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My friends all enjoyed the trip to Vietnam very much

Travel Vietnam from Malaisia

From: Wong kwok keong [mailto:kkwong...@gmail.com] Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2016 7:05 PM To: ..

Thanks to Khoa Viet Travel agency and thanks Uyen our very good French-speaking guide.

Thanks to Khoa Viet Travel agency and thanks Uyen our very good French-speaking guide.

April 2015 Two weeks from Hanoï to the mountain valleys of Vietnam’s far north, home to ..

Ha Long bay

Ha Long bay

Area: 5,899.6 sq. km
Population: 1,067,300 habitants (2004)
Capital: Halong City
Administrative divisions:
- Towns: Cam Pha, Mong Cai, Uong Bi;
- Districts:Ba Che, Binh Lieu, Hai Ha, Dam Ha, Tien Yen, Van Don, Hoanh Bo, Dong Trieu, Co To, Yen Hung.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Tay, Dao, San Chay, San Diu, Hoa...

Geography

Quang Ninh is a mountainous and coastal province, with more than 80% of its area being made up of mountains and hills.

The sea and island zone of Quang Ninh has a unique terrain. There are more than 2,000 islands, making up two thirds of the Vietnam’s islands. They extend along the coast for more than 250km and divide into numerous layers. The largest islands are Cai Bau and Ban Sen, while the smallest are just like rocks in a garden. The sea bottom terrain of Quang Ninh isn't smooth, and 20m-average depth. There are the remnants of ancient streams and underwater rocky banks. The streams from the mainland connect to deep drains along the sea-floor; creating a series of waterways, canals and harbors along the coast.

Climates:

Quang Ninh’s climate is symbolic of the climate in the North Vietnam; featuring all four seasons. In summer, it's hot, humid and rainy, while monsoons flourish. In winter, it's cold, dry, and sometime rainly.

The average heat radiating during a year is 115.4 Kcal/sq. cm. The average temperature is over 21ºC, while the average humidity is 84%. Annual rainfall totals between 1,700 and 2,400mm, and there can be between 90 to 170 rainy days in a year. These are mainly concentrated in the summer (more than 85%), and especially in the months of July and August. In winter, rainfall only reaches between 150 and 400mm.

In comparison to other provinces in the north, Quang Ninh has been more under the influences of north-eastern monsoons. The wind blows strongly and the temperature drops to between 1 and 3ºC. During a north-eastern monsoon, high mountainous regions such as Binh Lieu and Hai Ha, Dam Ha sometimes see the temperature drop below 0ºC.

Storms have a large influence on the province, mainly in June, July and August. The intensity can be extremely strong, especially in island and coastal regions.

Due to differences in terrain, the climate of sub-regions vary. The border area of the Mong Cai Town is colder and rainy, with an average temperature of around 22ºC and rainfall reaching 2,751mm. In the Yen Hung District, the most southern area, the average temperature is 24ºC and sees an average rainfall of 1,700mm. The high mountainous region of Hoanh Bo, and Ba Che Districts, is victim to 20 days of frost a year, and is subject to little rainfall. In the Binh Lieu District there is heavy rain (2,400mm) and winter lasts for six months. The offshore island region is not the wettest area, with only 1,700 to 1,800mm of rainfall per year, but winter is often accompanied by thick mists.

Ethnic groups

Ethnologically, Quang Ninh is made up of 21 ethnic groups, but only 6 have a population of over 1,000. These groups live in their own communities, and have their own dialects and particular ethnic features. They include the Viet (Kinh), Dao, Tay, San Diu, San Chi and Hoa. After these, there are two ethnic groups with populations of several hundred: the Nung and Muong. The remaining 14 have populations of less than 100: the Thai, Khmer, Hre, H'Mong, E De, Co Tu, Gia Rai, Ngai, Xo Dang, Co Ho, Ha Nhi, Lao. These originate from remote centres in the Central Highlands.

Among the major ethnic groups, the Kinh make up 89.2% of the ethnic population. The Dao have two main branches: the Thanh Y and Thanh Phan. They conserve their particular ethnic features such as dialect, clothing and traditional festivals, and some continue practices of nomadic farming. The Tay, San Diu and San Chi live in low mountainous areas, chiefly relying on agriculture, in particular the production of wet rice. The Hoa include many ethnic minorities, having immigrated from China many years ago. A small portion is Chinese residents who come to deal in commerce and handicrafts and live in townlets in eastern areas. Most live in the country, relying on agriculture, fishing and forestry.

Tourism

There are many beautiful beaches and natural beauty spots such as Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Tra Co Beach, Co To Beach, Dai Beach in Van Don etc. Besides, there are historical and architectural relics enabling the development of tours on land, sea and islands.

Ha Long Bay covers an area of 1,553 sq. km including 1,969 islands, of which an area of over 434 sq. km including 788 islands has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage due to its cultural, aesthetic, bio-geological and economic value. There are in the bay many soil islands, caves, grottoes, beaches, beautiful landscapes enabling the development of attractive tourist sites of various types.

Tuan Chau Island belonging to Ha Long Bay has an area of 220ha. It is 8km from Ha Long City and 2km offshore. This is an ideal spot to develop a super tourist complex. Bai Chay Beach is a wonderful spot and provides full range of services.

With around 500 historical, cultural and arts relics, attached with many traditional festivals; such as Yen Tu Pagoda, Cua Ong Temple, Bach Dang historical relic, Long Tien Pagoda, Quan Lan Communal House etc, which attract a large number of visitors, especially during festivals.

Coming to Quang Ninh, tourists can have good chance of enjoying seafood, including holothurians, abalone, shrimp, crab, areca, shellfish, gaillardia, etc.

Transportation

Road:- Hanoi - Bac Ninh - Halong: 155km. This is the shortest land route from Hanoi to Halong.
- Hanoi - Hai Duong - Halong: 163km.
- Mong Cai - Halong: 180km. From Mong Cai go along National Highway No. 4B via Hai Ha, Dam Ha then take National Highway No.18B through Cua Ong, Cam Pha, Hon Gai to Bai Chay.
Every day runs a train depart from Yen Vien Railway Station (Gia Lam District, Hanoi) for Halong at 4.50am and arrive at 11.40am.

Air:Offers a helicopter flight every Saturday from Gia Lam Airport (Hanoi), departing at 8 am and returning at 3 pm.
Waterways:It is convenient for visitors to travel to Halong Bay. Hon Gai Port and the boat system in Halong Bay have the capacity to serve many visitors.

Halong

Halong Bay –  2,000 islands in 1,500 square km, the World Heritage
 
Halong attracts around 90% of visitors coming to Vietam It's a Bay that 1,500 square km wide belonging to the Tonkin Gulf of the South China Sea.
Though it belongs to the ocean, its wave is calm and unusually emerald.
And it has nearly 2,000 islands and islets, all are limestone and dolomite, with numerous grottoes, stretches on that 1,500 square km.
The tourist who have visited Guilin (China) and Phuket (Thailand) often make a comparison for their similar shape and geographical structure, just to note afterward that Halong is much huger and more diversified.
So after a very short time to consider, UNESCO had acknowledged it as the World Heritage in December 1994. This is the 2nd of the four listed World Heritages of Vietnam.

In 1991 a scene of the French movie INDOCHINE was taken on the Bay. The film was  about the life of a French woman who lived in Vietnam during the French domination in Indochina from mid-19th to mid-20th century, the leading role was by Catherine Deneuve, and all the French-speaking tourist were amazed discovering a spectacular seascape they've never known before.

Despite the distance of 170km East of Hanoi that by 1995 took not less than 6-hour driving with 2 river ferries to cross, with inconvenient in and out from the bus, the tourists mark Halong in their itineraries always.

Now, it takes not more than 3 hours if you go straight to the Bay. But the tourists love to stop, as they cannot skip the paddy fields, the daily life of farmers and clay workmen, the greenbean town and the ceramic town on the new way.
Halong may not be a good example for comforts and modern facilities, but from the other (better) side, the area is preserved well from the development of industry and massive tourism.

Cat Ba
 
A trip to Cat Ba island can be separated or combined with a visit to Halong Bay. This is the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago that consists of 350 limestone outcrops adjacent to Halong. This is an oasis where you can be apart for one or a few days during a long voyage. If starting from Halong Wharf it will take you 4 hours by a tourist boat, with stopovers for swimming, visiting spectacular karst and having fresh seafoods. In a single word, you can contemplate the beautiful scenery of Halong before reaching the island. You can also buy a ticket of the hydrofoil departing from Hai Phong Seaport to reach Cat Ba if your itinerary saves Halong for another visit.

With an area of 356 square km wide, Cat Ba encompasses forested zones, coastal mangrove and freshwater swamps, beaches, caves, and waterfalls. In 1986, the Northeast side of the island was designated a National Park, including a protected marine zone. Cat Ba Island supports a population of over 20,000, most of whom live off fishing or farming in the South, in and around Cat Ba Town. The town is small and ancient, with clusters of fishing boats and inspiring sunsets across the harbor. You can check out the catch of the day in the early morning , see cuttlefish dried over hot charcoals, or stroll around the old town. It's a short hike from Cat Ba town through a tunnel to Cat Co Beach, whose mountains look like a throne holding a marvelous sandy coast, or if you hike further along, you will reach the rockier Cat Vang Beach.
 
As transportation on the town is not so well-developed, motorbikes is the most helpful  means to get you to the larger Trung Trang Cave with many chambers, or to the National Park, or to discover other beaches around the island. A tourguide is necessary to help you communicate with the local drivers and introduce these viewpoints. The national park contains stringy trees, thick undergrowth and slippery vines. There is a great view that includes a French, now Vietnamese, farming village from the top of the mountain and a lake in the middle of the park that takes a half day to reach.
 
Hai Phong – the old charm within an exciting seaport
 
Unlike the two neighbours Halong and Cat Ba, Hai Phong attracts less tourists unless they arrive in Northern Vietnam by cruiserships. Yet, the city maintains many charming architectures with evident influence of early 20th century colonial style the French invested to build up the old town as an important seaport. Passing Hai Phong is an exciting experience as soon as you go by the way crossing Cam River Ferry, from where you can go to Halong by the landway or take a boat (usually reserved) and run upstream 12km till you reach the sea, from where you go on either to Halong or Cat Ba island. Both ways offer wonderful views and seascape with plenty of islands belonging to Halong and Cat Ba archipelago, and few tourists choose this way to avoid repeated itineraries.

There are still remarkable ancient Vietnamese architectures in Hai Phong. Du Hang Pagoda, the centre of Buddhism in Hai Phong, is a very pure and graceful temple that was built in 17th century with some renovations afterward. The pagoda contains a lot of brilliant woodworks, bronze statues, and a bonsai collection right in the front ground. An array of Buddha and Bodhisattva statues highlight a circular pond of water lilies in a flowery garden and a tranquil towered-grave yard, where buried the monks who had resided in the pagoda, make the place a wonderful sanctuary to reduce any pressure. If you luckily arrive in the new moon and full moon days' morning, you will have a chance to catch fascinating pictures of Hai Phong religious women in black velvet scarves and brown long dress, with respectful faces and manners, sitting in and around the main shrine of the pagoda while the monks pray or give lectures of Buddhism.

Not far from the pagoda, at the end of a very narrow market street is Hang Kenh Pavillion, which is dedicated to the Vietnamese hero Ngo Quyen who lived in 10th century. Being a Communal House of the Kenh village in the old time, the Pavillion is famous for its wooden bas-relieves, sculptures and special boat-shaped interior. If you prefer to stroll our the city, your visit should be started from the colonial quarter around Dien Bien Phu street and Tran Hung Dao street, from where you can direct to the old Opera House, and go for a walk surrounding Tam Bac Lake. There are 5 roofed kiosks in the Eastern side of the lake with very fresh flowers sold by smiling girls, and in the Southern side is the exciting Hang Kenh Tapestry producing woolen carpets for export.
 
SEAT IN COACH TOURS - DAILY GUARANTEE DEPARTURE

GROUP TOUR: (depart from Hanoi capital): They are the tours for F.I.T (For Independent Travelers) or small group, who look for vacation packages with reasonable prices and are willing to share the coach with other tourists. This tour is daily departure despite any number of tourists. We recommended some popular tours to Halong & Catba follows:
Program 1: Halong bay full day - EVERYDAY
Program 2: Halong bay 2 days (3 options: overnight at hotel in Halong city, overnight at hotel in Caba island or overnight on BOAT)
Program 3: Halong bay - Catba 3 days/ 2 nights (Overnight at hotel or overnight on BOAT)
 
HA LONG BAY TOUR
(Full day - Everyday)
In the morning: The car and guide will pick you up from the hotel about 7’45; depart to Ha Long city- the capital of Quang Ninh province. We stop half way for a short break in Hai Duong province. Arrive in Ha Long city about 11.30. Have lunch at a restaurant or on the boat where you will be satisfied by many kinds of seafood.
 
In the afternoon: After lunch, the guide takes you to the boat for cruising Ha Long Bay (4hours), where you have a chance to visit two most beautiful caves- Thien Cung cave or the Palace Of Heaven Grotto and Dau Go Cave or Wooden Stake Grotto - wherein 1288 one of Vietnam’s most famous Generals Tran Hung Dao amassed hundreds of stakes deep inside the cave prior to a battle withan invading Mongol army) and we take a look at the Floating Village of the fisherman and the Fighting cocks. At about 4.00 pm the boat goes back to Ha Long city and we get on the bus to go back to Ha Noi. We arrive in Ha Noi at about 7.30 pm.
 
JOINING TOUR - Seat in coach tour - Daily Guaranteed Departure

Price: 22 US$ / Pax
Group size: 16 – 20 people who are independent travelers from different countries
These are group tours so you may join with others who book the same package. You can also book these packages as a private tour with price detail follows
PRIVATE TOUR
Group
 
Tour price includes:
Full transportation by as tour program indicated.
Full meals as indicated in the itinerary.
English- speaking guide
Entrance fees.
Boat trip in Halong Bay
Tour price excludes:
International airfare to/from Vietnam
International airport tax at USD 14.00 nett per person
Personal insurance
Expenditure of a personal nature, tips, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, emergency transfers & etc.
Visa to Vietnam
 
HA LONG BAY - TUAN CHAU ISLAND TOUR
(Overnight at hotel in HALONG city or TUAN CHAU island or overnight on BOAT)
(2 days/1 night) - Everyday )
 
Halong attracts around 90% of visitors coming to Vietam It's a Bay that 1,500 square km wide belonging to the TonkinGulf of the South China Sea. Ha Long, one of the World Heritages, it has nearly 2,000 islands and islets, all are limestone and dolomite, with numerous grottoes. Each one has its own characteristic with various caves: Sung SotCave, ThienCungCave, Trinh Nu Cave. Tuan Chau Island is the only soil island of all. It is not only a place having beautiful natural surroundings: pine trees, lakes, beautiful beach... Tuan Chau but also where President Ho Chi Minh chose to be the relax place of other State officials' and his when they came here in 1959
 
Day 1 : Hanoi - Ha Long/ Tuan Chau (L, D)
AM: 7h45 depart to Ha long Bay . A quick and enjoyable 3 hours to Ha long city. Have lunch with fresh seafood. PM : Cruise through the emerald waters between the limestone outcrops and long corridors, visit THIEN CUNG cave(the cave of the heavenly palace – famous for its stalagmites and stalactites) A short way visit the newly discovered DAU GO grotto (wooden stakes’-wherein 1288 one of Vietnam’s most famous Generals Tran Hung Dao amassed hundreds of stakes deep inside the cave prior to a battle within invading Mongol army). Enjoy sunset when returning.
 
Option 1: Boat trip back to Halong city, Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Halong city or in TUANCHAU island (15 km far from Halong city)
 
Option 2: SLEEP on the BOAT, keep staying on boat for overnight on TOURIST BOAT on Halong bay (Overnight at Surprising Cave which is known as the most beautiful cave in Ha Long with the individual shapes created by splendid stalactites and stalagmites)
 
Day 2 : Ha Long/ Tuan Chau - Hanoi (L, D)
 
Option 1: AM: Wake up to some coffee and a tasty breakfast. Free time at the morning, walk around Ha long city and Bai Chay shore (Opt: Free time in the morning for swimming at TUANCHAU beach, you could take Dolphin show, Crocodile show, Water music show, visit countryside market...
 
Option 2: AM: Cruise towards Bai Tu Long Bay for pristine scenery. Boat stops for swimming and photos. Take boat trip back to Halong city for lunch at restaurant
PM: Road trip back to Hanoi with stop-over in DaiNghia humanity center. Arrive Hanoi about 18h00. Finish tour
 
JOINING TOUR - Seat in coach tour - Daily Guaranteed Departure
Option 1: 34 usd/ pax (ovenight at hotel in HALONG city)
Option 2: 35 usd/ pax (ovenight at hotel in CATBA island)
Option 3: 35 usd/ pax (ovenight on standard BOAT**)
Group size: 16 – 20 people who are independent travelers from different countries
Tour price includes:
Full transportation by as tour program indicated.
Full meals as indicated in the itinerary.
English- speaking guide
Entrance fees.
Hotel in Ha Long bay or Tuan Chau Island with AC room
Boat trip in Halong Bay
Tour price excludes:
International airfare to/from Vietnam
International airport tax at USD 14.00 nett per person
Personal insurance
Expenditure of a personal nature, tips, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, emergency transfers & etc.
Visa to Vietnam

HA LONG BAY - CAT BA ISLAND TOUR

(Overnight at hotel in Catba or overnight on BOAT)
(2 days/1 night) - Everyday
  
A trip to Cat Ba island can be separated or combined with a visit to HalongBay. This is the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago that consists of 350 limestone outcrops adjacent to Halong. This is an oasis where you can be apart for one or a few days during a long voyage. With an area of 356 square km wide, Cat Ba encompasses forested zones, coastal mangrove and freshwater swamps, beaches, caves, and waterfalls. In 1986, the Northeast side of the island was designated a National Park, including a protected marine zone. Cat Ba Island supports a population of over 20,000, most of whom live off fishing or farming in the South, in and around Cat Ba Town. The town is small and ancient, with clusters of fishing boats and inspiring sunsets across the harbor.
 
Day1:Ha noi- Ha Long bay – Catba island (-/L/D)
AM: our guide and car pick you up at the hotel at 7h45. Drive to Ha Long city. Stop over in Hai Duong province for a short break. Arrive in Ha Long at 11.30. Have lunch at a restaurant or on the boat
PM: Cruise through the emerald waters between the limestone outcrops and long corridors, visit THIEN CUNG cave(the cave of the heavenly palace – famous for its stalagmites and stalactites) A short way visit the newly discovered DAU GO grotto (wooden stakes’-wherein 1288 one of Vietnam’s most famous Generals Tran Hung Dao amassed hundreds of stakes deep inside the cave prior to a battle within invading Mongol army). On the way you will enjoin TamCungCave and Dau Nguoi (Human Head) islet...
Keep sailing to Cat Ba Island. Arrive in Cat Ba Islandat 6.00. Walk around the Island for sightseeing. Overnight at hotel in Catba island (Option 2: Or SLEEP on the BOAT, keeping there for overnight on boat)
 
Day2: Catba - Ha Long -Ha Noi (B/L/-)
AM: After breakfast. Leave Cat Ba for Ha Long city. You will enjoy Van Gia fishing village with kindergarten shool, which are sported by the French en route. Continue on to cruise to Soi Sim beach, stop for a swim, and then visit Ga Choi, Dinh Huong, Co Don, Cho Da islets on the way. Arrive in Ha Long city at 11.40. Have lunch at restaurant.
PM:Road tripback to Hanoi with stop-over in DaiNghia humanity center. Arrive Hanoi about 18h00. Finish tour
 
JOINING TOUR - Seat in coach tour - Daily Guaranteed Departure

Option 1:
34 usd/ pax (ovenight at hotel** in Catba island: Thao Minh; Gieng Ngoc)
38 usd/ pax(overnight at 2-star+ hotel: Prince hotel; Sunflower hotel)
45 usd/ pax(overnight at 3-star+ hotel: Holiday view)
65 usd/ pax(overnight at 4-star hotel: Sunrise hotel)
Option 2:
35 usd/ pax (ovenight on standard BOAT**)
Group size: 16 – 20 people who are independent travelers from different countries
Tour price includes:
Full transportation by as tour program indicated.
Full meals as indicated in the itinerary.
English- speaking guide
Entrance fees.
Hotel in Cat Ba island with AC room or boat trip with private room
Boat trip in Halong Bay
Tour price excludes:
International airfare to/from Vietnam
International airport tax at USD 14.00 nett per person
Personal insurance
Expenditure of a personal nature, tips, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, emergency transfers & etc.
Visa to Vietnam
 
HA LONG BAY - CAT BA NATIONAL PARK

(Overnight at hotel in Catba or overnight on BOAT)
(3 days/ 2 night) - Everyday )
  
Ha Long bay and Cat Ba Island are the two most beautiful seascapes in Viet Nam. Ha Long is an excellent example of a Karst landscape created by a complex chain of millions of years of geological movement. And Cat Ba Island, formerly named “The Pearl Island”, is the largest one in Ha Long Bay vicinity, with 1354 square km of area.
Day 1: Ha Long- Cat Ba Island
 
In the morning, our guide and car pick you up at the hotel at 7.’45. Drive to Ha Long city. Stop over in Hai Duong province for a short break. Arrive in Ha Long at 11.30. Have lunch at a restaurant or on the boat. After lunch, the guide takes you to the boat for cruising Ha Long Bay (4hours), where you have a chance to visit two most beautiful caves- Thien Cung cave or the Palace Of Heaven Grotto and Dau Go Cave or Wooden Stake Grotto and we take a look at the FloatingVillage of the fisherman and the Fighting cocks. Then Keep sailing to Cat Ba Island. Arrive in Cat Ba Islandat 5.30. Walk around the Island for sightseeing. Have dinner. (Or sleep on the boat please! keeping there for over night)
 
Day 2: Cat ba national park
Option 1: - Easy and Popular (without kayaking):
After breakfast. Catch a bus transport to National Park- the home to 32 types of mammals and about 2000 species of flora. Take a short trek through the forest and climb up the NguLamMountain. From the peak of the mountain you can see the whole landscapes of Cat Ba Island, especially all the photographs you can take are the priceless presents to your family and your friends. After that, the guide takes you back to your hotel and has lunch.

The guide takes you to some beautiful beaches for swimming. After that it’s time for you to go around the Cat Ba town for sightseeing, shopping. Free time in the evening
 
Option 2 (with kayaking): The guide takes you to Lan Ha bay for kayaking to discover natural sceneries and MonkeyIsland and surroundings. Stop at Ba Trai Dao beach for swimming and go back to hotel. After that it’s time for you to go around the Cat Ba town for sightseeing, shopping. In the evening, you are free
 
Option 3: AM: Breakfast .Bus transfer to visit Cat ba National Park .Enjoy 12 km trek .through the forest with stop over viewing FrogLake. Cross over 6 mountains ranges Arrive Viet Hai village .Picnic lunch .Continue walking to LanHaBay .Boat trip back to the hotel .Dinner and stay at the hotel .
Day 3: Cat Ba Island- Ha Long- Ha Noi
 
Have breakfast at 7.00. Leave Cat Ba Island for Ha LongCity. You will have time to swim. Arrive at Ha Long Port at 11.15, and then have lunch.
Leave Ha Long for Ha Noi at 1.00. Arrive in Ha Noi at 4.15. Tour finishes
 
JOINING TOUR - Seat in coach tour - Daily Guaranteed Departure

Option 1:
40 usd/ pax (big group, overnight at mini hotel in Cat Ba)
55 usd/ pax (overnight at 2-star+ hotel in Cat Ba or 01 night on boat (without A/C) and 01 night at hotel)
68 usd/ pax(overnight at 4-star hotel in Cat Ba: Holiday View**** or 01 night on boat (with A/C, deluxe class) & 01 night at hotel)
Option 2:
60 usd/ pax(overnight at 2-star+ hotel in Cat Ba: Sun & Sea; Prince hotel or Sunflower hotel)
Option 3:
68 usd/ pax(overnight at 2-star+ hotel in Cat Ba: Sun & Sea; Prince hotel or Sunflower hotel)
 
Group size: 16 – 20 people who are independent travelers from different countrie
 
Tour price includes:
English speaking guide
All transportation and tranfers
Boat visit cave in Ha Long
Hotel: 3 in Cat Ba Islands
Meals: 3 main meals, 1 breakfast
Admission fees and permits where applicable
Tour price excludes:
International airfare to/from Vietnam International airport tax at USD 14.00 nett per person
Personal insurance
Expenditure of a personal nature, tips, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, emergency transfers & etc
Visa to Vietnam
 
BRIEF INTRODUCE ABOUT TOURIST SITES

Ha Long Bay
Location:HalongBay is located in the northeastern part of Vietnam and constitutes part of the western bank of Bac Bo Gulf, including the sea area of HalongCity, CamPhaTown and part of Van Don island district, QuangNinhProvince.
Characteristics:UNESCO recognized it as the World Natural Heritage two times.
The legend of Halong has it that, “Once upon a time, soon after the Viet people established their country, invaders came. The Jade Emperor sent Mother Dragon and her Child Dragons down to earth to help the Viet people fight against their enemy. Right at the time invaders’ boats were rushing to the shore, the dragons landed down on earth. The dragons immediately sent out from their mouths a lot of pearls, which then turned into thousands of stone islands emerging in the sea like great walls challenging the invaders’ boats. The fast boats couldn’t manage to stop and crashed into the islands and into each other and broke into pieces.
 
After the victory, Mother Dragon and Child Dragons didn’t return Heaven but stayed on earth at the place where the battle had occurred. The location Mother Dragon landed is nowadays HalongBay and where Child Dragons descended is now Bai Tu Long. The dragons’ tails waving the water created Long Vi (present Tra Co peninsula) and formed a fine sand beach over ten kilometers long”.
 
It abuts Cat Ba Island in the southwest. Toward the west is the shore with a 120km-long coastline. The site is 1553 sq. km with 1969 islands of various sizes, of which 989 have been named.
 
The islands in HalongBay are mainly limestone and schist islands most lying in the two main areas: the southeastern part of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwestern part of HalongBay. These islands represent the most ancient images of a geographical site having a tectonic age of from 250 million to 280 million years. They are the result of many times of rising and lowering processes of the continent to form a karst. The process of nearly full erosion and weathering of the karst created the unique HalongBay in the world. In a not very large area, thousands of islands with different forms look like glittering emeralds attached to the blue scarf of a virgin. The area where many stone islands concentrate has spectacular scenes and world-famous caves and is the center of Halong Bay Natural Heritage, including HalongBay and a part of Bai Tu Long Bay.
The area is recognized as the World Natural Heritage that is the area of 434 sq. km with 775 islands. It looks like a giant triangle with Dau Go Island (in the west), Ba Ham Lake (in the south) and CongTayIsland (in the east) as its three angle points. The nearby area is the buffer area and areas classified as national beauty spots in 1962 by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
 
Viewed from above, HalongBay looks like an extremely vivid huge drawing. This is a wonderful and skilful masterpiece of the Creation and of nature that turns thousands of dumb soulless stone islands into fantastic sculptural and artistic works of various graceful shapes, both familiar and strange to human beings. Thousands of islands emerging uneven in the fanciful waves look strong and magnificent but also mild and vivid. Amidst these islands we feel as if we were astray in a petrified legendary world. There are many names given to islands according to their shapes and forms. This one looks like somebody heading toward the shore: Hon Dau Nguoi (Human Head Island); that one looks like a dragon hovering above the sea surface: Hon Rong (Dragon Island); another looks like an old man sitting fishing: Hon La Vong; some look like big sails struggling amidst the wind to set off for the sea: Hon Canh Buom (Sail Island); then two islands look like a pair of chicken lovingly playing with each other above the sea: Hon Trong Mai (Male and Female Chicken Island); and amid the vast sea stands an island like a big incense burner like a ritual offering to Heaven: Hon Lu Huong (Incense Burner Island). All are so real that people are taken aback by them. Those stone islands have experienced unpredictable changes over time and they take different shapes from different angles of view. Here, we come to realize that they are not dumb inanimate things but are vivid and soulful.
 
Inside the stone islands are various breath-taking caves, such as Thien Cung, Dau Go, Sung Sot, Trinh Nu, Tam Cung and others. These are really magnificent palaces of the Creation on earth. Long ago, HalongBay has been called by the great national poet Nguyen Trai: “a wonder of the earth erected towards the high sky”. Many men of letters from all over the world have been taken aback at the grandiose scenery of Halong. They seem to get puzzled and incompetent as their treasure of vocabulary is not rich enough to depict the splendor of this place.
 
HalongBay is also attached to glorious pages of Vietnamese history, with famous sites such as Van Don, a bustling trade port in the 12th century, charming Bai Tho Mountain, and not very far away from here is the BachDangRiver which witnessed two famous naval battles of the Viet’s ancestors against invaders. Also, Halong is one of the cradles of human kind with the glorious Halong culture in the late Neolithic age, discovered at such archeological sites as Dong Mang, Xich Tho, Soi Nhu and Thoi Gieng.
 
Halong is also home to great biodiversity with typical eco-systems like mangrove forest,
coral and tropical forest. It is also home to thousands of plants and animals of numerous species, for example shrimp, fish and squid. Some species are particularly rare and can be found no where else.
 
With such special values, at the 18th Session of UNESCO’s Council of World Heritage held on 17 December 1994 in Thailand, HalongBay was officially placed on the list of the World Natural Heritage. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values. This confirms the global premier value of HalongBay.
 
Wherever you come from, whosoever you are and however old you are, you will certainly experience the same emotion and feeling when admiring this wonder of stone and water. And great experiences will always remain even when you leave the place. The legend of Mother Dragon and Child Dragons sending out pearls to form thousands of stone islands to stop invaders still serve as the soul of this invaluable heritage of the world.
Have you ever come to Halong, the unique wonder of the world of its kind, to admire and explore secretes implicit in the place?

Thien Cung Grotto
Location:It is situated on the south-west side of Halong bay, 4km from the wharf outside of HalongCity, QuangNinhProvince.
Characteristics:This grotto is recently discovered, one of the most beautiful grottoes in HalongBay.
 
The way to Thien Cung is a perilous one, covered on both sides by thick forest. After entering a narrow gate, the grotto’s 130-meter-long girth opens up.
Getting in we are more astonished in front of the very animated and splendid beauty which is made from stalactite. On the east wall of the grotto, there is a grandiose and imposing picture with characters of tales.
Going in the Thien Cung Grotto, we have a sensation of just watching a unique, meticulous, interesting fine-art museum which is made by nature, get out of the imagine ability and intellect of man.
Legend has it, that beautiful young lady named May (Cloud), caught the eye of the Dragon Prince and he fell in love with her. They were betrothed and their wedding lasted seven days and seven nights in the centre of the grotto.
In honour of the wedding, small dragons flew about through the stalactites and stalagmites, elephants danced together happily; snakes twined themselves around trees and two stone lions danced with their manes flowing in the wind. A large elephant, smartly dressed, waited for the bride and the groom. The genies of the south and north stars also came to attend the banquet, and the atmosphere was definitely animated and lively. All these scenes have been seemingly fossilized in the grotto.
In the centre are four large pillars supporting the "roof of heaven.” From the base to the top, many strange images seem to live in the stone: birds, fish, flowers and even scenes of human life. On the north wall of the grotto a group of fairies seem to dance and sing in honour of the wedding. Under the immeasurably high roof, stalactites make a natural stone curtain. Somewhere there is the sound of a drum beating, but it is actually just the noise made by the wind blowing through stone.
 
Arriving at the last partition of the grotto, a natural gushing stream of water babbles throughout the year, here are three small ponds of clear water. Legend has it, that this was where May bathed her 100 children, bringing them up wisely and happily into adolescence. One path meanders out of the grotto; it was the way May, together with 50 of her children, took to harvest new lands. The 50 remaining children, together with their father, were left to build the native land. Left behind by the mother was the natural stream described above.

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Dau Go Grotto
Location:Situated on DriftwoodIsland (Dao Dau Go), next to Thien Cung Grotto, belong to HalongBay.
Characteristics:Seen from afar, the entrance to the grotto appears to be blue and has a shape similar to that of a jellyfish. After 90 steps up the island, the entrance is reached. The ceiling of the grotto is about 25m.
Hundreds of stalactites falling down from the roof of the grotto look like a waterfall. The grotto is
divided into three main parts. The exterior is a room with a vault full of natural light. Many forms may be seen in the rock formations of the chamber, depending on the imagination of the visitor of course. In the first chamber, in the very middle of the grotto, is a colossal pillar supporting the large vault. On the top of the pillar, there appears to be a monk draped in a long, dark cloak, with his right hand clasping a cane.
Crossing the first chamber, one enters the second chamber through a narrow passage. The light here is mysterious, and new images appear in the stone. It makes us having a fear and be inquisitive. The second chamber is narrow. Here, the stalactites look smaller but more graceful. One feels like going to a pagoda with a monk in meditation so that one steps more gently.
The third chamber of the grotto is widely opened. The third chamber features high stone columns out of which nature has carved images of a large kingdom, of heroes and soldiers holding swords and spears rushing up, of war elephants and horses or lions, etc. All of them suddenly was petrified and remained there for good. At the end of the grotto is a well of clear water. Looking up in the dim light we recognize that surrounded is the image of an ancient citadel and a scuffle of elephants, horses, man with bristly sword and spear. All are making a rush and be petrified suddenly.
The name Driftwood Grotto came from a popular story of the resistance war against the Yuan - Mongolian aggressors. In a decisive battle, Tran Hung Dao was given the order to prepare many ironwood stakes here, to be planted on the riverbed of BachDangRiver. The remaining wooden pieces found in the grotto have given it its present name. And the name Giau Go is associated with the legend that General Tran Hung Dao (1226-1300) hid ironwood stakes in preparation for the Bach Dang battle against the Yuan-Mongolian invaders.
 
If the Thien Cung Grotto is monumental and modern (in its natural form) then Driftwood Grotto is solemn, but also grandiose. In "Marvels of the World," published in France in 1938, the author called the grotto "Grotte des merveilles" (a site of many marvels). In 1917, Emperor Khai Dinh came to visit the grotto and amazed by the beauty of the place, ordered the erection of an engraved stone stele singing the praises of HalongBay and the
grotto. Today it remains to the right-hand side of the entrance.

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Ti Top Islan
Situated about 7-8 km south-east of Bai Cháy lies the small Ti Top Island. It displays a beach shaped like a crescent moon, and sand that has been washed to a snowy white by the tide. On 22 November 1962, this tiny island had the honour of receiving a visit from astronaut Ghermann Ti Top, a hero of the former Soviet Union, accompanied by Ho Chí Minh. To perpetuate the remembrance of their visit, Uncle Ho named the place Ti Top Island. It has now become an attractive beach for tourists and has various of tourist services
 
Thirty-five years afterwards, on 27 June 1997, Ti Top returned to the island having his name. Deeply moved, he wrote in the souvenir book of the Management Board of Ha Long Bay: "My deepest thanks to destiny, which has allowed me to come back to this tiny island.” It has become a beach attracting many visitors.
 
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Cat Ba Island
Location: Cat Ba Island is situated in Cat Hai District, HaiphongCity.
Characteristics: Cat Ba Island is a tourist spot, attractive for its natural beauty and wonders endowed by nature.
 
Taking a ride on a car or train for two hours from Hanoi to Haiphong, then on a high-speed vessel for another hour, visitors will arrive at Cat Ba Island, the biggest island (100km²) out of the 366 islands on the Lan Ha Bay.
Right from the moment visitors set foot on Cat Ba gangway, looking afar to contemplate the enchanting scenery of immense sky and magnificent mountains and breathing the fresh air from the sea, visitors will feel comfortable and their tiredness after a long trip will disappear. Surely, visitors want to go on with their journey at once.
Visitors should hire a Minsk motorbike, out of 400 motorbikes and cars here, to ride to any place visitors want to visit. First of all, visitors should rent a room in a hotel, because the hotels on this island are often overcrowded due to the ever-increasing number of visitors to Cat Ba Island, although more hotels and hostels are being built. It is very pleasant to stay in a hotel, whose back leans against the mountain and its face looks towards the sea, and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery around.
 
Visiting the large beaches of Cat Co and Cat Dua, which are separated by a small range of mountain, visitors can swim in the blue and warm water, so clear that visitors can see the golden sand beneath.
If visitors do not want to swim at this crowded place, visitors can hire a motor boat to sail to the small islets, where there are calm and clean beaches, such as the Cat Trai Gai, Duong Gianh and Hien Hao. The mountain adjacent to Cat Co Beach has a tunnel and fascinating caves and grottoes, such as Hang Luon, Khe Sau, Trung Trang, Gia Luan and Kim Cuong. Visiting these caves and grottoes you will get the feeling of the explorers, discovering the wonders and mysteries endowed by nature.
Coming out of the caves and grottoes visitors should spend a little time to contemplate the sunset over Lan Ha Bay. On the golden background of the horizon and the dark blue of the sea, the heaving islets become multiform, the white sea-gulls hover and sea-eagles make circles in the sky, all beautifying the immense and fascinating space, and enchanting the visitors.