Halong bay is a must see place in Vietnam. It’s one of the top destinations and attracts a lot of tourists. There are various options available – Day tour or overnight stay . The Overnight stay is on cruise and you can choose on how many days to stay .We took a day tour to Halong Bay as we were not sure of staying in cruises overnight with small kids. Booking of the tour was done by Viator (https://www.viator.com) , so you can try the same. The cruises are small, around 5 to 6 rooms, which will give you experience of sea cruising.
Our pickup was at 8:30 am from the Opera House. Most of the tours and travelers do the pickup from near that area . Since, we were staying in an Intercontinental hotel which was not near to that area. Travel time from Hanoi city to Halong bay is around 2 to 2.5 hours one side with one stop (break). We reached Halong bay at 11:15 am.
After boarding the boat , the first activity was having lunch. They served lunch while the cruise started moving slowly towards Halong bay. This place is known for its emerald water and thousands of towering limestone island mountains topped by rain forest. The day activities include – cruise tour of limestone island, kayak expeditions, fisher village, and Thien Cung cave.
The cruise will take you around those islands for 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile the guide will tell you the names of islands – mostly after their shapes, including stone Dog and Teapot islets. Second stop was at Fisher village, you will have two options: ‘Kayak’ and ‘Pedal boat’. It is around a half-n-hour boat ride. They will take you around the fisher village and if high tide they will take you inside the cave in a boat, but if it is low tide then you will not be able to go inside the cave.
Thien Cung Cave was the last stop and amazing in all. The cave is amazing, beautiful and very big. The beautiful rock formations of minerals are amazing. Some man made changes are already visible to this beautiful place – lights, path changes and wiring. Due to this rock formation was affected in that cave. As the years take to form .01 inch of any formation when water drops from the roof.
On the return back , you will hit the bay of Halong bay by 4 pm and drove back to your hotel by 8 pm. It is around 4 to 4.5 hours of total road travel, but the experience of Halong is awesome. So travel doesn’t matter much after seeing those beautiful limestone island and beautiful Thien Cung cave.