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“Worth the car drive”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Halong Bay

Halong Bay
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Full-Day Small Group Halong Bay Islands and Caves Tour with Seafood Lunch from...
Ranked #1 of 48 things to do in Halong Bay
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Owner description: Ha Long 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. The site's outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest.The outstanding value of the property is centered around the drowned limestone karst landforms, displaying spectacular pillars with a variety of coastal erosional features such as arches and caves which form a majestic natural scenery. The repeated regression and transgression of the sea on the limestone karst over geological time has produced a mature landscape of clusters of conical peaks and isolated towers which were modified by sea invasion, adding an extra elemant to the process of lateral undercutting of the limstone towers and islands.
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Cannes, France
Level Contributor
112 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Worth the car drive”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2014

Halong Bay is worth the unpleasant 4h 30 min drive from Hanoi. Around 20kms close the harbour area are under construction ( widening to 2x 2 lanes) but even once completed it will still take 4hours + due to speed limits very followed: we spotted policemen literally in trees! Speed limits: 40 km in cities, 60 otherwise and... 80km on highways. Also halfway, all buses/cars stop and souvenirs there were at least twice price we paid in the Old quarter in Hanoi.
Doing the return trip in one day is therefore not recommended at all as you would have 3h30 on board and would notbe able to visit the nicest spots.
We did a 3d/2 N and had the time to recover from the car trip and enjoy sceneries and peace.
Our 3 top spots are: Titov island for the sunset view, Surprise cave nearby also for the view and Vung Vieng fishing village for its floating village, the visit in kayak we did through a kind of maze of limestones cliffs and the arch.
If you have time( and money) go to Bai Tu Long bay, in the Cap La area.Much more peaceful with less boats( as we did). However the limestones cliffs are much more spectacular in size on the western side of the bay.
March is usually cloudy. Best time seems to be June to August: the guide told us, you are likely to have strong rains then but they would last only a couple of hours and before and after it is blue sky.
The water is clean in some places and less in other: to be fair not much floating rubbish.Visitors need to know that large commercial ships are sailing through the Bay ( the main channel separating the western side and Bai Tu Long bay) and some are even loading in the main channel ( cement and coal we believe).: Not a very nice site.
In several locations we noticed small boats collecting rubbish from the sea: it is done manually with small nets: a good start but a lot needs to be done.
If you can do a private cruise. We did ours with Paloma : 2 cabins and you decide where you want to go. For us who "studied" the itinerary, absolutely worth it. Comfort was 3*, guide,food and crew 5*. Highly recommended.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank duvilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“3D2N feels much more appropriate for such a great place. 2D1N is too rush.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2014

Very impressive scenery. Stunning rocks. Birds soar from boulders to boulders. Sometimes low clouds and fog add a bit of mystique. Absolutely picturesque every moment. There are times when the quietness is so nice and all you hear are the birds chirping.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank JacobXin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, GA
Level Contributor
237 reviews
138 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great time, even with rain”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2014

I was part of a group of 10 women who went on this cruise. The staff was very nice, even letting me peak into the equipment room below when they saw I was curious.They were quick to help with any little problems we had. We took the 2 night trip, with an excursion the second day that included kayaking and lunch aboard another ship. The rainy weather made it so we couldn't always enjoy the seats outside, and in fact, they weren't always set up anyway. Food was good, but there was a lot of it, so it was hard to finish meals. The first manager on board, Bobby, was such a nice person, and we all really enjoyed him being there!

Visited March 2014
Thank JoanMarietta_GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
45 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“They won't tell you if you can't see anything”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2014

A lot of the time in March there is either fog, haze, mist, or pollution, so that you will not be seeing anything at all, and the boats are not that fun, unless you like low rent booze cruises with tour groups. The water is polluted and full of jellyfish so don't think about swimming, that won't happen either.

Visited March 2014
Thank FishMore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catarman, Philippines
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Don't expect too much”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2014

The pictures that I saw while planning for our trip to Hanoi was magnificent, enticing.
From Hanoi to Halong Bay more than an hour travel. Upon reaching the port i was still excited. We boarded a boat that ferry us to the site and during lunch they served so little food, not worth for the money we paid, then came the big surprise - the bay is not that clean, there were waste products, some fuel deposits in the water, its so very different from the pictures that I saw. No wonder I never saw anyone swimming.

But main attraction of the Halong Bay, the limestone cave etc are so AMAZING, breathtaking, no wonder its one of the New 7 wonders of the world. I hope the government of Vietnam will do something on those unattractive sight surrounding the famous Halong Bay.
My overall impression - just don't expect too much.

Visited June 2013
Thank jojolayon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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