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INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

2 Days 1 Night : Ha Long Bay Cruise, Vietnam




 
Published on: January 25, 2018
 
 
Ha Long Bay, which directly translates as “The Descending Dragon”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a well-known destination for its 1,600 limestone karst and islets. In 2012, it was included to the New seven natural wonders of the world and Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.
 

Ha long Bay

 
Often compared to El Nido, Palawan, its scenic view is fairly similar to it, but it doesn’t have sandy beaches and it is more famous for cruising compared to El Nido.
 
Since we always wanted to try something new, we decided to stay in a small cruise ship. We found our Halong bay cruise tour package through booking.com (Majestic Cruise). They offer hotel pick-up and transfer to the docking area.
 
We booked quite late thus it costed us USD 237.50, but it was still the cheapest deal there is.
 
For other Ha Long Bay cruise deals, you can also check Klook (make sure to click the link when signing up to get your $3.00 discount credit!)
 

Day 1:

 
We had an early check-out in our hotel (Icon 36) and we were picked-up by the Majestic Halong Cruise crew around 8am together with other tourists from other hotels. From there, it took us about 4 hours of travel from The Old Quarter to the docking area in Ha Long Bay.
 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

After checking-in, we had to ride a boat transfer before we can transfer to the cruise ship

 

Ha long Bay

 
Upon arrival and boarding the cruise ship, they had given us enough time to settle down to our rooms before serving us our lunch at the main dining area.
 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

The cruise ship is very basic and simple. It has 3-storeys and only carries roughly 50 pax or less. It has a deck where you can lie down while watching the scenic view. Their dining area has a bar where you could get your beverages and bond with your friends or family. The rooms have windows that features the view of the Ha Long Bay, it is also fully equipped with air conditioning, minibar, and en suite bathroom.
 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 
 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

At 3 PM, we went to Sung Sot Cave or also known as the “Surprise” cave as part of the cruise tour located on Bo Hon Island. For this tour, make sure to wear comfortable and non-slip footwear as you need to hike a few flights of slippery stairs.
 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

The cave really lived up to its name, as it was indeed surprising! The cave was so much larger than we expected. It was enormous! Moreover, the ambience was enhanced by colorful illuminations coming from artificial lighting they added to the cave. There are areas that you feel like you were in a movie set and some you have to do a bit of crouching to pass through. It was just too pleasing to the eyes; I personally didn’t imagine that I would appreciate a cave this much.
 
But take it loosely, after all, this is a cave and nothing much to do but to cherish the moment and be proud of Mother Earth’s masterpiece.
 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 

Ha long Bay

 
From the cave, we were then brought to Halong Pearl Farm. Along the way, we saw a floating village that is apparently part of the tourist attractions in Ha Long Bay. At first, you just get to wonder how they do their daily living floating on water, but then you get to a deeper question—despite the rise and fall of the tides, incomes rely on tourism and fishing, and generations already have changed—why they still choose to stay? Maybe there are better things in life. I wish the village was part of our tour, for some reason, I wanted to learn more about them and experience their living first hand.
 

Ha long Bay

Just one of the floating houses
 
Halong Pearl Farm is where pearls are cultivated. They showed us how intricate the process to make a piece of pearl. I don’t own any pearl jewelry or any other expensive stones—but seeing the process from the actual breeding and growing it up for harvesting, I finally understood why it has a high value. It takes at least a year to grow single pearl! If ever I get the chance to visit agaib, I’ll make sure to purchase a pair of pearl earrings.
 

Ha long Bay

Tour guide explaining how they harvest the pearls from the oysters
 

Ha long Bay

 
When the tour ended, we were brought back to the cruise ship to relax and rest.
 
 

Day 2:

 
 
Second day was a laid-back. They offer Thai Chi in the morning for those who do Thai Chi and they served breakfast at 7am.
 
At around 8-9am we had our chance to do Kayaking around the area to see and explore more of the Ha Long bay. For me, it was fun but scary at the same time. Fun because I get to do something different for this trip, but it was kind of scary for me because the water is murky and too calm. I was slightly paranoid that maybe there is a water creature lurking around our kayak. Haha!
 

Ha long Bay

It was cold, hence, the bonnet of RJ
 

Ha long Bay

 
Around 9am, our cruise ship started to head back to the land. While travelling back, the in-house chef conducted a cooking lesson and thaught us how to make Vietnamese spring roll and actually had us cook a batch to be served together with our lunch. It was fun and exciting activity as you get to meet other tourists as well. We reached back to Hanoi around 1pm noon.
 

Ha long Bay

In-house chef teaching us to make fresh spring roll
 

Ha long Bay

 
Our package:
 
Standard Double air-conditioned room includes a minibar and a private bathroom with shower facilities.
 
– Destinations
Halong Pearl Farm Village
Titop Island (optional)
Sung Sot Cave
 
– Activities
Kayaking
Swimming
Tai Chi
Cooking classes specially conducted by the in-house chef
 
– Inclusions
Entrance fees
Taxes and all service charges
English speaking tour guide
Full-board meals
Insurance
There are other packages that offer shorter/longer stay, more activities and tours you can choose.
 
Over all, the 2D 1N Ha Long day cruise was worth it. It may not be like those fancy cruises where they have ball rooms and fine dining but it is still worth the experience.
 
 

Read: HANOI, VIETNAM: Perfume Pagoda

 
 
 

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