What should be on your visit-list in Halong Bay Vietnam?

Halong Bay, one of New Seven Natural Wonders of the world, possesses very diverse natural landscape, varying from long sandy beach to thousand-year-old lime mountains. With nearly 1900 islets of different size, some very large such as Thien Cung Cave or Surprise Cave, others as small as a few meters wide, Halong Bay, Vietnam is an ideal natural destination for your holidays of all kinds. Hereunder is to name just a few must-to-visit attractions in this area.

  1. Surprise Cave

Located inside Bo Hon Island, in the middle Halong Bay, Surprise Cave is considered the most magnificent cave in this charming bay. It is enjoyable to know that the title of this cave originates from the very first feeling of tourists when they entered the cave with full of “wow”, “amazing”, and “unbelievable”.

Sung Sot Cave Bhaya Halong Cruises

If at first, after few steps into the cave they tourists might think that the cave seems like a narrow and minuscule one, just few more steps into the cave, a bigger and bigger space will be opened gradually, bringing about images of a giant, airy, and spectacular cave.

It would not be overstating to describe the inner space of the cave as a large theater, a theater that was made by Mother Nature. While its ceiling is decorated with grandiose stalactites like colorful chandeliers, the floor is adorned with of rocks in diverse shapes of elephant, chimpanzee to flowers, trees. The further tourists go into the cave, the more interesting and amazing they find the rocks appear.

  1. Ti Top island

Located in the heart of Halong Bay, Ti Top Island is regarded as one of the most attractive site for tourists to Halong.

Titop island Bhaya Halong Luxury Cruises

Ti Top Island does not only own breath-taking romantic landscapes, but also has a heavenly magnificent beach called also Ti Top with fresh atmosphere, clean water, and smooth white sand that create a great ambiance for tourists to relax. Ti Top beach is famous for any beach activities.

  1. Cat Ba Island

Only 25km from downtown Halong, Cat Ba is not only a group of about 367 islands, but also a national park, recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve Park.

Cat Ba Island Halong Cruise Tours

There is a rich range of activities for tourists to choose on this Island, from relaxing and enjoying some fresh air in luxurious resorts, riding to explore the local daily life and visiting The Au Co Green Farm, to joining adventurous trips of Cat Ba National Park.

Until now, The Au Co is the first exclusive cruise operator in Halong Bay offering continuous three-day cruise in a single trip through the Gulf of Tonkin in which Cat Ba Island and its renowned National Park will also be part of the experience.

  1. Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha Bay from Bhaya Cruises Halong Bay

Located adjacent to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is a peaceful bay in Cat Ba Islands system. With a large portion made up by limestone and small islets, Lan Ha Bay possesses many calm water area suitable for swimming and kayaking around Sen Islet, Cu islet, Monkey islet as well as up to 139 beautiful and clean beaches with white sand. Underneath the tranquil blue water is colorful coral reefs area such as Van Boi, Van Ha, which is worthwhile a diving adventure.

Author: Bhaya Halong Cruises

Best Time To Visit Northern Vietnam

BAN DO

From countless street food stalls, millions of rushing motorbikes and French-colonial buildings to high mountainous regions, overlapping paddy fields, and amazing landscapes, Northern Vietnam is surely one of the country’s top destinations in terms of tourism and cultural immersion. Places such as Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sapa, Tam Dao and Dien Bien Phu are just some of the cities you may want to see here.

TAM DAO

Tam Dao – National Park

So when exactly is the best time to visit Northern Vietnam?

SAPA

The Traditional Highlands: Sa Pa

Generally, the best time to visit this region is from October to December (Autumn-Early Winter Season). This season is the golden time for the region as the sky is clear and the wind is gentle. The temperature between these seasons usually plays around 20 degrees on average. And as December approaches, the temperature drops rapidly for the start of winter.

HALONG

Ha Long Bay

Managing your time well while travelling across the northern region during this season shouldn’t be that hard as the touristy season ends in August. Booking trips from one place to another should be easier as well as there are only a few people traveling at this time of the year.

Author: bhayacruises.com

Traveling from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

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Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely a cannot-miss destination when visiting Northern Vietnam. Located about 170 kilometers east of Hanoi, it takes around 4 hour drive to get to Halong bay from the capital city. There are several transport options for those going to Halong bay from Hanoi.

1. Shuttle Buses & Transfers 

This is the most popular way of traveling between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay for tourists, especially foreigners. All cruise operators & travel agents offer shuttle buses from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay and back for their guests, usually for an extra fee. You can either come to the pick-up points to wait for the buses or arrange with the agents to be picked up at your hotels. This could be considered as the most convenient and hassle-free way of transportation to Ha Long Bay for travelers.

Traveling across Ha Long Bay by cruise is probably the best way to enjoy the World Heritage Site, having both the spectacular views from the cruise as well as the various recreational activities offered during the trip (swimming, kayaking, and biking). With a large number of operators, from Ha Long luxury cruises to the budget ones available, it is important that travelers choose one with outstanding service quality to make the best value for their money. A few leading names in the area includes The Au Co Cruises, Bhaya Classic Cruises, & Legend Halong Charter Cruises.

2. Private Cars

Another way to commute between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay is to hire a private car with your own driver. The advantage of choosing this option is that you can decide your own time of traveling.  This is ideal for those who plan to take a half-day cruise trip around Ha Long Bay only. In case you stay in Ha Long for the night on shore, having a car at your convenience would make it much easier to go from places to places and enjoy the night life there.

However, this option is more costly than the others and not ideal for those wishing to go on a night cruise trip in Ha Long Bay. If you plan to spend at least one night floating on the tranquil waters of the bay, option 1 is recommended.

3. Public Transportation

Consider this option only if you surely want to try traveling amongst with the locals and are ready to embrace the experience whether it is good or not-so-great one. Firstly, you need to go to the shuttle bus station from your hotel. This could be done by public bus, “xe om” (motorbike taxi) or by taxi (recommended for those with big luggage). Luong Yen Station has the most buses commuting to & from Hanoi – Ha Long. Then, go to the station ticket booth and buy tickets for your destination. Make sure you ask them the plate number of the bus that’s leaving soonest. It usually takes more time to arrive in Ha Long than the other options as occasional stops are done to get more passengers along the way.

Author: BhayaCruises.com

Top Beaches in Vietnam

With its booming travel and tourism industry plus the good weather conditions, Vietnam is becoming the top destination for a lot of travelers from all over the world. Being blessed with beautiful landscapes and wonderful beaches, make sure that your trip to this amazing country will involve a lot of beach activities. We’ve listed below the top beach destinations in the land of motorbikes.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang Viet Nam

Nha Trang Viet Nam

Situated near the Southern Central Coast of Vietnam, Nha Trang is probably the most popular & most visited beach in the country. Everyone that has been to Vietnam has surely been to this heavenly place as well. From big five star resorts to high end beach bars, shopping malls and fast food restaurants, you will never run out of options when you get to visit here.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc Viet Nam

Phu Quoc Viet Nam

Same size as Singapore, Phu Quoc Island is located in the southern oceans of Vietnam and Cambodia. Aside from being a famous beach destination, Phu Quoc is also known for its dark history during the French Intervention of the country.

Cu Lao Cham

Cu Lao Cham in Hoi An

Cu Lao Cham in Hoi An

Cu Lao Cham is a group of islets located just east of Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An mainland. For the past few years, these islets have created a big noise in Vietnam’s tourism mainly because of its perfect location and diving spots. Many expats and tourists alike come here and spend the night with the locals of both Bai Huong and Bai Lang Villages.

Minh Chau

Minh Chau in Halong Bay

Minh Chau in Halong Bay

Your travel to Ha Long Bay is not complete if you don’t go to one of the area’s best beaches. Just 15km from Quan Lan Beach, the famous Minh Chau Beach is a perfect place for you and your friends/family to get away from the heaps of crowds in the main areas of Ha Long Bay. Some Ha Long Bay cruises and Ha Long Bay tours are available to help you get here by local boats or private transfers.

Mui Ne

Mui Ne in Phan Thiet

Mui Ne in Phan Thiet

One of the biggest players in Vietnam’s beach destination industry, Mui Ne has surely made its name and reputation with all kinds of tourists from around the globe. Aside from having good waves for some Kite surfing, Mui Ne is also famous for having both of the Red Sand Dunes & White Sand Dunes.

A trip to The Floating Villages of Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most prized destinations in the country. Since 1994, it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and has been voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature just last November 11, 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland.

This popular tourist destination is also home of the ancient Vietnamese people living above the water on floating houses. These people have been here for hundreds of years and have been surviving mainly from fishing and aquaculture.

Experiencing bamboo boat to discover local floating village

Experiencing bamboo boat to discover local floating village

There are four major floating villages in the area: Cua Van, Ba Hang, Cong Tau, and Vong Vieng in Hung Thang Commune, Ha Long City. Cua Van is the largest among the four villages, with about 185 households in total. On the other hand, Vong Vieng is the less crowded and less touristy one.

Both villages can be visited by tourists by joining any major Ha Long Bay Cruises in the area. Each cruise will give its guests some opportunities to visit these villages either by rowing boats or by kayaking. Tourists who are visiting the villages will have a bigger picture of how the people live and survive in such small and secluded communities. Some may even have a chance to participate in village events and celebrations depending on the season.

Paying a visit to the floating fishing villages is definitely one of the Ha Long Bay Tours that everybody should do once they get the opportunity. It will help not only the villagers who live in the area, but also the preservation and protection of Ha Long Bay and its surroundings.

See more information about Halong Cruises at: www.bhayacruises.com

Top 4 Halong Bay activities

Activity is an important part of any trip and with the Halong cruises how to do activities in the most unforgettable way. Here are outstanding activities in Halong Bay:

  1. Kayaking
Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking in Halong Bay

This is one of the easiest ways to explore the magnificent caves, hidden lagoon, through the giant limestone rocks. You will have great chance to get away from the crowds, admire the fresh and interesting perspective on the delightful scenery surrounding and hone your kayaking skills in a unique location.

  1. Swimming
Halong Bay swimming

Halong Bay swimming

Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay that have many clean, pristine and white sandy beaches are wonderful places for swimming and sunbathing. It would be even much more enjoyable if you have a chance to swim far away from the beach, maybe diving from a cruise, because water is much more transparent.

  1. Biking on Cat Ba Island
Biking on Cat Ba island

Biking on Cat Ba island

Experience a different way to see Halong bay with biking tour, you can enjoy the fabulous scenery of Halong Bay and explore the beauty of Cat Ba National Park. You also have a chance to meet local fisherman in Viet Hai village to learn more about their daily life.

  1.  Squid fishing
Halong Bay Squid Fishing

Halong Bay Squid Fishing

Beside daytime activities, squid fishing at night is great chance for visitors want to experience the feeling being a fisherman and learn more about their life. The local will guide you how to fish a squid accordingly and your achievements will be used to make dishes for you. You also have opportunity to admire Halong Bay at night.

 

7 Days in Hanoi

Traveling around Vietnam is probably one of the most awesome things a person could do in his or her lifetime. As the tourism industry in this country has improved so much in the last couple of decades, cities like Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City usually are the main destination stops for travelers. These cities serve as the main portals for them to be able to explore the surrounding areas and see the wonders that this country has to offer.

Hanoi in general is a big and busy city with millions of motorbikes raging from one road to another day in and day out. With so many options of what to do and where to go, it is actually hard to decide which ones are the best to choose as a first time visitor. So for our reader’s benefits, below are some of the many things you could do for a week in Vietnam’s charming capital.

Day 1: Get lost in the Old Quater

Hanoi Old Quater

Hanoi Old Quater

Ha Noi is very well known for preserving not only the old streets of the main area, but also the culture and traditions of being a true Hanoian. Walking around the 36 streets of the old quarter while getting lost in the traffic and in translation will definitely enhance your social skills as a first timer in the city. This is a great way to get to know the real Ha Noi and to get familiarized with its rich history.

Day 2: Devour in unlimited Street food

Hanoi Street food

Hanoi Street food

Another amazing way to experience Ha Noi is to immerse yourself fully with the local culture by eating and socializing like the locals do. Street food in Ha Noi is generally safe but again do not try it if you’re in doubt. Top picks like “Pho Bo”, “Bun Cha”, and “Mien Luon” are just some of the best dishes that you will have to try out while you’re here.

Day 3: Explore the Outskirts

Nhat Tan flower village

Nhat Tan flower village

Since Ha Noi is an enormous city in terms of size and population, you will definitely not run out of things to do during the day. You may visit the Bat Trang pottery village located just a few kilometers across the Red River and make a stopover at the Long Bien Bridge before or after your visit. Continue and end your journey back to the main area and relax in café or restaurantoverlooking Tay Ho, the largest lake in Ha Noi.

Days 4-6: Discover Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

A trip to Northern Vietnam will never be complete if you don’t get to see one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. What better way to spend your next three days and two nights doing Ha Long Bay cruises and Ha Long tours. Just three hours outside of Ha Noi, Ha Long Bay Vietnamexudes a different side of the country that is breathtaking and spectacular. It’s the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

See more details at: www.bhayacruises.com

Day 7: Shop all you can

The perfect ending for your one week trip in Ha Noi; ranging from locally made products such as ceramics and silk cloths to branded electronics and clothesline, you will never run out of things to buy in Ha Noi. There are plenty of shopping places to go to like the Night Market in the Old Quarter and huge shopping malls located just around the city centre.

THE MOST FIVE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN VIETNAM

Traveling to Vietnam with a short time and you wonder where you shouldn’t miss. Here are 5 best places in Vietnam you may concern.

  1. Mekong Delta
Mekong River

Mekong River

An ideal destination for all tourists who prefer finding a peaceful atmosphere and experiencing simple life in the countryside, Mekong Delta is a watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages. There are many places to visit including floating markets, An Binh Island, crocodile farms, handicraft villages…

  1. Nha Trang
Nha Trang beach

Nha Trang beach

Traveling to Nha Trang, tourists not only enjoy a wonderful time on white sand beach, but also have more chance to explore the beautiful island and local culture and people’s life. The area hosts wide range of hotels accommodation from top notch fancy world class resort to popular hostels for backpackers. Take a boat trip in the Nha Trang Bay to visit its seclude island and beaches. Other cultural sites you should visit in Nha Trang: Long Son Pagoda, Po Nagar Cham Towers, Fishing Village, Vinpearl Land, Monkey Island.

  1. Hoi An
Hoi An Old Quater

Hoi An Old Quater

As a major tourist attraction in center Vietnam, Hoi An is an ancient town located in the lower section of Thu Bon River, Quang Nam Province, about 30 kilometers south of Danang City. The town is famous for well preserving it architectural heritage and old time atmosphere of a Vietnamese village in the past. Walking in the town to visit Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, the local fish market…or cruise along Thu Bon River to see Hoi An from a different angle.

  1. Hanoi
Hanoi street vendor

Hanoi street vendor

Travelling to Hanoi and you can learn more about the culture of Vietnam, enjoy fantastic street food at peaceful corner. Its feature street vendors, flower markets, historical sites such as Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, Hoan Kiem Lake…

  1. Halong Bay
Halong Bay Floating Village

Halong Bay Floating Village

Take a Halong cruise to enjoy the Legendary Halong bay with many beautiful places: limestone, Surprise Cave, floating village… and you will have a lifetime experience.

See more information at: www.bhayacruises.com.

15 THINGS YOU SHOULD BRING ON A TOUR TO HALONG BAY

One of the best things about a Halong Bay cruise is that everything is included. In theory, there’s no need to bring anything. However, here are some things you may want to bring along with your luggage (and yes, you can take your luggage on a trip to Halong Bay).

Candy bars and water

The drive from Hanoi takes 4 hours, if you’re travelling with children, this is a must!

Cash Money

When visiting a floating fishing village, cash will be helpful to tip your driver. You might also want to buy some souvenirs.

Warm & Cold Clothes

Weather is unpredictable in Vietnam, andHalong Bay tours do not escape this paradigm.

Sunscreen, hat & swimming suit

But there’s a good chance you will actually need those 😉

Journal & notebook

If you have never tried to write and/or draw, Halong Bay junks usually provide a lot of inspiration, so it might be just the place to start.

Plug adaptor and convertor

You definitely don’t want to see NO BATTERY on your laptop/phone… and especially on your camera.

Camera and extra memory cards

There are so many wonderful and unusual things to shoot during Halong Bay cruises that you are most likely to shoot everything!

Small first aid kit

This should be in your luggage whenever youtravel, not just in Halong Bay.

Sport and formal outfit 

Sport outfit for the outdoor activities (trekking, biking, kayaking…) and a formal one for the evening.

Business cards

Because you never know who you are going to meet J

Toothbrush & toothpaste

You can help Bhaya Cruisesto reduce waste consumption in the bay by bringing your personal daily cleaning stuffs (but don’t worry, if you forget it, we have some for you).

Waterproof backpack

For very cautious/experienced travelers only.

Duct tape

Useful to mark your luggage, repair things, and very efficient as a lint remover!

Motion sickness tablets&/or mosquito’s bracelet (lotion)

These things are actually mandatory if you are likely to suffer from one these ailments.

Your sense of adventure

You won’t get to experience Halong tours many times in your life, so make the most of it!

To find out more about an incredible trip on a Halong Bay, visit www.bhayacruises.com

TRAVELING HALONG BAY WITH KIDS

Travel Halong Bay with kids

Travel Halong Bay with kids

Sharing a Halong Bay cruise with your family is a wonderful experience, even if it may not be easy all the time! Here are some tips that will help you to plan your family trip to Halong Bay:

Small babies’ stuffs

Food will be provided for your children, usually the same as yours. Some companies, such as BhayaCruises, have a special ‘kids menu’. For the tiniest ones, you should take some milk and everything you usually need (summer & winter clothes, snacks and medicine).

Safety onboard

Most accidents during Halong tours have occurred during tender transfer. For this reason you should select to depart from Tuan Chau port, where passengers embark directly onto the boat, as opposed to BaiChay port, where tender boats are used.

Also, you may want to forgo a cabin with a private balcony, but be sure to ask (in advance) for a boat with a big sundeck so your kids have some space to play outside, where you can keep an eye on them!

Outdoor Activities

Halong Bay cruises are full of fun activities: swimming, kayaking, biking, visiting floating fishing villages & caves and last but not least, exploring the islands! This is always an incredible experience for kids. If yours are quite active, choose Cat Ba Island as there are lots of opportunities to walk and cycle around.

You will probably want to select a Halong Bay cruise that actually anchors in BaiTu Long Bay, it is less crowded.

BHAYA CRUISES SPECIAL SUMMER OFFER – KIDS SAIL FOR FREE*

From May to September 2014 (excluding June), Bhaya Cruises offer a free cabin to children for every cabin booked by their parents, onboard all of BhayaCruises fleet.

For more information on the offer, visit http://www.bhayacruises.com/Special-Offers/Bhaya_1403_Ead_Travel_With_Kids.htm