Halong Bay is approximately a 4 hour drive from Hanoi. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and quite rightly so as it is a natural wonder consisting of some 1600 islands in a series of bays, most uninhabited. Each of the islands is topped with jungle vegetation. The topography is one of limestone rocks of various sizes and shapes rising spectacularly out of the sea.
There is no doubt that the best way to enjoy Halong Bay is to take a cruise. This can be done for one day but justice is not done to really explore the beauty of this region unless taking 2 or 3 days to so. You have a choice of three types of cruise – on a traditional junk, a first class wooden boat or a luxury boat.
During your cruise (and this varies according to the chosen cruise boat) you will explore the islands, discover floating villages, go walking to the top of one of the peaks for a panoramic view of the area, sail on a sampan through lagoons and into caves and visit excellent sandy beaches with time to swim. Another enjoyment will be to watch the dramatic sunsets from your cruise boat.