Vietnam is a wonderful and beautiful country with the perfect combination of outstanding natural and cultural beauty. A must-see destination on your vacation Vietnam is serene and alluring Halong Bay, also written as Ha Long Bay. Designated as a World Heritage site, Ha Long Bay has literally thousands of limestone islands that rise majestically from the sea. Legend has it that the impressive landscape here was the figure of a giant dragon that descended into the deep sea during the accent time. As your boat sails through the shadows and light between the many islands, you will be aware of the mystical yet soothing and tranquil feeling.
The best way to explore picturesque Ha Long Bay is on a cruise and there are many types of cruises available here to cater for every schedules and budgets. Some of the cruises include a tour into one of many giant limestone caves (grottoes) that have been formed here over literally thousands of years. Some of the most popular caves here to explore are Hang Dau Go, Bo Nau and Hang Hanh. You will often encounter small fishing boats that come up to the boats to sell seafood. This is an ideal opportunity to try out the fresh local seafood, cooked right in front of your eyes.
A magical experience for Vietnam vacations is to stay overnight on a boat, especially if its a moonless night. Any movement in the water sparkles thanks to millions of microscopic bioluminescence here in Ha Long Bay. When you are anchored down and relaxed, the cruise staff will be more than happy to share the local folk stories with you, especially about the dragon.
The tourist boats often stop at some of the many islands in Ha Long Bay. The largest island is Cat Ba and the majority of the island is occupied by steep and looming vertical rocks. The majority of residents of Cat Ba are traditional fishermen. During recent years, tourism has really opened up as a new source of income for the people that live here. The eco system in Cat Ba island is very special with a large national park that is home to many types of animals such as the wild boar, Francois monkeys, hawks, hornbills and many assorted other animals. The park also features a diverse range of tropical forests, coastal mangrove, freshwater lakes, off shore intriguing coral reefs and attractive powdery beaches. Visitors can also take a guided tour through some of the caves to arrive at the mountain peak. More adventurous visitors can also trek the 18km hike that runs through the park and there is an option to camp overnight. Cat Co beaches are also close to the Cat Ba village and is a ideal place to relax. Other well known islands in Ha Long Bay include Deu Reu and Tuan Chau, which you can also explore easily.
With so much to see and do, travelers should plan several days for their visit to Ha Long Bay.