Almost everybody who visits Vietnam, has Halong Bay high on their bucket list. Because of the big amount of tourists who visit this beautiful place every year, there are a loooot of options to choose from, when you are looking for a cruise or a tour. I think my brain shut down after googling for 5 hours…There were a couple of things that was looking for: I wanted a 2 night cruise, with a clean bed, no drunk partypeople unexpectedly vommiting on me and a quiet route, without 10 other boats to close for comfort. Zen please! :-)
After these 5 hours of endless googling, a photo catches my eye. A photo of a beautiful ship called The Dragon Legend. This is exactly what I am looking for! The photos are AMAZING and the route is different from a lot of other cruises. They take you to Bai Tu Long Bay. Check!
In Hanoi, I’m picked up, with my pretty SuitSuit suitcase, by the most luxurious minivan, with WIFI (hallelujah!), I have seen in my life. This is a good start…After a little wait at the harbour, a small boat takes us to The Dragon Legend. OMG! What a beauty! On board, the staff tells me they gave me an upgrade, the magic word, to a Deluxe Suite. My room looks like a 5 star hotel suite from colonial times, with a jacuzzi with sweeping views over the ocean. Heaven!
My time on board is perfect. Every morning there is a Tai Chi lesson on the top deck in the morning sun and the staff makes me feel right at home. We jump into a canoe and explore the amazing rock formations & caves, visit a floating village, relax on the daybeds on the top deck, work on our tan while sipping on a cold drink and enjoy long tasty dinners by candlelight.
In the 2 photos above you see a dragon made from pumpkin and the two turtle doves sit on top of a watermelon!
The whole trip is a photographer’s dream! I’m no professional at all, but I took about a million photos…
Tai Chi in the morning sun.
When you book a tour or cruise to visit Halong Bay, I would recommend booking a 2 night package. The surroundings are too beautiful to rush trough them in just a day or two. You’re probably here only once, right? Spend a little more, if possible, to avoid the crowds.
The cheaper options all follow the same route in Halong Bay. Another benefit of paying a little extra is the food! The dinners on board of The Dragon Legend and the bbq on a private beach are exquisite. You have to pay for your drinks though, keep that in mind. All the daytrips during the cruise are optional, so if you want to stretch your legs on the sundeck, soak up the sun & skip an activity, no problem.