Friday, July 27, 2012

Travel Advice: Vietnam (Ha Long Bay)

If you go to Vietnam, you need to see more than just the cities.  One of the most famous areas to visit is the beautiful Ha Long Bay.  Search for it in google images and you'll see why.  The easiest way to go is to go with a group from Hanoi; they can book it for you at your hostel.  I don’t normally like group trips, but this one was really good and meant I was able to fit in a lot more activities than I would have on my own.  We spent the night on a boat in the bay, went kayaking, explored a cave, swam from the boat and from the beach on the island, got foot massages, spent a night in beach huts on Monkey Island,  saw a floating city, saw monkeys, ate a lot of prawns, rode bikes or hiked to visit a secret army hospital built in a cave, and enjoyed the scenery. The only precautions I would have are, if you are traveling by yourself, be sure and check if you will get a room to yourself or will be expected to share with someone, and when they tell you that the hike on monkey island to see the monkeys is an easy half-hour stroll, they are lying.  I don’t remember how much the tour cost exactly, but it seems like it might have been around $100 for two days (everything, including food).  The only thing to buy was if you wanted drinks other than water.  Anyhow, it was worth it.  
After Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, many travelers go on to the beaches of South Vietnam; I didn’t have time to do so. But, if you do, I hear they’re really beautiful.  


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