…Venturing Halong Bay, the new seven wonders of nature…
Halong Bay, recognized as one of the new seven wonders of nature is listed under UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located at the Gulf of Tonkin, consisting of some 1600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape limestone pillars.
It has always been my dream to visit this spectacular wonder of nature since 10 years ago when I heard about it, and finally I’ve made it to Halong Bay.
For those who wants to visit Halong Bay, the easiest way is to take the tour from Hanoi which includes transport and accommodation. Recommended 2 days 1 night tour which you will stay overnight on the cruise which harbor somewhere in the middle of the gulf surrounded by those magnificent islands and islets. Average price ranging between 90usd and 150usd depending on what kind of cruise you choose.
We reached Hanoi from Sapa at 0500 in the morning, while waiting for the pickup to Halong Bay at 0800 where we met my father at the hotel. It was raining heavily that morning when we reached Hanoi, and again I remind everyone one of you to make sure you travel during the dry season. As the night before our arrival to Halong Bay, there was a heavy thunderstorm at Halong Bay, and all the cruises were unable to set sails but were only able to tie their junks together at the harbor to prevent them being hit by the strong waves.
We boarded ‘Oriental Sails’ which we bought earlier from Haprotic office. There were eight of us altogether including my family, one Australian and two Spanish. The crews were friendly and soon after we boarded the cruise, we were greeted with a sumptuous lunch! We got servings of four meals throughout the whole sail, but you need to pay for the drinks which are not included.
Our first stop was Sung Sot Cave, or popularly known as Cave of Surprises which is the largest cave in Halong Bay. There are a few chambers in the cave, which each one getting bigger and bigger, and you will amaze by the beautiful limestone in the cave.
Next after visiting the cave, get yourself surrounded by the spectacular environment at the heart of Halong Bay by canoeing on your own. Don’t forget to do some squid fishing after dinner. Most of the cruise are equipped with sport light at the deck that will attract the squid to swim towards the cruise, and the peak season for squid fishing is during January till March. Our luck wasn’t good enough as we didn’t get any of them.
Sunset at Halong Bay was another great experience to me as the view was superb, and to photogenic people like me, this is heaven!
A reminder to all travellers, do tip the ship crews generously as they own very little but the services they provide were nice.
[edited by Jo]
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