With emerald waters and towering limestone cliffs off the faces of over 1500 islands, it is no surprise that Ha Long Bay was honoured as a UNESCO site in 1994. This expanse of land has been uniquely shaped by more than 500 million years of combined tropical downpours and dense jungle growth. Each islet is varied, from height to steepness – some are even hollow! This makes the bay unbelievably breath-taking.
Ha Long Bay’s name translates to ‘where the dragon descends’ and is thus matched with an intriguing story about how the bay first came about. Legend has it that thousands of years ago, a dragon charged through from the mountains towards the ocean, carving out the bays and valleys with its tail as it went. We’ll let you decide whether you believe with this local folktale as you explore the path yourself!
DAY ONE - LET'S GET EXPLORING
You will be picked up by coach from your meeting point in Hanoi and begin your 4 hour journey to Ha Long Bay, arriving just in time for lunch! Upon climbing on board the vessel, you’ll enjoy a delicious selection of traditional Vietnamese dishes as the boat begins its journey deep into the jigsaw of islands. After replenishing your energy levels and having a chance to settle into your room, it’s time to explore the ‘Surprising Cave’ – we won’t give anything away! It’s then your turn to be in charge of navigating the waters as the group splits up across kayaks to explore all of Ha Long Bay’s hidden nooks and crannies.
Dinner is served back on board just before sunset. Activities continue into the evening with options ranging from karaoke to dancing, squid fishing, or quite simply, playing cards!
DAY TWO - LET THE ADVENTURE CONTINUE
After a good night’s rest, it’s time to set sail again. Our first stop of the day is a pearl farm. Here you’ll have the opportunity to witness these beautiful stones being cultivated by local fishermen. For the rest of your day, you will have the chance to relax on a nearby beach, involving yourself in activities such as badminton, volleyball or more kayaking! For an additional charge, you may instead choose to instead explore a nearby village by bike!
At the end of the day, you will be transferred to Cat Ba Island, to spend your night off the boat. After a buffet meal at the Bungalow, you may choose to spend your evening fishing or relaxing on the sandy beach.
DAY THREE - COOKING UP A FEAST AND BACK TO HANOI
It’s a relatively early start, so up you get – it’s time to grab breakfast! After refuelling, you’ll head back onto the boat and you’ll begin the journey out of the depths of the bay, back to the mainland. But before it’s time to leave, there’s still plenty of time to top off this weekend’s adventure! It’s time to get your chef hat on, today you’re a student in the kitchen. You’ll then eat your creations for lunch before docking into Ha Long harbour, where your trip, unfortunately, comes to an end. Your coach journey back to Hanoi will allow you to reflect on all the new memories you have made during this incredible weekend away.