Just a few hours from Hanoi, a marvel of nature and UNESCO World Heritage Site rises out from the emerald waters of Bac Bo Gulf. Ha Long Bay’s 1,969 jagged limestone islands spread out in different shapes and shades provide an almost other worldly backdrop against the horizon where visitors can hear of the tale of a dragon descending into the sea and spewing pearls from its mouth to create the impressive spectacle they see before them.
To see Ha Long Bay, boat tours are offered from different tour agencies in Hanoi or Halong City. Most of the package tours offer the same and inclusions and itinerary, but depending on your budget will have differences in food and boat amenities.
An overnight cruise on board a boat is probably one of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll have in Viet Nam where you get to kayak around some 250-million-year-old islands, go swimming, lie on the beach, visit a cave and a floating village, and get lulled to sleep by the water. Here are some of Ha Long Bay’s unique spots to explore:
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Many other water-based communities exist in Southeast Asia – see them when you visit Viet Nam's floating markets in the Mekong Delta; the lakeside communities in Tonle Sap, Cambodia; and the water village at Kampong Ayer, Brunei. For similar karst-based landscapes, visit El Nido in the Philippines and Gunung Mulu Park in Malaysia.
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