So you know I love Vietnam, so lets talk about our little cruise while we were holidaying in Vietnam. If it most definitely one of the places you need to go when visiting Vietnam – and no matter what your budget, there is something for everyone.
Halong Bay is a vision straight out of a National Geographic magazine or a movie, you can not believe such beauty exists! Summer, Winter – you name the season, its still a vision. We were there in Winter but still swam and enjoyed every second. It was misty and moody but our photos still came out beautifully.
It was top of our list to go on a cruise around Halong Bay but we had no idea that it would take us months to work our exactly which cruise to choose – there are 100s.. ranging from day trips to week long trips, different boats to choose from, different prices and levels of luxury, different routes and different activities. It was overwhelming to say the least!
We eventually picked the one we liked the best because as part of the activities, they drop you off to climb up 100s of steps to a view point over the whole of the bay, called Tip Top Island. Its magnificent and was something we just HAD to do. Please remember to take money and water! We didn’t take either which was very silly as its a loooooooooooooooooong walk and we were thirsty as hell.
So we booked and paid online and they collected us directly from our hotel in Hanoi and we started the drive to Halong Bay. The drive is long, the distance short – because of the terrible roads so I am sure we were only going at about 60km an hour. Took us between 2 and 3 hours to get to harbor where you climb on to a little boat that takes you out to your cruise boat.
We picked a 3 day, 2 night trip. All food is included, you just have to pay for drinks. There are fully stocked bars and cocktail specials every night so you won’t go thirsty. The food was lovely, all Vietnamese and delicious! And they catered for vegetarian, gluten intolerant etc – they went out of their way to cater for everyone’s needs.
How is that? A candle inside the pineapple, holding our prawns! Ag bless.
Activities included squid fishing, a spring roll making cooking class, tai chi in the morning (if you are an early bird!), and canoeing and exploring. The staff on the boat go out of their way to make your stay memorable, they really do everything in their power to keep you happy – it’s the Vietnamese way.
We went in December but are told in Summer it is even more picturesque with the blue blue skies.
This is the cruise we chose. Price was R6600 ($250 per person) for the two of us. We had our own room, with en suite and your windows look straight out into the Bay and you see all the islands, its just stunning. Drinks are extra so take that into account when you are budgeting.
Let me know if you have any questions!