Floating through the magical Ha Long Bay, or ‘Descending Dragon Bay’ as it’s sometimes known, is like being in a fairy tale. Often considered the most beautiful bay in the world, this natural wonder of northern Vietnam is unsurprisingly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Journey Through the Scenic Ha Long Bay
A lot of visitors take a private cruise or junk boat tour run by the locals to enjoy this magnificent bay. But us, being independent travellers on a budget trying to save money here and there, opted for the public ferry to Cat Ba Island.
[two-thirds-first]The journey is really quite jaw dropping as the ferry navigates through thousands of limestone isles (1,960 to be precise) in all shapes and sizes, which have evolved over 20 million years. Even the heavy fog couldn’t diminish the spectacular scenery of the Gulf of Tonkin for us.
It’s easy to reach Ha Long Bay from Hanoi or the surrounding area. The most popular way it to take the short train journey from Hanoi to Haiphong. Check your travel options by using this box to search for buses, boats and trains to Ha Long Bay.[/two-thirds-first]
Floating Villages in Ha Long Bay
For many years floating fishing villages have existed in the emerald Ha Long Bay, fishing being the prime source of income for the villagers. It’s great to see that something unique remains until this day.
We saw one of the villages as we were approaching Cat Ba Island. You can reach the village by a kayak and maybe buy some fresh fish and other seafood that the locals might have on offer.
Some cruises will stop at the fishing villages where you can enjoy fresh seafood prepared by the locals or enjoy other activities in the local area.
There are many different activities you can do in and around Ha Long Bay. Whether it’s kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, caving, climbing, fishing, or taking a cruise there’s plenty to do. It’s definitely well worth a visit to this stunning emerald bay if you are travelling anywhere in northern Vietnam.
Have you been to the Ha Long Bay? Did you take a tour, kayak or do any other activities? Let us know in the comments below…