by Sacha Bunnik
Located 4 hours’ drive east from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is the water wonderland called Halong Bay. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its unique natural beauty, Halong Bay is made up of over 3000 limestone outcrops and islands scattered across a large natural bay.
What makes Halong Bay so nice to visit and sail around is that each limestone rocky outcrop and island is so different from the next, all different in shape, size and style. Some are covered in lush vegetation, others are all rocky, while some have caves and interesting rock formationscarved by the wind and sea over the years.
While the cabins are small, they do come with a double bed, private bathroom and views to die for from the large window. The cruise is only 2 days/1 night, so you really don’t need a massive cabin. Most of the time you spend on deck looking at the amazing view as the junk sails around the different islands.
Fresh seafood is the order of the day when it comes to lunch and dinner on the junk. It is top notch all the way, with between 8 and 10 courses for each meal, as you eat in the dining room while enjoying the ever changing view out of the large picture windows. One thing is for sure, you won’t be hungry in Halong Bay.
Part of the itinerary while cruising in Halong Bay is to stop at a few different islands and do some exploring. The first island we visited had a massive cave complex, which was full of fascinating rock formations and stalagmites. There was a path built through the cave that allowed easy access to all the main attractions in the cave complex and was very interesting to see. The second island we visited had an amazing beach where you could swim and kayak from to experience Halong Bay from the water. Both islands had small local monkeys that kept the tourists entertained by climbing and playing on the rocks and trees of each island.
I personally loved the time I got to spend sailing around Halong Bay, it was so relaxing to sit on desk and watch the world sail by.