Ha Long Bay: Floating Through the Limestone

Two-Day Cruise Through Ha Long Bay

The video above shows the view from my cruise boat moving through Ha Long Bay at around 120x real time speed. I took a two-day cruise to Ha Long Bay that I booked through my hostel, Central Backpackers Hostel in Old Quarter.

From Hanoi, it was a decently long bus ride to get to the docks for the two-day cruise in Ha Long Bay. Once on the boat, it is like being on a different planet – floating through the endless limestone islands on a wave-less bay feels like gliding through the clouds in the Avatar universe.

Kayaking through the still waters, we passed seemingly abandoned fishing villages and paddled through caves over glossy waters. Beyond the beauty of the area, there wasn’t too much to actually do besides hang out on the boat and meet the other people. However, it a really great experience you cannot skip in Northern Vietnam.

Kayaking in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Choosing a Ha Long Bay Cruise

I decided to sign up for a 2-night/3-day cruise, and in the end, I think that was a mistake. Unless you have a really fun group of people on the cruise with you (or you are with your significant other), there are not many activities planned. Cliff jumping and kayaking combined for about 2 hours total on the cruise. Other than that, I pretty much ate, drank, lounged, and enjoyed the views.

I would recommend signing up for the 1-night/2-day tour. You can even talk to the company you book through to leave the tour on the second day and do your own adventure on one of the islands, like Cat Ba. I actually regret not doing this. Cat Ba island is known for more adventure activities like mountain biking and trekking. Next time!

If you have any awesome experiences or advice about Ha Long Bay, please feel free to share.

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