Halong Bay is one of the world’s seven natural wonders, and one of the 29 most beautiful bays in the world. The legendary bay, where the dragons landed, has left the hearts of travelers in and out of the country wavering in front of that majestic beauty. This September, cool weather, little rain and storm, will be a perfect time for you to fully enjoy the sea air and explore services in Halong Bay.
6.00 am: Departure to Halong Bay
If you depart from Hanoi (Halong Bay is 170 km away):
Bus: High-class passenger car Hoang Long Express or Kumho Viet Thanh runs daily Hanoi – Bai Chay – Halong continuously from the bus stations of My Dinh, Luong Yen, Gia Lam or Kim Ma for 90,000 VND / guest. The first trip in a day is at 5.15 am, every 15 minutes has a trip. The trip takes about 3.5 to 4 hours, the car stops at Hai Duong station for you to take rest.
Taxi: If you go to the group, you can choose this form of travel. Prices range from 2 to 2.5 million VND/trip.
Train: Hanoi – Halong train departs at Yen Vien station at 4.55 am daily, the trip takes about 5 hours. The train of Halong Express departs from Gia Lam station at 7.05 am and to Halong at 12.00 am. The back trip from Halong is at 3.00 pm and to Gia Lam at 8.05 pm. The ticket price for foreign guests is US $ 15 and for domestic guests is US $ 5.
If you depart from other provinces in the country to visit Halong Bay, to save time and money, you should take the plane, or get off the train in Haiphong, because the city is only about 70 km to Halong. From Haiphong, you can go to Halong by the following means:
Bus, Taxi: Arrive Halong Bay on Highway 10, National Highway 18A (Uong Bi). Almost every station has a carriage procession to Halong. It takes about 1 to 2 hours.
Ships: High speed boat to Ben Binh – Bai Chay pier takes about 1 hour. Ships usually go to Ben Binh – Hon Gai pier for about 2 to 3 hours.
10.00 am – 3.00 pm: Visit Halong Bay
After arrival, take a break, you should take advantage of going to the pier early to buy tickets to visit Halong Bay coupled with large delegations (cost about 100,000 VND / person). You should go straight to the ticket counter outside Halong pier to buy, where the ticket price is state-listed. If you buy through a middleman, taxi or hotel, you are often charged for high prices without knowing it. Buy tickets at the counter is more convenient, on time the boat will be running. You can also take a package tour to Halong Bay, which costs about 150,000 – 200,000 VND per hour (depending on the ship).
Normally Halong Bay has two main tours:
– 4-hour tour: Thien Cung cave, Dau Go grotto, Dinh Huong islet, Ga Choi islet, back to the harbor.
Entering Thien Cung cave, you will feel like you are lost in the palace of heaven. The cave is located in the south west of Halong Bay, 4 km from the tourist port. The way to Thien Cung Cave is craggy cliffs, the two sides of the tree covered with luxuriant trees, through a narrow cave door suddenly open up the quadrilateral space with a length of 130 m. The deeper inside the cave the more lively and splendid beauty made by stalactites. On the eastern cliffs there is like a monumental monumental painting, in which stands ancient fairy characters with soft, flexible lines, extremely delicate to every detail.
The sculptures, whether massive or small, are meticulously crafted. The cave is associated with the legend of the ancient Dragon King and the baby dragons landing Halong Bay to protect the people of Vietnam. Thien Cung grotto gives us the impression that we have just seen a very unique and elaborate art museum, all of which is created by creatures beyond the imagination of human.
From far away, look back to Dau Go Cave, the entrance is like a green jellyfish, with 90 stone steps that makes it easy to leave the boat in the bay to reach the beautiful cave in Halong. High arch with hundreds stalactites hanging down is like a strange waterfall.
The cave is divided into three main compartments. The outer floor is full of natural light from the bay, the cave ceiling is a giant “oil painting”, depicting the landscape of wild nature. In the second floor of the cave: the light outside Halong Bay is blur, the stranger paintings appear mysteriously. The stone flowers are hidden at the time, the images are both familiar and strange … to make people both scared and curious … The end of the cave is a well of fresh water in four seasons. Surrounding is the image of the ancient citadel in the midst of a chaotic battle, all of which are rushing and suddenly petrified.
According to legend about Dau Go cave, people in Halong Bay said that during the resistance war against the Nguyen Mong, Tran Hung Dao had prepared several limestone stakes here to plug into Bach Dang River, creating a famous battle in history. If Thien Cung grotto is delicate, Dau Go cave is majestic and very massive. Dau Go cave is an ancient architectural complex which has been created for Halong Bay. It is a wild and peaceful place with many stone pillars, small stalactites and stalagmites, as if to reach the blue sky.
Halong Bay consists of 1,969 large and small islands with their own shapes, unlike any other islands in Vietnam. Most notable is Ga Choi Islet, a cluster of two islets shaped like a pair of chickens, a height of more than 10 meters with feet is in a very tilted pose. Being one of the most famous islands in Halong Bay, Ga Choi (sometimes referred to as Hon Trong Islet) is located in the southwest of the bay, about 5 km from the Bai Chay Tourist Area. As a symbol on the logo of Halong Bay, Ga Choi is also a symbol in the book travel guide of Vietnam.
There are places where the islands gathered together to look over each other, but there are also vertical and horizontal pose alternating, forming a line of ten kilometers as a wall. The islands in Halong Bay are a cosmic world hidden in legendary stone figures. Island is the face of someone who is heading to the land (Dau Nguoi island); the island is like a dragon flying over the bay (Dragon Island); the island is like an old man sitting fishing (La Vong); the far away are two brown sails that are turning the waves to the sea (Canh Buom); Standing in the middle of the sea, there is a huge incense burner as a sacrifice for heaven and earth (Lu Huong island).
(to be continued)
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