Halong Bay: Vietnam

Halong Bay Trip

Hạ Long Bay is the centre of a bigger zone which incorporates Bái Tử Long Bay toward the north east, and Cát Bà Island toward the southwest. Research has shown the presence of prehistoric human beings here tens of thousands of years back.

Halong Bay in the north of Vietnam is an extraordinary artwork of stone and water with a large number of rocky islands and enchanting caves. With the excellence of blue waves and white sand, the ocean gives a beguiling view.  It comprises of a thick bunch of around 1,600 limestone solid islands each finished with thick vegetation, rising fantastically from the sea. A few of the islands are empty, with huge caves.

As per legend, when Vietnam had just begun to form into a country, they needed to battle against trespassers and invaders. To help the Vietnamese in shielding their nation,the Gods sent a group of mythical dragons as defenders. This group of dragons started releasing gems and jade. These gems transformed into the islands and islets spotting the bay, connecting together to frame a wall against the trespassers. With magic, various rock mountains unexpectedly showed up on the ocean, in front of trespassers' ships; the ships struck the stones and with each other. After their victory, the mythical dragons decided to tour the world in a peaceful way. The spot where the mother dragon descended was named Hạ Long, the spot where children attended their mother dragon was called Bái Tử Long island and the spot where the small dragons wriggled their tails brutally was called Bạch Long Vỹ island.

Travellers generally go for midrange travel.i.e. cruises that suit their budget. One can spend on high priced luxurious cruises where on-board wellbeing is taken care of. There are also some great midrange choices offering comfortable inn style lodges, proficient on-board guides, and kayaking stops. The cruises start at reasonable rates, USD 60 per individual for a day trip.
With a budget of USD 100-150, one can get a better tour with customised deals. 

Most of the cruises offer atleast an hour of kayaking. Paddling around the karsts  to encounter the limestone towers is an amazing experience. For experienced kayakers, there are provisions for kayak-just treks.

Kayaking through a cave
In Vietnam,especially Ha Long, Bio-diversity is the most important natural resource.
The number of plant species  on the islands in Ha Long Bay is unknown. A large number of islands remain unexplored as well. There are likely over a thousand types of plants dispersed over the area. A plethora of plants such as mangrove, seashore plants, those of the slants and those that develop around the mouth of hollows and in crevasses can be found all over the place.
Caves in Halong Bay

Han Thien Cung

Kayaking through a cave in Halong Bay

The Halong Trip is indeed a soul touching experience.

A national poet, Nguyen Trai went by Halong and wrote:

“The way to Van Do has so many mountains
Nature has produced a wonder in the immense space
The vast blue sea looks like a grandiose mirror
Reflecting innumerable black mountains”.

It is truly said ," If you haven't been to Ha Long, you haven't been to Vietnam."