By : Chha
It was kinda disappointing to find out that Halong Bay is now full with tourist and the area is full with cruises cruising along the bay and there is also review from peoples saying that Halong Bay is no longer the quiet place where you can enjoy cruising along the bay of awesome scenery. Though the scenery is still as awesome as ever but now you will see seas of tourist as well. I even heard rumors saying that soon the government of Vietnam will stop tourist from overnight on cruise along Halong Bay area. Meaning, you can only do a one day trip cruise and no overnight. The reason is because of the overwhelming and overcrowded of tourist in that area. For me, i prefer to have a more laid back type of travel. I love visiting places with less people, take the unbeaten path into discovering something new, do things that not many people have done and travel to places that only few have been .. therefore Bai Tu Long Bay seems to be the perfect choice for me at that time.
Bai Tu Long Bay is located at the northern side of Halong Bay. Bai Tu Long Bay is every bit as beautiful as its famous neighbor. In some ways it’s actually more stunning, since it’s only in its initial stages as a destination for travelers. Improved boat transport to the scattering of resorts here means the area is quickly growing in popularity with domestic tourists, but the bay and its islands are still unpolluted and relatively undeveloped. For Western travelers, it’s a laid-back alternative to the touristy bustle of Halong Bay (Source).
Travelling from Hanoi Old Quarter to Bai Tu Long Bay takes approximately 4 hours of drive passing through highways and villages. I did realize that there are some tour agent at Hanoi Old Quarter that offer tour package to Halong Bay but did not notice any for Bai Tu Long Bay. We made an advance booking with Viola Cruise and two ways transport was provided from our hotel and to our hotel which is located at Hanoi Old Quarter. Everything was well prepared and done for us by our tour guide Mr Nam in the 2 days 1 night cruise at Bai Tu Long Bay. What we did was only to enjoy the trip there.
There are certain area where we need to take the Tender in order to transport between the cruise and shores.
Cruise tickets is very important throughout the entire cruise trip. Lucky for us, our Tour Guide Mr Nam help us to keep the tickets and only give it back to us when we need it.
The reason is, everyone will need to purchase a ticket before boarding the cruise and if lost you won't be able to re-purchase it during the cruise and most of the place that we visit required tickets to enter. So keep your ticket safe .. !
We arrive at the pier around 12.00 pm and waited for another group to arrive which takes us around 15 minutes of waiting. The other group was lead by their tour guide Mr Tony. Viola Cruise are capable of accommodate 30 people not including tour guide and cruise crew member.
I wrote a different post, solely dedicated to Viola Cruise mainly because i don't want to make this post become too long, haha ! Hopefully this will help you grab as much useful info as possible to help you with your trip to Hanoi.
We check into our rooms on Viola Cruise and headed straight for our buffet lunch as i was already starving !
The first activity for the day is the visit to Pearl Farm to get a better understanding on how Pearls are made, honestly, i don't think it is an easy process .. no wonder Pearls are expensive .. !
In order to reach the Pearl Farm we are allowed to choose either to Kayak in there ourselves or to take the Bamboo Boat Service. The Kayaking and Bamboo Boat Service both start at the Lang Chai Vung Vieng area.
Kayaking will get us wet so we were advice to bring extra cloths and waterproof bag for our camera and phone. We decided that we are not going to do the Kayaking, so we went for the Bamboo Boat Service instead.
The lady from the Bamboo Boat Service paddle the boat one big round around some small mountain-like-island going through some scenic place and fishing village before reaching the Pearl Farm.
It is really nice to enjoy the view here, the plus point is, the weather here is chilling .. with temperature at about 18'c to 22'c. It is nice and cold making it comfortable sitting in the Bamboo Boat while enjoying the view here .. !
Our next stop was to a nearby beach. The beach is small but i enjoy my 45 minutes time spend here. Taking a lot of photos, joking around with friends, jumping here and there clowning around .. it was fun .. !
I was hoping to see the sunset as i notice that the sun will be setting directly opposite the beach. If it does, it would be a wonderful view .. it does, the sun did set directly opposite the beach but there were too many clouds there on that day .. too cloudy .. ! making the sun set looks ordinary ..
When i reach the cruise from the beach, i found out that there will be tea break serve at Viola Cruise Sundeck, it was kinda like a surprise for me as the Tour Guide only mention about Lunch and Dinner but not Tea Break, haha !
It was awesome to sit at the open air Sundeck, enjoying wine while seeing the sun set and the sky turn dark.
Dinner was served at around 8.00 pm.
Dinner was a 10 course meal with dish like Prawn, Crabs, Fish and Many More. The food is nice ! I like it .. ! There is nothing much to do at night but our Tour Guide Mr Nam did offer to teach us how to catch squid but we did not take the offer, instead we went to the Sundeck out in the cold to enjoy looking at the stars in the sky .. and chat the night away .. !
Stars In The Sky | View From Sundeck Viola Cruise
Visited : January 2018
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Posted Date : 25 January 2018
Posted Time : 7.00 pm