Cruising in Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh has thousands of islands and many beautiful areas.
For nearly a decade, the nominee for a Natural Wonder of the World title has attracted more tourists since the bridge linking Bai Chay (Chay Beach) and Hon Gai (Gai Islet) was built.
In the bay area, there are many caves, beaches, restaurants, hotels and entertainment sites. Among its well-known scenic spots and tourist sites are Thien Cung, Dau Go and Trinh Nu caves, and Ti Top, Tuan Chau and Ba Trai Dao beaches.
At hotels on Bai Chay, visitors can ask at reception desks to hire tourist ships to visit the bay. You can choose which ship from photos and decide beforehand how long the tour should be and which places to visit or if you will have lunch on board.
The ships usually have sofas on the top deck for tourists to sit and watch the seascape. The deck below has tables and chairs made from precious woods worth billions of dong. Some cruises from big travel agencies also have karaoke rooms and bars.
According to Ha, who is a helmsman, tourist ships have to compete with one another because hundreds of them operate in the bay. A ship is considered successful if it is recommended by its customers. For this reason, tourist ships strictly observe the itinerary and respect customers. Tourist ships usually take people to see Bai Chay Suspension Bridge first and then take them to visit Thien Cung Cave, one of the biggest and most beautiful caves in the bay. If there is time, they will stop at other caves and Ti Top Beach, a beautiful coral beach.
The ships also go past Ga Choi Islet, two rocks which look like roosters fighting each other. The crew normally brings along fresh seafood for customers’ lunch. During the boat tour, you can see small boats selling fish, crabs and shrimp that you can buy and grill them to eat on board.