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Discover Halong Bay - World Heritage of Vietnam

If Hanoi is the grand old dame of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City is the brash young floozy, then Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An are the alluring mistresses you encounter along the way.

How to find safe travel in Halong Bay

Having read the news about tourist boat sunk in Halong Bay, Vietnam some days ago, ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA would like to give out some advices about how to travel safely and enjoyably in Halong Bay.

Cruising Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay looked picturesque and was sunny and warm. Indochina sails, Ha Long bay , Vietnam We got up early today as we need to catch the bus for our trip to Ha Long Bay, about 3 hours west of Hanoi.

Kayaking and Cycling in a World Heritage Bay

Halong Bay is one of the most spectacular, and therefore heavily 'touristed' attractions in Vietnam. Kayak on Ha Long bay, Vietnam .

A Look into Beautiful Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World heritage site and it really deserves the designation. It is one of the most exciting unusual places I have been to in my life.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Well worth the premium over the budget cruises!

We stayed on the Indochina Sails Premium boat in a deluxe cabin on the 2nd Floor, doing the 3 days/2 nights tour.

Firstly, I really recommend doing 2 nights instead of 1 - the full day out is relaxing and interesting, and less 'touristy' than the 1 night tour. And don’t worry about sea sickness – the water in the bay is very calm, and the boat moves really slowly.

The boat itself is beautiful, in perfect condition with a lovely lounge and dining area and a great sundeck on top. Our cabin had a large and comfortable bed, with a jacuzzi bath and separate rain shower. The room was spacious considering it is a cabin on a boat! It has a small balcony, and although there is no space to sit out on the balcony we didn't mind this because the sundeck is so nice and has better views. We had a large suitcase and had no problem keeping it in our cabin. There is a cupboard with a safe. They even provided flip flops in the cabins! I really liked the decor on the boat - dark wood, comfy chairs and loungers, lots of big windows inside.

The food was great quality - either set menu or big buffets were served. On the first night, we found the food to be excellent - grilled chilli squid, BBQ ribs, baked stuffed crab and lots of other fresh seafood, salads, meats, rice and noodles. The second night it was slightly different but almost as good. Breakfast and lunch was also really good quality. We did have to pay extra for drinks but I am fine with this as I don't drink a lot of alcohol so don't want this included in my price. They did a wine tasting session in the evenings, and a happy hour from 9pm so we took advantage then and tried the cocktails. The staff are really friendly and helpful, giving out free water to everyone before each of the excursions.

The full day out for the people staying 2 nights was the best. There were only 10 of us staying 2 nights, so we were transferred to a smaller day boat (also had a nice dining area, sun deck etc.) where we first went swimming and kayaking (they chose a swimming spot that had no jelly fish or litter, it was lovely), showed us some caves, took us to a floating fishing village (there is some litter in the water around the fishing village, but this is not something the boat company can control) which was really interesting, and to a pearl farm. And finally some more swimming. It was a relaxing day, and the set lunch they served us was amazing. The staff on the day boat were so fun and friendly, and also told us lots about life in the fishing village.

Considering the quality of the food and service, and the beautiful condition of the boat and cabin I felt this trip was worth what we paid for it, even if it is not as cheap by comparison to other things in Vietnam.

About the Itinerary, please visit http://www.indochinasails.com/en/itinerary.html for more information.

Supported by Indochina Sails - The most luxury and safest cruises in Halong Bay

INDOCHINA SAILS
Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150
Email: info@indochinasails.com

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Halong Bay islets

Am Islet

On the route to Quan Lan – Ngoc Vung islands; Am Rock or Kettle Islet is situated in Bai TuLong Bay. An island jutting out of the seawaters, the teapot of the Jade Emperor, who accidentally dropped it into Ha Longso, and its handle was broken.

Ba Trai Dao Islet

This island consists of three small mountains with the height of 23 m, seen from afar; resemble three peaches (Ba Trai Dao). The island connects to a legend of about the romantic love between a youngest fairy who was very pretty with a young and poor fisherman. Because of feeling in love with him, she stole three peaches from Heaven for him, which if he ate, would give him eternal life, allowing them to live together forever. The King of the Heavens discovered the robbery and turned the peaches into three stone islands. Chastised, the young fairy had to return.

Today, Ba Trai Dao is a famous tourist attraction with three nice fairy beaches, romantic landscape. It is 22 km from south north of Bãi Cháy Tourist Wharf.

But Islet

Some 30-minute boating away from the Con Coc Islet, on the way to the Three Peaches Islet, visitors see a pen bobbing (But Islet) in the seawaters. This constitutes a monument of knowledge Mother Dragon wanted to pass down to the present-day generations. Lying adjacent to the Pen Islet is a small attractive beach. Tourists can anchor there to take a bath

Cho Da Islet

In the itinerary of Thien Cung – Dau Go – Ti Top, after visiting Thien Cung and Dau Go, one needs 10 minutes boating to the Cho Da Islet or Stone Dog Islet. Some 8 m up the islet one can figure out a piece of stone in the shape of a dog sitting with its back to the sea, standing guard for the safety of seagoing boats for millions of years.

Con Coc Islet

Con Coc or Toad Islet is one of the most exquisite works nature has presented Ha Long. Just imagine, an 8-meter-tall toad sitting to wait for rain amidst the vastness of the sea. The Toad Islet lies in the southeast of Ha Long Bay, 17 km away from the tourist boat wharf.

Dau Moi Islet

Dau Moi Islet lies in the middle of the route between Am Islet and Dua Islet in Bai Tu Long Bay. The islet resembles the head of a termite, a kind of insect often seen prior to the rainy season. Dau Moi Islet is listed in the diversified “animal collection” of Ha Long Bay.

Dau Nguoi (Head) Islet

From a far, you can see a 25-meter islet, which reminds us of a huge Egyptian head with a big nose. Its chin lies close to the sea surface. Many people associate it with the image of the Egyptian Sphinx. The Dau Nguoi Islet in Ha Long Bay, a masterpiece of nature, has its own poetic beauty as it lies amidst seawaters. The islet lies near Luon Cave, 13 km away from the tourist wharf.

Dinh Huong Islet

In the itinerary of Thien Cung – Dau Go – Ti Top, one finds Dinh Huong Islet or Lu Huong (Incense Burner Islet) to the southwest of Dau Go Island. Passing the Stone Dog Islet and the Con Meo Cat Islet, one sees an imposing stone slab resting on two other small stones stands blocked the way. The stone slab resembles a huge incense burner, which lies in the middle of the sea as a holy object to worship the Sky and Earth.

Dua Islet

In Bai Tu Long Bay, some 7 km east of Bai Tho (Poem) Mountain stands a stone islet, which resembles a huge magic wand in Andersen’s fairy tales. It clarifies the geological and geomorphologic significance of Ha Long Bay. Dua Islet serves as an interesting tourist site and a “lighthouse” for seagoing boats.

Mat Quy Islet

Boating past the Am Islet some 20 minutes, we see Mat Quy Islet or Monster Head Islet, which protrudes about 30-35 m from the waters of Bai Tu Long Bay. Nature has carved the rock in the shape of a monster head, with a rough big nose standing out from a distorted face. From whatever angle, one still find it horrible.

Ngon Tay Islet

On the way to Ti Top Island, visitors see a stone rock resembling a thump jutting out of the sea. Nature has put the Ngon Tay (Finger) Islet here as a reminder of many interesting extras in the discovery of Ha Long.

Oan Islet

Situated 300 m away from Bai Tho Mountain and 5 km from the Bai Chay Tourist Wharf, a 22-meter islet stands out in Bai Tu Long Bay. It has the shape of truncated sticky rice, which serves as an offering to Buddha. French tourists pay special attention to this rock as in 1992; a French famous actress came there to film some shots of the film Indochina. In the island, some settings are still preserved including the stone-paved road to the beach (often called the Slave Pier), the prisons, etc.

Soi Sim Islet

Soi Sim is an soil island 400 m away from Ti Top Island, and 7-8 km from the Bai Chay Tourist Wharf. In the island there are many ancient trees. The Ha Long Bay Management Board is going to build a system of guesthouses equipped with modern facilities. At present, a small beach has been improved and upgraded, adding more charm to the attractive holiday resort.

Su Tu Bien Islet

On the canoe route to Thien Cung - Dau Go Grottoes, one should visit Sea Lion Islet, which is 10 minutes away from the Bai Chay Tourist Wharf. Amidst the vast seawaters of Ha Long, you recognize a high rock jutting from the sea, resembling a lion stretching.

Thien Nga Islet

In the waters of Bai Tu Long Bay, a stone islet is bobbing like an alluring and graceful swan (Thien Nga) - a swan losing its herd. This stone swan has taken up countless time and rolls of film of tourist near and far.

Trong Mai Islet

Trong Mai or the Kissing Cocks is situated on the south-west side of Ha Long Bay, 5 km from the tourist wharf near to Dinh Huong Islet. In a somewhat large expanse of open sea, the island seems to grow up from the bottom of the deep emerald waters. At sunset, the island with the height of over 10 m is bright red and in a somewhat tottery position. Their tiny legs support heavy bodies, and it appears that one strong wave could throw the two stone blocks into the sea. However, hundreds of millions of years have passed, and the Trong Mai is still there. The image of the island is the logo of Ha Long Bay and Vietnam Tourism.

Xep Islet

Xep Islet or Layer Islet is a huge, multi-layered, square piece of stone which looks like an Egyptian pyramid built in the middle of the Bai Tu Long Bay, Cam Pha District.

Yen Ngua Islet

The Yen Ngua or Saddle Islet lies in Ha Long Bay, in the centre of the World Heritage Area. Nature has creatively shaped two pieces of stone, one high and one lower, which are linked together to form an imposing rock, looking like a saddle. Boats can go through underneath. The whole rock resembles a sewing machine. How wonderful to have such a magnificent but elegant “saddle”, jutting some 10 m above the sea surface.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Luxury Cruise through Vietnam's Historic Halong Bay with Indochina Sails

Halong Bay, only 105 miles from Hanoi, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Guests will be surrounded by hundreds of lush islands, each with names that reflect their unique shapes, like Voi Island (Elephant), Ga Choi Island (Fighting Cock), and Qua Chuong Island (Bell). The over 900 islands are said to have been created when God sent a group of dragons to help the Vietnamese fight invaders.

When the dragons spit out jewels and jade, the islands were formed and blocked the invaders' path. Once the dragons decided to stay in peace, many of the islands were given names to honor them. Bai Tu Long Island is where the young dragons looked after their mothers and Back Long Vi Island is where young dragons played in the sea and wriggled their tails.

Indochina Sails, an extension of luxury cruise company Huong Hai Junks, boasts over ten years of experience, bringing guests from all over the world to the beauty of Halong Bay, Vietnam. Featuring tropical weather, guests aboard a cruise through the bay should expect warm, humid weather in the summer and cold, dry weather in the winters. Regardless of the season though, guests will be able to witness limestone karsts (which have undergone millions of years of various environments), isles in assorted sizes, and many caves with ancient legends surrounding them. Set in Quang Ninh province, the Halong Bay has a rich history and we think it would make for a beautiful luxury vacation.

As one of the first companies to offer overnight cruises, Indochina Sails has six vessels in their fleet, each designed to reflect a traditional Asian style, while still supplying guests all the modern amenities needed. All of their boats have spacious cabins with large en-suite marble bathrooms (complete with massage showers), sundecks, freshly cut flowers, dining rooms and bars. Rich wood and large windows accent the rooms, with luxurious linens covering the bed to ensure a good night's sleep. The rooms vary depending on which of the six ships you choose for your cruise, whether it be one of the four Indochina Sails or one of the two Valentine vessels.

Two Premiums ships are available, the Indochina Sails Premium and the Valentine Premium, each offering guests more space and more exclusivity. The Valentine is a full-service vessel and offers everything the other larger boats do, except this one only has two deluxe cabins on board. The Indochina Sails Premium is the newest to the fleet and features 24 cabins, a massage cabin, and a gym. With bigger windows than any of the others, guests will be able to relax in the lounge without having to sacrifice views of the bay.

Guests are sure to be charmed by the many legends as they cruise through crisp waters and admire Mother Nature at her best. Indochina Sails offers a cruise for two days and one night, and a cruise for three days and two nights, each with an exciting itinerary. For the two days one night itinerary, on the first day guests will be taken to Luon Cave and explore it by either bamboo boats or kayaks. Titop Island is next up, where you can swim at the beach or hike up the mountain for photos opportunities. Day two will bring a Surprise Cave visit, where one can find a small fishing village and visits to some of the area's most untouched locations.

Rates vary depending on cabin type, cruise length, and season but can range anywhere from $330 to $788 per cruise. The rates include sightseeing fees, tour guides, and insurance.

For more information about itinerary, please visit our website http://www.indochinasails.com/en/itinerary.html

INDOCHINA SAILS
Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150
Email: info@indochinasails.com

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ha Long Bay announces hot-line for tourism

A hot-line including phone numbers, fax and email have been officially released by QuangNinh Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism on July 3. The province possessing numerous stunning tourist destinations and a new wonder of the world - Ha Long Bay, is trying to tell tourists they are always ready for customers’ pleasure. The line is available for both locals andinternational travelers.

“The newly initiated line is for a better reputation of our province tourism. Tourist coming to the place is increasing excitingly and so does their demand”, said Trinh Dang Thanh, deputy director of the department.

For the first 6 months of 2012, QuangNinh has welcomed 4,262,000 tourists, 12% higher over the same period of 2011, in which international ones make up 8%. The most popular attraction to international tourist isHa Long Bay with exciting tourism genres such as leisure and adventure tourism.

Tourists should call (+84) 913 265 009, (+84)333 847 347, fax to (+84)333 845 027 or email to dulichduongdaynong@gmail.com for information and help.

Tourist Information:

Visa Information: Visas for Vietnam are required by all nationals referred to in the chart above, except nationals of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden for stays of up to 15 days;

Getting there: Vietnam Airlines offers daily flights from Bangkok to Hanoi, then from Hanoi tourists can buy bus tickets to Halong Bay. The travel time between Hanoi and Halong bay is around 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Travel Packages: Indochina Sails, offers daily 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights trips to Halong Bay.

For more information about itinerary, please visit our website http://www.indochinasails.com/en/itinerary.html

INDOCHINA SAILS
Hanoi Office
Add: 27 – A6 – Dam Trau Quarter – Hai Ba Trung District – Hanoi – Vietnam
Tel: +84 – 4- 39842362
Fax: +84 – 4 – 39844150
Email: info@indochinasails.com

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