Cruise along Ha Long Bay listed among 15 travel ideas to explore Vietnam’s hidden gems including Heritage Bình Chuẩn
Australia’s Lonely Planet Magazine has recommended 15 top travel experiences to discover the culture, cuisine and the hidden gems of Vietnam.
Ha Long Bay
It is said that cruise tour is the best way to explore the world heritage site Ha Long Bay, which is dotted with karst limestone mountains rising out of emerald waters.
For those who want a luxurious overnight stay to watch the sun come up on Ha Long Bay, Heritage Cruises, Indochine Cruise, Paradise Cruise and Stellar of the Seas are worth considering.
All five-star cruise ships in Ha Long are equipped with luxury cabins and modern amenities like bars, swimming pools, a golf club, a gym and spas.
They also offer outdoor adventures like kayaking, cave exploring, onboard cooking classes, squid fishing at night and excursions to floating villages.
If Ha Long is crowded, its sister Bai Tu Long Bay is an alternative choice where there are still few tourists.
Other experiences include tasting Hue’s imperial cuisine, watching rare monkeys on Son Tra Peninsula, exploring a UNESCO-protected Hindu temple complex, visiting the Cao Dai Temple, jumping on a motorbike, conquering Ban Gioc Waterfall, breathing the fresh air in Da Lat, visiting Dak Lak’s coffee plantations, discovering Vietnam’s Maldives in Phu Yen…
Cat Ba Archipelago: Vietnam’s Secret Hideaway
The transfer by limo through the 5B Highway cuts down to only 1.5 hours from Hanoi to Cat Ba Archipelago. The Cat Ba Archipelago is an exotic destination with pristine beaches, secluded lagoons, coves, tropical forests, and lakes allow holidaymakers to discover the best places for swimming, kayaking, and biking and many hideaways in the Gulf of Tonkin. Pham Ha founder and CEO of LuxGroup https://luxgroup.vn/ discovers
The central hub of Cat Ba is now framed by a chain of low-rise concrete hotels along its once lovely bay, but the rest of the island is largely untouched and as wild as ever. With idyllic Lan Ha Bay just offshore, you’ll soon overlook Cat Ba Town’s over-development. The two first nights, we stayed at Hotel de Perle Cat Ba – MGallery for an island experience: fish sauce factory, local market, floating village, sea food, beaches and bikes.
Photo connoisseurs hunted the best shots of sunset at the Cannon Fort on the mountain top. Visitors can find the landmark of President Ho Chi Minh, created when he visited the Island and the Cat Ba Fisheries Port in 1959. Cannon Fort (also known as high peak 177) is close to the three beaches, and here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the island from above. Head out of Cat Ba Town to the entrance of Cannon Fort, just 15 minutes away, and take a leisurely 20 minute stroll to the fort. In one direction are the green-clad limestone karsts stretching into the distance, while the opposite side is dotted with colorful fishing boats, beaches, and the town itself.
We started early in the morning to explore the forest in the hope of seeing some wildlife while escaping the burning summer heat. We chose the short trek trail leading to Ngu Lam Peak and the Kim Giao Forest with our guide, Van Anh. She was very informative and knowledgeable about the park and history. We walked the gentle two and a half kilometer Cat Ba National Park Education Trail, starting at the entrance to the National Park Headquarters, and Van Anh introduced us to some of the wonders of this special island. Its animals, plant life and diverse habitats are unique in Vietnam. Another activity is to visit typical karst caves with amazing features, such as Trung Trang and Quan Y or Hospital Cave. We visited Trung Trang Cave on our way back from the trek to Ngu Lam Peak, and were thoroughly impressed.
According to Van Anh, Cat Ba National Park (officially founded in 1986) is 15 kilometers from Cat Ba Town, and covers an area of 152 acres. It is one of the only two protected areas in Vietnam that include both a marine and a terrestrial component. A small forest trail behind the national park headquarters leads to Ngu Lam peak, which contains a nice watchtower with a spectacular panorama of forest-covered karts.
Foreign tourists can hire a local guide to head for a trek through limestone labyrinth leading to Frog Lake in the center, replete with small freshwater swamp forest area that provides water to the population of Cat Ba Island. There are many primary forest on the surrounding kart towers, and moving through to Viet Hai Village, tourist boats take guests back to Cat Ba Town or to some new low-key resorts in Lan Ha Bay.
Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve
Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve is adjacent to the Halong Bay World Heritage Site. It is one of the best examples in the world of a kart landscape by the sea. The 366 limestone islands contain landforms, caves and cave deposits that provide evidence of a long history of erosion and landscape evolution. Many of the small islands rise steeply or vertically from the shallow marine waters and are the distinguishing feature of the region. The bigger islands, including Cat Ba Island itself, are covered green tropical monsoon forest.
The archipelago is of global importance due to the high number of species found nowhere else. The golden-headed langur is one of the 10 rarest primates in the world due to its restricted range and small population size (about 60 in all on Cat Ba Island.) There are also regionally important habitat types including fringe coral reefs, mangrove forests, sea grass beds, willow swamp forest and tropical limestone forest. Most of the habitats are under severe threat, especially due to encroachment. With these special values, Cat Ba was acknowledged as the World Biosphere Reserve in 2004.
There are 5 villages on Cat Ba Island and the Cat Hai District administrative offices. Cat Ba is a major coastal fishing zone, and has tremendous potential in agriculture and fisheries as well as other development opportunities such as nature-based tourism, near shore artisanal fisheries and aquaculture. The famous local products here are Cat Ba Honey and Cat Hai Fish Sauce. Cat Ba has archaeological sites dating to the Pleistocene area, and relics such as ceramics pieces date to the Bac Son Culture about 6,000 years ago.
A Secret Hideaway
Staring from Beo Seaport, 10 minute from the main Cat Ba town by bus, we jumped into our private chartered wooden boat and ventured out on Lan Ha Bay. The floating village in Lan Ha Ba was amazing and probably the biggest in the Tonkin Bay. We got off the boat to visit the fishing farm.
As all destinations have their growth stages, the backpackers always come first, and the middle class and luxury travelers follow. It seems that Cat Ba is still in the first stage. Lot of bars, cafes and restaurants open late, some small resorts and party cruises please the people who have more time than money. A resort run by an Australian and Vietnamese couple just for backpackers is a prime example. They come for rest, relaxation, sun and fun. The summer, in particular, is busy and Cat Ba tourism is still seasonal; busy with Vietnamese for the summer period, and quiet for foreigners from September to April. While cruising we saw the Monkey Island with long and white sandy beaches appearing from nowhere. Others travelers avoid the crowded Cat Co beaches; they can rent a boat and take them to Monkey Island and nearby empty beaches where they have their own peace and privacy.
The scenery is breathtaking, and biking with the bike view is amazing. We spent one hour biking to reach the village and en route we could hear the fog singing and admired the charm of a quiet countryside with distant echoes of wild animals. Local people keep their village very clean, even on the water. They are particularly friendly, and the only vehicles present are electric cars, which makes it a peaceful place.
We arrived the prestigious and pristine Ba Trai Dao Beaches just 30 minutes after the cruise. One of our colleagues said Thailand’s islands and beaches are nothing compared to ours. Vietnam is too hidden, and we seem to keep our best beaches and islands a secret only for ourselves.
Our next excursion was some light kayaking in the afternoon, before checking in to the Nam Cat Resort. Hang Ca Area belongs to the national park, and is known by locals for its dark coves. With two people fitting snugly in each kayak in Hang Ca, we paddled on the bay and through the first cave to enter an amazing cove surrounded by limestone. The tour guide says that there are only 60 individuals on the island, a truly rare and important species indeed, risk to distinction. Overnight cruises options now available from Got Harbor for one or two night stay. www.heritagecruises.com
Frenchman falls for VN coffee
In the 1930s, the Morère family introduced and started to plant coffee in the highlands of the central province of Lâm Đồng, a region renowned for yielding some of the best quality coffee in the world.
Coffee, one of Việt Nam’s worldwide renowned specialties, was introduced to the country in 1875 by the French during their colonialisation of Indochina. Coffee plantations were located in the Central Highlands and owned mostly by the French.
This was the same year the Morère family moved to the country and settled down near Đà Lạt. They grew coffee in the 1930s in the Central Highlands, a region renowned for yielding some of the best quality coffee in the world.
The August Revolution in 1945 put an end to the French colonial time in Indochina and Việt Nam became independent. France did not want to lose its colony and came back until the decisive battle of Điện Biên Phủ, where the much better-equipped French army lost to young Việt Minh troops in 1954.
Pierre Morère, a descendant of the original Morère settlers, has continued in his family’s footsteps. His two-hectare coffee plantation in Đạ Sar Village, home to the Mong Cill ethnic people, is located about 20km from Đà Lạt. Morère has been planting Bourbon coffee, a premium type of Arabica coffee that is considered among the finest coffees in the world.
“Bourbon coffee trees grow very well in the natural conditions at an altitude of 1,500m in the highlands. The higher they are planted, together with suitable soil and sustainable agricultural approaches, the better their taste gets,” Morère said. “It was my grandfather who introduced Bourbon coffee to the land in 1930, and then my mother was born there and took over his business.”
Their vast coffee plantation prospered during that period but they had to leave Việt Nam at the end of the victorious anti-French resistance war.
Stories about his parents and the poetic land of beautiful flowers and lenient local people in the Central Highlands continued to intrigue Morère.
In 1999, he visited the birth place of his mother as a tourist. Eight years later, he decided to quit his job in a real estate company in France and return to Việt Nam to live and work on a feasibility study of the Bidoup-Núi Bà National Park.
In nearby Đạ Sar Village, Morère accidentally met his grandfather’s former workers from the coffee plantation, who were very surprised on seeing him and welcomed him as if he was their relative.
They accompanied Morère to cross over many forests and high hills in search of the precious Bourbon coffee trees that had been abandoned for over half a century. At that time, he decided to re-construct his grandfather’s coffee plantation with the best coffee seeds.
Thanks to his family’s past reputation in the region, he was granted permission to purchase land in Đạ Sar Village by the local authority, an unusual right for a foreigner in Việt Nam, then started to plant Arabica and also managed to locate the Bourbon trees left by his grandparents.
One of his biggest initial challenges was his limited knowledge about planting coffee.
“The paradox of the coffee business is that most of the businessmen in this industry do not study coffee before they step in. I’m one of them. I didn’t know anything about coffee before I discovered the Bourbon coffee in Việt Nam,” Morère said.
“But the ethnic people have taught me how to recognise the Bourbon coffee, how to grow it, how to take care of and harvest it properly. They also taught me everything about the soul of the forest where the coffee is planted, as well as how to start a new life here.”
Bourbon coffee trees are vulnerable to insects so it is one of the most difficult plants to grow, requiring strict natural conditions and specific agricultural techniques. With the aim of producing fresh coffee beans, Morère has managed to create fresh conditions for his trees by planting them in the forest, isolating them from other trees and applying natural anti-insect substances instead of chemicals.
“Coffee, especially the Bourbon, comes from the primary forest so it is best to leave it to grow in its primary condition without pesticides,” he said.
The first coffee trees started to bear fruit after only three years, though in other countries is usually takes four years. According to Morère, this was largely due to the favourable conditions and the climate of the region.
Only the red coffee beans are harvested and are processed totally by hand with the assistance of the Cill ethnic people. Each part of the process is done with great care and responsibility.
“The original taste of Bourbon Morère Pointu is a mixture of aromas from the forest and chocolate, which will make the drinker remember the taste more than any other coffee,” Morère said.
It took him several years to successfully process the coffee beans before creating his own brand name, Bourbon Morère Pointu, and introducing it to prestigious domestic and international customers, notably Annam Gourmet Market and renowned cook Pierre Gagnère.
He has even travelled to Japan to introduce his products to the Japan Coffee Association. The coffee has received much positive feedback on its flavour and quality.
Recently, Starbucks have chosen Arabica Đà Lạt and its premium version, Bourbon, for their coffee stores around the world.
His passion for coffee has made him feel such a close connection with the land where his grandparents used to live that he has no intention of leaving.
“I love coffee, the peaceful life by the forest and the lifestyle of the ethnic people here. I do not feel much difference between them and me. I live the way they live, and I’m very happy to be considered as their sibling and relative.”
“I believe that the coffee planted in Đạ Sar Village will become higher and higher in quality and soon become an economic specialty of the region,” he said. — VNS
Best Boutique Cruise Line in Asia
Embark on a journey back in time to Vietnam in 1930s with Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago boutique lifestyle cruise in Lan Ha Bay in Cat Ba Archipelago. Combining the classical charm of French Indochina with a sense of timeless chic that only the Lux Cruises Group can provide, the cruise is as much an art and heritage space as it is a 5 star boutique cruise. Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago invites guests to relive the romance of this bygone era in their boutique cruise which offers all the comforts of the 21st century.
Heritage Binh Chuan received the most prestigious award, TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice Awards “Best of The Best”. Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2020, Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45UNROguoNM&t=5s Lux Cruises to expand the brand to Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc in Kien Giang province, and Cat Ba archipelago in Hai Phong city, for unique yachting experiences in the coming year.”
The most luxurious cruise in Vietnam has many cultural features, bringing with it the stories of cultural and historical heritage, fine art, architecture, fashion, and the quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine. The yacht is newly built based on the Binh Chuan ship built by the ship king Bach Thai Buoi, the first Vietnamese to launch a ship from Hai Phong to Saigon.
From the point of departure 100 years ago, today’s Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan takes travelers on a journey to discover Lan Ha Bay in style, a vast sea area with hundreds of islands, lagoons, and beaches, large and small, an experience recognized by the world. Channel 14 describes it “as beautiful as a dream” and Leonardo DiCaprio praises the ‘paradise’ beauty of Lan Ha Bay.
On the cruise, travelers can discover the authenticity of Lan Ha Bay, Binh Chuan Heritage Cruise will bring travelers into a traditional cultural space, the glorious legend of the intangible heritage, and enjoy the beauty of the natural heritage of Vietnam. Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise will bring the most authentic experiences with a minimum of 40 guests and a maximum of 60 passengers on a magnificent and sophisticated cruise operating in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Savored travelers will immerse into the culture, history, art, and people of Vietnam when cruising on a unique cruise amidst natural wonders. On this heritage cruise, travel connoisseurs can go upstream of history and culture to learn the business story of “Vietnam’s king of ships” Bach Thai Buoi and the life of the “Vietnamese Picasso“, Pham Luc, through a rich collection of 100 of his works collected and introduced by the owner Pham Ha in various locations.
Vietnam has one of world’s most beautiful coastal towns: US magazine
Cua Van Floating Village, in UNESCO world heritage site Ha Long Bay, has been named one of 16 most beautiful coastal towns by readers of U.S. magazine Travel+Leisure.
“This little village is completely composed of floating homes,” Travel+Leisure wrote. “About 700 people, traditionally fishermen, live in anchored houseboats, with kids attending a floating school.”
Located to the south of Ha Long Town, not far from Ha Long Bay, Cua Van Fishing Village is surrounded by limestone karst mountains.
The floating village has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years as visitors flock to there to see this unique way of life.
A majority of villagers have moved ashore, but several have chosen to maintain their livelihood in the floating village during daytime because the boats are their lifeline.
In 2015, the village was named the world’s most charming little town by Huffington Post, also based in the U.S.
Some of the other beautiful coastal towns featured on the Travel+Leisure list were Polperro in England, Manarola in Italy, Lunenburg in Canada and Port Fairy in Australia.
Cruising back in time
As incomes have continually increased around Vietnam over recent years, cruises have become more familiar among many Vietnamese travellers.
But not many know that cruises were first introduced in Vietnam in the early 20th century.
Nearby the dock of the Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise is a statue of late businessman Bach Thai Buoi, who was known as the “King of Cruises” in Vietnam.
His most renowned trip was called “Binh Chuan”, with this cruise taking on the name.
This cruise is rich in cultural values and boasts a library with books on Vietnamese culture.
On the shelves is also a copy of “Entrepreneurship in Age 1.0”, which tells of the great Vietnamese businessman Bach Thai Buoi. The stories were collected by his family members.
Along its corridors, cruise passengers can also admire old paintings, photos, statues, and outfits, all of which are representative of Vietnamese culture.
Art lovers on board can visit the first-ever floating gallery in the Gulf of Tonkin, with dozens of paintings by Pham Luc, who has been called the “Vietnamese Picasso”.
Besides contemplating the cultural values found inside the cruise, passengers can also opt for one or more of a range of leisure activities, including kayaking around Lan Ha Bay and soaking up the stunning sunset while sipping on a cocktail./.
Investment, better legal framework needed for cruise growth
A cruise docks at Đà Nẵng’s Tiên Sa Port on a tour in Việt Nam. The country’s cruise industry has not yet invested enough to make it a top destination in Asia and the world. VNS Photo Công Thành
ĐÀ NẴNG – The marine tourism sector, which is a top priority of the country’s sea economy Master Plan 2030-45, has been struggling to attract investment in cruise harbours and coastal infrastructure to lure globally branded cruise fleets connected with worldwide destinations.
Chairman of the Việt Nam Tourism Association Vũ Thế Bình said cruise services are one of the key products in building marine tourism as a core part of the ‘blue sea economy’ plan.
Bình said sea tourism is still dealing with barriers that have blocked business and kept investors at bay for decades.
He said bottlenecks for tourism businesses and investors were the legal framework, destination management and poorly linked tour services among the 28 coastal provinces.
Vũ Duy Vũ, a senior expert of cruise service from Sài Gòn Tourist agency, said less complicated visa arrival procedures, upgrading ports and a highway system connecting ports and destinations are necessary for the cruise industry to thrive.
“Almost all cruises have to dock at cargo ports in Việt Nam, while international standards for entertainment and free-duty shops at arrival ports have yet to be developed,” Vũ said.
“Representative offices of the country’s tourism industry are not available at key cruise markets such as the US, Australia and EU,” he said.
Phạm Hà, CEO of Lux Group, said the port system from Hải Phòng to HCM City was poor quality and could not handle giant luxury or middle class cruise ships.
Hà said his own ship in Hạ Long Bay needs permissions from 18 local authorities to offer on-board night-stay service, while the group’s Emperor Cruise in Nha Trang had to get an international travel certificate to host dinner on board as ordered by the local tourism authority.
He explained that tourists on his cruise had to transship to visit Lan Hạ Bay in neighbouring Hải Phòng after finishing a tour in Bái Tử Long in Hạ Long Bay of Quảng Ninh province.
Hà said a one-stop procedure and GPS control given by port authorities of Quảng Ninh and Hải Phòng can help cruises exchange tour service at both bays.
Vũ Văn Đảo, director of Vũng Tàu Marina, a ship building company, said his company had to close in 2020 due to regulations on ship management and registration.
He said his 20-seat ships using Copolymer Polypropylene Polystone (PPC) from Europe were not registered for operation as no regulations on new materials for ship building existed.
Đảo said his new double-hull sailing boat design was used for hosting sailing festivals, but was refused by the local industrial park management board.
Flexible and quick responses are needed from local administrations to support the tourism business, he said.
Phạm Ngọc Thủy, director of Quảng Ninh provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said every local destination should build their own unique product that would help keep cruise visitors in Việt Nam longer.
Quảng Ninh is a rare locality investing in ports for cruise ships, while Đà Nẵng has begun changing dual-use Tiên Sa Port for cruises only.
Thủy said local ports could be built to link cruise tour services with ports in Singapore and East Asia or Southeast Asia for wider options in different countries and destinations.
Adventurous beach sports, diving, kayaking, fishing, night art performances and entertainment should be included for local cruise fleets, while preferential policies are needed for investors in infrastructure, ship building and cruise ports, Hà added. — VNS
Cong Thanh – Vietnamnews.vn
Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay – The Completed Guide to Explore One of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World
When you have chance to visit Lan Ha Bay in the Cat Ba Archipelago aboard Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago, besides swimming, climbing or visiting some famous caves, the most activities to discovery Halong Bay is kayaking. Most cruises in Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay offer kayaking. Kayaking will make your Lan Ha Bay trip more interesting, when you get closer to the caves, beaches and limestone Islands. Kayaking is generally assumed to be very safe in these calm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin but there is still some areas and warning that you should avoid and listen to the tour guide. So you should know some steps about kayaking in Lan Ha Bay for your safe and enjoy wonderful trip:
STEP 1- PREPARE BEFORE KAYAKING – IMPORTANT STEP:
• Necessary things: Life vests, water, sun cream, dry bag, camera, insect repellent
• Carefully follow the instructions and conditions before kayaking wear the life vest and use the dry bag (put on it your phone, camera, etc…)
• Prepare suitable clothes: T-shirt and short, swimming suit in the summer; warm clothes in the winter; wet shoes, hat, sunglasses. Lan Ha Bay water is pretty warm during winter so feel free to kayaking anytime of the year. However, keep yourself warm after you are done with the activity to avoid catching a cold.
• Keep a suitable distance with the others, not too far, keep in sight with the others, and avoid getting loss
• Even if you are an experienced kayaker, don’t come too close to caves and karsts. They might suck you in. There are reports of people getting sucked into caves and it took from 30 minutes to hours to rescue them. (especially in Dark Cave or Ba Trai Dao Beaches)
• Never kayaking while being intoxicated. Drinking will dull your sense and might lead to unfortunate accident. There incidents of people drown because of swimming after consuming a large amount of alcohol.
• For the children should be follow the tour guide and their parents. Sit still in the kayak, do not move in front of or behind
• Children under 5 years old is suggest not using kayak
STEP 2 – WHEN YOU KAYAKING:
• It is very important to follow your tour guide, listen to the route, time and rules.
• Check with your tour guide the weather, tide and wind strength to have the best and safest route.
• Keep away from the places which have strong flow, against the wind; take advantage of the wind strength and flow.
STEP 3- HANDLE UNEXPECTED SITUATIONS:
• Adjust the speed of the whole group if any of the members is out of sight.
• In case the kayak capsizes, passengers need to swim a bit, and then take the water out of the kayak with the help of the tour guide. He will catch the kayak; take the water out by putting your kayak on his in the T- shape. After that, he will put the kayak back into the water; keep it still so that passengers can be on the kayak again.
• If there is an expected storm, find the safest place in the sheltered areas, beaches… to avoid the storm. In case passengers are in the middle of the sea and cannot find a safe place, passengers need to be gathered to make a raft kayaking is extremely an interesting activity in Lan Ha Bay. You also can enjoy kayaking for Halong 1 day tour however you only have about 15 to 20 minutes for kayaking at the small floating village (Ba Hang village). Normally with the tour 2 days 1 night, you also have change to kayak at Luon cave, kayak though this cave can bring you an impressive feeling. If you are like kayaking, 3 days 2 nights cruises is a best choice, you will have more time to explore Lan Ha Bay as well as have more than 3 hours for kayaking. In conclusion, kayaking is not difficult and we wish you enjoy it completely. Heritage Binh Chuan offers from 1 to 4 nigt cruise program including kayak experiences, discover more at www.heritagecruises.com
Discover, Explore, Experience Lan Ha Bay, One of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.
Dark and bright cave
Dark and Bright Cave lie in the bordering area between Lan Ha Bay and Halong Bay, this area is located in the protected area of Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve. Coming to Dark and Bright Cave, tourists will be indulged in nature with the blue water and fresh air. The best way to admire the majestic foundation of the cave is to go kayaking or row bamboo boats. Inside Dark and Bright Cave, there are a lot of emulsions and stalactites with different shapes. This is also a safe place for cruises to anchor and provide shelter for fishermen in the rainy season. Adventuring along Dark and Bright Cave, visitors will be overwhelmed by the poetic, lyrical and pristine beauty that Mother Nature has endowed this destination.
About Dark and Bright Cave Halong Bay
Dark Cave and Bright Cave are underwater ones, so the formation of these caves is different from other dry caves. Thus, Dark Cave and Bright Cave possess outstanding and distinguishing beauty. In the process of geological activities in Halong Bay, there are three types of caves which were formed by the impact of water on the karst topography. They are the ancient underground cave, Carxto cave, and frog’s jaw cave. Dark Cave and Bright Cave are frog’s jaw caves, while the cave floor is under the sea, the cave ceiling is beyond the water. With the unique topography and tectonics, the caves are only accessible by boat.
Things to do in Dark and Bright Cave Halong Bay
Tourists coming to Dark and Bright Cave have plentiful interesting options. You can choose to participate in many water activities such as: go kayaking to explore the beauty of the magnificent scenery, sit and sunbathe on the beach or swim and snorkel to discover the marine life.
Dark and Bright Cave is an ideal destination for those who are keen on kayaking and exploring nature. Kayaking is the best way to explore Dark and Bright Cave. With the kayak, visitors can get closer to the foot of the mountain, discover the beauty of nature, clearly see the erosion of water and waves into the limestone cliffs. When rowing into the caves, you are sure to be overwhelmed by the miraculous stalactites on the ceiling and cave walls. This is also a rare chance for you to capture memorable beautiful photos of the majestic Halong Bay.
Go through Bright cave, tourists will come to a lovely valley surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges. This setting gives travellers a feeling of being lost in Heaven. It is such a wonderful experience to sit on the kayak and slowly watch the scenery, breath in the fresh air and feel the harmony among the sea, mountain and sky. You will certainly be happy and full of vitality to get away from your bustling and busy life. Dark and Bright Cave is an ideal place for you which combine the beauty of nature with many sports and activities for tourists to enjoy.
Three Peaches Islet
Ba Trai Dao Islet is cluster of three small limestone mountains, more than 20 meters height, looking like three peaches rising from the water. This is also one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Halong Bay. Three Peaches Beach shapes like a bow with smooth long white sand and becomes popular among tourists for its unspoiled, charming splendor.
About Ba Trai Dao Islet (Also known as Three Peaches Islet)
A tearful love story about Ba Trai Dao Islet
Legend has it that: Once upon a time, there was a fairy goddess who came to visit Halong Bay, she came to this place and she fell in love with a local poor fisherman. Their love grew stronger that she wanted he lived an immortal life with her forever. In order to do so, she stole three peaches from heaven garden for him. Jade Emperor knew about that and got very angry with her. He turned three peaches into three stone islands to imprison the man and forced the fairy goddess to return to heaven… Nowadays, Ba Trai Dao Islet has become an interesting destination for those who like pristine nature and adventure.
Splendid natural beauty
Come to Ba Trai Dao Islet, you can immerse in the clear blue water, enjoy the beautiful white sand. In sunny days, the water is crystal to see the bottom and ideal to snorkel for watching aquatic life. The beach is surrounded by rocky mountains, so there are no big winds and waves, which is very safe for small children. The cliffs above the beach create exotic shapes offering many photo opportunities for visitors. Moreover, Ba Trai Dao Islet provides an abundance of places for plants to grow and animals to live, creating a very lively natural landscape.
Things to do in Ba Trai Dao Islet
Ba Trai Dao Islet is located in a more secluded part of Halong Bay, there are not too many tourists passing through, so it still retains many wild and rustic features. The most popular activity here is kayaking, almost tour itineraries include kayak for your journey. You can row through the cliff corners, among imposing mountains to explore clear hidden lagoons, varied indigenous flora species, and animals living on limestone islets.
Tourists also enjoy being immersed in the water, swimming and relaxing, sunbathing on the white sand. However, if the tide rise, the whole beach will be under the water. You can only swim and enjoy the beach for 2-3 hours a day, so you should check the tides schedule before going there. Anyway, this is a not-to-miss attraction when coming to Halong Bay. You should bring the camera to capture the beautiful scenery and splendid natural splendor of Ba Trai Dao Islets.
All year round, thousands of tourists come here to sightsee and admire the beauty that Mother Nature has given to this place. Nowadays, Ba Trai Dao Islets is one of the most amazing destinations of Halong Bay that all tourists want to discover and explore.
Cua Van Village
Cua Van Floating Fishing Village is located in Hung Thang commune (Halong city), about 20 km away from Halong Tourist Port. This area is surrounded by majestic limestone mountains, so the water is calm with no big waves, which is ideal for anchorage and people to cluster into a floating village. The village is about tens kilometers far away from the shore, lying alongside stone cliffs.
About Cua Van Floating Fishing Village
The serene beauty of Cua Van Floating Fishing Village
The prestigious travel magazine Journeyetc.com acknowledged Cua Van Floating Fishing Village as one of 16 most beautiful ancient villages in the world due to its ancient charm, beautiful scenery and well-preserved traditional culture. Cua Van Floating Fishing Village lies beneath majestic limestone mountains, floats on the ocean and blends perfectly with natural surroundings. The scenery is extremely romantic and leaves a distinct impression in the hearts of tourists. Cua Van Floating Fishing Village is one of only a few places that still retain the original unspoiled splendor. Local people routines have not disturbed by the bustling pace of modern life.
Floating life of local people
Cua Van Floating Fishing Village originates from two ancient villages named Giang Voong and Truc Vong. Residents of the village have been around for a very long time. Nowadays, there are more than 300 households with over 750 inhabitants live mainly by fishing and fish farming in Cua Van Floating Fishing Village. Generations of fishermen set up houses, live and pass down the traditional floating lifestyle to their children.
Cua Van Floating Fishing Village attracts tourist, not only because the beautiful natural scenery is outstanding, but also local residents are aware of keeping their living environment green and clean. At Cua Van, all floating houses are very tidy, people take turns to collect trash and garbage on the sea every day. They save fresh water, reduce the amount of waste in the marine environment. Journeyetc.com highly appreciates the preserving consciousness of the people. Cua Van is well worth a visit when traveling to Halong Bay.
Things to do in Cua Van Floating Fishing Village
Coming to Cua Van Floating Fishing Village, visitors not only have a chance to see the natural scenery, learn about the cultural life of the fishermen, but visitors can also sail around the village and take part in many interesting activities in local daily life.
Under the instructions of local villagers, visitors can spread the catching net, fish squids, and enjoy the seafood that they have caught. Especially on festive occasions or wedding ceremonies, visitors can have an unforgettable experience to enjoy endemic folk songs of local fishermen such as traditional love songs, ferry songs (imitating rowing rhythms).
Moreover, your journey will be filled with exciting adventurous activities. It is an interesting option for tourist to explore Tien Ong Cave nearby. Ba Ham Lake is also an attractive destination for activities such as caving, kayaking, and swimming. Almost visitor will have a good time to row bamboo boats to discover around the village, chat with locals, fish squids and enjoy the marine beautiful tranquil scenery. Cua Van Fishing Village becomes one of the most charming destinations that you want to visit in your lifetime trip to Halong Bay.
Viet Hai Village
Viet Hai Village is a small village, located in the core of Cat Ba National Park in Cat Hai Island district, Hai Phong. Due to its remote location, there are not many indigenous peoples living there. However, Viet Hai Village has recently become an attractive destination for domestic and foreign tourists, especially for trekkers and bikers.
How to get to Viet Hai Village Cat Ba
Travellers first have to arrive at Beo Port in Cat Ba Island, from there, you take the ferry or boat to Viet Hai Port. Viet Hai Village is about 5 km from the port, you can walk, rent bicycles, take trams to get to the village. Trams can carry up to 12 passengers per trip and the monolithic road to the village has been concretised for easier transportation.
Local life in harmony with nature
Viet Hai Village has over 70 roofs. Most of which are traditionally made from bamboos, clay, and straw. To build an old-style house, they first mix mud and straw into a dense mixture, then cover the mixture over bamboo sticks, leave the mixture to condense to make hard walls. The roof is covered with thick layers of grass. This mud-walled cottage is a typical image of Vietnamese Northern countryside, that only a few ancient villages still retain this unique type of house.
The tranquil and peaceful life in Viet Hai contrasts with the bustling noisy of other tourist attractions. It is good to have some quiet moments, just to relax and get away in a remote area lying in the middle of deep valleys, geographically divided by the ocean that only a few people have ever set foot on.
Community-based tourism in Viet Hai Village
Viet Hai Village has been developing as a community-based ecotourism destination that attracts many travellers. Especially foreign tourists who want to experience and explore rustic village life and wide nature. Community-based tourism is a focus to support the livelihoods of local people, helps them to earn more income, integrates them into the outside world. Despite the lack of conditions, Viet Hai also has many advantages in terms of natural landscape and distinctive cultural characteristics to attract tourists.
Activities in Viet Hai Village for Travellers
Viet Hai villagers are very sensitive when providing services. They send people to tourist centers such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to learn about community-based tourism and how to apply to their condition. Besides their work on the field, they also work as local tour guides, hosts, and drivers for tourists. Local people supply and directly serve every need of visitors. Some families operate homestay services and set up small eateries providing local specialties. In Viet Hai Village, travellers can admire the simple rustic beauty when walking through the green rice fields, cycling along winding countryside roads, breathing fresh air and feeling the serenity in every corner of this peaceful village. It is such a memorable experience to enjoy the scenery of mountains, forests, and ocean, all in one place.
Years recently, Viet Hai Village has welcomed thousands of visitors to visit and experience the life and activities of villagers. With the extensive participation of locals in organising activities and supplying services, tourism in Viet Hai becomes a unique, attractive and sustainable tourism product.
Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay is located in the southeast of Cat Ba Town, adjacent to Halong Bay. This is a peaceful gulf-shaped bay with about 400 islets and islands in various sizes creating a magnificent picture depicting the fairylike seascape. All the big and small islands in Lan Ha Bay are covered with green trees and rich organism, which triggers the curious mind of worldwide travelers.
About Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay possesses a high density of limestone mountains which are primitive, peaceful and precious in biological value. There are a lot of pristine mountains with many shapes depending on visitors’ imagination such as Wooden Shoe Islet, Bat Islet… Lan Ha Bay is also the cradle of gulfs and caves, which have not been discovered yet. Besides, travelers are stunned by stalactite grottoes with distinguishing features such as Ham Rong Cave, Do Cung Cave, Ca Cave…
Compared to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is more charmingly romantic with 139 golden-sand beaches, lovely and desolate beaches inviting visitors to explore. Many sandy beaches stretch between rocky mountains offering quietness with no big waves, which are really the ideal places for swimmers. And under the turquoise water in Van Boi Beach, Van Ha Beach, Sen Island, Monkey Island, travelers can also get snorkel and dive to appreciate the colorful coral reefs and many aquatic creatures.
Da Chong Islet
Ho Ba Ham Islet
Ho Ba Ham Islet lies on Dau Be Island in the southernmost part of Halong Bay, 25 km away from the tourist port. Ho Ba Ham Islet is in the middle of a narrow rectangular sea, surrounded by high upright limestone mountains. Under the foot of the mountains, there are three water caves. To go from one cave to another, visitors have to sail through tunnels with low domes. From the ceilings, many stalactites hang down creating beautiful natural scenery.
About Ho Ba Ham Islet
Natural characteristics of Ho Ba Ham Islet
Ho Ba Ham Islet consists of three large lakes interconnected by a narrow winding tunnel. This tunnel is actually the upper part of a water cave, a typical form of limestone karst that was eroded by water, waves, and tides. Each cluster of colorful stalactites drops from the tunnel ceiling with strange shapes. On the islet, lots of evergreen plants like orchids, banyan trees, palms are growing to create a favorable living environment for endemic animal species of Halong Bay such as golden monkeys, flying squirrels, bats, rare birds. Under the blue water of three lakes, there is the vibrant life of many marine species.
From the entrance, visitors will go through a tunnel into the first lake. Inside the tunnel, stalactites in multi colors look like a bunch of fibrous roots. Going about 100 meters further, there is a light beam from the ceiling of the tunnel, where you will see many kinds of orchids clinging to the cliffs, clusters of evergreen trees in rocky mountains. Then, the second lake opens and has an ancient star fruit tree growing on the southeast cliff that gives fruit all year round. Passing through a cavern for about 5 minutes from there, you will reach the third lake. This is a peaceful home to many kinds of rare birds and butterflies.
The ecological diversity of Ho Ba Ham Islet
Ho Ba Ham Islet still retain the wild and mysterious nature without the impact of human. With ideal ecological conditions, Ba Ham Lake is a habitat of typical ecosystem. There are many endemic plant species of tropical forests growing on the cliffs such as azaleas, ferns, and palm trees. Squirrels, monkeys, birds also choose this place as their home and often go out to eat, so visitors can watch the animals like in a natural zoo. The water of three lakes is crystal clear to see the fish swimming around and special aquatic systems at the bottom.
Things to do in Ho Ba Ham Islet
With many great advantages, Ho Ba Ham Islet is gradually becoming one of the most attractive destinations in Halong Bay. To explore the beauty of Ho Ba Ham Islet, visitors can row bamboo boats or kayaks to go further into the lakes. It is also an ideal place for swimmers and snorkelers. Most of cruising itineraries are considered Ho Ba Ham Islet as a highlight of the trip. You should choose the overnight cruise to have a good amount of time to visit this interesting destination. It is advisable to rent a kayak to truly enjoy a moment of your own and admire the charming beauty of Ho Ba Ham Islet.
Cat ba Island
Cat Ba Island is located only 30km from Hai Phong city center and 25km from Ha Long City. From Hai Phong, it is very convenient for tourists to take a ferry or speedboat to visit Cat Ba. Or you can enjoy cruising from harbors in Quang Ninh to have an exciting journey through the Natural Wonder Halong Bay to reach Cat Ba Island.
About Cat Ba Island
Best time to travel to Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island has a favorable weather condition, so visitors can travel Cat Ba all year round. In any season at any time, Cat Ba has its unique charm. While domestic tourists often go there in the summer, international tourists mainly visit Cat Ba Island from November to March.
High season in Cat Ba is the summer time from May to August, therefore, if you can arrange, you should go before or after the high season, or you should go in the weekdays to avoid the crowds.
Cat Ba’s natural charm
You will feel like to enter a new world when setting foot on Cat Ba Island. It is very comfortable and refreshing to travel on the road through the dense green forest to reach the island heart. The mountain passes are quite challenging for the adventurous tourists. Admiring the spectacular sceneries on the road, you will understand why biking tour across the island is the first choice of foreign guests.
How to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi
- BUS from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
The fastest and cheap way how to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by bus. Bus is going over the longest sea-crossing bridge in Southeast Asia – Tan Vu – Lach Huyen (opened in September 2017) and is going directly to the Cat Ba town on the island over the Cat Hai Island. A short boat transfer of bus (10 minutes) from the Got Port (Bến phà Gót) to the Cái Viềng port.
Bus is going over the longest sea-crossing bridge in Southeast Asia – Tan Vu – Lach Huyen (opened in September 2017)
- TRAIN + SPEEDBOAT from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
First let’s cover the details for taking a train and then a speedboat from Hanoi to Cat Ba via Hai Phong. Hanoi Railway Station is pretty central and only around a 20 minute walk from the centre of the old quarter.
From here you will take a train into Ga Hải Phòng Railway Station. This part of this route option from Hanoi to Cat Ba will take around 2 hours 45 minutes.
- Speedboat from Hai Phong (Pha Binh port) to Cat Ba Island
- BUS + SPEEDBOAT from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
Bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong
This last option for getting from Hanoi to Cat Ba involves first taking a bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong and the speedboat option from Hai Phong to Cat Ba as detailed above in option 2.
- FLIGHT from Hanoi to Tuan Chau Island (Seaplane)
Swimming in Cat Ba Beaches
Things to do in Cat Ba Island
In Cat Ba, there are 3 most popular tourist beaches: Cat Co 1, 2 and 3, with clear water and near the town center. In particular, Cat Co 1 beach is larger and more favorable, with three sides surrounded by rocky mountains. Cat Co 2 and 3 are smaller but quite peaceful. The beaches are connected by a small path along the mountain.
If you want to have a panoramic view of Cat Ba, you should hike the crest of 177m high Gun Fortress. It is not only a historical relic, which marked the brilliant achievements of the local people; this place also has an ideal location with 3 sides facing the ocean. What a spectacular location to just sit there while sipping coffee and watching the romantic sunset.
The best water sport to try in Cat Ba is to go kayaking. You are sure to be overwhelmed by the majestic landscape and seascape here.
Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is one of the unique biosphere reserves recognized by UNESCO. This is a real paradise for those who love to explore nature and challenge themselves. The typical route is only about 1.8 km, while the longest crossing mountain to Viet Hai fishing village is about 16 km. You can see countless species of endemic species, luckily you can see the Cat Ba langur – the symbol of the island.
Halong Bay is one of seven wonder in the world, with area is 1553 km2. Halong Bay consists of 1969 island and islet, most of which are limestones. specific feature of Ha Long Bay is the abundance of lakes inside the limestone islands. It was declared twice time by UNESCO in 1994 and 2011. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. Ha Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.
Go back in the time with Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago
The greatest Vietnamese ship called Binh Chuan designed entirely and totally by Vietnam people was first built and sailed from Hai Phong to Sai Gon. The ship made a voyage of national pride, culture and ambition of Vietnamese who dreamt of revitalizing the national commerce and economy. It was a voyage of aspiration to contribute to build a stronger nation of Vietnam.
Today, the Heritage Cruises represents that historical vessel while guiding travelers around the pristine and magnificent Lan Ha Bay and re-creating the Binh Chuan story. Board our Heritage Cruises, and be prepared to relive that glorious historical moment!
rom a childhood dream…
As a teenager, Pham Ha, the co-founder of Heritage Cruises, cruised from Haiphong City to Ho Chi Minh City
just a few years after the unification of South and North Vietnam.Even then he had plans to build his own cruise ships, to have his own fleet, so he could share his passion for his country.
He fell in love at first sight with Halong Bay in 1995 and came to know every single island, sometimes spending a week camping on the isolated beaches and exploring remote islands by kayak.
In 1997, he took a film crew there for 2 months to make the ‘Vertical Ray of the Sun’ – a film by the famous director, Tran Anh Hung, which was filmed in Cua Van Floating Village, near Three Peach Beaches, on the frontier between Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago.
His personal mission is to deliver happiness. He is passionate about quality cruising, heritage, culture and history.
Pham Ha is recognized internationally in the tourism business and knows the market well. As a result, he initially built a fleet of cruise ships in Nha Trang Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.
The building of a new fleet in the Cat Ba Archipelago, the Red River and in the future for longer trips from north to south Vietnam is a continuation of his childhood dream.
o the first Vietnamese boutique cruise in the Gulf of Tonkin
Heritage Cruises derives inspiration for its boutique concept and design from the heritage ships of the inspirational patriotic entrepreneur Bach Thai Buoi, who transformed transportation on the waterways in Tonkin in North Vietnam in the early 20th century.
Inspiration from the King of Vietnamese Cruise: Bach Thai Buoi
The Vietnamese used to say the phrase: “First Si, Second Phuong, Third Xuong and Fourth Buoi” to refer to the top 4 wealthy and successful Vietnamese men. “Fourth Buoi” is no one but the businessman and entrepreneur Bach Thai Buoi.
At the age of 20, Bach Thai Buoi found his interest in doing business. In 1908 – 1909, he decided to take his first steps into the waterway transport industry which was exclusively and mostly owned by the Chinese at that moment.
Regardless of the high competitiveness against French and Chinese waterway companies, he established Bach Thai Buoi Maritime Company. With a tonnage of 600 tons and a 400 horsepower engine designed and built by Vietnamese, Binh Chuan ship was the peak of Bach Thai Buoi’s waterway transport career.
That Vietnamese-made ship set sail from Haiphong City to Sai Gon in 1920, receiving warm welcomes from Cochinchinese businessmen who even made a bronze board that read: “To Binh Chuan ship – the first Vietnamese ship in Saigon Port.
At that moment, the Binh Chuan ship carried more than just hundred tons of goods – it also took with it the national pride of each and every Vietnamese on the way. That voyage from Haiphong to Saigon was a loud and clear statement of the nation’s strong and rapid development.
A symbol of Vietnamese national spirit and patriotism
Bach Thai Buoi gave up a peaceful life to embark on a business career not only because of wealth. It was his desire to affirm the position of Vietnamese in the market, proving that we are not inferior to any other nation.
Bach Thai Buoi was a role model of expressing national pride in his work. He hired mostly Vietnamese workers. He named his ships after Vietnamese nobles or historical milestones such as Dinh Tien Hoang, Bach Dang… Maybe this explained why he was so successful at that time – thanks to his sincere and moving patriotism.
For any Vietnamese, the national spirit and patriotism are always highly-regarded. As we suffered too much in the past, it is our instinct to love, respect and protect the country.
Heritage Cruises understand this – and we create a unique experience for all the tourists by representing not only the Binh Chuan cruise itself but also the spirit of it.
eritage Cruises: A voyage of culture and history
What makes Heritage Cruises stands out from the rest of vessels in Vietnam in general and in Lan Ha Bay in particular is the cultural and historical story embedded within each and every small detail of the ship.
100 years after Binh Chuan Cruise first built and set sail, travellers can now witness and experience the glory of that North – South ship while boarding the Heritage Cruises. The cruise has an antique beauty of the past while bringing luxury and modern services for travellers.
All is embedded in the atmosphere of Vietnamese culture, art and culinary on the made-in-Vietnam Heritage Cruise.
The sophisticated and antique style of Indochina
Inspired by the ship of Bach Thai Buoi, Heritage Cruises was the first cruise ever in Vietnam with an architectural style of Indochina in the 1930s. With its distinctive style, the cruise revives the past and honors Vietnam’s historical, cultural, artistic and culinary heritages in the 20th century.
Heritage Cruise is 75m long and 13m10 wide. It consists of 4 separate floors but only 20 spacious suites for 40 guests. There are 2 restaurants, 3 bars, 2 spa rooms, a four-season rooftop swimming pool, a bookstore and a mini gym – all up to standard of a 5-star resort and hotel.
Besides the luxurious amenities, Heritage Cruises also offers a pure Vietnamese cultural space and the atmosphere of culture, history, art and cuisine in the 20th century through a Bach Thai Buoi library and artful lobby lounge with nearly 100 paintings by “The Vietnamese Picasso” Pham Luc.
Even the names of the cruise, common spaces and rooms are customized to showcase the history and culture of Vietnam in the 1930s. Even the Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan was named after the Binh Chuan ship built in the 20th century, expressing the founder’s dream of writing the Bach Thai Buoi’s dream.
On the cruise, the art exhibition was named L’Art de l’Annam – a book of the same name, published in 1933 by Henri Gourdon, who was the director of the first Indochinese University – Université Indochinoise, who offered a view of the art of Annam from the perspective of a westerner.
Similarly, names were carefully chosen for the restaurants, bars, lounges and spa to maintain the overall spirit of the national pride and cultural stories: Bach Dang Wine Cellar, Le Tonkin, L’Indochine, Song Hong Lounge, and White Lotus Spa.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci’s quote captures Heritage Cruises’ vision and philosophy perfectly: the key principle behind every project is a devotion to simplicity, heritage, boutique and product authenticity.
An exploration of the pristine Lan Ha Bay
Cruising is all about destinations, experiences and memories.
Situated in the south of Ha Long Bay and the east of Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay has an area of over 7,000 hectares with stunning beauty of around 400 large and small islands with many interesting shapes. Different from Halong Bay, all islands in Lan Ha Bay are covered with greenery – even the smallest islets.
Lan Ha Bay is the home of lots of mountains with different names depending on the imagination of tourists such as Hon Quoc Islet (Wooden Shoe islet) and Dao Khi – Monkey Island. Lan Ha Bay possesses about 139 beautiful sandy beaches and spreads over 7,000 ha including that the area of 5,400 ha is under-managed by The Biosphere Reserve recognized by UNESCO – Cat Ba National Park.
In 2020, Lan Ha Bay officially becomes a member of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club.
While Halong Bay is often touristy and crowded, Lan Ha Bay has its own beauty of tranquility and pristinity. Besides, Cat Ba Archipelago is an exotic destination with pristine beaches, secluded lagoons, coves, tropical forest and lakes. Thanks to its isolation to the mainland, this charming destination preserves its unspoiled natural scenery to its best. The density of limestone islets in Lan Ha Bay is quite thick, creating smaller bays.
Although not too popular among tourists, Lan Ha Bay is considered as one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam. Fall is the most beautiful time of the year in lan Ha Bay with light sunshine, cool weather and gentle breezes from the ocean.
All 139 beaches lying scattered throughout Lan Ha Bay allow tourists to contemplate from the cruises. The trio of Cat Co 1,2 and 3 Beach, Van Boi Beach, Ba Trai Dao Beach (Three Peaches Beach) and Tung Thu Beach are known as one of the most appealing beaches in Lan Ha Bay.
Ba Trai Dao Beach has attracted tourists by not only its charming beauty but an interesting myth to explain the appearance of the three rocks that give the islet its name as well. Tung Thu is another attractive one offering on the south coast of Cat Ba Island, while Van Boi offers the chance to engage in scuba-diving to watch the colorful coral reefs underwater.
Light and Dark Caves which are the two opposing ones, as their names, show the difference in the amount of light entering from outside. The Dark Cave is longer, so it’s necessary to require torches for discovering. Meanwhile, the Light Cave has a short corridor opening up into an amazing lake covered by stretching limestone cliffs.
Hospital Cave is the most interesting cave in terms of historical value since its large grottos made it an ideal place for taking care of and hiding the injured Viet Cong soldiers during the war against the American. Moreover, it’s hard to find the Hospital Cave from the ground and the air, making it perfect to rest up the troops and form attacking plans.
Viet Hai Fishing Village , which is an ecological attraction, appeals to tourists by tranquil and peaceful landscapes as well as hidden charm villages of local people and their lifestyles.
Even the voyage around Lan Ha Bay is filled with cultural stories which go well with the spirit of the Heritage Cruise.
et’s begin the voyage!
Almost a century after Bach Thai Buoi first built the Binh Chuan vessel, Heritage Cruise has now inherited the historical and cultural
stories in its design, spirit and voyage. This opens your chance to embark on a voyage through time on a Heritage Cruises ship – a vessel inspired by heritage designs and with impeccable service fit for the bourgeoisie from the 1930s.
Heritage Cruises is pure, artful and elegant in offering special perspectives on the Red River and the Gulf of Tonkin. The welcome is personal, the accommodation is sumptuous, and the views are simply gorgeous.
And yet it is the total experience − the unique impression derived from the cruise’s combination of quality, quintessence and ambiance in a spectacular location − that makes the cruising experience on Heritage Cruises unforgettable.