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13 Halong Bay Cruise Tips To Know Before Your Trip to Vietnam

13 Halong Bay Cruise Tips To Know Before Your Trip to Vietnam

Have you ever ever heard of Halong Bay in Vietnam? For those who haven’t, I hope that we’re about to blow your thoughts with a couple of pictures of this enchanting place. Once we booked a final minute journey to Vietnam we arrived with no plans.

It wasn’t till we have been already in Hanoi that we debated about happening a Halong Bay cruise. It’s simply probably the most well-known vacationer attraction in Vietnam, however that may typically result in questionable locations filled with vacationers. Nevertheless, after the recommendation of many, we needed to Halong Bay for ourselves.

We didn’t know what to anticipate, however now it stays a spotlight of all our travels around the globe.

The place is Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is situated in Northeastern Vietnam and a two-hour drive away Southeast of Hanoi. It  The bay has roughly 1,969 islands and islets constructed from karst limestone formations. Immense in measurement the 1,500 sq. kilometer space is dotted with islands, limestone towers, grottos, and caves that each one mix collectively in a dizzying show of the wonders of nature.

Halong Bay sits within the middle of a giant space together with Bai Tu Lengthy Bay to the north, and Cat Ba Island to the south. They’re all comparable all through sharing widespread formations, historical past, and tradition, nevertheless it’s Halong that will get to make its declare to fame.

What’s Halong Bay well-known for?

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Website recognized for its limestone rock formations that tower out of the emerald waters. It’s some of the visited websites in Vietnam and is well-known for its magnificence across the globe.

The identify Hạ Lengthy interprets to “descending dragon,” because of the bays distinctive options. It’s an incredible panorama that has made quite a few huge display look like Pan, James Bond: Tomorrow By no means Dies, and my favourite Kong: Cranium Island.

Select the Proper Halong Bay Cruise Supplier

There’s actually just one strategy to discover Halong Bay and that’s by boat. So, should you’re going to go make your method to this nook of the world you must do your analysis and select a great tour firm. Who you select to go in your Ha Lengthy Bay cruise might be the distinction between having an okay time and a tremendous time — robust to have a nasty time.

We did our due diligence and researched what appeared like lots of of corporations. There are such a lot of Halong Bay cruise operators it may be overwhelming to type by way of. In the long run, we determined to go together with the well-reviewed Bhaya Cruise firm on their luxurious Au Co ship and have been on no account dissatisfied.

We selected the Au Co cruise as a result of it is among the few luxurious cruises that sail round Halong Bay. Halong Bay is already probably the most touristy factor to do in Vietnam we needed to board a ship that had a extra personalised and distinctive really feel. Which we definitely received on this 32 cabin ship. A few of the causes our time on the Au Co was absolutely the spotlight of our time in Vietnam are listed under.

The Employees

The primary cause we swear by the Au Co is the super employees who’re all Vietnamese. Most of the employees members come from rural communities and are given ample coaching to be a few of the prime staff in Halong Bay. We beloved the truth that though most of the employees members have been younger, they have been wanting to study and be the most effective within the tourism sector. From the captain to the chef and bartender every employees member is given an necessary position to assist within the success of the voyage. Each single visitor on our cruise fell within the love with all the employees and after chatting we felt they actually made our time in Vietnam particular.

Inexperienced Initiatives

Bhaya Cruises and the Au Co satisfaction themselves on being inexperienced and working towards accountable journey in Halong Bay.  They’ve arrange group farms and tasks on rural Cat Ba island, and encourage much less fashionable routes for friends. They’ve a Save The Langur undertaking to create consciousness for the agricultural Cat Ba Langur and encourage native individuals to not hurt or eat the langurs. We additionally persistently noticed the employees doing cleanups collectively – it was nice!

Halong Bay Cruise

The Cabins

We have been impressed with the cabins on our Halong Bay cruise. They have been very snug and spacious sufficient for the 2 of us. Loos had eco-friendly toiletries and have been luxurious. I notably beloved that every room on the Au Co had a balcony that you may chill out on with a cup of espresso and benefit from the views!


The remainder of the ship was spacious and had so many snug factors to loosen up. With a full-service outside bar and espresso machine serving up Vietnamese espresso after which a prime deck with loungers it was an ideal place to hang around for a view day and take within the views.


Meal occasions are not any joke on the Au Co. Breakfast is a standard buffet fashion, however then lunch and dinner are each a number of programs with a fusion of Western and Vietnamese delicacies. Our favourite meal was undoubtedly the outside barbeque on our final night time!

I’m so assured you’ll love cruising on the Au Co I’ve requested the employees there to offer readers of this weblog a particular low cost. Use the code THEWORLDPURSUIT20 for 20% your three-day cruise!

Take a look at the Routes

Many Ha Lengthy Bay Cruises stick with the identical route, so it’s essential when reserving to take a look at the place you’ll be going. The nearer you’re to the Halong Bay harbor the extra ships and crowds you will notice. When you enterprise out you’ll then begin to end up alone. The Au Co takes you to much less crowded locations in Bai Tu Lengthy Bay and Lan Ha Bay. There have been so many occasions the place we have been the one ship round! Which brings me to my subsequent level…

Halong Bay Cruise

Go for a Longer Journey

In case you are solely embarking on a 1 Day/1 Night time cruise you gained’t be capable of get too far out. To maximise your time in Halong Bay I might extremely advocate reserving a minimum of a 2-night cruise. We booked a 2-night cruise and felt it was the right period of time in Halong Bay.

Halong Bay Cruise

It’s Simply Accessible from Hanoi

Halong Bay is lower than a two-hour drive away from Vietnam’s capital and it’s simply accessible by bus or personal switch. You should not have any wrestle discovering a bus to take you to Halong Bay, simply make certain to ask your lodge in Hanoi for his or her suggestions. Or if you’d like a personal switch verify together with your Halong Bay cruise operator about setting one up.

Since we have been coming from Ninh Binh we opted to take the four-hour public bus journey to Halong Bay, however have been transferred again to Hanoi with the Bhaya Cruise guys and located ourselves in a personal minivan with WiFi, AC, and reclining seats. So the underside line is in case you are flying into Hanoi you haven’t any excuse to not go to Halong Bay!

Halong Bay Cruise

There are Plenty of Actions

In addition to taking within the beautiful views of Halong Bay there are loads of different actions to participate in. You additionally gained’t be on the ship the complete time and most tour operators could have a set itinerary so that you can take pleasure in. The Au Co arrange many satisfying excursions and actions to participate in together with:

  • Go to Cua Van floating fishing
  • Visiting Viet Hai Village
  • Kayaking
  • Masterchef competitors (which I gained)
  • Dawn  Tai Chi lesson
  • Seashore time on Ho Ba Ham
  • Squid fishing
  • Tien Ong Cave

Halong Bay Cruise

Don’t Anticipate the WiFi or 3G to Work

I ought to point out that many ships promote WiFi, however the additional away you’re from Halong Bay the much less doubtless the WiFi is to truly work. We even had a sim card and received nice 3G reception throughout Vietnam – besides on our Halong Bay cruise. So sit again and benefit from the views with out being related!

Halong Bay Cruise

Take Optimum time to Benefit from the View

Certainly one of my favourite issues to do on our Halong Bay cruise was to take a seat on our balcony and benefit from the views. Significantly, they’re so spectacular and out of this world and shouldn’t be ignored. From the second you board your ship, you may be amazed by the emerald waters and actually hundreds of towering limestone islands.

Deliver a Digital camera

I assume that is my probability to say that you must 100% convey a digital camera with you in your Halong Bay cruise. We journey with a full journey running a blog digital camera arrange, however I might a minimum of recommend a great level and shoot (we now have the Sony RX100V). If you wish to up your images recreation one among our favourite mirrorless cameras available on the market is the Fujifilm X-T3. In case you’re questioning we have been capable of get our drone up within the air a number of occasions on our Halong Bay cruise. We simply requested Sam, our cruise director if it was okay first after which we took to the sky!

Drone in Vietnam

Keep in mind to Pack a Bathing Go well with

It’s potential to go swimming in Halong Bay and you may be given a number of alternatives to take action. Even should you don’t plan on swimming I feel it’s nonetheless value it to pack a showering go well with so you possibly can both sunbath or placed on whereas kayaking as you may get moist.

Tip the Employees!

This isn’t a necessity or obligatory, however I really feel when you assume your Halong Bay cruise was a fantastic expertise it sometimes has one thing to do with the employees. Remember most of the employees members come from rural and poor communities and depend on their job to stay and it will make their day in the event you thought they did a ok job to obtain a tip.

Significantly – everybody on our Halong Bay cruise pooled some cash collectively and gave a tip on the finish to the employees and it was value it simply to see their smiles. Vietnam is on no account an costly nation to journey via and also you don’t have to make it rain. We personally left $50 a cabin. In the event you plan on tipping simply ensure you have money available to take action.

It’s Completely Value It

To be trustworthy – I used to be actually doubtful about taking a Halong Bay cruise whereas we have been in Vietnam. Being a full-time traveler I understand how touristy well-known locations may be and I assumed that Halong Bay can be overcrowded and wouldn’t reside up the hype. Man, was I improper! Even coming from Ninh Binh (one other superb place in Vietnam), I nonetheless thought that Halong Bay was out of this world unimaginable.

Once I first noticed Kong: Cranium Island I assumed that the helicopter scene couldn’t have been an actual place – however it’s – and it’s so shut and reasonably priced in Vietnam. I don’t assume one single individual left our Halong Bay cruise disillusioned and lots of commented that it was rather more than they anticipated. GO!


When is the perfect time to go on a Halong Bay cruise?

Halong Bay has 4 distinct seasons and the perfect time to go to appears to be Spring and Fall (March, April, October, or November). That is when the climate is nice, not too humid but, and daylight is longer. We visited in November and located ourselves with sunny days and delicate temperatures which was splendid after coming from a miserably humid week in Bangkok.

Bhaya Cruises

Verify in case you want a visa for Vietnam

Earlier than touring to Vietnam examine to see should you want a visa (most guests do). People do want a visa and the method is complicated and inefficient. First you will have to use for an e-visa on-line earlier than getting into the nation. The method can take as much as three days to clear, though we acquired our letter of approval in two days. Be ready to pay $25 or extra for a one month visa for those who use an agent for this beforehand.

Then when you arrive in Vietnam you will want to take your proof of e-visa (as it is just a letter of approval) to immigration. From there you’ll have to have both a passport sized photograph with you or have them take yours for $2. Additionally, you will have to pay one other $25 in money upon arrival to Vietnam on your precise visa. It’s also possible to pay in Vietnamese Dong, however you’ll probably get a nasty trade price.

For us, the speed stored altering the extra I questioned it with the immigration officer. In the long run, we ended up paying 700,000 Vietnamese Dong plus 60,000 for the photographs per individual. Barely greater than I feel it ought to have been if we have been paying in USD – however we didn’t have USD on us. The entire course of is complicated and inefficient, however it’s lots higher than it was whenever you truly needed to go to an embassy to get a visa.

Plan Your Journey to Vietnam

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