Already one among Vietnam’s most visited locations, a spate of latest occasions has introduced renewed consideration to mystical Halong Bay in northern Vietnam, together with a blockbuster Hollywood film and the approaching opening of a brand new expressway and worldwide airport.
Scenic seaplane flight over Halong Bay. Picture by: Hai Au Aviation.
Inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Web site in 1994, travellers have lengthy been drawn to Halong Bay’s almost 2000 untouched, jungle-draped limestone islands which rise from deep emerald waters. The scenic bay ranks third amongst Vietnam’s most visited locations, behind Ho Chi Minh Metropolis and Hanoi, and hosted almost 10 million guests in 2017.
The vacation spot received a lift final yr when its mesmerizing seascapes had been featured in lots of the dreamy, otherworldly scenes in “Kong: Cranium Mountain.” Moreover, Halong Bay, together with the broader northern coastal province of Quang Ninh, is the main focus of Vietnam’s Nationwide Tourism 12 months 2018, below the banner “Ha Lengthy – Heritage, Surprise, and Pleasant Vacation spot”. Greater than 50 occasions have been deliberate between April 2018 and January 2019, together with picture exhibitions, an enormous carnival, culinary festivals, journey expo and sporting occasions.
Panoramic view of Halong Bay. Picture by Hai Au Aviation
To gear up for the anticipated enhance in guests, a brand new freeway is predicted to open later this month, chopping the journey time between Hanoi and Halong Bay from 4 hours down to simply two. As well as, a global airport is ready to open later this yr in Van Don, 50 kilometres from the bay.
Nevertheless, regardless of there being lots of of boats to select from, many guests discover the precise touring of Halong Bay to be fairly restrictive, particularly because the Vietnamese authorities revamped the ticketing system in 2017. There at the moment are solely 5 routes by way of Halong and close by Bai Tu Lengthy Bay, that means cruise ships all are likely to observe the identical itinerary with a purpose to hit the primary sights, resulting in a considerably “cookie cutter” expertise.
Guests with a little bit money searching for a unique technique to expertise Halong have quietly discovered L’Azalée Premium Cruises, the bay’s solely single-cabin ship. Launched this previous February, the corporate provides an ultra-exclusive expertise aboard a luxurious junk that sleeps simply two passengers who’re cared for by 5 crew members together with a butler and a personal chef. Friends can select the place they need to cease and the captain will devise a customized itinerary, taking care to go to spots when fewer vacationers are round.
Cruising in Halong Bay. Picture by: L’Azalee Premium Cruises
One other distinctive technique to see the whole lot of Halong Bay is from a 12-seater seaplane. From above, the person islands come collectively to kind rows upon rows of mountain ranges, trying very very like the undulating physique of a “descending dragon”, the that means of “Halong”. Along with scenic flights, Hai Au Aviation is ready to launch new routes in Quang Ninh throughout the subsequent few months to Cat Ba Island and up-and-coming Co To Island, with its blissfully quiet seashores and clear, blue water.
By James Pham
Supply hyperlink – https://www.lonelyplanet.com/information/2018/06/11/vietnam-halong-bay-national-tourism-year-2018/