Here you are, hesitating between the exotic & paradise beaches of Cambodia versus the jungle & wilderness of Vietnam. Can’t decide? Let me help you go for Vietnam. Why? Simply because it is one of a lifetime travels that you will be talking about forever. Meeting with locals, eating vietnamese and seeing landscapes you’d never seen in pictures is going to change your vision of life. Plus you like adventure, don’t you? Here we go, the choice is made. Let’s go, follow me!
From Hanoi to Halong Bay it’s about 4 hours by bus. Check the itinerary here. I advise you to book a combined ticket boat + bus from a travel agency rather than trying to get on you own, simply because you would end up paying more! It’s all about saving money isn’t it?!
- Ha long bay: From Cat Ba island where I recommend you stay (less tourists much prettier view of the bay). You can the book a boat tour around the bay, where you will stop at Monkey island, climb some rocks for a higher view, kayaking, swimming, and chilling on the beach.How does that sound? Wait until the sunset to see a complete change of scenery. Yes this is quite a day you will have there! Make sure to bring your camera with batteries fully charged! Count about 340 000 VND (15$) per day/per person for the tour. It can be booked at your hotel or at any tourist excursions kiosks.
- National Park: You can reach the entrance via scooter or bus (early morning) or if you’re not an early bus you could still share a cab. There are lots of hiking trails to explore the island and its bay. If you’re too tired to walk back I advise you book a boat tour back to your accommodation.
- The Cannon Fort: No, you will not see this in the Travel Guide, that’s what I’m here for. This secret spot only known by few backpackers is more than worth it. Why you may ask? 15-min walk from the main street you will enter the defence spot of the Vietnamese during the American war. But besides the history part of the fort you will above all discover the most beautiful view of the bay. YES! So trust me, these would be the most valuable 15 minutes of your life when in Vietnam!
Cheap and cheerful, Le Pont Hostel is exactly what you’ll need when in Halong Bay. Bar, BBQ and view over the bay…what else do you need? Welcome to paradise! Oh wait did I mention it was only $5 a night…Bargain!
Before where, let’s talk about What to eat? SEAFOOD indeed!
Bamboo Cafe: Best pancakes and pastries in town and their seafood is delicious too
Buddha Belly:For vegan and fit travelers this place is for you! Great news it’s cheap on top of it!
That’s it folks! Now close your eyes and… No don’t close your eyes, open your laptop book a flight and pack your things. GO!
About Marion, Founder of Hibiscus & Nomada
France, Canada, Mexico, USA, UK…Marion has lived many places and that does not even count all the places she’s been on vacation. Weekend Trips to Europe, long hauls destinations, any reason is a good reason to travel and see the world. But travel is not the word Marion would use. She prefers ‘explore’. Finding the hidden gem not so much discovered by other travel guides made her create Hibiscus & Nomada, while on a 7-hour trek in Brazil. She wanted to create an online platform where other adventurous backpackers like her would find inspiration and information about off the beaten tracks destinations.
Stop Traveling, Start Exploring. This is Hibiscus & Nomada’s lifestyle and philosophy. If you relate to this, dig in!
Her Next Adventure: Central & South America, backpacking for 6 months
Facebook: Hibiscus & Nomada