Halong Bay Cruise Avoiding the Crowds
Escaping a tourism conference in Halong City, Marissa Carruthers jumps on board a Halong Bay cruise to spend 24 hours exploring Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage site and its amazing karst…
In recent years Vietnam has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. This is unsurprising as it has 2,000 miles of coastline, wonderful hills to the north and west, and a great cuisine – especially if you are a fan of noodles. Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City are all interesting in their separate ways, and a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta is an absolute must.
In the words of Basil Fawlty – ‘don’t mention the war’ – or if you do, remember to call it the American War, as it is referred to in Vietnam. The country suffered for years afterwards, but has subsequently recovered to become a major powerhouse in Southeast Asia.
The Vietnamese capital is a wonderful place. Wander around central Hoan Kiem Lake and into the old quarter, with its ancient architecture, or to the nearby French quarter. The trick to crossing the road really is to keep on walking whatever is coming your way. Somehow the driver will always manage to go around you.
One of the natural wonders on the planet, Halong Bay contains a series of limestone karsts rising out from the crystal clear waters. Legend has it the isles are tears cast by a mother dragon as she looked for her baby. The channel through the bay was made by her tail on her search. Nearby Baby Dragon Baby is equally amazing, and less well-known.