When people think of Vietnam as a place to visit, they tend to think of Halong Bay. It’s a dream destination for many, and what initially drew me to Vietnam too. Halong Bay has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beauty and attracts travelers year-round.
Farther northeast from Halong Bay, you’ll find Bai Tu Long Bay – equally beautiful, yet with a fraction of the visitors because it is more difficult to reach. Lucky for us, Indochina Junk offers cruises to Bai Tu Long Bay ranging from one to three nights. We joined their 3-day, 2-night cruise.
Unfortunately for us though, we got hit with a tropical storm from the South China Sea while on our cruise and ended up simply spending one night on board. That said, we still made the most of our experience and, at the end of the day, still had the opportunity to see the numerous limestone cliffs jutting out of the water.
Getting to Bai Tu Long Bay was a breeze with Indochina Junk. Included in the price of our cruise was a roundtrip luxury van transfer. As the port is about 3.5 hours from Hanoi, having a luxury van with big, reclining seats and charging ports definitely made the ride as comfortable as could be. We were there before we knew it! After meeting Mr. Smiley, our main guide, we were taken to our room.
The rooms on Indochina Junk’s Dragon Legend Cruise were simply lovely – spacious and beautifully decorated with epic views. Having a room so big is quite rare on a boat; we felt more like we were in a hotel than on a ship.
Shortly after, we were served a 4-course lunch as we sailed through Halong Bay's iconic cliffs into Bai Tu Long Bay before changing into our bathing suits and hopped into kayaks. Those that didn’t feel like kayaking were offered a smaller boat ride, but I highly recommend kayaking if you can. To be able to get up close and personal with Bai Tu Long Bay’s landscape is not to be forgotten.
Returning back to the boat, we had a bit of free time before joining the staff for a spring roll making class; we not only made the spring rolls (vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available), but devoured them too.
Dinner was another four-course meal consisting of an array of seafoods and meats. The quality of the food on board the Dragon Legend Cruise was top notch.
After dinner we were treated to a musical performance from our captain and crew, and they informed us that our trip out to Bai Tu Long Bay was being cut short due to the weather. It was a memorable evening nonetheless.
Despite the short journey, we still had a fantastic time on board Indochina Junk’s Dragon Legend Cruise. I will most definitely be back in the future… and hopefully blessed with clear skies!