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Ha Long, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay (also Halong Bay) is in northern Vietnam, 170 kilometers east of Hanoi. The bay is famous for its scenic rock formations.
[edit] Understand

"Ha Long" is literally translated as "Bay of Descending Dragons." Prior to the 19th century, this name was not recorded in any document or archive. When mentioning the present-day Quang Ninh Sea or Ha Long Bay, old historical books often referred to them by the names of An Bang, Luc Thuy or Van Don. Not until the late 19th century did the name of Halong Bay appear on a French Marine Map. The Hai Phong News, a French newspaper of the time, had an article, Dragon appears on Ha Long Bay, reporting the following story: In 1898 a sub-lieutenant named Lagredin, captaining the Avalanse reported seeing a huge sea snake on Ha Long Bay. This was also witnessed by many of the crews. Thus emerged the European image of the Asian dragon. Whether this appearance of a strange animal looking like a dragon resulted the name of Ha Long Bay is not known.
[edit] Get in

From Hanoi: 165 km or 3 hrs 30 minutes drive

From Hai Phong: 75 km or 1 hr 30 minutes drive

The best way to get to Halong Bay is to rent a car from Hanoi. It costs approximately USD100 return.

There is also a tourist open bus services offered by travel agencies around the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Cost: USD8 net/ person/way

Public buses leave from Long Bien Station to the Bai Chay Station (other side of Red River, 5 km from Hoan Kiem Lake) every 30 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00 and cost 50,000 dong/person each way. This is not recommended for foreigner's travelers, as these buses are often crowded, slow and unsafe.
[edit] Get around

Mong Cai border City - there is a hydrofol service from Bai Chay to the border city with China

Cat Ba Island - rent or book a seat on a junk to Cat Ba Island

Haiphong City - buses leave from Bai Chay Station to Hai Phong City
[edit] See

Rent a junk to visit the bay for either several hours or overnight on the bay
[edit] Do

* Kayaking
* Swimming
* Climb to the top of Titov Mountain

[edit] Buy
Sunset Vendor at Halong Bay
Sunset Vendor at Halong Bay
[edit] Eat
[edit] Drink
[edit] Sleep

* On board You can sleep aboard on Halong Bay, there are several kind of junks providing overnight cruises on the bay including most luxury cruise of wooden junk.

* Emeraude Classic Cruises
* Dragon Pearl Junk

* There are several new hotels on Cat Ba Island, most cater to package overnight boat trips.

permalink written by  garisti on June 1, 2008 from Ha Long, Vietnam
from the travel blog: Viaje por Asia
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