TMG – With only 2.8 – 3 million VND for the 2-day-1-night tour, tourists can have exceptional experiences on the world-class cruise ship to explore the magnificent Halong Bay.
Reading reviews on online travel websites about cruise tours from different operators on Halong Bay (Vietnam), Ms. Karen (from Singapore) still remembered some comments of those experiencing the service before.
‘It’s pretty boring, not to mention you fall asleep when being on board. The cruise is beautiful but doesn’t have many activities onboard.’, ‘The cruise tour is just suitable for family traveling, not for travel lovers who like to discover different places’…
Karen frequently travels for experiences and doesn’t mainly base her decision on many reviews about the upcoming destination, so she took her family to Halong Bay, Vietnam, in September.
When they put their first step in there, she seemed overwhelmed by the ‘beyond imagination’ and dreamlike beauty of Halong Bay.
‘The spectacular scenery of Halong Bay makes me feel like a small speck. The deep green sea and undulating mountains in different unique shapes surround the bay’, Karen said.
Karen and her family had a short and memorable itinerary on the luxury cruise floating on Halong Bay. This time, her choice was Emeraude Classic Cruises, a member of Thien Minh Group.
The cruise offered her a chance to revel in the magnificent and world-class beauty of Halong Bay as well as enjoy international standard services onboard. According to Karen, it did not fall short of perfection compared to night cruises in Hongkong, Vancouver, Singapore, etc.
‘For the best experiences, my family chose the Emeraude suite with the price of 4,750,000 million VND/adult for 2 days and 1 night. The 22-sqm room is on the third floor and has a beautiful sea view,’ Karen shared.
It had a private balcony and was near the sundeck and bar, so the family members could comfortably sunbathe or enjoy the picturesque scenery of the bay at dawn and dusk.
‘I like to read books in the afternoon and sunbathe at dawn. The atmosphere is cool and tranquil regardless of day or night, while the landscape is poetic and splendid. This trip is genuinely ideal for those who wish to unwind and spend time in nature,’ the Singaporean traveller expressed.
In this 2-day1-night itinerary, the cruise brought tourists to see the most beautiful places in Halong Bay. Such as Rock of the Kissing Cocks, Yen Ngua Islet (Saddle Islet), Ho Dong Tien Cave, Trong Cave, Me Cung (Maze) Cave, etc., which was impressive enough for anyone to praise: ‘Amazing!’
Karen admitted that she experienced different levels of astonishment while on the cruise and taking in the spectacle. The scenery varied in each area, resulting in unique views and beauty that stood out from Singapore cruise ship experiences.
After check-in in the early afternoon, Karen and her family members relaxed and slept to rejuvenate themselves after the hour-long transition from Hanoi to Halong Bay.
Then, the ship docked near Tung Sau Valley. A small speedboat was waiting to bring them to the famous pearl farm.
After visiting the famous pearl farm, tourists could beat the afternoon’s heat by kayaking right in there.
Entirely wearing life jackets, guests sat on colorful kayaks and started to freely explore the deep green sea in 30-40 minutes.
Karen desired to try this activity since she received the cruise tour schedule.
‘It was the first time I played kayaking. The wind was quite strong while I was paddling in the adverse wind direction, which drained my stamina. However, I felt like my tiredness was relieved when I adored the bay’s beauty in the short distance where precipitous cliffs eroded into unique shapes’, Karen shared in the excitement.
Sitting on the small kayak, the Singaporean guest and her friend took turns paddling and slowly moved around the ‘rise from the sea’ islets.
‘Cool and deep green sea embraces the steep cliffs. Everything shines under the yellow sunlights, making even such a lazy person like me irresistible to challenge my endurance and cherish all the wonderful gifts of nature’, Karen added.
After kayaking, tourists returned to the ship for relaxation and prepared to move to the next destination – Titop Island.
Titop Island is one of the most beautiful in Halong Bay. It leans against Cua Luc Bay, stands behind Bo Hon Island and Sung Sot Cave, and is on the left of Dam Nam Islet.
On Titop Island, besides some activities like swimming or playing volleyball on the beach, tourists could go trekking to the top of the mountain. They had to climb 450 stairs to put their step on the top of the island and enjoy the scenic view of Halong Bay.
A sumptuous dinner followed the ship excursion’s first day with delicious Vietnamese dishes and Asian – European cuisines. The menu is flexibly altered to allow guests to pick dishes that fit their tastes and preferences.
Sitting on the board and watching the light of nearby cruises, tourists could unwind on the sundeck or relish the fresh and chilly wind from the rooms’ balconies.
Some guests gathered at the bar and sipped their drinks, while others tried squid fishing at the stern.
“That was the first time I experienced squid fishing by myself. Looking at the squids dancing in the water was so exciting. I also saw some white jellyfish gliding around. Though I didn’t catch any squid, I was delighted to do something new for the first time and learn to be patient”, Karen expressed.
The following morning, after having breakfast with cakes and coffee, tourists made their way to Sung Sot Cave, located on Bo Hon Island. It is known as one of the largest and most stunning caves in Halong Bay.
Sung Sot Cave is more than 12,000 sqm wide and divided into two chambers. The first one is a vast 30-meter-high space interlaced with different-sized and shaped stalactites hanging from above and stalagmites rising from below.
The second chamber lies deep inside. So tourists must cross a narrow road where fantastic rock formations like birds, royal gardens, lakes, old trees, dinosaurs, etc., appear on both sides.
For Karen, the most memorable part of this trip was seeing and enjoying Halong’s magnificence firsthand with all of her senses. That feeling arose when she visited spectacular clusters of islands, sailed to the foot of a cliff, saw scenic landscapes from the top of a mountain, tasted the scent of seawater, breathed in the scent of the wind, etc.
Last but not least, Karen was impressed and satisfied with the friendly and heartfelt services of the professional staff on the cruise during her trip to Halong Bay.
Ms. Nguyen Tuyet Huong – General Manager of Halong Cruises in Thien Minh Group, said tourists could visit and discover Halong Bay at any time of the year because its beauty varied with seasons.
‘While Vietnam tourists mainly visit Halong Bay in summer to enjoy the coolness and engage in various fascinating activities along the beach, the ideal time for international tourists to travel here is winter,’ Ms. Huong said.
She also added that the peak season to welcome global travellers to Ha Long is from October to April the following year. In this period, the sea is tranquil, while the natural scenery is depicted deeply by a great combination of the sea, sky, mountain, and island colors.
Tourists can participate in many fascinating activities during the itinerary, such as visiting Tung Sau Pearl Farm and kayaking/swimming there, climbing mountains on Titop Island, exploring Sung Sot Cave, etc.
Besides, different activities such as swimming, learning to cook, squid fishing, and others are awaiting tourists to help them break Halong Bay’s fever.
Tourists are served 4 meals in a vintage-vibe restaurant divided into rooms. There are 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner. The menu is altered flexibly to fit the guests’ tastes and preferences with delicious dishes made from fresh seafood of Halong Bay.
Source: DÂN TRÍ