Ha Long Bay - is a beautiful bay in northern Vietnam. In this bay are 1969 steep karst islands of different size and shape. Some of these islands are green, others are inhabited and some have hidden sandy beaches. Upon departure at the port is a Chinese junk waiting for you. It is not a traditional brown ship; the Government has decided that all boats must be painted white. The population in Halong Bay are often living in floating villages and living on fisheries and fish farms. In 1994, Halong Bay has been placed on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage. The largest island is Cat Ba island. You can stay here and there is a small national park. The best way to discover Halong Bay is one of the cruise boats. Almost all of them are built as a Junk in a Chinese / Vietnamese style. They show you in a few days the beauty of Halong Bay.
It is a beautiful area which is perfect for cruising, kayaking, exploring caves and visiting one of the many traditional floating villages. From Hanoi you'll drive in about three hours to Halong city, which is the starting point of most cruises.
On board of the Chinese junk you often stay in a private cabin with bathroom with air conditioning, minibar, shower and toilet. The rooms have a nice big window overlooking the Ha Long bay.
The Chinese junk has a sun deck and there is often a deck with a restaurant, where they are serving delicious Vietnamese and Western specialties and a lounge bar on the
top deck. Of course there are also cheap cruises. This are simple and have much less luxurious.
If you have booked an overnight cruise, you can enjoy in the early evening aboard a "Sunset" drink in style. You can enjoy the views, the music, drinks, snacks. The onboard bar has a wide selection of long drinks, wines and other drinks. On deck you can enjoy the sunset. Of course there is also a time when you can swim in the warm water.
A junk is a sailing ship developed in China. It is basically an enlarged sampan. Junks can still occur in all sizes. The small rowed or geboomd, but the larger can have several masts with sails longitudinal (formerly of bamboo), which have the characteristic battens. Just as the junks in Halong Bay. These are luxury junks and equipped for tourism.
The Sun Deck
Most of the junks which make a cruise through Halong Bay, sail along these floating villages. They probably make a short stop at a fish farm and you can get an impression of everyday life in such a village. You might get a glimpse into the basic needs of the villagers. Some locals come to pick you up with their sampan to give you a glimpse into their village life.
The impressive towering islands of Ha Long Bay makes it so special, but there is on the inside of the islands someting special: beautiful caves.
"The crew was amazing. A few special mentions, first to our chef who served the most delicious seafood and great vegetarian options for my travelling partner. Our guide Coco was awesome, very knowledgeable and always up for a joke. Finally to the bartender who's name I have forgotten, he did a great job keeping up with the drink orders for our small but thirsty group.
Imdochinajunk take you out of Halong bay to some more remote areas, a lot of the time we were the only boat in sight! If travelling in Vietnams' winter I definitely recommend some warm clothes so you can enjoy the beautiful sunset on the top deck. "