You won’t have to travel too far from Malaysia for uncommon gems. Ha Long Bay is one of the most beautiful island destinations in South East Asia. With its name translating to “descending dragon”, the shapely limestone islands are almost incomparable.
We compiled a guide for you to visit Hanoi and Ha Long Bay to fill up your camera with sheer beauty.
Starting at Hanoi
First, fly to Hanoi. The KUL-HAN route is operated by Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, AirAsia, and Vietnam Airlines. Search for flights to Hanoi here.
Take this opportunity to see what Hanoi has to offer, if you haven’t been here yet. Some of the scenic spots include:
- Hanoi Train Street
- An alley of cosy old housing in the Old Quarter, with train tracks running directly through it. Watch as the residents adjust their activities based on the passing train. The Old Quarter itself is worth exploring, armed with your camera.
- Temple of the Jade Mountain
- Take a stroll down to central Hanoi for the city’s very own scenic body of water: Hoàn Kiếm Lake. The Turtle Tower stands on the other side of the lake, which makes for a good picture. Come at night to see the place come alive with colourful lights.
- Tran Quoc Pagoda
- Further up North is a bigger body of water, with a pagoda perched on its edge. Also pretty at night.
Travelling to Ha Long
Now, you can visit Ha Long. Here’s how to get there from Hanoi.
- Cruise package
- Includes a minibus. 2.5-4 hours ride.
- Private car
- Costs more than buses, but will be comfortable.
- If money isn’t an object, this highly scenic mode will get you there in 45 minutes.
Enjoying Ha Long Bay
There are a few ways to enjoy the beauty of this place. Depending on how adventurous you are.
- This will be a fuss-free way to get deep into the waters for great pictures of the islands, in a relaxing environment. Your package may include a minibus from Hanoi, which will be convenient. The luxury options are also worth the higher prices, depending on your appetite.
- You may also choose day cruises if you wish to free up your time for other things to do in Ha Long.
- Kayaking or swimming
- You can get up close and personal with the bay, a good way to avoid crowds. However, you’ll only get to see a small portion of the area. This option is recommended for those who already have experience kayaking and swimming.
- Trekking, cycling, rock climbing
- For the outdoorsman, you can rough it out through nature’s trails around Ha Long. This way, you can get good perspectives of the bay unreachable by car.
- Organised tours
- Or you can let guides plan everything for you. From transportation from Hanoi to visiting various spots at Ha Long.
- Try to time your photos correctly, as there will be ships passing through the bay.
- November is a good time to visit. The place may get stormy between May and September.
- Avoid the lowest possible prices when it comes to transport, cruises, or any packages. For safety reasons.
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