Halong Bay holidays from the adventure holiday experts
Ha Long – the beautiful, mystical bay on Vietnam’s eastern shore. Over 3,000 limestone islands rise up from emerald green waters like towering stone spires. Arches, caves, sheer cliffs and secluded coves create an extraordinary seascape of limestone formations.
About 170km east of Hanoi, Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s premier tourist destinations. In the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea, the bay stretches over 100km of coast covering an area of 1500 square kilometres, allowing plenty of opportunities for outstanding activity holidays.
Activity Holidays in Vietnam - Ha Long Bay Highlights
1. Take a boat tour around Ha Long Bay
Navigating through the maze of tight tunnels and limestone pillars at Ha Long Bay is one of the Vietnam experiences. Chinese-style junk ships explore the islands, their dragon-fin sails drifting through the mangrove forests and coral reefs between the islands. It’s an extraordinary place, and exploring the bay is like being lost in a legendary world of huge stone statues.
2. Look out for the celestial dragon
Ha Long has been home to myth and legend since long before the tourists arrived. In Vietnamese, Ha Long means ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’. Legend has is that the Jade Emperor ordered the celestial dragon to protect the land from invasion by enemy ships. The dragon spewed out thousands of splintered jewels and jade pieces, creating a natural fortress of spectacular island formations. The dragon, called Tarasque, loved her creation so much that she decided to stay on earth and settled among the islands where she still remains. To this day local fisherman still report of close encounters with Tarasque.
Folklore and nonsense you might think - but as the mists descend and the strange islands start emerging in their thousands from their sea graves and ghost-like junk ships glide across the eerie waters, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s not such a fanciful idea…
See the trips below for a great range of small group holidays to Halong Bay and Vietnam.