We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Lia, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Lia is from Romania, and submitted the following report about Ha Long Bay. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Vietnamese, English, French
Reasons to Visit Ha Long Bay
When in Vietnam, you cannot miss a visit to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its spectacular sea of limestones. The best way to see the bay is by a traditional junk boat cruise. You can either go for a full day, or book multiple days spending the nights onboard. I recommend taking at least a 2-day, 1-night cruise if you have time, as Ha Long Bay is a 4-hour drive from the capital city of Hanoi, and it can get exhausting. You can book the boat cruise through local travel agencies, or search and pay online. The first option is cheaper, though.
Once onboard your journey will begin with a view of the amazing scenery of the sea of limestones. You'll have Vietnamese lunch served on the boat, just before stopping for a kayak or bamboo boat cruise around some of the limestones and caves. The widest cave in Ha Long Bay is the Cave of Surprises (Sung Sot Cave), located on Bo Hon Island, an array of linked limestone islets. Upon arrival, climb the hundred stone steps to the mouth of the cave, explore its paths inside, and admire the hanging stalactites.
You will have time for some sunbathing and swimming as well before returning to the boat in time to get ready for dinner. I promise you a sunset to remember, with all those thousands of limestone peaks rising from the emerald waters of the ocean. An unforgettable view, indeed.
Wake up early in the morning for a Tai Chi class on the boat, and catch the sunrise over the bay. A cooking class is included in the cruise trip, so take advantage of learning some Vietnamese recipes.
There is much more to do and see in Ha Long Bay, including Cat Ba, the largest island in Halong Bay, Quan Lan Island, Bai Tu Long Bay, as well as hiking or kayaking the tranquil lake at Ba Be National Park.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)