance. Some people have prescription medications that are crucial to their daily lives. Particularly with prescription medicine, you cannot be sure that you will find what is necessary for another country so plan to have more than enough in stock for the duration of your trip. It is also a good idea to have a small first aid kit with essential products that might come up during mishaps abroad. Items such as band aids, disinfectant, antihistamine and pain relievers are always useful options.
To pack for your trip to Halong Bay, you might also want to consider including things like insect repellant and pills for seasickness. You will most likely be spending at least part of your time wandering the beaches or enjoying the sights and sounds of a cruise, so best to be prepared for all possibilities.
SUNGLASSES AND SUNSCREEN
Halong Bay, Vietnam is a tropical climate, full of sea air and sunshine. Therefore, some of the most vital things to pack in your suitcase are provisions for the potentially hot sun. Sunglasses with UV protection will help you see the gorgeous sights without injuring your eyes. Sunblock or suntan lotion is crucial for days lounging on the beach, swimming in the sea, or even wandering a boat deck. If you are sensitive to the sun, you might also want to add some aloe vera and moisturizing lotion to your pack in case you soak up a few too many rays. Even certain pieces of clothing like a sun hat or cover-up for your swimsuit will protect you during the many hours you are enjoying Halong Bay.
SMALLER BAG AND SOUVENIR
In addition to your main suitcase, packing smaller bags and containers will help you manage any new items you may collect. For a day at the beach or a hike through the limestone caves of Halong Bay, a small backpack can be incredibly convenient.
Ideally, you can have your sunscreen, water, extra set of clothes, towel for the beach and everything else you might need at hand. You can take what you need for the day and leave your hands-free to explore and take photos. Some plastic and/or resealable bags will allow you to keep your dry clothes dry and your wet clothes separate from everything else. And since no trip is complete without a souvenir or two, having an extra bag will make it easier to pack when you are heading back home.
Now that it’s 2017, most travelers require various electronic devices. You will probably travel with a smartphone and camera at the very least, possibly an Ipad, Kindle or Laptop to boot. Each of these devices requires a power cord to charge and many countries have different voltage and sockets. Vietnam and Halong Bay now use mostly 220V, though older outlets may still use 127V.
Typical plugs are 2-prong but some higher end hotels may have British Standard 3-prong plugs. Make sure you check with your accommodation to see what they have available. More importantly, invest in an adapter and converter so that you can use the electronic devices most important to you. If you plan on using an electric razor, hair dryer, curler or straightener, you may want to see if the hotel has any to borrow so that you can avoid packing too many things.
CLOTHES AND FOOTWEAR
Clothes often take up most of the available space in a suitcase. While you want to consider packing lightly so that you aren’t hindered with too many bags, you also want to pack for all contingencies. The weather in Halong Bay can vary depending on the time of year. Summer months are the hottest but also the wettest. Winter months are cooler but also dryer. Depending on when you choose to book your trip, you will want to make sure you have a variety of options. Swim gear, towels and light layers are a good place to start.
When the sun goes down and the weather gets cooler you will want to have a sweater to cover up. A day at the beach means bringing sandals or flip flops while hiking or climbing will require sneakers or sturdy shoes. When considering exactly what you will need, think about how long you will stay, what activities you will do, and what time of year it will be.
Water is one of the most important things that you should consider when packing. It is generally not advisable to drink tap water in Vietnam. While airplanes make it difficult to travel with liquids, you can find many good water bottles to pack. Some will easily attach to your belt or bag and others even collapse. This makes it easier to fill up when you come upon potable water sources. Otherwise, it is best to purchase water bottles. In many touristic areas, water bottles are expensive. Try to stock up when you find a more affordable option. In such a sunny tropical climate it is essential to stay hydrated and drink clean safe water whenever you are able.
MISCELLANEOUS AND SUNDRY
There are always a few final items that are personal to every traveler. Some people always have a book on hand for the long hours on a plane. Others like to document their journey in a diary or scrapbook. Carry-on luggage is usually filled with the little things we want to have from home to make our journey more comfortable. Whether it be a neck pillow for the plane, a small box of snacks in case you can’t find anything to eat, or a good luck talisman for every new adventure, always make room for that final little trinket. Halong Bay is a mix of traditional and touristic so you are about to find most of what you need. However, a little bit of comfort never hurt anyone.
Vacations are meant for rest and relaxation, new experiences and new adventures. The more planning you do in advance of your trip, the more likely you can spend your hours enjoying your holiday without stress or worry. Halong Bay, Vietnam is a culturally rich area with dozens of activities to choose from.
The weather can vary depending on the time of year and anything can happen on the open seas. By planning and preparing your suitcase, you will be ready to do nothing but enjoy your time in this beautiful area of the world.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Halong Bay, Vietnam, is a cruise through the surrounding emerald seas. There is an endless amount of options available for all manner of traveler. These cruises range from one-day to multiple-day options and allow the intrepid traveler to experience the full spectrum of Halong Bay delights in a short period of time. Because there are so many cruise options available, however, it can seem daunting to choose the best one to fit your own personal needs. Whether you are swinging through Halong Bay for a quick weekend or this part of Vietnam is your primary vacation spot, you will want to take some time to choose a cruise that fits all of your requirements. Here are the optimal steps to choosing the best Halong Bay cruise for you.
HOW LONG WILL YOU BE STAYING?
The first step to choosing any Halong Bay cruise is to decide how long you are planning to stay in the area and therefore how long you want your cruise to be. One-day cruises will give you a glimpse into the local life of Halong. You will normally cruise around the bay, see a limestone cave or two, and possibly have a little time for swimming or kayaking. A two or three-day cruise will give you a much closer look into all that Halong Bay has to offer. You will be able to taste more of the food and engage in more activities such as nighttime squid fishing or early morning tai chi.
If you have plans to stay in the area for a weekend or longer than a multiple day cruises is best. If you already have plans to stay in a hotel or can’t manage more than a day trip from Hanoi, a one-day tour is perfect.
Finances always take their toll on any great adventure. When choosing a cruise through Halong Bay, you can easily narrow down your choices by deciding on a specific budget. Cruises range from less than $100 to well over hundreds more. Once you have decided how long you want your cruise to be, you can pick a specific price range. There are many amazing cruises available for between $100-$150, which will let you see the beautiful sights and sounds of the bay and include some great food and activities. Most ships are decked out in opulent looking fabrics no matter what the cost. It is usually best not to go for the absolute cheapest option out there. You get what you pay for. Spending just a little bit more will usually result in a slightly more efficient and comfortable cruise.
WHERE YOU WANT TO VISIT?
Halong Bay is a small corner of Vietnam, tucked into Southeast Asia. You can easily see many of the hot spots within a day or two of touring around. However, different cruises cater to different spots. There are dozens of limestone caves to explore and several floating villages to observe. Not only that, but certain cruises are known to venture “off the beaten path”, cruising past Halong Bay proper and focusing more on areas surrounding Bai Tu Long Bay. It is a good idea to sit down and consider which spots are most appealing to you.
Would you prefer to see the Dau Go Cave, Sung Sot Cave, or Thien Cung Cave? Does Cua Van or Vong Vieng floating village sound most appealing? The length of your tour may have some impact on your choices but it is always best to choose an itinerary that will stop at the spots that seem most exciting to you.
CRUISE REPUTATION & SAFETY
Another great way to narrow down your search is by researching a cruise’s reputation and safety standards. Any reputable cruise line will have to adhere to specific safety protocol. However, there are so many cruise lines advertised online, you don’t want to choose one without making absolutely sure that it is a secure and well-known company. For example, modern cruise lines do not utilize wooden boats. This is a big red flag to pay attention to when sifting through options. Going cheap does not mean that you are choosing a bad cruise line, but you want to make sure to pay attention to ratings and customer reviews. It is usually best not to deal with a company that has little or no information to report.
Hai Au Aviation works with L’Azalée and Emeraude to name a few. Other well-known companies include Signature, Indochina Sails, and Orchid cruise to name a few. There are so many great options, just make sure you do your homework before booking.
WHO ARE YOU TRAVELING WITH?
The people you choose to travel with will always impact how you want to travel. Perhaps you are flying solo across the globe, looking for intimate romance with a partner, or carting a caravan of kids around. Halong Bay advertises cruises for each of these scenarios. Certain lines make it clear that families are their top priority, boasting rooms that will accommodate larger groups. Other companies concentrate on creating a romantic atmosphere for newlyweds and lovebirds. There are even options for party cruises or boats that have single rooms for backpackers or independent voyagers. You want to make sure that the cruise cannot only accommodate the size of your party but also fulfills the requirements of each of its members.
SIZE OF THE BOAT
It’s usually said that size doesn’t matter, but in the case of Halong Bay cruises it often can. If you are a solo traveler or backpacker looking to see the sights with little to no fanfare, a petite little vessel might be just right for you. However, the larger the group the harder it will be to enjoy a potentially cramped environment. Most Halong Bay cruise ships are not massive. There are so many boats roaming through the bay, it would be impossible to have a Titanic-esque ship floating through the surf. But some boats are more spacious than others. Not only in terms of room space, but also in the dining rooms and on the decks. Travelers who want to spread their wings and enjoy the views from a tranquil spot on board will want to steer clear from boats that cram too many people into one tiny boat.
Most Halong Bay Cruises have a variety of food options available onboard. You will often find traditional Vietnamese dishes included in the menu as well as other international or fusion options. Many cruise lines even offer a Vietnamese cooking class or display as part of their activity itinerary during the excursion. Adventurous travelers usually look forward to tasting the local flavors or dishes of whichever country they are exploring. However, today’s society also demands food requirements. If you have a food allergy, intolerance or restriction, it is best to find a cruise line that will comply with your needs.
The most popular dishes include seafood of varying sorts. If you are allergic to seafood or shellfish, make sure there are other options available. Families with children will want to make sure there are kid choices for children who might not have developed adventurous taste buds just yet. Most companies will happily accommodate vegetarians upon request.
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS
No one books a cruise through Halong Bay just to stay on board and enjoy the scenery. While that is certainly a stunning part of the journey, the more exciting part is stepping off the ship and submerging yourself into the picturesque landscape. There are numerous limestone caves, beaches and fishing villages to explore. Most cruises will include excursions into these gorgeous areas of Halong Bay, by small boat or kayak. You can swim in the surf for an afternoon, maybe even snorkel or scuba dive.
There are activities not only off the boat but also on. Activities range from music to cooking classes, movies to squid fishing or tai chi. Don’t waste your time in Halong Bay merely sitting in the comforts of a luxurious room with a view. Be sure to investigate and take part in the brilliant experiences included in your trip.
TRANSPORTATION TO CRUISE & BACK
Hanoi, Vietnam is the closest major city to Halong Bay. Many tourists combine their tour of Halong Bay with some time spent in the capital city. Because of this, cruise lines generally include options for transport to and from the major city so that you can easily get to the airport and back regardless of the length of your trip. One of the primary methods of transport is a shuttle or private car. The drive takes approximately four hours and is included in the price of the cruise package.
Some tours even combine with Hai Au Aviation and include a seaplane flight one or both ways, cutting the travel time in less than half and providing an opportunity to see Halong Bay from above. While you can absolutely try to get to Halong Bay by independent car, train or bus, it will take much longer and be far more complicated. The best thing is to choose a cruise that has transportation included and work within your budget and time frame.
HOW TO BOOK YOUR TRIP
Once you have finally narrowed down your search and chosen a Halong Bay cruise line, it is time to book your tour. The quickest and easiest way is to book online. This usually gets you the best price in a secure way. Most cruise companies should have their own website so you can be sure that there are no tricks or traps involved in your purchase. However, many deals are available through other travel or discount sites. Once again, make sure to research and read the fine print. Any reputable agent like Kayak or Expedia will provide and safe and secure service though other sites such as Halong Bay Tours and Trip Advisor work as well. Just be sure to check for reviews and added fees.
Once you have completed all of this steps, you will ideally be ready for a wonderful cruise through Halong Bay, Vietnam. The planning process for any trip can seem overwhelming and confusing, but a bit of research and organisation will always guarantee amazing results. In the end, you will walk away from Halong Bay with memories to last a lifetime.
Travel with us
Take the time to filter through the mountains of information and prioritize your personal travel needs. Halong Bay is a top tourist and Unesco World Heritage sight so you will find infinite options available with Hai Au Aviation.
A Halong Bay weekend getaway is one of the most ideal plans. Whether you are touring the Southeast Asian landscape for weeks on end or setting your sights on Hanoi and Halong Bay in particular, this Unesco World Heritage site is a must-see. There are many options for visiting Halong Bay, but when planning a short weekend trip, it is necessary to organize and prioritize. The two main ways of enjoying a quick stay in this stunning area of Vietnam include one night in a hotel or one night on a traditional cruise ship. Both options have their benefits and are suitable for different kinds of travelers. Detailed below are two optimal itineraries for a wonderful weekend in Halong Bay.
CHOOSE CRUISE 2D1N TOUR IN HALONG BAY
A 2-day cruise is one of the most popular and time-efficient ways of exploring Halong Bay. You get the opportunity to sail through the brilliant blue seas and witness some of the main tourist highlights without having to do much legwork. You will be taken from point A to point B, all of your meals are included and your itinerary is set in stone.
Who should take this option?
This tour is perfect for the traveler who would like to get the guide around the bay. While you will have to do some research in choosing a cruise, once you are on board you don’t have to worry about where you go, what you will eat or what you want to do. Everything is pre-planned and designed for you to see as much of Halong Bay as you can in a limited time. Cruises are geared toward anything from romance to family to parties. It is pretty much ideal for almost any traveler who doesn’t mind a set itinerary.
What is included?
Halong Bay Cruises are notable for certain features. They normally include transport to and from Hanoi, meals, some drinks, accommodation, entertainment and excursions. It is essentially an all-in-one package deal to see the most renowned parts of Halong Bay. You will most likely be picked up early from Hanoi and then shuttled to Halong Bay. This transfer normally takes place in a car or shuttle bus, though there are fancier options including things like flying in a seaplane.
Many tours include welcome drinks on board your vessel or traditional junk boat, after which you will begin to tour the bay. Stops include various limestone caves, beaches and traditional floating villages. Most cruises allow time for kayaking, swimming and other water sports. You will have traditional Vietnamese or International fare for your meals and participate in several onboard activities such as cooking classes, tai chi, and squid fishing.
When to take?
The high season for international tourism is during the winter months from November to December whereas high season for domestic travel is during the summertime. Months like September, November to March and May are ideal for weather, when you will be able to avoid the wet season. Fortunately, Halong Bay cruises run throughout the year almost every day of the week. No matter when you are planning your trip to Vietnam, there is sure to be a cruise option available to book. It can certainly be nice to avoid the prime tourism months when the already packed bay is overflowing. Despite tourist traffic, however, there will always be cruise available.
Halong Bay is a relatively small area of Southeast Asia. Cruises generally tour through the Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay regions. The latter is considered a more “off the beaten path” destination. It is generally touristy anywhere you go in the area, though some beaches and islets are less populated than others. By booking a cruise, you are obliged to venture into the areas preset by the itinerary. These will include various limestones caves, popular beaches and floating villages.
One of the best parts about a cruise through Halong Bay is that there is a large range of price options available. There are cruises for the budget traveler as well as the luxury tourist and all manner in between. If you have a pack of rowdy kids by your side or are backpacking on your own, cruises are by far the most economical choice around. While you can find cruises offered for less than $100, it is generally advisable to go up a bracket and choose between one of the many options offered between $100-150. If you have interest in additional luxury, the price can go as high as you wish.
The Upside and Downside?
Cruises are generally one of the best ways to experience Halong Bay for a quick weekend away. You will see many of the most popular sights, get a taste of local culture. However, there are a few downsides. You will want to investigate your cruise options so that your boat is safe, reputable and provides everything you require. Because Halong Bay is a prime tourist destination, you are likely to be doing all of the same activities as every other tourist out on the bay.
There are many itineraries to pick from but you have far less flexibility than if you were choosing your own adventure. A cruise is definitely not the best idea for a traveler looking to escape the traditional tourist path.
Cruises are not the only option in Halong Bay, nor are they the best option for all. Travelers looking for a more flexible itinerary with a sturdier home base may want to book a hotel instead. To fully take advantage of all that Halong Bay has to offer, a hotel with an additional day cruise can be an ideal choice for people in search of tourism combined with tranquility.
Who should take this option?
Staying in a hotel has many advantages, specifically for certain types of travelers. Business people in town for a conference, tourists attending events in the area, or even seasick passengers had better stay away from cruise ships for too long. There are several hotels in Halong Bay that cater to the luxurious surroundings and offer a comfortable destination for travelers on the go. Many cruise lines offer one-day tours and some even promote half-day tours, meaning that you can still fit in a bit of tourism despite your already busy schedule. For those tourists who don’t have much fear for seafaring or are physically incapable of boarding a boat, a hotel will still allow you to enjoy Halong Bay.
What is included?
Not everyone wants to spend their entire trip to Halong Bay at sea. If you have specific reasons for being a landlubber, there are many hotels available. You can book one night in a hotel and a full day cruise separately or sign up for a pre-existing package that includes both. Hai Au Aviation, for example, pairs their spectacular seaplane service one way from Hanoi to Halong Bay where you will stay for one night in at the Wyndham Legend. You can add a full day tour through L’Azalée Cruise line and have the best of both worlds at your fingertips. You will be able to catch the hot spots of Halong Bay on a limited time schedule while still enjoying the luxury of a 5-star hotel.
When to do?
Hotels get less influence from weather conditions so you can easily book this form of accommodation all year round. With events and business engagements occurring nonstop, hotels are ready and waiting to receive you and your travel companions. If you are heading to Halong Bay for tourism, the best months are still in the winter from November to December. However, without the worry of longer stays on board a ship, it is easier to plan. It is still better to avoid the wetter months if you would like to see the karsts and beaches at their best, but a luxury hotel usually makes up for any weather trials.
Halong City is a petite metropolis. Waterfront property is sparse and therefore coveted by landowners so that they can boast rooms with a breathtaking view. There are also several full-day or half-day tours through many cruise lines in Halong Bay. These tours will generally give you a glimpse into the highlights of Halong Bay, including notable limestone caves, perhaps a floating fishing village and an hour or two of swimming or kayaking. It’s a wonderful quick taste of the area for a perfect weekend by the sea.
Hotels rates can vary vastly just as cruises do but you can also book them at wonderful prices. Rates can range from $50 per night to $250. Just as with the wide range of cruises out there, hotels will accommodate all manner of traveler. One-day cruises have the same price. Most decent options will cost around $100 for a full day cruise. When combined with a package deal, this rate may decrease. The more luxuries and perks that you want to add to your package, the more expensive they can become. All in all, you will most likely spend more money when combining a hotel with a day cruise option than when you book a two-night cruise out at sea. Once again, this allows for more flexibility and independence than a pre-planned cruise itinerary, but comes at a cost.
The Upside and Downside?
One night in a hotel plus one-day cruise through Halong bay will allow you the opportunity to see the many wonders of Halong Bay with the added bonus of flexibility and independence. Business people and travelers with a specific agenda will find that this option gives them the opportunity to explore Halong Bay on their own terms, with a few hours of guided tourism.
However, you will not be able to see as many of the fantastic spots that you could see in a weekend if you were floating the seas of Halong Bay the whole time. It is generally a more expensive route, though there are many deals that might fit perfectly into your schedule and financial plan. You may miss out on some traditional hot spots due to such a short stay in Halong Bay.
There are amazing adventures ready and waiting for all weekend Halong Bay travelers. Southeast Asia is a veritable Utopia for anyone touring Vietnam, whether it be a few days or a few weeks or months. Whether it be a night in a hotel overlooking the bay or a cruise floating atop the sea, a weekend in Halong Bay is always a magical experience overall.
While there is an infinite amount of itineraries available to all manner of voyager, these are two foolproof options that a large amount of tourists choose. Visit Hai Au Aviation for more great options.
The summer is coming and it’s time to sit down and figure out your holiday schedule. With the advent of technology, creating the perfect vacation has become simultaneously easier and harder at the same time. There are hundreds of destinations, deals, and DIY vacation tools. With one click of your finger, you can book a flight, a hotel, and an adventure package independently or all in one. With any luck, you have already chosen Halong Bay, Vietnam as this year’s fantasy spot. The emerald seas, junk boat cruises, and seaplane experiences make it an ideal vacation destination for solo travelers, romantic lovebirds, or globe trotting families. Instead of getting caught up in the whirlwind of choices, here is a list of the 8 steps you should take to plan your Halong Bay trip in Vietnam.
HOW TO GET READY FOR YOUR HALONG BAY TRIP?
STEP 1: RESEARCH AND PLAN
The first step in any successful vacation is to research options and start making a plan. While some travelers prefer to venture forth off the cuff, it is usually better to have at least a little lay of the land before dropping into unknown territory. Depending on where you are coming from and how long you will be in Vietnam, you may need to acquire certain medical vaccinations. Immunizations for diseases such as Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid are frequently required for foreigners. In addition to medical and legal issues, you will want to research the various options available including travel time, transport options, activities, and food.
Many countries will also demand that you obtain a travel visa before entering Vietnam. Foreign nationals of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland are exempted from visa visas upon entry into Vietnam if stay no more than 15 days from the date of entry.
Normal visa fee for foreigners entry Vietnam is $25. However, there are some special policies for different nations. For example, American citizens have to pay $135.
STEP 2: CREATE A BUDGET
Vacations are rarely cheap and are certainly never free. However, there are different options for different types of travelers. Are you a backpacker looking to do things on the cheap or plan a honeymoon and in search of luxury romance? Are you a mother or father of 4 and wanting to combine frugality with a few splurges? Usually, Halong Bay cruise tour includes bus transfer from Hanoi to Halong so you could save some money on transportation.
Halong Bay has opportunities for all kinds of budgets. Packages and cruise deals offer options for tourists looking to lounge in lap luxury as well as winging it in the wild. Some people prefer to spend money on beautiful accommodation whereas others would rather focus their funds on local cuisine or unique activities. If you prioritize the aspects of your trip, it will be easier to organize how and what to book.
First, take a look at your overall spending budget.
Next, highlight the parts of your voyage that are the most important to you.
Check out the normal price range for a cruise trip in Halong Bay here.
STEP 3: CHOOSE HOW LONG YOU WILL STAY
Halong Bay is a small but culturally rich area of Vietnam. There are an amazing amount of things to see and do in this renowned Unesco World Heritage Site. From the limestone caves to the floating villages to the beautiful beaches, you could easily spend a week or two exploring this bay alone. Depending on your budget and amount of vacation time, you may need to consider a more abbreviated or structured voyage.
As Halong is closest to the major city Hanoi, many travelers choose to include Halong Bay as part of their larger Vietnam trip. You can find many tours from Hanoi which will give you a glimpse of Halong Bay and many of its local landmarks. Consider booking one of the many cruise options so that you can see the highlights of Halong while gliding through the exquisite waters.
From one-day to 2D1N tours, cruises will allow you an opportunity to taste local food, kayak through the karsts, and even squid fishing in the deep blue seas. There is always time for Halong Bay, you just have to decide how much you can spare.
STEP 4: DECIDE HOW TO GET THERE
Since Hanoi is the closest main city to Halong Bay, most people choose to start their travels in Vietnam’s capital. Whether you are planning to spend most of your time in Halong or it is one stop on a larger trip, there are many options for transport between Hanoi and Halong Bay. Cruise options almost always include a shuttle transfer from your hotel or a central area in Hanoi. It is by far one of the easiest methods to get to Halong Bay. This option will typically take about 4 hours one way. You could always hire a private car but that would be much pricier than combining transport with a tour. There are also public options such as train or bus. However, these routes will take much longer than a direct shuttle.
The fastest and most luxurious option by far is to hop on a one-of-a-kind seaplane, a unique experience provided by Hai Au Aviation. A seaplane reduces the travel time to Halong Bay by more than half and allows stunning views of the landscape below. While it is certainly a less frugal mode of transport, it is always one of the most memorable and adventurous. You can book passage on a seaplane to or from Halong Bay or combine it with day cruise as several tour options that Hai Au Aviation offers. No matter which mode of transport you choose, a ride in a seaplane should be top on your list.
STEP 5: BOOK ACCOMMODATION
Considering your budget and allotted travel time is the first thing you need to do before booking your accommodation. Halong Bay has several different options for where to stay from hostels to hotels to classic cruises. If you are staying in Halong Bay for several days and want to explore everything on your own terms, hostels and hotels can be great for independence.
Hostels are perfect for backpackers or younger travelers looking to spend little money and meet some fun like-minded people. Hotels range from clean and affordable to pricey and decadent. A Halong Bay trip is never complete, however, without at least one night on a traditional cruise. These boats take you to many spots all along Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay. You will get a chance to try many adventure activities like kayaking and swimming or fishing.
You can see the limestone caves and floating villages so typical to the bay. Companies offer cruises for all types of tourists at all different price points. No matter which kind of accommodation you choose, Halong Bay will not disappoint.
STEP 6: EXPLORE FOOD OPTIONS
Food is one of the most interesting cultural elements to any vacation. Visiting Vietnam opens up a whole new world of culinary delights. An important thing to research before heading to Halong Bay is to find out what types of food are most unique to local culture. It is an amazing opportunity to experience something truly delicious and authentic. It is also important to make sure that there are food options for you. In today’s climate of allergies, diets, and culinary values, many people have to prepare for their trips in particular ways.
Halong Bay is of course known for delectable seafood and traditional Vietnamese fare. Dishes such as sea snails and squid-sausages are local delicacies and must-tries when visiting Halong. If you are a vegan or are allergic to seafood, for example, Halong Bay has international restaurants and many cruise ships will provide for alternate meals, but you want to make sure to investigate and notify before booking anything.
STEP 7: CHECK THE WEATHER
The weather and the season are important factors no matter where you plan on traveling. This will dictate the type of clothes you pack and what other products you might want to include in your suitcase like mosquito repellent, sunscreen or an umbrella.
The high season for inbound tourism in Halong Bay is winter time, from November to December. Domestic tourism is down and travelers from colder climates are looking for an escape from the deep chill. Happily, Halong Bay still enjoys warm and temperate weather during these months. It’s less humid and cool at night so you can still engage in watersports but may need to pack some layers for the evenings.
The summer months are high for domestic tourism which means you will be rubbing shoulders with more native Vietnamese but still dealing with tourism traffic and longer lines. During this time of year, the heat is most certainly on, so you will want to bring a lot of suntan lotion and make sure to invest in as many water activities as possible: swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, cruising are all great ways to avoid the heat.
STEP 8: INVESTIGATE LOCAL ACTIVITIES
No matter how you choose to get to Halong Bay, how long you stay or how much money you have, the main reason to go to this gorgeous part of the world is to experience everything it has to offer. Even if your main agenda is lounging on a pristine beach and staring out at the sea with a cocktail in your hand, it’s worth researching exactly which beaches are the best for silence and solitude versus water sports and socializing. And for most Halong Bay tourists, there are far too many wonderful activities to choose from.
Limestone caves are a pinnacle of Halong Bay tourism and a must-see when exploring the bay. These natural masterpieces are beautiful caves with glittering walls and crystalline pools. The floating villages are home to Halong Bay locals who spend their lives fishing at sea. Climbing Bai Tu Mountain is a wonderful way of seeing the spectacular scenery below. The kayaks, canoes, cruises, and seaplanes are all necessary activities to explore the stunning waters of the bay. Once again, you will need to prioritize the activities best for you and your travel companions so as to optimize the time you will have.
Finally, press the button and book your trip.
Every tale begins with an agenda, whether set in stone or open to interpretation. A Halong Bay holiday is a beautiful story just waiting to be told. If you want to sift through all of the websites and offers, from airplanes to accommodation, consider the best ways to plan your next exotic vacation. Research your options and prioritize your plans. Settle on a budget and investigate local culture and customs. Finally, press the button and book your trip. From seaplanes and cruises to sea snails and beaches, these are the 7 steps to planning your Halong Bay trip in Vietnam.
TRAVEL WITH US
We provide a wide range of Halong Bay tours from day trip to 2 days 1 night stay in L’Azalee & Emeraude Cruise with seaplane scheduled and scenic flight. Visit here.
Imagine flying in a brand new seaplane over the beautiful terrain and magnificent seascape surrounding Hanoi and Halong Bay, Vietnam. To see the lively streets of city life merge into the endless green vegetation of the countryside and finally open up onto the tranquil waters of the sea.
From 150 feet above sea level, you can experience some of the most astounding sights of Vietnam as you fly above in one of only three cutting edge seaplanes available. Hai Au Aviation boasts the only seaplane service in Vietnam. It is a unique opportunity to have a bird’s eye view of the picturesque scenery.
BRAND NEW CESSNA CARAVAN AIRCRAFTS
Hai Au Aviation Seaplanes are state-of-the-art aerial wonders. The company owns and operates three Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX amphibian aircrafts. The Textron Group (USA) manufactured and released the seaplane model in 2014.
These brand new seaplanes meet all international safety standards and are considered the safest single-engine aircrafts in the world. In addition, they have the recognition as the safest single-engine aircrafts to land on water and meet the standard requirements of the FAA (Federal Aeronautics Associations), ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and CAAV (Civil Aviation Authority Vietnam). You will have no safety fears or concerns when flying in a Hai Au Aviation seaplane.
THE HISTORY OF CESSNA
Clyde Cessna was one of the first American aviators and aircraft designers. In June 1911, Clyde first built and flew his very own aircraft. Eventually, he found a business partner in Victor Roos and created the Cessna-Roos Aircraft Company which quickly morphed into the Cessna Aircraft company. Clyde had many business ups and downs over the years, collapsing under the weight of the Depression but then rebuilding business when planes become more popular after World War 1.
Clyde’s innovation and technical skills created a legacy that culminated in a reputable aviation empire now parented by the Textron Company. The headquarters is in Wichita, Kansas and continues to produce a variety of Cessna models, the Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX one of its most reliable.
The Cessna Grand Caravan is a compact model with a comfortable interior. As you approach the seaplane, you will notice that it is mainly white with several windows and the Hai Au Aviation trademark in blue and green. They are remarkably small but impressive looking vehicles. Once inside the plane, the 12 sleek leather seats allow you to sit back and relax as you soar through the clouds. Each seat is next to a window so you can easily drink in the glittering panoramas.
The plane capacity is 14 people total, including two seats for pilots and 12 seats for guests. Cabin baggage is maximum 7 kg and the dimensions should be no larger than 56cm x 36cm x 23cm. This is so that you can easily transport personal belongings but without the discomfort of excess baggage. The dimensions of the cabin are:
Height 54 in (1.37 m)
Length 16 ft 9 in (5.10 m)
Width 64 in (1.63 m).
You will be quite cozy but incredibly safe and comfortable in these flying machines.
For a more technical understanding of how this seaplane model work, it is important to look at the specifications involved. It is certainly a compact aircraft with abundant power.
The Cessna Grand Caravan 208B – EX is 41 ft 7 in (12.67 m) in length and 15 ft 1 in (4.60 m) in height.
The wingspan is 52 ft 1 in (15.87 m) with a wing area of 279 sq ft (25.96 sq m).
The maximum cruise speed is 195 ktas (361 km/h) with a maximum range of Maximum Range 964 nm (1,785 km).
It takes 2,160 ft (658 m) to take off and 1,871 ft (570 m) to land.
The Cessna Grand Caravan was built to maneuver “challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways.”
SAFETY AND MAINTENANCE
Safety and Maintenance is of the utmost importance to Hai Au Aviation. Only highly experienced and certified engineers and mechanics are allowed to do work on the seaplanes. Each plane is serviced at the international standard facilities in Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai airports. Major maintenance checks take place at Cessna facilities in Singapore and all maintenance routines follow strict FAA standards.
In terms of safety, Hai Au Aviation seaplanes are in full compliance with CAAV and Ministry of Transport requirements. They are also always coordinating with relevant authorities while in the air, on the ground or in the water. No Hai Au Aviation seaplane operates outside of Vietnamese transport authority.
BENEFITS FOR PASSENGERS
Once you have decided to take a Hai Au Aviation seaplane, you can choose from among many different flight options.
There are daily scheduled flights that will take you between Hanoi and Halong Bay at only a fraction of the time it would take to travel by land.
You can opt to book a 25-minute sightseeing tour and marvel at the beautiful vistas from an amazing perspective.
For the most luxurious private travel experience, book the Hai Au Aviation seaplane private charter services.
By choosing to fly in a Cessna Grand Caravan 208B- EX you are eliminating wasted time and focusing on the joy of your trip. The comfortable cabins, excellent safety and maintenance standards, and sheer speed of the trip make it the ideal way to travel around Vietnam.
Cruises are one of the best-selling tourist attractions in Halong Bay, Vietnam. Since the bay is a veritable utopia of marine life and natural phenomena, cruising through the islands in a junk boat or paddling around in a kayak are some of the best ways of seeing the sights.
There are so many ways to decide which cruise to take that many people find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer avalanche of options. Instead of panicking, make a list of your needs and expectations. One of the first ways to narrow down your choices is to consider the price. There are full day to multiple day cruises available but most people agree that the longer the cruise, the more bang for your buck.
So, are you looking for a top deal?
Are you on a budget?
Are you treating yourself to a real splurge?
From low-cost to mid-range to high-end, Halong Bay Cruise prices are as diverse as their offerings. Keep in mind that cruise prices vary depending on day and season so the prices listed are an average deal. We will compare some of the top 2-day tour price deals to see what works best for every price range.
TOP BUDGET CRUISES
Cristina Diamond – Day Cruise from $65.00
For the big spenders out there, Cristina Cruise is a budget option at a slightly more moderate rate. The cabins are accented in crimson and private balconies are the norm. The food is still considered top-notch and the customer service pristine. You will explore Vung Vieng Fishing Village and sunbathe at Ban Chan Beach.
At night you can engage in a variety of onboard activities from board games to squid fishing to karaoke. Cooking and tai chi classes are included in the cost, as well as a fruit carving demonstration. This cruise will provide you with the same itinerary as any luxury cruise but with a slight on the expenses.
Halong 2 – Day Party Cruise from $109.00
One of the least expensive cruises in Halong Bay is the Halong Party Cruise. The highlight of the tour is a sunset party held on the deck and continuing on for hours. This tour is generally marketed toward the young, the single, or the backpackers who’d like to meet new people and maybe party a little hard.
You will still get to see all the traditional sights, but with the added bonus of a party spirit filling the decks.
You will go cruising through the islets and kayaking in the Frog Pond area.
Food is included, though, like most tours, beverages are not.
The cabins may not be quite as decadent as some, but the price is certainly right.
If you’re in the mood for a wild night out, there isn’t a better experience than to drink and dance from sunset until sunrise while cruising through the seas of Halong Bay.
Glory Legend 2 – Day Cruise from $109.00
At the low price of $109, Glory Legend 2-day Cruise is a real steal for your cruise through Halong Bay. Transportation includes a shuttle bus to and from Halong City and all meals are included.
You will get to explore Titop Island, choosing to climb to the top or swim in the seas below. Titop provides magnificent views of the surrounding land. Sung Sot Cave, one of the most famous limestone grottoes in Halong Bay, is also on your itinerary. Cabins include options for families, sea views, or private balconies, though of course, the price will vary depending on size and occupancy.
This tour also offers a complimentary welcome drink as part of its deal. You will see the top sights of Halong Bay while you cruise through the emerald waters and listen to the junk sails flying over head. This tour is not the most glamorous or unique of the bunch, but it is a great value for the trip.
Poseidon Sail 2 – Day Cruise from $109.00
Poseidon Sail Cruise is another one of the most affordable tour lines around. Their 2-day tour starts at the low price of $109.00 and includes the same sights and sounds as most of the other cruise lines. You will be offered a welcome soft drink as you board the adorable wooden junk boat. It will then cruise you past such majestic attractions as the Fighting Cock islet, Incense Urn islet, Toad, Dog and Dragon islets just to name a few. You will get to go to Ti Top island and enjoy the stunning view from the top.
Poseidon Cruise also boasts a cuttlefish contest in which you may be able to enjoy some fresh cuttlefish in addition to other onboard activities. Single rooms are noted to be available at even cheaper rates, though the golden trimmed cabins look cozy enough.
Flamingo 2 – Day Cruise from $121.00
Another budget option is Flamingo Cruise, which likes to connect their rare bird name with good luck and happiness. As always, meals are included and you will have the opportunity to visit many amazing sights such as Hoa Cuong Floating Village, Soi Sim Beach, and Coconut Tree Island.
This cruise also stops at Titov beach with time for kayaking and swimming. You can witness some Vietnamese cooking and learn how to make fresh/ fried spring rolls and mix fish sauce. In the evening, you can have fruit and wine at the Sunset Party or go squid fishing with the staff. Cabins are decked out in white and cerulean blue, making you feel like you are apart of the bright seascape.
Calypso 2 – Day Cruise from $129.00
Finally, Calypso 2-Day Cruise generally prices in at the lower end of the spectrum. Calypso prides itself on flexibility and a taste for adventure. You will see the Bai Tu Long region and swim in Ban Chan beach. While most beverages are an extra charge, you will also be offered a welcome drink upon arrival as well as free cocktails to cool down on the deck before or after you take a rejuvenating swim while the sun sets.
The traditional cooking class will entertain as you munch on fresh fruit. With Tai Chi and the Thien Canh Son Cave to look forward to the next day, there is no end to the activities available. This is an excellent cruise for people hankering after a little excitement at a reasonable rate.
TOP MID – RANGE CRUISES
LaFairy Sails 2 – Day Cruise from $154.00
Moving along to mid-range options, LaFairy Sails is a really great cruise line, offering spacious rooms and sprawling decks. They pride themselves on creating a unique experience in an intimate environment. You will be treated to a welcome drink upon arrival and have all meals included.
This cruise sails through Bai Tu Long Bay and hits up Titov Island. Swimming, kayaking and climbing are all at your disposal. In addition to the usual perks like a cooking demonstration and Tai chi class, you will also be able to listen to live traditional Vietnamese music on deck in the evening. What better soundtrack to enjoy before dinner and squid fishing. It’s an extra little look into the local culture of Halong Bay.
L’Azalée Overnight Cruise from $145.00
L’Azalée Cruise offers a comfortable overnight journey through the karsts and caves, highlighting the Pearl Farm located in the Lom Bo Canal area. You will get a chance to explore Sung Sot “Surprise” Cave for one hour and go kayaking through the Dau Trau islet area as well. Hai Au Aviation offers a combination deal, adjoining one-way transportation in their state-of-the-art seaplanes with an overnight cruise through L’Azalée. Most tours provide two-way transportation by car or shuttle bus so you’ll be able to engage in the delights of the Vietnamese countryside but only during a 4-hour drive.
By choosing to ride in a spectacular seaplane, you will get a rare opportunity to see more of Southeast Asia and Halong Bay from above. It’s a fast, fascinating way to get to the bay or back. Whether you start or end your journey with a seaplane, this is a quite a deluxe deal.
Signature 2 – Day Cruise from $143.00
Usually considered one of the more luxurious cruise lines, Signature Cruise still offers a good top-of-the-line option for an excellent deal. Their cabins are spacious and light colored with wonderful views of the sea. In addition to the Bai Tu Long Bay-focused itinerary, this cruise markets their Vietnamese cooking and Tai Chi classes offered free of charge.
After a day of activities both on and off the boat, gaze out under the stars while you relax on the deck of this glamorous ship. Though it’s a little pricier than some of the other deluxe deals, you get a few juicy options the others don’t share while maintaining the typicals sights and sounds of Halong Bay.
Ginger 2 – Day Cruise from $175.00
If you want to harken back to the Roaring Twenties, Ginger Cruise prides itself on its 1920s Indochina styled design. This tour will bring you to the Tien Ong Cave and Cua Van fishing village. You can spend your evening having an onboard message, dancing on the deck, or squid fishing in the night. You can begin your second day with a Tai Chi session followed by an afternoon swimming or kayaking at Titop Beach.
This cruise includes a welcome cocktail, meals and various onboard activities. Ginger Cruise is a wonderful mid-range cruising experience.
Red Dragon 2 – Day Cruise from $190.00
Red Dragon 2-day cruise ranks in at a slightly higher rate than the others, averaging a mid-range cost of $190. Kayaking services, meals and complimentary welcome drink are included in the price of the tour. You will also have an opportunity to utilize fishing and swimming equipment free of charge.
This tour will bring you out to Bai Tu Long Bay, a destination considered further off the beaten track from normal touristic zones. You will be able to see the stalactites and stalagmites of the Thien Canh Son Cave. You will also get to explore Vung Vieng floating Village in a wooden row boat. The cabins are a plush mahogany color, adding just a hint of luxury into your cruise. While just a bit more expensive than some of the other mid-range cruise lines, Red Dragon still provides a good quality to fit your expenses.
TOP LUXURY CRUISES
Emeraude Cruise Overnight from $235.00
Once again, any luxury experience should be accompanied by a sensational seaplane. This time, Hai Au Aviation combines with Emeraude Overnight cruise for a fantastic luxury experience. Emeraude which has a most recommendation on cruise package deals, is known for having superior cabins and cuisine. They offer fusion Vietnamese and International meals on board, also highlighting their Vietnamese spring roll class.
You can enjoy a crepe station on deck before visiting the famous Pearl Farm. There’s also an opportunity to watch “Indochine”, a famous French movie partially filmed in Halong Bay. Cruise or kayak through Sung Sot Grotto and Luon Cave. Imagine you are Catherine Deneuve yourself as you fly through the sky in a glamourous seaplane and cruise through the bay in a decadent boat.
Hera 2 – Day Cruises from $375.00
Just like the Greek Goddess namesake, Hera 2-Day Cruise is the Queen of ships. Home to a 6-star luxury boat and 5-star food and beverage options, Hera Cruise is one of the most luxurious options in Halong Bay. The rooms are spacious and modern with beautiful wooden detail. A welcome drink and all meals are included.
You will be able to enjoy kayaking, swimming, a cooking class and tai chi. You will also get to visit a local fishing village in a complex reserved exclusively for Hera Cruise and customers. This will give you even more local experience and the opportunity to see the life of Halong Bay up close. The benefit of a cruise like this is that, while the offerings may be very similar, the quality may exceed other lower budget cruises.
CHOOSE HALONG BAY CRUISE TO FIT IN YOUR POCKET
Not everyone in the world has the same sized pocketbook, so when choosing how to experience the glories of Halong Bay, finances must be considered. There are budget tours, mid-range excursions, and luxury ventures all ready to be experienced in this serene area of Southeast Asia. If you make it to Halong Bay, a cruise is must-see, so take a look at the fees and rates to help you make the best decision for you. While weather and tourism seasons will certainly affect prices, there are all manner of deals to be found.
Take a soaring seaplane for one half of your journey; be a flamingo, a greek goddess or a film starlit for the other half of your journey.
TRAVEL WITH US
If you go to Halong Bay, there is no doubt you should engage in one of the amazing tours available. Of the hundreds of options available, there are some good deals for you from Hai Au Aviation.
For many travelers especially photographers who are seeking the impeccable views of Halong Bay to photograph out there, this article is perfect for you. As you approach Halong Bay, Vietnam, the first thing you experience is a gentle breeze and a whiff of salty sea air. Halong Bay’s breathtaking views offer photographers who are hunger for the finest shots so many opportunities to capture the exceptional illustration.
Flying Through The Sky To Capture The Breathtaking Halong Bay
There aren’t many ways that you can cruise through the clouds of Halong Bay and still get close enough for some amazing views. Helicopters are expensive, hot air balloons don’t run, and parasailing isn’t optimal for photography equipment. One option, however, stands out from the rest.
Seaplane will blow your mind up
One of the unique ways to see Halong Bay is by seaplane. Hai Au Aviation offers a one of a kind experience to combine a tour of the bay with seaplane transport to or from Hanoi. Furthermore, you can also sign up for a tour of Halong Bay and spend a blissful 25 minutesgliding through the clouds and feasting on the seascapes below.
This is basically a photographer’s playground, having the opportunity to see Halong Bay intermingled with fluffy clouds and sparkling sun. It is a floating paradise of photo opportunities.
While flying with seaplane, you are free to use mobile phone 3G to connect the internet. Therefore, you would have lots of great photos even without a proper camera. Gear up for the panoramic views and practically perfect shotsSpoiler content.
Queen Cable Car and Sunwheel
A brand new attraction in Halong Bay to photograph is the Queen Cable Car, which runs from the Bai Chay district of Halong City all the way up to the top of Ba Deo Hill. It is an amazing opportunity to glide over the bay and get a majestic view of the sights below. Each car can carry 230 passengers, so they are quite large with windows bordering all sides.
Once you reach Ba Deo Hill, you can then take advantage of access to the Sun Wheel: an enormous Ferris wheel also offering fantastic views of Halong Bay to photograph.
Each of these attractions provides a unique opportunity to enjoy a stunning perspective of Halong Bay to photograph from the sky. A two-way cable will cost around 300.000VND/ person.
Mountains And Peaks – Heaven For Photographs
Halong Bay is made up of stunning limestone karsts, creating islands, grottoes, and peaks all throughout the bay. These make ideal spots to climb and achieve a gorgeous view of the land and sea below. Some of the most optimal points are on the list below.
Expand Your Vision From Bai Tho Mountain
Bai Tho Mountain is one of the most famous and highest peaks in Halong Bay. Located right in the city center, Bai Tho Mountain is not the easiest mountain to scale but certainly doable for most tourists. The entrance is tucked amidst local houses, hidden in a small corner with no sign in Hang Noi street.
Ask the locals and they will be more than happy to point you the right way. You will finally come upon a magical staircase that winds up to the top of the mountain. It will take about 30 minutes to conquer this 200 meters (106m from ground level).
From the top, you will have one of the most comprehensive and gorgeous views of Halong Bay. While it is a steep walk, there’s no reason why you can’t cart a decent camera and take advantage of all the wondrous sights from goats wandering through the rocks to birds soaring down to the bay below.
Trong Mai Islet – The Symbol Of Halong Bay
The tour guide said: “Once we are here as a couple, we need to take a kissing picture so that our love lasts forever”. This two chicken kissing rock formation is probably the most photographed scene in spectacular Halong Bay.
Located right in the heart of the bay, this pair of limestone islet jutting out from the calm water has become memorable landmarks in Halong Bay to photograph.
At times, the rocks look like lovers, at other times, they look like machinery or cockfighting. When there is a mist in the air, the marvelous effect will be embedded in your mind forever.
Ti Top Mountain – The Perfect View To Photograph Halong Bay
No better place than Ti Top Mountain to experience the beauty of Halong Bay. Right in the heart of Halong Bay lies Ti Top Mountain, 8 kilometers from the Southeast of Bai Chay Harbor.
Approximately 400 steps will take you from Ti Top beach to the top of the peak. While many cruise lines stop here, it is generally a quieter spot than Bai Tho and will provide a much different perspective from the center of Halong Bay to photograph.
This gives you a perfect opportunity to discover views from the small sandy shore as well as up high in the sky. Ti Top Island offers wonderful views of Halong Bay to photograph, walk to the top is not an easy journey. The climb is extremely hard and treacherous since the stairs to the top are not uniform in size or shape.
Just make sure you have plenty of water and keep pushing yourself to the very top. The view once you get there is worth every moment of pain.
Adventurous Butterfly Valley
Butterfly Valley is situated on Cat Ba Island. It is a rock climber’s wonderland, home to about 60 sports routes. There are sheets of limestone shooting out of the terrain in many spots. It is also a popular area for honey and honey-related products so keep on the lookout for local food opportunities.
Most people choose to go on a hiking or rock climbing tour to check out these amazing sights and make sure that they have guidance for safety concerns. If you have an adventurous spirit and a longing to shoot some amazing geographic anomalies. This is a great opportunity to go somewhere off the beaten path.
Floating Villages Will Bring Your Shoots To The Next Level
The floating fishing villages of Halong Bay are one of the unique ways of seeing the local Vietnamese culture in action. Hovering over the emerald water, the multicolored houses stand out as a patchwork of family and industry. These are an ideal place to not only meet some native inhabitants of Halong Bay but take interesting shots of daily life.
Lively Pictures In Cua Van Villages
Cua Van village is one of the most popular and the largest of Halong Bay fishing villages. It sits in tranquility about 20km from the touristic boating wharf. It is the largest fishing village in the area and boasts a population of 733 people in 176 households.
Home styles range from the small and clean to the more spacious and well-equipped, utilizing electricity and televisions.
Not only will you be able to see the real-life homes of the fishing families, but observe the vast amounts of marine life floating below. An excellent opportunity for you when in Halong Bay to photograph the many layers of the pace everyday life.
Local Vibes In Vung Vieng Village
Located in Bai Tu Long Bay, Vung Vieng Village is a slightly smaller fishing community. There are about 50 families with approximately 200-300 members. Most of these villages are generally considered to be poor.
Fishing is their primary income for things like food and potable water but nowadays tourism also assists their economy. One of the most beautiful sights is seeing the local children learning their family craft, romping around in the surf and contributing to the trade.
Padding Around Cong Dam Fishing Village
This old and small fishing village is located on Bai Tu Long Bay. Quite far from the mainland with the population of 120 people. Not really close to the center of the bay, so the Cong Dam Village is pretty isolated from the normal tourist routes.
The first thing you will feel about this fishing village beside the simplicity of life is its mysterious and unusual vibe. It is fascinating to see how very different some people live and work. And how they have adapted to their environment.
Instead of kayaking around those karsts and lime-stone, choosing to hire a rowboat and discover sides of Halong Bay to photograph is a better idea. Visiting this isolated villages to take pictures of the inhabitant and fisherman’s cute kids will be the highlight of your journey.
A Glimpse Of Ba Hang Village
To capture extraordinary life moments based on simplicity, yet filled with complexity at so many levels, then this indispensable village is a right spot in Halong Bay to take photograph. Three Caves Village is one of the four famous villages attracts major tourists in Halong Bay.
Beautiful in every direction, there 50 families living here so it’s easy to talk to local people and get to know the fisherman daily lives. A relatively simple life without the stresses of modern living. Seeing the floating villagers, eat, sleep, make their living and raising their family is truly unbelievable. Their living quarter is really small, but they have the best out of it and their friendliness will warm your heart up.
You will be amazed at how fascinating everything is utterly quite traditional and more than just beautiful. Nonetheless, an interesting scene along the river – a must see if you are in Halong Bay. Don’t miss those unique experiences if you have the chance.
Falling In Love On The Decks Of Cruises
One of the hot spots of Halong Bay tourism is their wide selection of full day to multiple day cruises (2D1N or 3D2N). It’s an ideal opportunity to get out into the water and take some panoramic photos of the world around.
Most of them will also include Sung Sot caves visit, which will allow you to get up close and personal with the limestone karsts so you can take some exquisite photos of the landscape. There are many options for cruises of all length and price. These are some of the top sellers.
Magnificent Views On L’Azalée Day Cruise
Seaplane Flight & L’Azalée Day Cruise is one of the most affordable options and is ideal for people working with time restraints. Hai Au Aviation has many tour package deals which combine their seaplane experience from Hanoi to Halong Bay with a hotel or cruise option. By taking advantage of this option, you will be able to see the sights from the sky and the sea, snapping shots from every angle you can think of.
They also have a wonderful overnight affiliated with Emeraude cruise, a high-end cruise line that will provide you with some delicious Vietnamese food. And show you some of the amazing scenery where movies such as Indochine were filmed. The itinerary often includes visiting Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island, Pearl Farm and 2 meals on board.
The Lovely Sights From Indochina Junk
Traditional Junk ships stand out like a blast from the past as you gaze out into the waters of Halong Bay. The rust-colored sails flying high above the deck are photo-worthy themselves, inspiring all manner of adventure theme.
Indochina Junk will bring you out toward Bai Tu Long Bay, an area considered more “off the beaten track” then some of the initial Halong Bay sights.
You will have the occasion to kayak into the caves and mingle with the floating villages. Seeing many of the sights you have on your list for great photo ops.
Let Your Eyes Wander Around The Scenery On Signature Cruise
Signature Cruise is considered a luxury romantic cruise ambiance. You’ll be able to take a Vietnamese cooking class or try out a lesson in Tai Chi. This itinerary could bring you out toward the Cong Dam Area and includes all of the sights and activities typical to a Halong Bay experience
Imagine walking on the day during sunrise or sunset and capturing the moment the sun first starts glittering on the horizon. These cruises will give you ample opportunity to take some of your most astounding photos.
Unusual Limestone Caves And Karsts
Some of the most remarkable aspects of Halong Bay to photograph are the limestone caves and karsts that jut out from the sea and create the magical skyline surrounding the bay. Most cruises and tours will include time to explore some of these grottoes either by kayak or by foot. It’s a fantastic opportunity to take out your camera and get clicking away at all the stalactites and stalagmites piercing the terrain.
Creating Lifetime Moments In Dau Go Cave
Dau Go Cave is located on Dau Go Island and is considered to be the largest and grandest of the limestone caves. It is almost 2 million years old and holds the dimensions 12 meters wide and 17 meters high at the entrance.
90 steps will bring you into the first of 2 chambers ready to explore. As you walk through the cave you will see the amazing geological detail as the light reflects from mystical angles.
Thien Cung Cave – Magical Grotto
4 kilometers away from Dau Go Cave you will find Thien Cung Cave, another magical grotto. The cave is 10,000 square meters. After a narrow passageway, you will come to a spacious chamber filled with the reflective light so common to these ancient structures.
The complex network of stalagmites and stalactites make it a challenging yet incredibly worthwhile experience in Halong Bay to photograph.
Unexpected Adventure In Sung Sot Cave
Sung Sot cave is another legendary experience, often called the most famous of the Halong Bay limestone caves. 100 stone steps mark the entrance to the various chambers, once again denoted by the kaleidoscopic light and geological wonders.
The deepest section is the “royal garden” where you will find a crystal clear pond decorated with various flora and fauna. It’s a stunning haven away from the hustle and bustle of the world outside. Hire a tour guide and the myth of each cave could surprise you.
Ho Dong Tien Cave – Fairy Lake Cave
Legend has it said that the lake inside the cave is fairies’ favorite place for bathing and sleeping that is why this cave is called Fairy Lake Cave. Its special features, magical values of geology and stunning scenery makes it become a top destination for many researchers in Halong Bay to photograph. Different from all other caves in Halong Bay, entering Fairy Lake Cave is an exciting experience.
You can only access this wet, dark, small chamber by one boat, the entrance is really narrow that allows one person to go through at a time. After passing through that tiny tunnel, you will be surprised because of its spacious chamber and gorgeous, glowing stalactites beautifully hanging down from the ceiling. Marvelous beautiful nature creators in Fairy Lake Cake are waiting for you to discover.
Me Cung Cave – Bewitching Grotto
Me Cung Grotto (Bewitching Grotto) is located on Lom Bo Island, about 2 kilometers far from Ti Top Island to the southwest. Bewitching Grotto’s beauty standing out among many caves in Halong Bay to photograph. It is famous for not only being a remarkable appealing cave but also being the evidence that scientists found of prehistoric life in Vietnam.
The combination of sunshine on the outside and sparkling diverse shapes and sizes of stalactites on the inside makes Bewitching Grotto become a magical feature in Halong Bay to photograph. Its natural beauty provides photographers transforming pictures and wonderful experiences for travelers.
Extraordinary Hidden Beaches In Halong Bay To Photograph
Finally, there are many hidden beaches sprinkled around Halong Bay to photograph, giving the tourist or the photographer alike. A chance to frolic in the deep blue sea and capture some of the most picturesque moments of the bay. Many beaches closer to the city are small and touristy, but because there are so many beautiful islets around the bay, there is always a place to find some solace and serenity.
Original Beauty Awaits In Ngoc Vung Beach
While you will still find beach chairs and sunbathers at Ngoc Vung Beach. The sandy shores and pristine waters make up for it. This spot is still considered relatively untouched and the sea is crystal clear all year round. It’s a beautiful location for pictures of beach dwellers, marine life, and panoramic views of the bay.
The beach is about 34 km southeast of the tourist wharf and the island is approximately 12 square kilometers. Walk as long and as far as you can or stick around for campfire and see the sparks twinkling under the deep blue sky.
Original Beauty Awaits In Ngoc Vung Beach
Usually, tours in Halong Bay do not provide to Ngoc Vung beach so that you have to arrange everything by yourself.
Finding Peace In Son Hao Beach
Son Hao Beach is located on Quan Lan Island. It is a small island and scarcely populated, to begin with, though there is a small village in the center and moderate tourist trade. Son Hao beach is hard to find and still considered one of the most secluded areas around.
If you can find the entrance, you will be well rewarded as one of the only inhabitants taking advantage of its beautiful shores. It is not as well-maintained as some of the other more touristy beaches. But for exquisite shots of a serene seascape, it ranks on top.
Ancient Feelings In Ba Trai Dao Beach
Ba Trai Dao beach is also on the tourist track but is unique due to its mythical association. Three small mountains resembling peaches separate the three small beach areas that are ideal for swimming and kayaking around.
Legend has it that a fairy fell in love with a fisherman near these isles and offered the young man three peaches as a token of her affection and to bring him eternal life. Because she had stolen them from heaven. The King of Heaven became angry and turned the peaches into the three limestone isles. Then separating the fairy forever from her love. The islands are now considered romantic and enchanted hamlets to take advantage of only during the 2-3 hours a day when the sand is not covered in the tide.
An Appealing Destination – Soi Sim Beach
Soi Sim Beach is a charming, small island and pretty unfamiliar compare to other attractive places in Halong Bay. Peaceful ambiance, quiet atmosphere and natural beauty of blue sea will lead travelers to another different side of Halong Bay to photograph. Because of its clear-cut emerald water, you can easily see schools of fish while swimming there.
Furthermore, from the highest peak of Soi Sim Islet, you will great chance to enjoy the spectacular views to photograph and other activities. The Sim Soi Islet is receiving more attention from locals and tourism to set up a plan to developing this new feature to become an eco-tourist site which brings both economic interest and value of preservation.
Travel Photos Tips You Should Know Before Getting Started
Having a list of beautiful places in Halong Bay to photograph but not everyone can make the best of it. Probably you will be wondering how to make your shot look better than everyone else. Here are some handy travel photograph tips will guide you through your Halong Bay photoshoot and take gorgeous shots like a pro.
Shooting Epic Landscape Photos In Halong Bay
To get a beautiful and artistic landscape photos in Halong Bay, you can’t just lift up the camera and shoot. Landscape photos are about being prepared, being able to get to the place you need to go, and being able to bring everything with you. These landscape photo techniques you need to take with you into the field to ensure you have a perfect trip.
1. Camera and Lens
Beginner photographers don’t need to spend too much money on the most expensive cameras and lenses. The most important for beginners is to learn the setting and how you can get the most out of it. When it comes to right time, you will know when it’s time to upgrade.
Having a tripod is highly recommend for any kinds of photographs. Tripods can be heavy and bulky but it will help you out for different situations to photograph to best of Halong Bay. Investing in a good tripod is actually a good idea to achieve high-quality images, catching the good light, sharp angle and longer exposures
3. Don’t forget to clean your equipment
Treat your equipment well with nice cleaning materials, it protects your camera, keeps your images in good quality and helps you save a lot of time in the editing game. Carrying your cleaning wipes with you nearby through your trip could be extremely beneficial in unexpected situations.
4. Waterproof and dustproof protection
Unexpected things happen all the time in traveling, to ensure your camera not getting any damaged during your Halong Bay trip. Bringing waterproof and dustproof protection is highly recommended. Whether on cruise, beach or hash environment situation it protects your camera from getting wet, dusty which will lower the quality of your photo.
5. Last but not least is yourself
Keep a clear focused mind to become a storyteller with your own photos, creativity in shooting can be hard to get. Fresh and new composition is waiting for you to explore. Listen to your inner self, take a step back and shot. With a keen eye for odd nature in the landscape orientation may seem the most important asset in your photographer’s toolkit.
Nature landscape photo tips to photograph the best of Halong Bay
For nature landscape photos particularly in Halong Bay, you should do some research to know more about that place, the weather, viewpoints and find inspirations for your own shoots.
Perhaps even more important is to know when to travel to Halong Bay, it’s amazing how different landscape photo can appear at different times of the year. Each season has its own unique scenes that you can capture then turning it into spectacular images.
Catch the best light in Halong Bay to photograph
What time is the best time to travel Halong Bay may seem the first question that pops up in your mind? For the finest illustration, the easiest tips that also get the best result when being in Halong Bay to photograph is to patiently wait for the right light.
Bright sunny days tend to add more contrasts in nature scene with clear bright highlight and also sharp shadow. Shooting in early mornings and late afternoon will help you get photos with fewer contrasts and beautiful pleasant glow.
For a lot of people, cloudy days are nightmares to photograph. But if you know how to overcome those cloudy day’s challenges. This kind of weather is somehow proving that it is perfect for photographing. Cloudy days provide interesting skies from top to bottom. Dramatic skies combine with beautiful mountains and peaks in Halong Bay image is definitely what you wish for.
Don’t forget to add a subject
Adding a subject or a human element to your landscape photo is a plus point that conveys depth and interest. Instead of shooting just natural beauty in Halong Bay, try to ask someone to pose in front of the scenery to make your picture more impressive which can also help better personal connection.
The interaction between human and nature always bring the best poetic contrast to landscape photography. The meaning of a photo can be delivered totally different with the combination between magnificence of nature and human.
Finding The Perfect Angle In Halong Bay To Photograph
There is no better way you can find in Halong Bay to photograph when you have a chance to explore it from the above with seaplanes or queen cable cars and sun wheels. Don’t be lazy by just shooting everything from one viewpoint which is so dull. Exploring Halong Bay thoroughly and you may find the viewpoints that everyone else wishes they should have a shoot from. Photographing from an unusual angle can give various perspectives, make your photos unique if you want them to stand out.
Finding The Perfect Angle In Halong Bay To Photograph
Have fun with shadows, shades, sunset shots and angles to get tons of fascinating photos in Halong Bay.
The golden hour
The golden hour is normally appeared after sunrise or before sunset, to make the most of the golden hour you have to know exactly what time the magic light happens. Regularly the golden hour includes the first hour after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset.
To catch the best moment of golden hour in Halong Bay to photograph, you should check it each month or even every day when you want to take photos. Understanding subtle light in golden hour and how it impacts the quality of your photos is probably the most important aspect when you do cruising shoots.
And in the “magic hour”, portraits photos will be much warmer and pleasing. The soft, warm, dimensional light is totally worth all the preparations.
The golden hour time in Halong Bay – 2018:
6:25 – 6:30 AM
5:20 – 5:40 PM
6:12 – 6:30 AM
5:42 – 5:55 PM
5:45 – 6:10 AM
5:55 – 6:05 PM
5:20 – 5:45 AM
6:05 – 6:15 PM
5:05 – 5:20 AM
6:15 – 6:30 PM
5:09 – 5:15 AM
6:30 – 6:37 PM
5:13 – 5:25 AM
6:30 – 6:37 PM
5:25 – 5:35 AM
6:08 – 6:30 PM
5:35 – 5:42 AM
5:40 – 6:10 PM
5:40 – 5:50 AM
5:15 – 5:40 PM
5:54 – 6:10 AM
5:05 – 5:15 PM
6:10 – 6:30 AM
5:10 – 5:20 PM
The water reflection of Halong Bay
Water refection can turn your ordinary photos into something surreal, outstanding but you need a bit of patience and creativity to expand your imagination for stunning results. Understanding few fundamental techniques can bring the quality to the next level. If you are on a cruise, it is so much easier for you to make the amazing water reflection photo. Water reflection photo makes Halong Bay look extra special.
A calm weather and a clear blue sky keep the surface stay still provides you great opportunities to make gorgeous images. Animals are also a good subject to photograph their reflections so try to include them into your shots.
Instead of focusing too much on the reflection, you should try to find the right angle and nature extraordinary sheer which is going to make your images really miraculous.
Playing With Halong Bay’s Darkness When Being In Caving
Entering deeper inside Halong Bay’s caves makes you feel like you are walking in Disney Land because it is hard to believe that there is an other-worldly place with beautiful natural formation still exits. Hazy, cold and excitement, it is apparent that there is something magical waiting just beyond the opening to the cave.
Getting to know caves first, photographing second
Shooting extraordinary photos in caves can be a real challenge for those who aren’t prepared before going there. Taking photographs in slippery, gloomy cave is not everyone’s cup of tea. The environment in a cave can be harsh for travelers especially photographers who are hungry for the finest shots.
Go out and explore, get to know how incredible things that happened naturally in caves is a way to make remarkable moments and best storytelling in photos.
Photographing caves techniques
Make sure you know about your camera fundamentals and choose the right camera to photograph Halong Bay’s caves. A camera with low light capability will work better in the dim light situation.
Photographing caves techniques
Bear in mind to pre-check your camera equipment before entering the cave. A lot of photographers make mistake is to go caving without checking then end up leaving behind the essential stuff.
Keep in mind to test your shots
Taking a few test shots to check the camera exposure and lighting effect of the slave flashes. Adjust your camera settings if required. Always have your camera set on the highest resolution to take every photo.
Re-creating the perfect shots with lighting effect is impossible but deleting those not work out the photo is so easy. Caves are kind of wet, dirty and muddy which can be harmful to your camera. So remember to protect your equipment and keep yourself safe when exploring pretty formations. A strong water and dust proof case is highly recommended!
The right light angle in Halong Bay’s caves
Getting the light angle properly can create some exceptional results. Not only focusing to highlight the formations and sophisticated details of every cave but also changing your point of view to find out the unique things.
Most caves have little or no light at all, so lightening the cave yourself should be considered if you want to get magnificent shots of Halong Bay.
Capture the ancient moments and learn to work your camera in the dark in Halong Bay to photograph. Look for interesting formations around you or even getting low to find creative perspective in Halong Bay to photograph.
The right light angle in Halong Bay’s caves
Don’t forget the previous tip is to add a person (family members, a friend or your travel mate) in the photo for a better neat portion.
Exploring The Floating Villages Through The Lens
Leaving away from all of the luxuries of city centers and urban places. The floating villages are an ideal place for you to discover leisure moments and find tranquil times. Going to fishing villages to witness the exciting life of a fisherman on floating and the unique ethnic communities.
The photo opportunities are endless as your launch glides through the villages and the whole new different angles of Halong Bay are waiting for you to discover through amazing photographs. The simplistic way of life in floating villages can possibly bring out the sentimental side of you when traveling Halong Bay to photograph.
Talk to locals
Spending more time in Halong Bay to photograph the moments, to explore the cultures and get to know the locals will give travelers a taste of rural part in the incredible Vietnam. Trying not to become a tourist is the first thing that you should keep when exploring Halong Bay. There is nothing more interesting than capture the random individual moments you can observe various perspectives.
When photographing people in the floating villages, don’t forget to be friendly, open and honest. Smile, be nice, talk to local people and focus on those inspiring things they do – which providing context.
Capturing not only the events that will take place over and over can make a great storyline. But also the subjects that show high value to make your trip in Halong Bay so much more meaningful.
Get lost on purpose
Finding beauty in imperfections seem the right way to describe how Cua Van and Vung Vien floating villages will make you feel. You get the chance to open your journey deeper inside look into the everyday life of fishers.
To freeze these moments in time capturing the details when being in Halong Bay. Spending a day to get lost on purpose, you will have the opportunities to see a lifestyle that stood the test of time and the remarkable experiences for sure last a lifetime.
Let yourself wander without agenda, without knowing what you will find, you are open to more surprising and unexpected things waiting for you forward.Hai Au Aviation
Every traveler hopes to come back home with a treasure chest full of amazing memories. One look at a photo of Halong Bay, Vietnam inspires a million thoughts and feelings, from excitement to adventure to relaxation to romance. One perfect way to create these vivid recollections is by booking an overnight tour through the karsts and emerald seas of this brilliant Unesco World Heritage sight. It’s an ideal experience to see some of the lesser known spots and weave a two-day tale for the primary characters on your journey.
You explore some of the limestone caves, get acquainted with a local fishing village, and lounge for hours in the sun. While there are several tours to choose from, all with unique attributes and tantalizing itineraries, here is a list of some of the best Halong Bay overnight tours of 2017.
FOR EXCITEMENT – HALONG BAY FLIGHT & EMERAUDE CRUISE OVERNIGHT
If excitement is what you seek, stick with Hai Au Aviation and book their Halong Bay Flight and accompanying Emeraude overnight cruise. This option will allow you the same benefits of a seaplane flight to or from Halong Bay, but with the added advantage of an overnight cruise through the mystical waters of the bay.
Imagine flying through the skies, looking down on the stunning scenery below, then submerging yourself in the landscape by taking a decadent cruise. Emeraude is known for top-of-the-line luxury boat experiences.
They offer multiple activities such as a Vietnamese spring roll cooking class and an opportunity to kayak through Pearl Farm. You’ll also have plenty of time to swim through the sea and stare at the sunset. You’ll be able to mix excitement and tranquility as you end your day wandering the deck under the heavens above. After cruising through Human Head islet, Trong Mai and Dinh Huong islet, you will leave this tour with excitement ringing in your ears.
FOR WANDERLUST – GRISWALDS VIETNAMESE VACATION 2 – DAY HALONG TOUR
There’s a little thing called wanderlust that tugs at the heartstrings of travelers worldwide. Many of these intrepid folk are backpackers who pick up their life and carry it around with them as they venture through the world with nothing but a spirit for travel in their hearts.
Halong Bay pulls these travelers from all around the globe, throwing its siren call out to the masses with beauty and charm. Griswalds Vietnamese Vacations (The Real Kangaoroo Cafe – 18 Bao Khanh Str., Hanoi) focuses on an economic way to see the sights of Halong Bay. On your way to Halong Bay you will make a short nature stop at the Hong Ngoc Humanity Workshop. While on the boat, hit up Ti Top Island and Sung Sot Cave. Climb to the peak of Ti Top and marvel at the scenery below. Discover the mysteries of Sung Sot and ponder the ancient history. You’ll be given time for swimming, kayaking, and even nighttime squid fishing. We suggest booking at their office.
They also encourage making reservations last minute so you can enjoy the flexibility of your trip and make spur of the moment decisions. Wanderlust at its best!
FOR ROMANCE – ORCHID 2 – DAY CRUISE
Walking arm-in-arm on a twilit deck while the sun slowly sets in the background is the perfect scenario for the romantic at heart. This tour is known for taking you a little off the beaten track. You will arrive in Hai Phong City and cruise through the seductive sights of Lan Ha Bay.
Rather than fighting the crowds of some of the more touristy areas of Halong, this tour offers a little more tranquility for those looking for a private moment to steal a kiss.
You can take a Vietnamese cooking class and learn a new dish to share together at home.
Take a lesson in using fish nets and get caught in each other’s gaze.
Book one of the luxury rooms with a big private balcony and enjoy a nightcap with the breeze blowing through your hair.
Enjoy a scrumptious brunch with the Vietnamese backdrop framing your perfect honeymoon photo before bidding farewell to Halong.
Nothing says romance like this dreamy overnight tour.
The price average is $384/ suite cabin with private balcony, available for booking online.
FOR INDEPENDENCE – PALOMA 2 -DAY CRUISE
True travelers at heart are known for an independent streak and a desire to live life to the fullest. Their memory books are filled with friends, family, and solo trips alike. For those heading to Halong Bay on their own, the Paloma 2-Day Cruise is a great way to experience Halong Bay. You will make your mark on the beautiful scenery as you glide across the waters in a traditional junk boat.
This cruise embraces some of the highlights of Halong Bay while also cruising further out toward Bai Tu Long. You will be able to roam amongst the stalagmites and stalactites so unique to the limestone caves as well as visit the traditional floating fishing village of Vung Vieng. Take a solitary moment in one of the karsts or mingle with the natives on shore.
There are plenty of onboard activities such as films, dancing or board games if you’re in the mood to meet some fellow voyagers. If not, cozy up in your private cabin and muse over your solo adventures.
The average price is $600/ deluxe ocean view cabin, as booked on their website.
FOR CAMARADERIE – ETHNIC TRAVEL 2 – DAY HALONG BAY CRUISE
If you’re traveling with a group of friends in search of lifelong memories then Ethnic travel is a good way to go. Ethnic Travel prides itself on utilizing a “style of travel that is environmentally, culturally and socially responsible.” They emphasize low-impact tourism and prefer to show off areas of Halong Bay that are less frequented by travelers.
You will tour on junk boat and see some of the typical limestone anomalies around the bay. You will also spend much of your time kayaking through the karsts each day and swimming if the weather is clear. This is a great opportunity for physical activity and bonding with your mates. In addition to the good value of the tour including meals and entrance fees, the larger your group, the lower your fee per person.
This is your opportunity to seal the bonds of friendship and have a merry time. It’s an amazing tour for building camaraderie and coming home even better friends than ever.
The average price is $115/person due to group of 2 to 10 persons, available for booking online.
FOR FRUGALITY – LAVENDER HALONG BAY 2 DAY CRUISE
Very few travelers are able to wander the globe without considering finances. For the frugal-minded, Lavender Cruise is known for giving wonderful tours at very good value. They are some of the most affordable cruise lines for two or three-day tours. You will enjoy all of the typical Halong Bay sights while cruising on a traditional junk but without worry about excessive prices.
You will kayak through Ba Hang Village to meet some of the locals then have a choice to go photo hunting in caves or discover how beautiful jewelry is made at Pearl Farm. In the evening you will get to savour the delights of traditional Vietnamese food followed by a nice game of cards or a round of karaoke. It is a chance to see Halong Bay at its best under ideal circumstances.
This tour may not have some of the luxurious perks as the other cruise lines, but you will not leave disappointed or broke. You can book through their website with The price will be from $150/ person for 2D1N trip.
FOR KINSHIP – HANDSPAN HALONG BAY 2 – DAY CRUISE ON TREASURE JUNK
Some of the best travel memories come from trips with your family. Perhaps you are exposing your children to a new culture, or taking your parents on a long-awaited retirement adventure. Handspan
Travel hand spins your tour to make it just right for you and your family. You will cruise away from Halong Bay and closer toward Bai Tu Long Bay, seeing the limestone rock formations and getting a chance to kayak closer to the karsts. Enjoy meal times as a group, relishing in the unique tastes and flavors while catching up on the events of the day. Wake up to engage in some tranquilizing tai chi lessons as the sun rises from the horizon the next morning.
The prices are reasonable, the conditions are great, and children’s menus are available. Don’t leave Halong Bay without writing some more history into your family tales. The average price for booking online through their website is $129/ person.
FOR EXPLORATION – DRAGON PEARL JUNKS 2 – DAY CRUISE
Nothing will make you feel more like an explorer of the deep seas than cruising around on a traditional junk boat. Dragon Pearl Junks offers beautiful historic looking boats that will put you right into the shoes of a wily pirate or savvy spelunker.
Swim all afternoon in the crystal clear waters of Halong Bay and fancy yourself a mermaid swimming through treacherous seas.
Wind your way through the secret passages of Thien Canh Son Cave and imagine the ancient explorers discovering new territories.
Take a rowboat through Vung Vieng fishing village, pointing out the infinite amount of sea creatures shooting around below.
You can follow the map of the journey and envisage your own grand adventure out at sea. Halong Bay is filled to the brim with mystery and mystique, from the stone caves to the sea creatures. So don your explorer’s hat and set sail. Average price for twin sharing cabin is $185/ cabin.
FOR ADVENTURE – CAT BA VENTURES 2 – DAY TREKKING – CAMPING – KAYAKING
For the adventurer who doesn’t want to leave a moment left undiscovered, the Cat Ba ventures tour will have you trekking, camping and kayaking nonstop. You will ride a bicycle through the rice fields, trek through rainforests and valleys, and climb to the top of a mountain to see the land that you just conquered for yourself. After an amazing day of nonstop discovery, you will have delicious bbq on an open fire and sleep under the stars if the weather permits. The next day, you will cruise and kayak through the caves of Halong Bay and have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in Ba Trai Dao Lagoon.
This tour is full of grand adventure, physical exertion, and a mountain of memories for the daring and courageous. Don’t take this tour if you are in the market for rest and relaxation, but make it your number one choice if you want to write an epic tale. The lowest price as booking online is $138/ person for a group from 2 -8 persons.
FOR INDULGENCE – HALONG BAY FLIGHT & 1 NIGHT WYNDHAM LEGEND HOTEL
If indulgence is what you’re after, the first choice on our list is the only one that doesn’t include a cruise option. Instead, it offers a 1-night stay in a glamourous hotel with a 1-way transfer by spectacular seaplane. Hai Au Aviation is the only seaplane company in Halong Bay, specializing in one-of-a-kind seaplane experiences. These modern aerial wonders take tourists to and from Hanoi on a daily basis, cutting the transfer time in less than half.
Rather than spend most of your journey in a 4-hour transfer by car, taking a seaplane will make you feel like an absolute star. Fly high above the ground and feast on the sights and sounds of Vietnam as you fly both to and from Hanoi. Then stay in a fancy hotel equipped with all the modern convenience one could wish for. Not to mention stunning views of the sea and the sky. Breakfast is included before you board the seaplane once more and finish your decadent trip.
This tour is excellent for business people who need to stay in Halong for a work meeting, or couples looking to indulge in a lovely hotel while they spend their days building their own memories in and around the seascape.
ENJOY YOUR WONDERFUL NIGHT IN HALONG BAY!
Halong Bay, Vietnam holds the keys to all manner of merry and mischievous myths. No matter what kind of traveler you are, the stories and memories brought home after a 2-day trip in the bay will last a lifetime. From a bird’s eye view on a stunning seaplane to a romantic walk at twilight to a kayaking excursion through the local floating villages, the anecdotes and flashbacks will come in full force. The memories you want to bring back home from a truly magical vacation are always lined with the most stunning detail.
TRAVEL WITH US
With each Halong Bay overnight tour, there is a separate story to share. Whether you are looking to satisfy wanderlust, hankering for family time, or desperate for adventure, there is a perfect Halong Bay overnight tour for you, along with our flights to Halong Bay flights.
GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE THIS 2017
Halong Bay is full of adventure, romance, glamour, and tranquility. It’s no wonder that this stunning piece of Southeast Asia has been the site for endless amounts of films looking to find a panoramic backdrop filled with magical seascapes.
From the limestone caves to the floating villages to the sandy hidden beaches, it is a perfect paradise for panoramic backdrops. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is something to entice and intrigue in this stunning Unesco World Heritage Sight, tucked in the beautiful seas of Vietnam.
One of the best ways to experience the charms of the bay is by booking a cruise to explore the deeper layers of Halong Bay and see the sites up close. For those without the time or resources to spend more than one day in Halong Bay, there are abundant full day cruises offered by all manner of companies. A full day cruise is one of the very best ways to get a quick glimpse into the beauty and charm of Vietnam.
Take a look at some of the best Halong Bay day cruises of 2017.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE FOR THE FAMILY – Pelican Halong Cruises
The first Halong Bay day cruise on our list is organized by Pelican Halong Cruises. While there are many options for day cruises in Halong Bay, this one stands out due to its affordability and summarized Halong Bay experience.
Your family will be picked up at your hotel at 8 am, eliminating any public transportation or need for running around town. You will then enjoy a 4-hour scenic drive through the countryside of Vietnam before arriving at Bai Chay Harbour. After a satisfying seafood lunch, you will board the vessel and cruise around Halong Bay for the next four hours, seeing sights such as a local fishing village, limestone caves, and grottoes.
By the end of the day, you will have culture and history to talk about for ages, the perfect way to share a moment with your family. This tour is quick and efficient, giving you a traditional overview of Halong Bay without any fuss and at a great rate for you and your loved ones.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE FOR THE SEASCAPE – L’Azalee Day Cruise & Seaplanes Flight
For those looking to see amazing views from above as well as below, Hai Au Aviation’s Seaplane Flight and L’Azalée Day Cruise is the one for you. Instead of taking a 4 hour bus or car ride to and from Halong Bay, take advantage of this amazing opportunity to soar through the clouds on one leg of your ride.
Some may choose to begin their journey with this decadent flight and be privy to a birdseye view of Halong Bay before landing and boarding your cruise by flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Others may prefer to end their day lounging in the glamour of a seaplane, saying goodbye to their spectacular experience of the bay while cruising high in the sky on the way back.
L’Azalée is a prime cruise line offering quality service at reasonable costs. In between seaplane rides and shuttle bus journeys, you will enjoy a Vietnamese-style buffet lunch and wander around the typical sights of Halong Bay, from Cock Fighting Island to Ba Hang Floating village to Thien Cung Cave. For those with a mind for landscape and panoramas, this is the tour for you.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE FOR THE MATURE – Annam Junk
Annam Junk offers a similar itinerary to the others we’ve listed so far, but with the added bonus of just a touch of sophistication. While still open to families and friends alike, this is a good tour for adult couples who are looking for something simple and straightforward in a small sized boat.
Enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch while looking through the windows of this elegant boat and the seascapes around.
Explore the Thien Cung and Dau Go Caves, amongst other karsts and caves of the bay
Take advantage of the other groups and couples lining the decks and make some memories for you all to take home together.
Converse about your adventures across the globe and muse over the beautiful sights of the day. The price remains in a moderate zone so you will cruise around worry-free as the junk boat sails glimmer in the breeze above.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE FOR SMALL GROUP OF FRIENDS – Alova Day Cruise
Traveling around Halong Bay with your friends means being on the lookout for tours and experiences that will easily accommodate. Alova Day Cruise offers medium sized boats with cozy interiors, perfect for small groups of tourists.
Along with their typical list of Halong Bay sights and sounds, Alova also offers a welcome drink with fresh fruit, in addition to two bottles of water per person. You will feel utterly indulged as you visit Thien Cung Cave and all the other grottoes in the bay. Since the cost of the tour itself is at the lower end of the spectrum, this tour is great for groups of any age or size looking to find good value during their one day cruising the bay.
You will be able to all fit on this vessel and enjoy the scenery as you make your way around Halong and see the wonders above and below the sea. Though the boat is not in the traditional junk style, it makes up for it with personality and pizazz.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY TRIP FOR THE ROMANTIC – Signature Cruise
Signature Cruise, which is one of the top 10 most recommended cruises in 2016, is renowned for their luxurious junk boats and romantic atmosphere. This unique cruise offers intimate experiences that will make any pair of love birds swoon.
You will be given a signature seafood lunch as you embark on a tour through Bai Tu Long Bay and drink in the magical surroundings. Bai Tu Long Bay boasts a few less touristy sights such as Oan Lagoon, Teapot and Monster Head Islet. Rather than taking a group boat to the caves, try out a romantic kayak for two. Paddle to some of the more hidden passages and cozy up by the karsts for a moment or two.
Take the time to learn a little bit about Vietnamese cuisine by taking part in the cooking classes given on board. Finally, find yourself enchanted by the stunning Halong Bay sunset as you sip cocktails and sail back to shore.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY TOURS FOR THE BUSINESS PERSON – Indochina Junk
Of all the traditional junk boats gliding around Halong Bay, Indochina Junk prides itself on being one of the best. Somewhat different than the other tour company options, Indochina Junk offers a choice between a morning or an afternoon tour.
This gives more flexibility to those travelers who really don’t have the time to explore Halong Bay for more than a few hours. Perhaps you are a business person staying in Halong and only have a quick morning before meetings to jettison out into the perfect blue waters. No matter which time of day, you will spend some time in the Cong Do area, kayaking to explore Thien Canh Son cave.
Since transportation to and from the bay is an added expense, the price ends up on the higher end for those coming from a further distance. This tour is best for people already staying in Halong Bay and looking for a way to see the breathtaking sights. But for those travelers with the resources to oblige, this tour is a great opportunity to see the beauties of Halong Bay in a very limited time.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE FOR THE BUDGET – Halong Phoenix Cruiser
While there are many good deals lining the seas of Halong Bay, Halong Phoenix Cruiser is considered one of the best values. Whether it’s a one, two or three-day tour, Phoenix Cruiser keeps the expenses at bay while you sail around Halong.
Their one-day tour takes place on a traditional junk boat and follows a traditional itinerary. You will see the stalagmites and stalactites sprinkled throughout the caves and grottoes, exploring Duck, Swan and all the other islands with magical names. You will also get the opportunity to try a daring kayak adventure. Whether this is your first time or you’re an experienced kayaker, it’s still a thrill to paddle through the glittering rocks.
You’ll be able to take some of the exotic photos that probably seduced you to Halong Bay in the first place. By day’s end, you won’t have a single regret in your choice to cruise along Halong Bay.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY CRUISE FOR THE LUXURIOUS – Paradise Cruise
Paradise Cruise has a reputation for decadence and fine dining. Their boats are large and luxurious with a sprawling deck offering wonderful views of the bay around. Paradise also provides a choice of either a half-day or a full-day tour, once again considering the options of travelers with limited time.
On either tour, you will be treated to lunch and the delights of several sights to feast upon.
If you book the half-day cruise, you will see Soi Sim Beach, Coconut Tree Island, and Cua Van Floating Village.
If you choose the full day option, you will also stop at Titov Island and have various water sports and activities to choose from, including climbing to the top of the mountain for even more spectacular views.
This cruise line is marketed for the luxurious and therefore not considered the least expensive. However, for those searching for something special, you’ve come to the right place.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY TOUR FOR SOLO TRAVELERS – V’ Spirit Cruise
There are many different options for solo travelers in Halong Bay. Depending on your time frame and budget, you may want to try out a day cruise that will hit the highlights without leaving you broke.
V’Spirit Cruises offers a traditional junk day cruise that will give you what you are looking for and allow you the chance to see Halong Bay in the comfort of a cozy cruise. You can try out a kayak or perhaps get to know some new people on a bamboo boat as you weave through the floating villages and pass by the Dog Stone and Burning Incense Islet. By mixing with the locals, your craving for culture will be perfectly satisfied.
This cruise also offers a seafood lunch, two bottles of water, a welcome drink and fresh fruit. For those looking to have some fun and not spend a lot, this tour is a fantastic choice.
BEST HALONG BAY DAY TOUR FOR BACKPACKERS – Flamingo Cruise
Most backpackers traveling the globe are looking to see the sights, get into the real culture of the environment, and do so without too much extravagance. They are interested in spontaneity and seeing the local scenery up close.
Flamingo Cruises has one of the cheapest rates around without missing out on any of the typical Halong Bay must-dos. You will get your traditional lunch, your opportunity to kayak on the open seas and your time to explore the grandeur of the caves and grottoes. You’ll cruise around Tuan Chau Island, Dinh Huong Island, and Dog Island to name a few.
Don’t forget the traditional fishing village, giving you a glimpse into the local culture and inhabitants of Halong Bay. While this tour doesn’t have the same perks as some of the other tours, it is by far one of the most affordable around.
ENJOY YOUR BEST DAY CRUISE IN HALONG BAY!
Through the limestone caves, fishing villages, and emerald-colored seas of Halong Bay, cruise ships sail every day and all year long. It is one of the things that makes Halong Bay shine as a pillar of beauty and local culture in Southeast Asia. There are an astounding amount of options to choose from when deciding which cruise is best for you.
However, when you have only one day to throw yourself into the overwhelming number of things to see and do in this beautiful area of the world, quality, timing, and finances are the biggest things to consider.
TRAVEL WITH US
From the soaring seaplanes of Hai Au Aviation to the traditional junk boats of Indochina Junk to the romantic ambiance of Signature cruise, these are some of the best Halong Bay day cruises of 2017.
In Halong Bay, Vietnam all of these experiences are available and more. From Indochina Junk Boats to Hai Au Aviation Seaplanes, below are just a few of the best tours in Halong Bay, Vietnam of 2017.
There are many things to consider when choosing the people and places to explore around the globe. What with travel expenses, time management, and an infinite number of opportunities available, many decide to take advantage of tours so as to maximize the amount that they will be able to discover within a limited period of time. There are walking tours, cycling tours, aerial tours and boat tours, just to name a few. Choices range from top-of-the-line luxury experiences to backpacker’s guide budget travels.
Quick one-day excursions will allow a brief glance into the surrounding landscape while a 2-day to 2-week adventure will provide a longer look into the life and times of the destination. Some people prefer a traditional list of sights and sounds to wind their way through while others would rather have a unique adventure and go off the beaten path.
BEST LUXURY TOUR – Emeraude Classic Cruises
In contrast to the budget tour, many travelers may choose to indulge in a higher end experience during their time in Halong Bay. If you have the time and money to really sink your teeth into a luxuriant Halong Bay experience, Emeraude Classic Cruises is right for you.
These cruises include all of the typical Halong Bay treats like kayaking, grottos and squid fishing, but with an added elegance of classiness and style. Sit on the deck at sunset for a romantic gaze into the bay or book your destination wedding here.
Emeraude prides itself on a top-of-the-line experience, from their superior cabins to their renowned Vietnamese spring roll cooking class. You can even combine this cruise with a Hai Au Aviation seaplane connection and go world-class all the way.
BEST OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOUR- Indochina Junk’s Dragon Legend 2D1N Cruise
One of the most popular tour companies is Indochina Junk tours, which offers a variety of options from one day to four day cruises involving many options for sightseeing.
The Dragon Legend 2-day cruise is a perfect choice for travelers spending a quick weekend in Halong Bay while journeying around Vietnam. The traditional junk boats are an experience in and of themselves and make for a lovely time cruising around the bay, seeing the limestone caves, kayaking through the tranquil sea, and enjoying all the comforts that are offered on board.
This particular tour claims to go off the normal beaten track of Halong, focusing on the Bai Tu Long Bay region and highlighting more clandestine areas of Halong. In addition to the many things provided on the boat such as Vietnamese meals and Tai Chi, is a water puppet show performed by local artists in Yen Duc Village.
While this tour does not get right into the heart of touristic Halong Bay, it does an excellent job of introducing a travelers to the traditions and culture surrounding Halong.
BEST BUSINESS TOUR – Hai Au Aviation Tour Round trip Flight, 1-Night Wyndham Legend
While Hai Au Aviation has many exciting combination packages, one of the best opportunities for business travelers is the round trip flight and hotel option. Perhaps a business professional needs to travel to Halong Bay for a conference, research or any number of entrepreneurial needs.
While he or she may not have the option to explore the bay under optimal circumstances, the views from high in the sky and strategically placed hotel windows will still supply a peek into the beauty and serenity of Vietnam.
Flying by seaplane from the mainland will not only efficiently cut out endless hours in a car but will allow the business traveler to see the exquisite isles from above. Combined with door-to-door transportation and a stay in the 5-star Wyndham hotel which offers gorgeous views of the bay, you will feel classy and comfortable while you prepare your presentation or relax for an early morning meeting.
Any changes to itinerary are absolutely allowed and flexibility with agenda is easily embraced.
BEST COOKING AND CLASSES TOUR – Orchid 2-Day Cruise
While offering many of the similar opportunities that other tours do, the Orchid 2-Day cruise is notable for its value and hands on activities. The ship will tour through many of the exciting areas typical of Halong Bay, as well as make way further out to Cat Ba Island and Ba Trai Dao beach where you can enjoy an afternoon kayaking or swimming.
The benefit of this tour, however, is that you will also be able to engage in cultural delights such as enjoying an early morning Tai Chi session, learning how to squid fish or taking a cooking class.
The staff is ready and willing to instruct tourists on the joys of traditional Vietnamese cooking or how best to best use fishing nets and catch that wiley marine creature from the deep sea. Orchid also offers the opportunity to upgrade your stay by choosing combined deals with accommodations such as with the Apricot Hotel, a luxury 5-star residence.
BEST SEAPLANE DAY TOUR – Hai Au Aviation Seaplane Flight & L’Azalée Day Cruise
One of the most spectacular ways of touring around Halong Bay is by seaplane. Hai Au Aviation has a plethora of options from quick flights over the bay to day tours to 2-day excursions, each combining a breathtaking seaplane flight with cruise, hotel or more.
One of the most convenient and economical options is the day cruise, an ideal choice for travelers with limited time. This tour begins or ends (your choice) with a magical trip flying through the air to or from Hanoi to Halong. As Hai Au Aviation is the first and only seaplane experience in Halong, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Drink in the sights of Halong Bay as you soar from the mainland to the islands and get a unique bird’s eye view onto the bay below. Once you have landed you will be treated to welcome drinks and a traditional Vietnamese-style buffet lunch before sailing around in an adorable cruise ship. While on board, you will journey past famous islands, caverns and floating villages of Halong Bay.
Whether you choose to start or finish your trip on the seaplane, you will not be disappointed in this perfectly scheduled glimpse into the heart of Halong.
BEST BUDGET DAY CRUISE – Garden Bay Halong Day Cruise
2 to 3-day cruises can certainly be found on the cheap but sometimes a nice day cruise is all you have the time for when attempting to fit in so many wonderful things in Halong Bay.
Garden Bay Cruises offers some amazing deals for the more frugal travelers and their one day cruise is a great glance into the highlights of Halong. In a Tonkin cruise vessel, you will be provided with a lovely Vietnamese lunch before heading toward Bai Tu Long and the Hon Co Area. You will get to swim, kayak and explore the Thien Canh Son Cave. In just a short twelve hours, you will walk away with a reader’s digest version of this spectacular bay.
No matter how many days you have in Vietnam, it is always worth it to make time for a quick journey around Halong Bay.
BEST DECADENT TOUR – Audley Travel Wonders and Waterways Tour
The Emeraude classic cruise may be a marked step into the lap of luxury, but this Audrey Travel tour takes grandeur to a whole new level. For the world traveler interested in an in-depth tour of Vietnam including several days in Halong Bay, nothing could be better than this extensive and magnificent jaunt.
This tour is much more time-consuming and therefore much more expensive, but for those who have the availability and resources to take advantage of a lengthy excursion, take the time to investigate the tailor-made or small group tours at Audley Travel.
Starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, this tour spends three days and two nights relishing in the delights of Halong. Incorporating a cruise through the limestone islets and all of the traditional sights, you will see how Halong Bay fits into the larger context of Vietnam and shines like the hidden gem that it is.
BEST 3-DAYS BUDGET TOUR – Ethnic travel tour
For those looking to find a more extensive tour at a reasonable price, Ethnic Travel is the site for you. This tour goes from Hanoi, through Bai Tu Bay, Quan Lan and Cai Rong Islands, and back to Hanoi. You will be able to try out the typical Halong Bay activities such as kayaking, swimming and exploring the limestone caves. You will also get to experience some cycling and a hike to Dao Village, a local ethnic minority people.
Unlike some of the other tours, this one does not center around a cruise ship so there are many interesting things you can happen upon while journeying around the bay. Meals are still included, made up of local ingredients and representing the traditional preparation and cuisine.
One night you will stay in a home and another in a hotel so you are able to see a much different side of the local culture than cruising on a ship will offer. Despite this being a less glamorous tour than some, you really get an amazing bang for your buck.
BEST CYCLING TOUR – Spice Roads Halong Bay Cycle and Cruise
Many travelers go on holiday for rest and relaxation but not all. Sometimes the wanderlust driving many people forward is a desire for excitement and adventure. Rather than calmly being ferried from one landmark to the next, a true explorer would rather rush into the scenery and use their own adrenaline for fuel.
Spice Roads’ tour will allow you to race from Red River and galavant through Cat Ba National Park. This tour does include time on a traditional junk, striking a lovely balance between cruising and cycling so you won’t have to forgo an opportunity to enjoy the true seagoing experience of Halong Bay.
Spice Roads offers a wide variety of cycling tours throughout Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. For many people, cycling tours are a thrill unlike any other. They are a chance to be a part of the landscape as you fly down a path with the wind whipping through your hair, having much more direct access to your surroundings while still being able to move along at a steady pace.
BEST TREKKING TOUR – Active Travel Trekking Cat Ba National Park & Kayaking
If you are still in search of adventure but cycling is not your forte, consider an Active Travel 4-day trekking tour. This tour combines one day of full on trekking, one day taking a kayak, and one day relaxing on a cruise. It is an excellent balance of stimulation and sightseeing, culminating in some of the more traditional aspects of a tour.
Intrepid travelers will rejoice in a day of trekking through the Cat Ba Jungle followed by a day kayaking in Lan Ha Bay. Finally, your fitness feat will be rewarded with an overnight junk boat right through Halong Bay proper. You may have to sing for your supper, but this tour is utterly worth it for the truly venturesome globetrotters.
BOOK YOUR TOUR TO HALONG BAY!
The almost overwhelming amount of activities, excursions, romantic experiences and astounding memories to be had in Halong Bay make it virtually impossible to pinpoint just one method of managing it all.
A luxuriant and relaxing cruise will brighten anyone’s quality of life.
A rigorous ride on a bicycle will turn anyone into an automatic daredevil.
A fantastic flight in a stunning seaplane will leave no one in doubt that Vietnam is an exquisite country of natural beauty.
TRAVEL WITH US
Depending on your time and availability, your budget, or even your sense of adventure, Halong Bay offer a wide range of tours from Indochina Junk Boats to Hai Au Aviation Packages, the options you could choose are endless.
Halong Bay, Vietnam is a treasure trove of excitement and amazing experience. As a Unesco World Heritage site, this beautiful bay is a must-see when planning a trip to Southeast Asia.
Why go on adventure in Halong Bay?
It’s stunning seascape, glittering geography and endless opportunities for fun and fantasy are only the tips of the iceberg when considering the best activities in Halong Bay. While some travelers prefer to sunbathe on the beach and relax upon the sea, many voyagers prefer the unique thrills of more exotic excursions. For the spirited explorer at heart, Halong Bay provides the perfect opportunity to test your adventuring skills.
From seaplane flights to fishing villages to parachute-pulled canoes, the list of adventures in Halong Bay is never-ending.
CONVIVIAL CRUISES HALONG BAY – Highlight in your itinerary to discover the Bay
The number of calm and casual cruises running through Halong Bay is astounding. From overnight to week long trips, each cruise has its own special way of providing comfort and class to their clients.
The benefit of a cruise is that you can enjoy a luxurious jaunt through the bay while having immediate access to delicious food and many Halong Bay activities both on and off board the ship. Combining a seaplane connection from Hanoi to Halong Bay with a cruise package deal is one of the very best ways to enjoy all aspects of your trip. Nothing is better than flying through the sky in an elegant seaplane en route to a charming cruise sailing upon the sea.
Lounge on the deck with an afternoon tea while gazing at the beautiful shore. Take an evening stroll on the deck as you drink in the reflection of the mountains glimmering off the bay. From cooking classes and evening entertainment on the boat to swimming and sunbathing offshore, a cruise is an exquisite antidote to finding housing, food and fun in separate spots.
KEEN ON KAYKAKING – An adventure to explore the hidden lagoons of the Bay
Another amazing way of exploring the bay is to take advantage of the many kayaking excursions available. You can either rent a kayak on your own or book a tour, both offering enchanting experiences in the bay.
Kayaks are a wonderful way of staying in the water while getting an up close and personal view of of the caves and caverns sprinkled throughout the sea. Not only will you swiftly sail through surf, weaving in and out of the geographic wonders, but you can spend some time investigating the world of plants and animals below.
Look down past your oar and stare into the stories told by the creatures of the deep. Just beware the karsts and secretive sink holes. While most of the bay is covered by serene watery ways, every once and awhile, an unexpected thrill may come your way.
JOURNEYING ON A JUNK BOAT – A “Travel back in time” adventure in Halong Bay
Junk boats are an ancient Asian-style boat, originally created by the Chinese for extensive seafaring. Nowadays, the name generally refers to a specific, very historic looking ship most recognizable by its distinctive triangular sails.
Swimming amidst the kayaks and cruise ships are these notable boats ready to tell the tales of the past as modern travelers tour around Halong Bay. Junk tours are available in the daytime or in the evening, offering anything from all-inclusive food and drink to BYO-All of the above.
The daytime may offer better deals and more access to the usual Halong Bay haunts. The evening, however, takes on a whole new set of enchantments. Imagine the romantic views from a junk ship as the sun sets over the mountains beyond the bay. Night time squid fishing is another leap back into the past as you manage a bamboo rod and toss it into the deep to see what wonders may be brought back up from the sea.
From the mysterious past to the modernized present, a junk boat will ferry you around the bay with magical nostalgia breathing in the ocean air.
FAMILY FRIENDLY FLOATING VILLAGE – Best cultural and historical adventure
No true adventure is complete without a step into the local life and culture of the scene. The fishing villages of Halong Bay are a haven of Vietnamese quotidian. Specializing in fishing and aquaculture, these floating cities are filled with friends and family native to Halong Bay.
They are not only homes, but also transportation and business enterprises. They are the lifeblood of the bay and encompass the traditional lifestyle of the area. Visually, the villages are a sight to be seen as you take a kayak, a cruise or a junk boat through the hovering households and witness the colorful exteriors of the local dwellings.
Taking the time to navigate through these villages and meet some of the people who live there allows a real opportunity for escaping the touristic view and seeing Halong Bay through the eyes of its true inhabitants. Not all adventures are filled with death-defying feats; some involve the pure simplicity of daily living.
LIGHT UPON THE LIMESTONE CAVES – Adventure to the Magnificent masterpieces of the Creator
Geographical anomalies are one of the most sought after and most recommended activities in Halong Bay. The limestone caves, caverns and grottos carving their way through the bay are what make up its most tantalizing topography.
If you’ve ever fancied yourself a true explorer, spelunker or adventurer the likes of Indiana Jones, this is the hot spot for you. Wandering through the islands and caves provides a deep look into the secret passages and places all around the bay. Stalagmites and stalactites line the walls and secret lakes lurk within, harkening back to ancient stages of geological formation.
With eerie luminescence guiding you on your path around the caverns you can just picture yourself unearthing a treasure chest or a set of age-old fossils. Search and seek out the Sung Sot Cave. Dare to delve into the Dau Go Grotto. Perhaps a little mysterious or even mystical, a day spent probing the grottos leaves you in no doubt of the spellbinding attributes of Halong Bay.
MOVING UP BAI THO MOUNTAIN – An adventure for an overview of Halong City
Like a castle standing guard over its kingdom, Bai Tho Mountain (Poem Mountain) fortifies its surroundings with stunning beauty as well as one of the best views of Halong Bay below. The mountain is accessible by land or by sea and certainly demands a high level of activity.
Climbing the mountain and moving along its winding paths with stone steps engraved into the landscape is no easy feat, but a little fortitude yields a high reward when you reach the top and are gifted a magnificent view of the bay. Enjoy the company of a grazing goat or mischievous monkey as the sun sets upon the horizon.
Start or end your journey with a rejuvenating pause at Long Tien Pagoda, a Buddhist conclave and necessary stop on your Halong Bay activities list. Combine the some rigorous exercise with some well-deserved relaxation by taking advantage of all aspects of the mountain trail.
By the end of the day, you will have your own poem in honor of Poem Mountain, filled with the memories of your Bai Tho Mountain experience.
SNORKEL HIGH AND SCUBA LOW – Best adventure for underwater lovers
While there is an infinite amount of sea level and above activities to take advantage of in Halong Bay, there is a whole world of deep sea adventures waiting in the briny blue below.
There are coral reefs and forests along the islands of Cong Do or Van Gio, over flowing with sparkling sea life and colorful creatures. Crustaceans, mollusks and fish line the bay with an abundant supply of marine life to observe. Swim with the cuttlefish or dance with the octopus like cartoon fantasy come to life.
Spend an afternoon snorkeling around the corral forests and snapping selfies with your new waterproof Gopro. Envision the peaceful serenity of a day spent scuba diving tens of meters below the surface as you get acquainted with the natives of the mysterious aquatic realms. Underwater adventures are the heart and soul of Halong Bay and shouldn’t be missed.
CYCLING THROUGH THE SCENERY – An adventure for wanderers in Halong Bay
Walking, climbing, hiking and swimming are all amazing ways of venturing through the fascinating sights in Halong Bay. Cycling, however, adds just a bit more magic as you speed along the roads and paths, seeing more and more of the idyllic isles.
Racing fast down the lanes with the wind in your hair or trotting calmly along to take in the minutiae of the landscape, both styles of cycling have their merits and allow for endless new discoveries. Take a tour through the back roads and see the hidden tracks and forests the sailors rarely get to see. Park your bike for a few minutes while you cool off in the turquoise waters of the bay.
Cycling allows you the flexibility to move along quickly while still being able to stop and stare at the next unexpected ornaments dazzling all around Halong Bay.
TAKING A TERRIFIC TREK – An ideal adventure for witnessing the wild nature of Halong Bay
While cycling is a quick and spirited way to explore Halong Bay, trekking allows for a much more detailed experience into the winding paths and more complicated terrain.
Water sports and limestone caves may be the more obviously highlights of the bay, but the jungles and wildlife on each of the isles are incredibly worthy recipients of a well-planned day trek. Make sure to check your fitness levels and buy a pair of sturdy shoes before heading out into the dense botanical environment.
If you’re lucky, you may get to see a hawksbill turtle or a languor monkey. And with a relaxing bay so close at hand, nothing will stop you from taking a cooling plunge into the soothing sea when the afternoon sun blazes down. By the end of this intense but gratifying physical exertion, you will feel like an explorer discovering new lands.
PUMPING UP FOR PARASAILING – A thrilling adventure in the open air
From kayaks to junk boats to good old-fashioned cruise ships, there is a never ending amount of nautical ways to explore Halong Bay: a parachute-pulled canoe is by far one of the most interesting and unusual ways of doing so.
This Halong activity, for example, is not at all for the light-hearted. A true thrill-seeker will be right at home as the engine roars and the wind begins whipping around, pulling you up from the ground and further toward the clouds.
A high-speed canoe rushes forward as the parachute is pulled into the sky at a safe but seemingly alarming rate. From there, you are left to float above the sea while the canoe continues racing on and you are able to see the tranquil bay calmly keeping watch underneath.
Just like the seaplane flying higher in the clouds, the parachute makes it possible to see a captivating picture of the bay below. While seaplane may feel slightly more secure, this adventurous option will certainly satisfy the more adrenaline-inclined.
SPECTACULAR SOARING SEAPLANE – Best adventure for a panoramic view of Halong Bay
Halong Bay is home to an array of seafaring adventures, but none so spectacular as the Hai Au Aviation Seaplanes. Flights to and from Hanoi can be enjoyed as the perfect method of travel between the capital city hub and the secret lairs ensconced in the bountiful bay.
Not only can you enjoy the seaplane as a commuting connection, but you can also book these aerial wonders purely for the sake of scenic sightseeing. Instead of riding in a shuttle or car for hours, take a quick seaplane trek to your tropical destination. Better yet, book a scenic flight and enjoy an aerial view.
As you soar over the breathtaking landscape of Halong, you will get a reader’s digest version of the many amazing sites that the bay has to offer. For an ethereal 25-minutes, you will glide above Dau Be, Cong Do, and Bo Hun Islands before lightly touching down back in Tuan Chau Marina.
It is an ideal way of examining the overall map of the bay before exploring the detailed tapestry on land. This is truly one of the top activities in Halong Bay.
DISCOVER THE BAY IN YOUR OWN WAY
From the mesmerizing experience of a scenic seaplane to the local culture of the floating villages, the bewitching delights of climbing Bai Tho mountain to the riveting thrills of a parachute-pulled canoe, the activities in Halong Bay include some of the best adventures in Vietnam.
TRAVEL WITH US
The adventures available in Halong Bay are numerous and diverse. Aside from just the relaxing sounds and soothing thoughts of beachside tranquility, there are more and more discoveries to be made in all parts of the bay with Hai Au Aviation.