Vietnam
Ha Long

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ha Long. Discover travel destinations in Vietnam of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

60 travelers at this place:

  • Day5

    Halong bay & Bai tu long bay

    October 29 in Vietnam

    Bai tu long bay ofwel de baai van de vele draken. Na opgepikt te worden in ons hotel in Hanoi om 8u werden we door onze gids naar een bus gebracht. Met een tussenstop kwamen we na 4u aan in Halong bay.

    In Halong bay, stapten we op een houten boot waar 15 personen konden slapen. Op het eerste zicht leek het er vrij toeristisch aan toe te gaan. Maar toen we verder vaarden naar onze bestemming Bai to long bay werd het rustig en kregen we lekker eten voorgeschoteld terwijl we van een prachtig landschap konden genieten. Prachtige rotseilanden staken uit de zee.

    Na het eten gingen we kajakken met een stop op een klein strandje om even te zwemmen in een mooie omgeving. Een kajakwedstrijd zullen we nooit niet winnen, want het duurde even voor we een gelijk peddeltempo hadden gevonden. En dan nog vaarden we bijna nooit mooi rechtdoor ;) Niettemin, was het echt genieten van het landschap.

    Terug op de boot werd er lekker gegeten en wat contacten gelegd met andere toeristen.
    ‘S ochtends, kregen we voor ons ontbijt een bezoek aan een grot voorgeschoteld. Doordat we vroeger als gepland naar de grot gingen waren er geen andere toeristen aanwezig. Een goede zet van onze gids Kien.

    Op de terugweg was het genieten van het landschap en de vele roofvogels die er rondvlogen. Nog een laatste maal eten nadat we een kookdemonstratie kregen te zien.

    Na dit alles, namen we de bus richting Ninh bình. Waar deze post werd geschreven. 😊
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  • Day43

    Day 43 - Halong Bay Boat and Cave Trip

    October 22, 2017 in Vietnam

    We had another amazing day and another amazing boat trip in the bay!

    We slept in late (after staying up late watching bad movies) and headed over to the local mall for the ATM, toiletries, and breakfast/lunch (fast food spicy baked chicken and French fries - yum!). Then we walked the two blocks from the house with our awesome host, Dinh, to the water to meet his friend for the private boat trip.

    The 4 of us set off in a wooden fishing boat for a 6 hour boat trip through the bay, exploring several caves along the way. Some of the caves were easy to venture into (some were even used as old navy bases and fish farms). But a couple of the caves were crazy and huge and involved quite a bit of intense rock climbing to get through. On the first steep rock climbing cave, I cut up my leg pretty bad almost immediately and let the boys continue on without me. But by the time we got to the last cave, which was by far the biggest and the hardest to climb, I was able to get through it (not without cutting up my leg a little more!). This last cave was awesome - filled with huge stalagmites and stalactites which were dripping and wearing away at and crystallizing the rocks above and below us. We also saw large columns and holes that went down 20-30 feet, filled with water. From the caves, there were beautiful views of the water and the islands. It was a lot of fun, but pretty intense. The climb down the side of the cave back to the boat was a bit terrifying. At the end of the trip, we were going to go for a swim but decided against it. The jellyfish were crazy today - some of the biggest jellyfish I've ever seen (some over a foot in diameter and some smaller ones that had tentacles that were 1-2 feet long). So we headed back to shore, watching the sunset on the way back.

    After showering (and putting on a few bandaids!), we went out for an interesting dinner. Our host recommended a good restaurant on the water, and we had seen the place packed the night before, so we decided to check it out. When we walked in, everyone kind of giggled and looked at us strangely - we've gotten used to that the past couple of days. The neighborhood we are staying in is not touristy at all and we are the only Americans (or even non-Vietnamese people) that we have seen since we left Cat Ba. As the waitress handed us the Vietnamese menu, she laughed a little, because she knew we would have no idea how to read it. Then a lady sat down at our table who spoke a little English. We told her we wanted beef pho soup and spring rolls. We got a beef stew, a giant plate of amazing spicy garlic chili beef with a delicious sauce, and a giant plate of bread rolls. She didn't understand what a bottle of water was, so she brought me a warm beer instead. She also sat with us for most of our meal and kept asking us to stay and drink beers and sing karaoke. We enjoyed the meal, but declined the karaoke invitation!

    Another awesome day is in the books. We will be sad to leave tomorrow - Halong Bay (especially Cat Ba Island) has been my favorite place on the trip by far. I can't think of anywhere else in the world like it!
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  • Day42

    Day 42 - Halong Arrival

    October 21, 2017 in Vietnam

    We had a crazy adventure this morning to get to the ferry port on the other side of Cat Ba. We somehow missed the bus at our hotel and so the hotel owner quickly grabbed all of our luggage and us and threw us on the back of his and his son's motorbikes to chase down the bus. We caught up with the bus, flagged it down, and got on! Then we took the quick beautiful ferry ride to Halong.

    We had planned to either hike Poem Mountain for beautiful panoramic views of the entire bay or to lie on the beach and swim all day, but we ended up having a much needed rest day.

    After the taxi ride to our homestay, we took off for a walk along the water to find a place to eat breakfast/lunch. We stumbled onto a restaurant where no one spoke English so we didn't really order anything - they just brought us an order of seafood (shrimp and octopus) fried noodles. It was yummy!

    Then we took a long nap and relaxed for awhile. After we woke up and got ready, we set off for another walk along the water. We found a really busy fancy restaurant right on the bay and had a fantastic dinner - appetizers of grilled oysters and pork rolls, entrees of a pound of steamed shrimp for me and an entire fresh grouper with plum sauce for Tim. Everything was delicious!!

    Now, we are going to have a relaxing night - we have another boat tour tomorrow!
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  • Day50

    Halong (Stadt), Vietnam

    March 28, 2017 in Vietnam

    Am 27.03. ging es also wieder einmal über Nacht mit dem Sleeper-Bus weiter nach "Halong". Da es die relativ gut aufgestellte "Futa-Buslinie" im Norden Vietnams nicht gibt, sondern nur kleine, eher lokale Anbieter, sind wir diesmal genau mit so einem unterwegs gewesen. Die Ausstattung war etwas älter und wir durften uns die Nacht mit einer Gruppe stark alkoholisierter Vietnamesen um die Ohren schlagen. Nach knapp 8,5 Stunden kamen wir bereits in Halong an, wobei uns bei der Buchung etwas von 10 Stunden Fahrt prophezeit wurde. Grundsätzlich ist es natürlich super, wenn die Fahrt nicht so lang dauert, nur wenn man damit 04:00h morgens, also noch Mitten in der Nacht ankommt und sein Hotel nicht findet, ist eine kürzere Fahrtzeit auch nicht mehr so erfreulich. Nachdem eine weitere Stunde mit Hotelsuche, ausharren unter einem Vordach, da wir auch hier nicht vom Regen verschont blieben, vergangen war, fanden wir unser Hotel schließlich in einer Seitenstraße. Glücklicherweise durften wir da bereits 06:00h unser Zimmer beziehen, nachdem wir die Besitzerin des Guesthouses aus dem Bett geklingelt hatten.
    Trotz das wir uns während der zwei Tage einen Roller ausgeliehen haben, gab es außer Hotels, Resorts, Baustellen und einem riesigen Erlebnispark, der sich über die komplette Promenade erstreckt und damit die Sicht auf die Halong Bucht versperrt, nicht so viel zu sehen oder erkunden. Auch das Wetter machte uns hier wieder einen kleinen Strich durch die Rechnung. Der Blick auf die Halong Bucht war von hier nicht so spektakulär, wie erwartet. Daher freuten wir uns auf den bevorstehenden Trip auf die Insel "Cat Ba", denn da sollte auch das Wetter endlich wieder besser werden! ⛱
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  • Day135

    Heute ging es wieder mit Taxi und Fähre von der Insel „Cat Ba“ nach „Tuan Chau“. 🚕⛴ Kaum angekommen wollten wir das Zeitfenster von etwas Sonnen nutzen und fragten unseren Hotelbesitzer namens „Lan“, wie man zu der tollen Aussicht kommt, die er auf seiner Booking Seite bewirbt. Sichtlich erfreut und stolz schlug er uns spontan (s)eine private Wandertour zu diesem geheimen Berg/ Felsgipfel vor, von dem aus man einen sensationellen Ausblick auf die ganze Halongbucht und die umliegende Stadt haben soll. Kaum ausgesprochen saßen wir auch schon in seinem SUV und wurden trotz heftigem Regenschauer zwischendurch und trotz hoher Erwartungen in keinster Weise enttäuscht. Es war wirklich überragend. 😮😳🤗

    Danach ging es noch auf den lokalen Markt - auch eine besondere Erfahrung, denn bei diesen Hygienemassnahmen muss man mal wirklich alle Augen zudrücken. 🙈 Die lebendigen Fische versuchten sich noch aus ihren Wasserschüsseln zu retten, hüpften auf den matschigen Weg zwischen den vielen Marktständen, durch die sich auch trotz aller Enge noch die Mopedfahrer durchquetschten, und wurden dann wieder von den Verkäuferinnen in ihre Behältnisse gepackt - verkaufsfertig als wär nichts gewesen. 🙈 Dort etwas zu essen, haben wir uns jedenfalls nicht getraut. 😅
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  • Day12

    Halong Bay City

    September 1 in Vietnam

    Back on board after our early morning adventure but we still had time for John to be John.

    Our cruise boat motors along closer the port where the tender boat will take us ashore.

    Now for the 3.5 hr drive back to the crazy city of Hanoi.

  • Day10

    Halong City

    August 30 in Vietnam

    Finally arrived in Halong City. The drive was very pleasant as the transfer van was extremely comfortable even though it is still a little damp outside.

    Hạ Long is a major city, created in 1993, when the old capital Hon Gai, was merged with Bai Chay. The city mainly lies on Hạ Long Bay. It is located at about 178 km east of Hanoi.

    At the port you check in and are introduced to your guide for boat. Then we are herded to waters edge so we can board the tender.Read more

  • Day6

    Halong Bay

    October 12 in Vietnam

    Das Nachtangeln auf Sqid (Tintenfisch) war leider erfolglos.
    Die Übernachtung auf dem Schiff war gut und die Dusche hat funktioniert.
    Morgens konnte man um 6:30h Tai Chi auf dem Oberdeck machen, angeleitet vom Kapitän. Der Halbtag hat uns noch zu einer Insel mit Höhle und Ministrand geführt, uns und Hunderte. Eigentlich recht schön aber sehr voll. Alle 2-Tage eine Nacht Touren besuchen diesen Felsen bevor die Rückfahrt angetreten wird. Nach Brunch um 10:30h ging es zurück nach Hanoi.Read more

  • Day9

    Arrived at Signature Royal

    January 21, 2017 in Vietnam

    After a 4 hour drive from Hanoi we arrive at the Signature Royal for the start of our 3 day/2 night cruise of Halong bay.

    Halong Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence.

    Just from the harbour we can see the maze of limestone structures that will enchant us for the next 3 days.

    We are excited!

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day14

    Ha long can we stay?

    November 7 in Vietnam

    Leah’s here! Leah’s here! We were pleasantly surprised when Leah showed up at breakfast in the hotel this morning. We had hoped that her tour to Halong would be the same as our tour. We were very excited to get to spend some more time with our new Australian friend but were quickly disappointed when the transport arrived and Leah wasn’t on the van with us. “Are you sure your list doesn’t say Leah from Brisbane?” we all asked the tour guide. She double checked her roster and assured us that no one by the name of Leah was going to Halong in the van with us. Sadly, we bid Leah a farewell, holding out hope that we might see her on the bay.

    It was a three and a half hour van ride to the city of Halong, where we arrived just a little early for our 12:30p transfer onto the boat. As we were called for our tender, I saw Leah talking with Kim. Apparently, she will be on the same boat with us but just had a different transport from Hanoi. We followed our guide, Ling, to the tender, which motored us a few minutes away to our boat. Kim and I, Carolyn and Russ, and Leah are all on the first floor right next to each other. The accommodations are beautiful. Although the outside of the “Garden Bay” could have used a fresh coat of paint, the inside was a gorgeous, dark wood, with a marble bathroom.

    Halong Bay is famous for its scenery. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the area is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. In an area of about 1500 sq kilometers there are thousands of karsts jutting up from the water. The karsts are limestone monoliths with sheer cliffs, covered with the limited vegetation that can hang onto the steep terrain. The karsts are up to 100 meters (330 feet) in height. Our cruise is a 24 hour trip to get a taste of the area.

    Ling warned us that we should expect to gain a couple of pounds during the next two days, and she may have underestimated. Lunch was a multi-course meal, starting with pumpkin soup, then continued with salad, prawns, spring rolls, steamed rice, vegetables and sea bass. After stuffing our faces, we ventured into the bay on kayaks. The weather was sunny but not overly hot, so the kayaking was perfect. All around us the limestone karsts popped out of the emerald water. They rise sharply, with steep cliffs serving as home to a variety of trees and shrubs. Clinging to the sheer face, deep pink and red flowers waved in the breeze. We passed several local fishing boats and paddled by a pearl farm. I didn’t even know that you could grow pearls on purpose. Kim and I maneuvered to the floating dock and unloaded ourselves, as well as a few pieces of trash that we grabbed along the way.

    Later in the evening, we had a “cooking class” led by the chef. We all had the opportunity to mix, stuff, and roll Vietnamese egg rolls. The cook fried them up, and we saw them a bit later as an appetizer to our full meal. They were served on the top deck of the boat, while we enjoyed drinks during happy hour. Our junk (boat type) was small, with 15 passengers. It provided plenty of room for us to lounge around and privately take in the scenery, if so interested.

    Dinner was even more spectacular than lunch. It included: cucumber salad, Lotus salad, Russian salad, BBQ potato and corn, broccoli and cauliflower, BBQ prawn, BBQ fish, BBQ pork, oysters, beef stew, rice, fresh fruit and tiramisu. Yikes.

    With our food hardly digested, we moved to the bow of the boat to watch Carolyn, Leah, and Russ fish for squid. Although they caught none, everyone had a good time bobbing the lure up and down. Four squid were nabbed by other guests, and we have been told they will be on a plate tomorrow. This place is so beautiful, I wish we could stay and wander around the karsts for a week.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Thành Phố Hạ Long, Thanh Pho Ha Long, Ha Long, Халонг, 下龙市

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