Asia, Travel, Vietnam

[36 Hour Cruise in Halong Bay – Halong Bay, Vietnam]

December 26, 2017

I can’t say I’m surprised that Halong Bay is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Suggested listening: All is Good, Jon E. Amber

Let’s start at the beginning. There are Cat Ba and Halong Bay(s), both series of rock formations, rising from the waters on either side of you. This is really just based on territory, which islands belong to whom. According to the etymology, I found on Wikipedia (I really feel I have to confess this) Halong means ” descending dragon” in Sino-Vietnamese. According to local legends, these dragons came at a time to protect the people living there.

It’s hard to describe the eerie and beautiful feeling of gliding through still waters, powerful rocks moving past you, the 360 view, people being quiet, just sucking it in. It is worth the trip and certainly the boat ride.

Good bye for a day Hanoi!

Just like that, we were off!

Goodbye city traffic…

I should say at this point (before we get to the good stuff) I hate cruises, I didn’t particularly enjoy this cruise and I had forced group activities, also people that don’t know how to fly their knock-off drone when you’re diving into the bay after a beautiful kayak. There, I got it all out. I might not have liked the cruise but BOY did I love the bay. We woke up to the most amazing views, they start 30 minutes into the glide. If you’re interested in doing our tour, we booked through Orchid Cruises. This meant two days and one night aboard. If you’re worried about a scam site, feel free to message, we can let you know which way we went through, this was legitimate.

Pro tip: This was most optimal because we didn’t come in through Halong Bay, we took a 2-hour drive from Hanoi and boarded at a very quiet docking station without the crowds, instead of enjoying the cruise in rather than an additional 1.5 hours of traffic.

Our room, a room with…

A view!

This fancy tub of course, as taken in the room on an iPhone

We started drifting out and I’m telling you this was barely 30 minutes in…

At first, we thought it’d be more sparse like this…

We realized that actually, it was only the beginning. Note: the water is the same everywhere, everything was quite blown out in terms of exposure.

Also this delicious Mango was in our room and we let it get really ripe and ate it and it was the best mango I’ve ever had.

Everyone needs a break for lunch so here it is…

Dragon fruit + Rambutan, perfect first dessert. We also ate this deliciously sweet lotus seed soup .

Also actual lunch, I know you wanted to see dessert first though.

Okay before I post a real post of an excursion, here are many unrequested photos of the cruise aka just the outside of our portholes.

Boat friend

Window viewing


Moved on up to the top deck…

Did more sightseeing from there (slowly getting closer to the rocks, Ben pretending to be the ship captain.

We’re gaining speed now

Ben got tired and gave up

I followed soon after, here is a photo I took on my phone because I’m lazy

Good night, for now, bay.

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  • Ryan Biddulph December 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Deborah,

    Wow! What shots. I knew not Halong Bay was one of the 7 Wonders of the World but of course it deserves to make the list. We were all booked up and had to travel onward so missed this marvel but did enjoy incredibly stunning Ninh Binh with its many karsts. They did some filming for the Kong Skull Island movie in Ninh Binh for its dramatic scenery.


    • Findling's Finds December 27, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Thanks so much! We had a great time, it’s one of the natural wonders (I know searches yield the old/new wonders first) We had such a great time exploring! Ninh Binh is on our list for sure. We were worried since it was a bit gloomy and rainy at times while we were there but it was still beautiful so the good news is it’s worth checking out rain or shine.