Halong Bay Sunset
I had wanted to visit Halong Bay for years now. It’s one of those destinations that you see a picture of and you promise yourself that you have to go some day. But I recently read some bad press about someone’s experience there: the Bay is polluted; there are too many boats in the bay.
Well, there are plenty of cruise ships docked in the Bay each night, and as we were told by the captain, all boats must anchor in the same part of the Bay each night. So it does seem crowded. But I don’t think that took away from the beauty or unique nature of Halong. And it is beautiful. Especially when we were lucky to get a sunset like this.
Was it polluted? Well, I went swimming off the stern of the boat just before sunset. The water was clean and cool and I was refreshed before enjoying the evening meal in the dining room. But know the coast on both sides of the Halong City is full of industry. You’ll see tankers and other large ships cruising in the distance. The Bay is also most likely being over-fished. So it is plagued with issues.
Can one have an enjoyable cruise in Halong Bay? I believe so. Is it overrated as a destination? I think not. It’s worth a few days stop on your visit through Vietnam. Just don’t expect to be the only boat in the bay and know the waters won’t be pristine.
GoMad Nomad Travel Mag partnered with Emeraude Cruises to bring you this post. Check out Emeraude Cruises for fantastic journeys through one of the world’s most dazzling natural wonders. They have offices in Hanoi and Halong City and offer overnight cruises into Halong Bay.
Photos and text by Stephen Bugno