Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay


Kissing rocks of Ha Long Bay

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay by Nabarun Nandy

Ha Long Bay situated in eastern part of North Vietnam and 180kms away from capital city Hanoi can be placed in the list of one of the most mesmerizing places on earth. The beauty of this place is surreal and comforting. Ha Long in Vietnamese means 'Descending Dragon'. The legend goes like this - Centuries ago when Vietnam was about to be attacked and the enemy was approaching from the sea side, people prayed and the Dragon descended creating thousands of rock/hill islands on the bay thereby stopping the enemy ships from approaching.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 1/12 by Nabarun Nandy
Sky View of Ha Long Bay. Credits - CNN

For visiting Ha Long bay you can opt for different packages. There are 1 day , 2 days and 3 days package ranging from 20USD to 45USD. This article will mostly contain the experience of a 1 day trip. When you book a package its better to include lunch and pickup and drop-off which will make your journey quite easy and more enjoyable. It takes around 2 and half hours from Hanoi to reach the shore to avail a ferry for a day trip. For 2 days and 3 days package you will be part of a cruise ship which will stationed on a different shore and takes around 3 to 3.5 hours from Hanoi.

The Ferry Ride

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 2/12 by Nabarun Nandy
The Ferry Dock. Notice the background- beauty lies ahead

The ferry ride through the bay will undoubtedly be a distinguished experience added. The scenery of the sea stretching far and beyond with heavy forested islets ornamenting it and the ferry passing in between them is altogether a different thrill. The weather also plays a role. Honestly a cloudy weather is best for the experience. In this ride keep to yourself, all thoughts away and just feel!

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 3/12 by Nabarun Nandy
Pirates of the Caribbean scene

I will keep to less words and more of pictures of the spectacular sceneries to make you feel the experience as much as possible.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 4/12 by Nabarun Nandy
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A collage of the glimpse of the ferry ride experience.

Lunch will be served in the ferry itself. The lunch will consist of local menus. When you sit with tourists across the world and share lunch with them discussing and having fun you might not realize but the trip is already enriching you.

Ba Hang Village

The first stop of the ferry after almost an hour and half journey will be at Ba Hang Village. In order explore this wonderful place you have two ways. One you can kayak around and the other to avail a bamboo boat that will be rowed for you by a local. You will be given almost 40 to 50 minutes to explore around the place.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 6/12 by Nabarun Nandy

You will be taken or kayak through naturally created openings in the islets and arrive at small lakes walled by rock mountains.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 7/12 by Nabarun Nandy
Passage through the natural openings.

Kayaking here will be an amazing activity. But two things you have to keep in mind. One you have to have a good partner with you else you will find you yourself in the same place after minutes of rowing. And 40 mins of kayaking will be bit tiring. Still I will suggest to try out kayaking as the water is peaceful and you can utilize the time your way.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 8/12 by Nabarun Nandy
My sister and me kayaking

The Heaven Cave or The Thieng Cung Cave

After Ba Hang Village the next stop will be the Heaven Cave. The cave is a naturally created enlarged hollow space inside the rocky mountain of one of the islets. This cave holds diverse stalactites and stalagmites in various and strange shapes. Your tour guide will make you imagine a lot of shapes as form of animals or figures and it will be much fun as some shapes will be forced to imagine, some you will instinctively make yourself out and some you will make out after a bit of help.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 9/12 by Nabarun Nandy
The entrance to the cave

The tour guide will take you up and down the entire cave. A lot of information will be given to you but its better that you figure out things yourself.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 10/12 by Nabarun Nandy
Try to imagine the shape and mention in the comment below.

To enjoy the cave you have to relish the other side of nature. And for that you have to have a crazy as well as a vivid imagination. Here you will see nature as an artist. You will be amazed to see how the rocks appear as melting of an ice-cream. The best thing is you will make your way through rock forms and rock hangings.

Photo of Vietnam 2 : Ha Long Bay 11/12 by Nabarun Nandy

After the tour of Haven cave it is time to head home. The 1 day trip ends here.

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Scene from the cave top.

If you opt for a 2 days or 3 days Ha Long Bay trip then that will include more activities like water sports and more caves like the Amazing Cave and island visits like the Cat Ba island and spending the night on a cruise ship docked on an island. One day trip is enough to enjoy the grandness of the bay but if you feel after reading the blog or researching on the internet that 1 day is not going to satisfy you then go for the 2 days trip.

In this article I tried to bring you the actual essence of a day trip to Ha Long Bay in the best possible way. Your suggestions to improve the article will be much welcomed. If you like it kindly give a love to the article and share your experience in the comments below.