An Overnighter In Ha long Bay with Heritage-Line
When visiting Ha long Bay it is highly recommended to enjoy an overnight stay on a Junk boat to completely take in your surroundings and enjoy the beautiful views the bay has to offer.
There are a whole load of tour operators offering cruises, so if possible it is best to book in advance before you go when you have time to go through all the information. It can be overwhelming in Hanoi, trying to figure out which boat to go with when the local travel agent is pushing so many and all on a commission basis. I had booked with the Hertiage Line - Jasmine Junk Boat, everything was as it said it would be and really couldn’t recommend them more.
I was travelling from Hanoi which is approximately a 4 hour drive. When I arrived at the port where the boats leave from, I got checked in promptly while sipping a free welcome drink provided by staff, before boarding and setting sail. The boat itself is what I expected, it looks like the photos I had been seen. All in all so far impressed.
Lunch was served as the boat began its journey into Ha long Bay. With an hour or two onboard to settle into the cabin and also plenty photo opportunities from the sun deck of the beautiful limestone islands that format Ha long Bay.
It was then time to take a trip to explore a cave called Tien Ong and visit Cua Van floating fishing village which you get to see from a small bamboo sampan (boat) that is being rowed by local Vietnamese women from the village. The floating fishing village is lovely to see and all, but you do feel it’s a show put on for tourists more than a way of life for them anymore.
After returning to the boat, it set sail to the where it will be anchored for the night. During the sailing time the boats chef did a demo on how to make rice paper rolls and everyone go a chance to give it a go. Then dinner was served (again an amazing selection and completely over indulged). It was relax then for the evening with a few too many beer.
The following morning was an early start with Tai Chi on the top deck at 7am, with the promise of coffee and hot croissants on completion, which did not disappoint. Then we sailed on for Titop Island.
You can climb to the top of Titop Island for the most amazing views over Ha long Bay, it makes the 400 steep stone steps up worth it, not for the unfit mind you, I would defiantly recommend a good pair of runners and bottle of water.
When back on board, breakfast was served as the boat heads back to the port. Plenty time to relax and take in the final cruise and photo ops around Ha long Bay before arriving back on shore.
An amazing trip that is a must if your visiting Ha long Bay for a few nights.
If interest below is the link to the cruise
Ha long Bay was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.