When you cruise Halong Bay, your itinerary will include cool things to do to help you explore the area. Kayak around peaceful grottoes, explore fascinating cave systems, experience all the excitement of squid fishing, and discover ancient cultures.
While it is possible to travel to Halong Bay from Hanoi and return in one day, why would you? Staying overnight allows you to experience the magic of Halong Bay at a more relaxed pace. You’ll see, do and experience more. You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of this UNESCO protected area. And you’ll be able to continue your exploration of Vietnam refreshed and reinvigorated. There’s a cruise for every budget, catering to all kinds of tastes, all you have to do decide which one suits you.
Discover hidden treasures
The caves, caverns and grottoes of Halong Bay’s islands and islets are treasures waiting to be discovered. You can choose a guided tour or traverse the cave systems on your own. Descend into the subterranean coolness and discover a magical world formed by limestone and water. Spot interesting animal and human formations in the stalactites and stalagmites. Soft lights in red, blue and green spotlight interesting shapes and features. Listen to your guide recount the legends of love and betrayal that have been woven into Halong cave mythology. You can even rub a fertility rock, but consider yourself warned…. this rock is potent!
Eat, drink and be merry
Vietnam is famous for its food: fresh, healthy and full of flavour, and a Halong cruise will delight gastronomists and foodies of every persuasion. Grilled, steamed or stir-fried, indulge yourself in succulent fish and shellfish, garden fresh fruit and vegetables, moist and tender beef, delicious chicken and pork, and an endless variety of tasty rice and noodle dishes, not to mention cakes and pastries. And with both imported and domestic wine so plentiful, passengers can salute the wonderful tastes of Vietnam with new friends and old.
Cruising Halong is all about taking time out and recharging your batteries in a beautiful environment. So why not take advantage of the spa and wellness treatments on offer and pamper yourself? Think relaxing massages, using fragrant, medicinal oils designed to soothe away any aches and pains you may have. Think natural scrubs and exfoliators and deep moisturising treatments that make your skin glow with health. And if the weather permits, you could always catch some rays on the sundeck, but don’t forget your sunscreen!
If you fancy learning something new, a Halong Bay cruise is the perfect opportunity to engage the brain. You could uncover the secrets of Vietnamese cooking, from dipping sauces to spring rolls to salads and soups. Always wanted to try Thai Chi but have never gotten around to it? Why not try an early morning session and start your day relaxed and refreshed? What about a class on Vietnamese history? Art appreciation? Calligraphy and paper making? There is no better time to engage with Vietnamese culture than when you are cruising Halong Bay.
Get up close and personal with local life
As well as the karst limestone landscape that it’s famous for, Halong is also home to indigenous people going about their daily lives. As part of your cruise experience, make sure you visit a floating fishing village, where you will find friendly locals happy to share their culture and way of life with you. You can also indulge in a range water activities including fishing, diving and swimming, kayaking and even squid fishing. Who wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with the emerald sea of Halong Bay?
Halong Bay is at its stunning best at the end of the day… and the beginning. Set your alarm for an early rise, grab your Vietnamese style iced coffee and watch the sun peek shyly over the islands and islets to welcome the day. Breathe in the fresh, cool morning air and listen to the sound of the ocean. And as the sun sets pink and orange on the horizon, rays kissing the limestone karsts, reflect on the magnificence of nature while sipping a flute of chilled champagne. This is how remarkable memories are made.