The battle of heroic dragons in the Gulf of Tonkin has, according to myth, shaped the landscape of Halong Bay. Once the pirates’ territory, few dared to venture into the heart of this majestic karst lace. Amassed by wind and rain, Halong Bay is now a major site in Vietnam.
Halong Bay has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a “natural beauty” since 1994 and has been attracting tourists from all over the world. Cruises sailing on the waves, sugar loaves, mystical mist or ochre sun, everything is there to delight you. If Paris has its Eiffel Tower, Hanoi has its Halong Bay. A natural wonder, it is composed of a milky way of islands (about two thousand), nestled in legends and inhabited by a few fishing villages.
In the wake of the junks, explore a picturesque Vietnam, gently sliding on a sea of jade surrounded by a forest of rocky peaks and islets of limestone. It should be noted that Halong Bay is the largest marine karst panorama in the world. There are many activities. A gourmet break in a floating hamlet, a kayak trip, a swim in a remote cove, an exploration of a cave, a night in a bamboo hut…
On Cat Ba, the largest island in the bay, take a sporty walk in the forest and then go to the monkey island. These little primates populate the beach waiting peacefully, feet in the sand, for time to pass. Be vigilant and respectful of the animals. Monkeys are wild animals and can be aggressive. They could bite you and chase you into the sea!
To get off the beaten track, far from the tourist crowd, come and discover Halong Bay on the land side. Located 2h30 south of Hanoi, in Tam Coc precisely, this natural heritage is still unknown to the general public, preferring its maritime twin. And wrongly! Surrounded by terraced rice fields, all the rocky peaks are magnificent. Notice to thrill seekers, there is a plethora of hikes.
Responsible travel: Mass tourism means pollution (air and sea). It threatens the entire ecosystem of the bay but also the communities living around it. If you wish to visit Halong Bay responsibly, here are some good practices to adopt:
Choose a company with a responsible tourism policy: waste and wastewater disposal, investment in local cleaning initiatives, recruitment of local staff, etc.
At the pier, interact with local communities: negotiate with fishermen to visit the bay in their boats or buy handicrafts. You will know that the money spent benefits the people, which promote the local economy and entrepreneurship.
Leave your opinion on forums, sites or social networks. In this way, a good responsible company will be appreciated. Conversely, demand responsible practices from others. Show your desire for change and involvement. If everyone gets down to it, companies will have to follow the right example.