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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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vietnam Mid Autumn Festival_The children’s festival.


In Vietnam, Têt-Trung-Thu (tet-troong-thoo) or the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular family holidays. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month.



Vietnamese families plan their activities around their children on this special day. In a Vietnamese folklore, parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children.
Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. In the United States, this tradition continues in many Vietnamese-American communities. Trung-Thu activities are often centered around children and education. Parents buy lanterns for their children so that they can participate in a candlelit lantern procession at dawn. Lanterns represent brightness while the procession symbolizes success in school. Vietnamese markets sell a variety of lanterns, but the most popular children’s lantern is the star lantern. Other children’s activities include arts and crafts in which children make face masks and lanterns. Children also perform traditional Vietnamese dances for adults and participate in contests for prizes and scholarships. Unicorn dancers are also very popular in Trung-Thu festivities.  

                                      
Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve mooncakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. This is the story behind the mythical symbol, Cá hóa Rông. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.


There’s also a story about how the Moon Lady ascended to the moon. A man named Chu Coi found a lucky that had special healing powers. Because this tree was sacred, people were forbidden to urinate at the foot of this tree. Unfortunately, Chu Coi’s wife, Chi Hang forgot the rule and urinated on the tree. On day, while she was sitting on the tree’s branch, the tree started to grow and grow. Eventually, it reached the moon, Since then, Chi Hang lived on the moon for the rest of her life as a punishment for desecrating the sacred tree.

                                      

It can be said that the meaning of Mid-Autumn Festival has changed over time. Originally, it’s not only a special day for children, but also for adult. Today, it’s Children’s Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival is still a meaningful tradition. It’s the sense of caring, of gratitude, of friendship, of family gathering, and of showing the love.  We – Vietnamese citizens should maintain and develop this noble sense.

Please enjoy Mid-Autumn Festival with Indochina Sails !!!
Indochina Sails: 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Great 3 day trip through Halong Bay!

Coppy right Blogger BertBo

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


We had booked a 3 day trip through Halong Bay with Indochina Sails on board of their Indochina Sails 1 or 2 and we stayed in two Superior rooms. A good mid size boat with in total 15 cabins.

It was GREAT ! Luxury boat, excellent service, nice cabins, great program, fine sun deck with deck chairs, cool lounge, sunny clear weather and above all the stunning beauty of Halong Bay.

Halong Bay is actually quite a risky location as is is often foggy and it is known for its rainy days. Well, that is just a matter of 'luck'. In all kinds of weather Halong Bay has a certain magic, and when sailing through you sort of expect a dragon to appear any time.....

The first day soon we arrived at Luon Cave after an excellent lunch. We explored the area in a sea kayak; great fun and good opportunity to be active.

Stay on the sun deck having an early afternoon drink and enjoy the stunning sunset in Halong Bay.


Getting up early the second day we started with a lesson Tai Chi. Quite an exercise as it was already 30+ Celsius at 7 am. We loved it and being home in the Netherlands again my wife and I just started a full course.


During this second day we explored much more of Halong bay using a 'day boat'. I had no idea what a day boat was supposed to be and had imagined a tender or other kind of small motor boat. On the contrary: it proofed to be a mid size fully equipped ship with a nice cool lounge, beautiful sun deck and full staff. And that for about 12 people. Not bad at all.

During this day we really went into Halong Bay visiting a remote floating village, doing some kayaking, visiting a Pearl farm, doing some swimming and all being surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. You did not know what to photograph first or last. I would not want to have missed this second day as it opened upHalongBay to us.



The third day we visited Surprise Cave. I usually am not so much into caves, if you have seen one of them you have seen all of them, but I have to admit that Surprise Cave was something special. The size alone is unbelievable and the beautiful rock formations are stunning.




This 3 day cruise with Indochina Sails was for sure of of the highlights of out trip through Vietnam. Perfectly organized and the crew had not lost its personal attention to detail even having done this trip XXX times over.
You will regret doing the 2 day only cruise as you miss the most beautiful parts of Halong Bay and all the fun exploring it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Heart is still in Halong Bay



“It is the wonder that one cannot impart to others” – Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts on Halong Bay.

The night I spent in Halong Bay will be one I treasure forever, for more than one reason. I fell in love with the area as soon as our junk boat left the harbour and began cruising towards our destination for the night. I was blown away to be finally surrounded with the limestone karsts I had seen on television and the internet too many times to count.

After visiting some caves in the afternoon and taking this photo (that I had seen before) I went kayaking around the karsts and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

It is not everyday that you can just sit in the middle of the ocean looking up at one of the new seven wonders of nature. It was an once-in-a-lifetime moment I will never forget. Following the kayaking we jumped overboard to swim in the beautiful sea and float away all our cares.

That night our junk boat staff prepared the most amazing seafood feast I have ever eaten, and all products were straight from the sea around us. There were muscles, bugs, soft-shell crabs, fish and prawns.
And then the fun began. My tour group had a pirate party to celebrate the end of our tour. I danced the night away on the top level to the backdrop of Halong Bay – amazing. I was even wearing a singlet I had bought in Cambodia earlier.

Please put Halong Bay on your bucket list. I promise you won’t regret it.

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