This is the stunning gateway to Hanoi, a marvellous Vietnamese port of call and a great destination aboard a luxury cruise. Halong Bay is often described as the ‘Bay of the Descending Dragons’ and its mystery is only matched by the blissful beauty of its spectacular scenery. The alluring magnetism to this port of call is this wonderful tale. It is a local legend here amongst the natives that dragons had been sent here by the gods with the intention to protect the area from invading parties; it is believe the main focus was placed on the Chinese. The dragons were to defend the land at all costs and legend has it Halong Bay was created form the dragons tails carving the seabed. The area is an incredible natural wonder and over 3000 islands rose from the Gulf of Tonkin.
The rising islands are awash with magnificent beaches for cruise guests to enjoy. Basque in the sublime climate and simply watch the world go by in one of the most picturesque locations imaginable. Passengers looking to relax unwind and recharge will adore what Halong Bay has to offer. The area was even designated a World Heritage site in 1994, paying testament to its splendour.
From Halong Bay guests can experience the joys of Hanoi. This fascinating city is steeped in history and combines its traditional heritage with the ever changing contemporary cultures perfectly. The scenery remains superb with a collection of lakes shimmering the light from the sun across the wondrous temples and breath taking monuments. Such historical sights are complimented by the modern boulevards and arcades of chic cafes, bars and restaurants providing the opportunity to sample delicious local cuisine.
Hanoi has imperious architecture with an emphasis on French colonial style. In fact the city overall has a delightful east meets west feeling to it, which enhances the character and charm to its already effortless splendour. It is important for guests to know that the journey into Hanoi from Halong Bay does take approximately 3 hours and this may effect passenger’s decisions over how to spend their time there. The option of heading into Hanoi maybe a longer journey but the reward for doing so is simply stunning. The Red River Delta runs alongside the drive to the city and a comfort stop is always made, no matter which cruise line you are travelling with. This stop is nearly always at the delightful Dong Trieu Ceramic Village, which is a great place as it provides passengers the chance to see the magnificent process of production for ceramics.
As you arrive in Hanoi, there are many areas of interest to see. One of the major attractions is Ho Chi Mausoleum for the chance to see the memorial to the country’s 'father'. The Temple of Literature is also a great structure to see dating back to 1076. The old quarter is also close by and gives guests the chance witness everything from traditional medicine practices and the creation of beautifully coloured silk.
Halong Bay opens up a world of Vietnamese wonder. This sensational port of call provides so much to see and do it really is an incredible pleasure to see. Laze the day away or head off for a thrilling adventure, the decision is yours but whichever choice you make, you are guaranteed a special visit. Halong Bay is a regular feature on Far East itineraries as well as World Cruise sailings.