Vlog 7 Halong Bay, our first stop in Vietnam!
3 days, 2 nights on the incredible Emeraude Cruise…
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This truly is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world… no matter how busy it gets here, the views are still incredible!
Halong Bay, Vietnam – a must see location if you are visiting the north of Vietnam…
We booked the Emeraude cruise through our hotel in Hanoi. We chose the 3 days 2 night option as the 2 days, 1 night seemed rather rushed!
It took 3 hours to arrive at Halong Bay from Hanoi, the bus driver was pretty crazy, apparently that’s just how the Vietnamese drive???
We looked into a lot of Halong Bay tours but the Emeraude seemed one of the most relaxed, with a bit of luxury too. Our room did not disappoint, nor did the amazing buffet meals on board!
Upon arrival we were greeting with complimentary drinks and a huge lunch buffet before heading to our first stop on the tour, a MASSIVE cave known as ‘Surprise Cave.’ So many steps and a nice walk through the cave… lots of people here of course, all the cruises stop at this cave, but we still enjoyed it! Worth seeing that’s for sure.
After a delicious crepe snack, we set off to the Pearl Farm. We had an option to go kayaking but it was so cold, the thought of hitting that water put us off haha! The pearl farm was interesting, we didn’t know this kind of thing existed… felt sorry for the oysters but this has been going on for thousands of years, it’s just a way of life for the Vietnamese.
Day 2 Emeraude Cruise
We got incredibly lucky with our Halong Bay tour as day 2 we went off on our own day boat with just one other couple, exploring the less seen areas of the bay… if you have the time (and funds) we’d absolutely recommend going for a 3 days, 2 nights Halong Bay cruise option!
We first stopped off at another cave, a stunning lagoon and a family of monkeys on their very own island. So cute!!
Then our guide, who liked to call himself Jackie Chan, along with a couple of chefs, cooked us a fantastic lunch. The location we anchored down blew us away. At times there were no other boats in site, wow!
One note about our guide Jackie Chan, he was fantastic all day! So enthusiastic, a great host with real passion for the job. A credit to the Emeraude cruise team. Thanks again Jackie and we wish you lots of success at what you do…
Back to the cruise, after lunch we arrived at our next cave stop. Maze cave, much smaller than Surprise cave on day 1, hard to navigate around with less lighting, not for the typical tourist getting around this one! Luckily we all managed to follow our guide and we had a good laugh, a real treat! At the end we hiked up to the top of the cave to witness a private lagoon with no boat access… amazing!
Being able to fly the drone above Halong Bay completed this trip for us. It’s amazing to cruise among the landscape, but to fly above it… that’s something else completely! If you have a drone (I use a DJI phantom 4) then you must take it to Halong Bay.
Of course, pick your moments! Don’t fly above people or all the boats… you will be amazed at what you can capture from the sky!
There is a flight tour available that allows you to cover more of the bay if you have the time and extra funds, something to consider if we go again!
Day 3 Halong Bay Cruise
The last day unfortunately did disappoint slightly. Ti Top Island, the one-stop everyone takes… it’s rammed with people all day apparently! Still, it’s something you have to experience. The hike was quite difficult for some tourists, just take your time up haha!
It all felt quite rushed, with the boat heading back so shore right after the hike. We are just glad we had that day 2 to truly experience the bay, with a more relaxed pace.
Summary of our Halong Bay Cruise
– 3 days, 2 nights tour was a great choice!
– the caves were all so different, 1 big, 1 like a maze and 1 with monkeys!
– Ti Top Island was a bit of a let down, but the view from the top is still special!
– Pearl farm was interesting! Maybe choose Kayaking if you are a bit squeamish and it’s sunny / warm at the time!
– Get permission from your cruise first, but definitely take a drone to the bay if you have one! Just be CAREFUL!
Next stop will be Hanoi, spending more time in the city this time after flying into Hanoi on our first night in Vietnam.
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Vlog 7 | Halong Bay | MUST SEE Drone Footage | The BEST Cruise | Caves | Monkeys | Travel Vietnam