So you’re thinking of visiting Vietnam, but you’re not entirely sure where to go? There are so many reasons to include a Halong Bay cruise in your itinerary, it’s difficult to know where to begin! But here are our top ten reasons to visit Halong Bay and book a Halong Bay cruise.
The show-stopping limestone rock formations rising out of the sea characterize Halong Bay’s legendary beauty. They stand almost like sentinels looking out over the water, guarding the secrets of the bay that have existed for thousands of years. The shadows they cast in the water dance and change shape throughout the day as the sun rises and sets. There isn’t any scenery in the world quite like Halong Bay.
The changing seasons each lend a distinctive character to Halong Bay, giving it a chilly but gorgeous stillness in the winter, as well as a hot and much more active summer with intermittent gales of heavy rain. There’s no place quite like Halong Bay any time of year, but the weather and climate can vary, so be sure to do some research to find out what time of year suits you best.
Often we get so caught up in the rush of exploring a new place and not wanting to miss anything that we forget one of the most important things about vacation: relaxation time. You don’t have to do anything to enjoy Halong Bay...you simply have to be there to take it all in. Taking a Paradise Cruise means you get access to a full-featured spa with the best treatments in Halong Bay, from facials to full body massage.
Enjoy an afternoon tea with biscuits and fresh fruit, have a few cocktails at happy hour, or simply relax in your comfy cabin bed and watch the bay drift by out your window or seated comfortably on your private balcony. Out on the still, quiet water of Halong Bay, you’ll feel at east and far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
UNESCO is the world’s trusted authority on the most beautiful, unique, and well-preserved natural and cultural wonders of the world. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Halong Bay has received numerous accolades from this organization over the past three decades.
Thanks to its popularity around the world and UNESCO recognition, local authorities have put tremendous effort into preserving the ecology and natural beauty of Halong Bay. This has led to recent decisions to relocate floating villagers to the mainland while leaving some of them to carry on the old traditions that have existed for thousands of years. Thanks to these and other efforts, such as Paradise Cruises’ commitment to eliminating all single-use cruises from their boats, Halong Bay remains well-preserved, clean, and Vietnam’s crown jewel of tourism.
Halong Bay’s floating villages are few and far between these days, but they are still an essential part of any Halong Bay itinerary. There’s no better way to get a cultural understanding of Halong Bay than by exploring these floating villages for yourself.
One of the best-known villages, Cua Van, is a stop on the Paradise Cruises itinerary. Here, you’ll see a museum full of the villagers’ fishing tools, the history of the village, and information about their way of life. It’s a true one-of-a-kind experience.
Best of all, you’ll get a glimpse of the villagers’ daily lives as you drift around in a bamboo boat paddled by one of the locals. The people who live here have lived off selling seafood and pearls to the mainland for generations, without the internet or electricity or so many other modern conveniences we take for granted. Seeing their way of life firsthand is truly special and remarkable.
Whether it’s your first time or you’re a kayaking enthusiast, paddling yourself around Halong Bay is an invigorating and fun experience. The calm waters make it easy to glide around the bay and explore the area for yourself, and it’s part of every Paradise Cruise itinerary. You can explore pearl farms, paddle to secret beaches, or simply wander around marveling at the towering rock formations looming overhead.
This is a great activity for adventure-seekers while still being a very accessible activity for novices thanks to the gentle and easy waters of Halong Bay. Don’t miss this opportunity to kayak in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
As twilight approaches and your first day on the bay come to a close, staying overnight on a cruise gives you the opportunity to stay there in the midst of it all and get a front-row seat to one of the world’s most spectacular sunsets. Purples, pinks, and oranges shift hues and fade as the long shadows cast by the limestone karsts turn to silhouettes against a fiery sky. The charm of the twinkling lights of other cruise ships cheers you up as you carry on with the evening festivities, perhaps with a few cocktails.
There is nothing like sunrise on Halong Bay. Paradise Cruises gives you the opportunity to witness this spectacular event early every morning with Tai Chi classes on the sundeck. Start your day the zen way with the slow, deliberate movements of Tai Chi that coordinate with your breathing and help you feel centered and at one with your surroundings. Soak in the energy of the sun as it peeks over the horizon and gradually lights up the effervescent green waters of Halong Bay and warms up the sleepy limestone sentinels after a long, quiet night.
The caves of Halong Bay are one of the key reasons to go! Stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, as well as intricate and artful carvings created by natural processes over millions of years, characterize the numerous caves to be explored and admired in Halong Bay.
Perhaps the most well-known, “Surprise Cave,” features a stunning inner chamber that feels more like an opera house, with tall curved ceilings and massive rock formations in a cavernous space with a well-kept pathway winding all through it. Photo opportunities abound here as you’ll be sure to walk away from your experience of this cave with fond memories and a newfound appreciation for Earth’s incredible geological processes.
Are you a foodie? Curious to try local food in Halong Bay? Picky and nervous about what kind of food they eat in a culture so different from your own? Fear not!
The variety of fresh, local ingredients available in this region means the possibilities for flavor and customization are nearly limitless. Paradise Cruises feature a blend of easter and western dishes that can be ordered a la carte, so you’ll be sure to find something that suits your taste no matter what. Best of all, Paradise Cruises feature the best food Halong Bay has to offer, with professional chefs curating local and Western dishes cooked to perfection. Blend that with a surprisingly luxurious fine dining experience and you’ll wonder how people could experience Halong Bay cuisine any other way!
Paradise Cruise boats have incredibly roomy and comfortable cabins, with full-size marble bathrooms and separate showers, as well as beautiful dark wood furnishings that give the boat its unique charm and character. The calm waters of Halong Bay and the sturdiness of the boat mean you won’t feel the ocean rocking you back and forth as you might far out at sea.
Sleeping aboard a Halong Bay cruise is one of the most relaxing experiences you’ll ever have. Waking up to the view of Halong Bay’s gorgeous rock formations is a feast for your eyes first thing in the morning. You won’t be sacrificing any of the comforts you’d expect from a land-based hotel when you book a Paradise Cruise on Halong Bay.
There are so many reasons to visit Halong Bay, this list could go on for much longer than you’d care to read! In truth, the only way to really understand the value and character of Halong Bay is to visit this incomparable destination and experience it for yourself.
Paradise Cruises has over 14 years of experience curating some of the most luxurious, authentic, and unforgettable cruises in Halong Bay. You’ll get the best experience of the bay without sacrificing any of the comfort or service you’d expect at a fine hotel on the mainland. Experience the very best that Halong Bay has to offer with a Paradise Cruise.
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