Dear Travel Junkies:
Sail down to the natural wonders of the world, Halong Bay. The popular destination was officially named as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world by New 7 Wonders Foundation in 2012. Words alone cannot do justice to this majestic bay that should be on top of everyone's bucket list.
Get the ultimate view and experience by taking the boat tour of the islands and their grottoes. You can either rent the entire large boat to yourself or share the boat with other travellers, Vietnamese and foreign. Either way, it is ridiculously affordable at 30,000/40,000d for a 4-/6-hour cruise. Whole boats are approximately 100,000/140,000/160,000/220,000d per hour for a no-star/1-star/2-star/3-star boat so that would work out to be about $5-$10USD per hour. My family and I rented a whole boat to ourselves and included our own chef. I love how everything in Vietnam is insanely cheap.
Beyond the breathtaking boat ride through the bay, the host will guide you in a deeper adventure through the beautifully illuminated caves. There are a few beaches in Halong Bay for the beach lovers so ask your captain to take you there. If you got yourself a whole boat to yourself, take advantage of the fresh seafood sold in the floating markets. Take your pick on fresh seafood caught daily for your dinner. The chefs who is also your captain and assistants on the boat will cook up whatever you buy from the floating market. You'll be amazed by how many floating markets and homes are out on the bay. Their way of living is absolutely outstanding and very difficult.
If you're really keen on kayaking the Halong Bay, there is a private company, Handspan Adventure Travel, that can fix that up for you and you'll be on your way.
On route to Halong Bay
The parking lot
My lovely parents
Inside the caves
Shopping for dinner
Super fresh seafood at your local market