Halong Bay in Vietnam
General information about ha long
Halong Bay, also called Halong Bay is a Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin of the South China sea in the North of Vietnam, about 170 km from Hanoi. In the Bay is more than 3000 Islands, rocks, cliffs and caves. Its area is about 1500 sq km Halong Bay on an interactive map of Vietnam . Halong Bay is also called the city which is the capital of Quang Ninh (Quang Ninh), which is a Bay. The city itself does not contain any tourist attractions and is just a transit point for tourists traveling independently.
The name of the Bay roughly translates from Vietnamese as "Bay, which go down (sink) dragons or Bay into which descended the dragon".
In 1994 Halong Bay was included in the world heritage list of UNESCO, and in 2011 ha long received the title of one of the "7 new wonders of the world" and was declared a new wonder of nature, as one of the most iconic landscapes of Vietnam. The scenery here is really exciting, especially when your boat will be cruising between the rocks. But, in fairness, it should be noted that the image of a Bay with promotional leaflets and websites are not always true. Unfortunately, traditional sailing boats with specific, easily recognisable sails for promo photos, here left. Tourists bringing in large motor boats, and all these traditional boats sailing in advertising are the result of a photomontage or staged photography.
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Almost all the Islands of Halong Bay are rocky, many of them are a little funny rock formations. The rocks are thousands of caves of various shapes and sizes, filled with stalactites and stalagmites, small waterfalls. The most popular cave is equipped for tourist attractions with colorful backlight lamps that makes them look like underground palaces.
For tourists the Bay is mainly interesting as a tourist resort for a long stay, but as an excursion destination in the short term. Most tourists visit the Bay as part of the tour for 1-2 days, and sometimes don't even stop here, limited to a day trip. Meanwhile, it is quite possible to stay in a hotel on cat BA island (Cat Ba Island) or on the coast and spend a few days here.
But before you decide to go to Halong, you should warn about the numerous incidents that resulted in the deaths of tourists. This is due to the low level of security in old pleasure boats. Many of the tourist boat has long since outlived its time as a fishing vessels, and now live a second life after rework and repair. The last incident (at the time of writing) in February 2011 claimed the lives of twelve tourists, including from Russia.
Weather ha long tourist seasons
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The climate in the Bay is tropical humid, with two seasons: a hot rainy summer and dry cold winters. The coldest and the driest months are December-February. The rainiest months are from June to September with maximum rainfall in August. Well, most favorable tourist months are April-may and September-October.
Theoretically, the Bay to visit at any time of year, and excursions there will never cease. But, as in General in the Northern part of Vietnam in the winter months should be prepared for low temperatures. Of course, Morozov is not the case, but given the proximity to the ocean and piercing winds, a big pleasure of being here during the period December to February inclusive you are unlikely to experience. Sometimes at this time of night the temperature can drop to 10 degrees Celsius, while daytime kept below 20.
From March the temperature starts to improve and becomes quite hot, although the water may still be warm enough and the swimming season is just starting to open. Although, in General, to visit the Bay, the weather was quite favorable. In April it is safe to talk about the beach season in ha long.
In June-September the weather is very hot, but can be heavy rains, which, fortunately, more often than not prolonged.
The end of the summer season can be observed in November.
Seasons in ha long months*
*best time to visit;
appropriate time to visit;
not a recommended time to visit
How to get to Halong
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Most tourists arrive in Halong as part of the tour, which, of course, is much easier than independent travel. But to get to Halong yourself and budget is possible and it is not too difficult. And arriving in ha long Bay and staying at the hotel, you will be able to buy a tour-boat ride around the Islands, caves and other attractions. The excursions in ha long travel in the sea in the morning (the last boat in 13 hours), so planning a route, keep this in mind if you don't want to waste a day on useless staying in a hotel.
If you want to know the truth, my opinion (the author) is that an independent trip to ha long only makes sense if you want to stay in ha long for a few days, and also trips around the Bay are planning to walk around the city, sunbathing on the beach, maybe visit a national Park. If you plan to visit just for Halong tours boat, a special financial benefit and pleasure from such separate trips you will get. Independent trip can cost you even more expensive than a group tour from Hanoi, especially given the possible contingencies in a taxi, unreasonably high prices for a tour on the spot at a bad bargain on your side, etc. But the above, only personal opinion of the author, and you have to decide.
The best starting point for sightseeing tours and independent travel to Halong, Hanoi is. About how to get to Hanoi, read the relevant section. A small part of the tourists also get here from China Nanjing (Nanning) on the bus. If you wish to visit Halong Bay from Ho Chi Minh city, you can use the flight to Hai Phong (Haiphon). You can try to use the transfer service from Hanoi airport to Halong, but this is better to think in advance, for example agreeing on this with the hotel that you are booking in ha long.
From Hanoi to ha long by bus
The easiest way to take a tourist bus, most often vans. They are convenient in that a ticket can be purchased at any travel Agency on the streets in the tourist district of Hanoi, they also depart from the tourist area or include a transfer-collect passengers from hotels to the place of departure of the big bus. To Halong tourist bus costs $10 (2013). and goes about 3 hours. There are composite routes in one ticket to cat BA island (Cat Ba), consisting of a trip to ha long, then by boat to cat BA island and from the jetty to the resort area on the island. Cost from $12.
A cheaper option is to get on the intercity bus. These buses leave from the bus stations in Hanoi Long Bien, Gia Lam Station, My Dinh or Luong Yen in Halong city. Buses depart every 15-30 minutes and cost about 50 000 VND. The buses are very slow, make many stops, so don't expect to drive faster than 5 hours. In Halong buses arrive at the station, Bai Chay Bus Station.
From the station Luong Yen bus also goes via the composite route to cat BA island cost 210,000 Dong (2013).
How would you travel from Hanoi, if you are going to go on a boat cruise, your final step should be a Marina in Halong, where you can immediately on arrival to buy a tour and go sailing. So check with the carrier before buying, where you'll take the bus, otherwise you will have to spend money on a taxi for the trip to the Marina. The bulk of tourist buses and minibuses go to the Marina. And don't forget the last boat in the cruise is sent approximately 13 hours, and if you arrive after this time, you will have to either go back or to stay overnight in ha long.
Unfortunately, the train to ha long, despite the presence of the railway from Hanoi no. Need to get through the city of Haiphong (Haiphong).
Daily between Hanoi and Haiphong goes 4 passenger trains. Journey time about 2 hours. Sending from the main railway station in Hanoi or from Hanoi Long Bien station. Tickets should not buy from middlemen, but directly at the station. Great need to reserve tickets in advance, because they are always in stock. Just come to the station, buy a ticket and go.
From Haiphong by ferry or boat you can get on the bus to Halong city, or by ferry or speed boat to the island of cat BA for 150 000 Dong.
The program is virtually any tour to Halong fairly standard and includes lunch (plus dinner and Breakfast for multi-day tours); walk on the boat between the rocks, stop at a floating village where you will be asked to drive a boat or swim to the kayak through the caves; landing on one of the Islands where you will walk through the caves.
Multi-day tours, as already mentioned, additionally include an overnight stay on the boat or in the hotel and a more intensive program. As for the one-day tour from Hanoi, then, unfortunately, half the time of the tour will be spent on location in Hanoi, the bus trip and waiting on the dock, and the boat from the force will take more than 4 hours. Therefore, it is recommended to buy two-day tour a one-day stop in case of lack of time.
Tours of the Bay of ha long
If you got to Halong city or cat BA island, you can easily buy a tour-boat ride on the spot. The cost of purchased at the ticket office on the pier for day trips with stops in the major caves of the 80,000 Dong ($4). Usually the tour include lunch.
You can buy a cruise for 2-3 days. These cruises can include an overnight stay on the boat or in a hotel on the island. Meals are usually included. The cost of cruises from $ 35
Generally, the cruise price when you purchase on the spot varies greatly depending on the class of boat and... greed reseller excursions and your ability to bargain. Don't be surprised if you end up in the same cabin will be someone who bought the trip at twice the price, or, worse, cheaper. The cure for overpayment - purchase excursions at the pier box office, well, or in extreme cases, serious travel Agency. The spring and summer in tourist areas and on the dock - just Resellers that will offer you a tour to buy. So when you arrive in Halong, go straight to the checkout. The only reason you can refuse to buy tickets at the box office - at times a big turn. But rest assured, despite all the assurances molested that you will be organized a special unique tour, you will get exactly the same thing when buying at the box office.
Excursions to the Bay from Hanoi
If you purchase a tour from Hanoi, you can purchase day trips or 2-3 day cruise. This option in most cases will be much better as a solo trip at a price, and on time.
The approximate cost of the tours from Hanoi:
- Day tour – from $ 25.
- The two-day tour ("a romantic night on the ship") – from $ 50.
- A three-day tour (two nights) – from $ 85.
Hotels of ha long where to stay
You can stay in Halong city or cat BA island. For a longer stay much more interesting is the cat BA island. The island is very beautiful, has several beaches, nature reserve. However, there is inconvenience to area hotels from the pier to get pretty far.
In ha long to stay not so interesting because the town has almost nothing to do. Most cruises on the Bay is organized here, so to stay in ha long is just to spend the night. It's best to stay in the district of Bai Chay beach. There is another great place - Tuan Chau island connected to the mainland by a bridge. The island has a great beach and several hotels, most of which are obscenely expensive.
Find and book a hotel in ha long, you can through the search form. The search is performed in popular South East Asia search engine Agoda.com, Russian language and Russian-speaking support is present:
Alcoholic beverages. For brought with you or purchased on the boat (floating shops) during the cruise, alcohol will often require so-called "right traffic" — about 10 000 VND a bottle. Eating do not want to pay, buy the alcohol in advance and are carrying on Board secretly :-). A bottle of beer on the ship costs about 40 000 VND.
Photos. The best, simply mystical, photos of Halong work at dawn or sunset. But keep in mind that the sun is falling behind the horizon almost at a right angle, and time of sunrise or sunset is very short.
Diving. In addition to the natural beauty of the Bay and caves, some tourists find in the waters of Halong Bay good diving from the sides of vessels. To do this, from Hanoi organizes a special tour.
Wiring in a floating village. When you sail in a floating village, you will be asked to swim to the boat or kayak into the cave. You first say that the walk will cost one or two dollars, but when you already sit in the boat, you will require five or more dollars. So please check the price and pay before you sit down in the boat to prevent the possibility of a cunning Vietnamese once again you are being scammed.