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Halong Bay & Cat Ba Islands Over View

Halong Bay travel guide
No trip to northern Vietnam would be complete without visiting Halong Bay (Vinh Ha Long), one of the natural wonders of the world and truly one of the most stunning places in Southeast Asia. The bay’s tranquil beauty encompasses some 1,500 sq km (579 sq miles) of indigo sea and is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands and rocky outcrops, almost all of them uninhabited. Oddly shaped rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea, and numerous grottoes create an enchanted, timeless and almost mystical world.
Visiting Halong Bay
Halong City (Ha Long) – about 3½ hours from Hanoi – is the main departure point for boat trips. It comprises two smaller towns, Bai Chay and Hon Gai: Bai Chay is the departure point for boat trips around the bay and is where the majority of hotels, tour agencies and restaurants are located. Shops here specialise in kitsch souvenirs fashioned from pearl, coral and limestone.
The best time to visit Halong is in warmer weather, from April to October, as you can swim off the boat and relax on sundecks. During the peak typhoon season in September, boats may cancel due to bad weather. Between January and March, the weather can be cool and drizzly, but even then, Halong Bay is a worthwhile excursion. It is important to note the weather before setting out as rough seas have led to serious accidents. Indeed, in 2011, two accidents, the first killing 12 tourists (the other, fortunately, had no fatalities), led to much new government oversight but little real development of safety standards. When it comes to Halong Bay tours, you get what you pay for. More expensive tours tend to have newer boats and higher safety standards.
Cat Ba Island and National Park
The Cat Ba Archipelago consists of 366 islets and islands peppered with beautiful beaches and grottoes. Just 20km (12 miles) from Haiphong, with the Gulf of Tonkin to the west and Halong Bay bordering to the east, the main Cat Ba Island covers about 354 sq km (137 sq miles), with a stunning landscape of forested hills, coastal mangroves and freshwater swamps, as well as lakes, waterfalls and reefs.
Cat Ba, overlooking the Gulf of Tonkin, is the island’s main settlement and port. Scattered along the coast are a number of floating fishing villages. Half of the island and 52 sq km (20 sq miles) of the surrounding inland waters are part of the Cat Ba National Park (Vuon Quoc Gia Cat Ba). The thickly forested island has a rich diversity of flora and fauna, with 69 bird species, numerous reptiles and 32 species of mammal, including the Cat Ba langur, leopard cat and serow.

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Halong Bay Travel Season

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Halong Market

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During The Halong Bay Cruise

During your cruise you will have the option to join a number of activities, depending on your specific itinerary and local conditions. You will be informed by cruise staff about the scheduling of activities, and staff members are always available to answer questions about these activities...

Halong Bay Cruises: Before you go

Before you depart for your Halong Bay cruise, there are a few things you should be sure to do. We ask that you send all requested personal information to us no later than 3 days prior to your cruise departure. We must have this information in order to appropriately register your cruise with the port authorities, and if such information is missing or incorrect we cannot guarantee your permission to board...

Experience the serene magic of world famous Halong Bay with 2 days 1 night onboard

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Cat Ba Island information

Cat Ba island is located on the southeastern side of the UNESCO Heritage of Ha Long Bay, in Hai Phong City,  which has long been seen as an overlooked destination for the locals yet a stunning must-visit spot for all sorts of travellers to Northern Vietnam...

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