Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - Visit to The Bay of the Descending Dragon

Ha Long Bay Travel Blog

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - Getting reading for our day out on the Bay of the Descending Dragon

Halong Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 island and islets, and forms a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. 

So, it’s no wonder then that it’s a must-see destination for many tourists visiting Vietnam.  And thus the reason we too decided to make a stop here.

Stunningly beautiful with breathtaking views and much more. 

Halong Bay is NOT to be missed!!  The bay of the descending dragon, as it’s affectionately known by the locals is quite an amazing place.

Local legend goes that long ago when the Vietnamese were fighting Chinese invaders, a family of dragons were sent down by the gods to help defend the land. 

This family of dragons began spitting out jewels and jade, which turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay, and linking together to form a great wall against the invaders.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - J&A pret pour passer une journée sur la Baie d’Halong

Consequently, people were able to keep their land safe and eventually formed what is now the country of Vietnam. 

So then, after that, as the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth, they decided to live in what is today known as Halong Bay.

Some more interesting details for you . . . The place where the Mother Dragon flew down was named Hạ Long.

The place where the dragon children attended upon their mother was called Bái Tử Long island. 

And lastly, the place where the dragon children supposedly wiggled their tails violently was called Bạch Long Vỹ island.  Nice tale no?!

Anyway, back to our visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site . . .

Our original plan was to stay the night on one of the many boats that cruise along the bay, but unfortunately our plans changed as soon as we were hit by the shocking prices!!  :( 

So, instead, we opted for a day cruise along the bay.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - Vịnh Hạ Long, aka Hạ Long Bay or Bay of the Descending Dragon
Hey better than nothing, no?!! 

Still, it was well worth it . . . nice day out on the bay, nice sunny weather, nice visit to Thiên Cung Grotto aka The Heavenly Palace Cave, nice company . . . what more could we ask for!!? 

Lucky for us, though, we ended up with a pretty cool group of folks also choosing to do the day trip option on the bay as oppose to a night cruise . . . perhaps they also found the prices too costly!!  :) 

So no disappointment here really.  We lucked out being accompanied by a group of Aussies and Asians, quite the lovely bunch, and thus making our cruise a pleasant one. 

As for the food . . . Bof!!  But hey, no real complaints besides that!  Perfect . . . well, almost!!

La Baie d’Halong, il nous a fallu une bonne journée pour y arriver, nos projets étant d’y rester quelques jours et de revenir sur la capitale.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - Hạ Long Bay, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Arrivé en fin de journée, on perdit un peu de temps à ce trouver un toit, la communication étant toujours difficile, un hôtel semblait la meilleure option.

Juanita était passé maitre dans l’art de la négociation. Elle nous trouva une chambre pas très chère, avec douche et la télévision, WOW !!

Nous étions en basse saison, les clients ne se bousculaient pas au portillon, et bizarrement les prix étaient quand même élevés.

C’est le lendemain qu’on allait le constater.

À Ha Long Bay, il faut faire des croisières, c’est l’activité majeure, donc le rendez-vous des touristes se passe au port.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam - Images de la Baie d’Halong, aussi connu comme la Baie où est descendu le Dragon

Pour nous c’est le début des problèmes. Aller de nouveau expliquer aux gens que vous n’avez pas beaucoup d’argent.

Il y avait plusieurs possibilités dont celle de passer la nuit sur le bateau et de revenir le lendemain, la journée sur le bateau et revenir le soir, ou bien 2,3 jours sur le bateau.

La plus économique était bien sûr celle de ne passer qu’une journée et ce fut pour cette possibilité que l’on opta.

Le repas était compris avec la visite d’une grotte dans l’une de ces iles. Car c’est cela le charme de la baie.

C’est les milliers d’iles qui donnent des paysages surréalistes, des photos de carte postale... Plusieurs films ont été tournés dont un des « James Bond ».

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Ha Long Bay
photo by: Paulovic