Cruising through Halong Bay

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay was high on our list of things to do when visiting Vietnam. The vast bay has over 1,600 islands and inlets, and is therefore best viewed by boat. With more than 200 different cruises available, there was an almost overwhelming choice of tours to choose from. After lots of research on the different boats and itineraries, we opted for the Lan Ha Legend, which is aimed at couples and families, and is reasonably priced.

We decided on a two day/one night itinerary, with this giving us the opportunity to cruise through Halong Bay and stay overnight in the quieter but equally impressive neighbouring Lan Ha Bay.

The tour included a transfer from Hanoi, and we were picked up early from our hotel before beginning the three hour journey south. We took a short vehicle ferry across to Cat Ba Island, before continuing to Gia Luan wharf, where the cruise was to begin.

Despite the thick grey clouds, we were immediately struck by the beauty of our surroundings, with huge limestone mountains rising out of the water as far we could see. It was easy to see why Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.


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Kaikoura – the Perfect Seaside Town!

After returning to the East Coast, our journey north to Kaikoura was hit by several delays. The coastal highway that leads into the town was devastated by a 2016 earthquake, with large sections broken up or buried by landslides. Thanks to a mammoth rebuilding effort in the years since, the highway has now been reopened, but there is still much work to be done before it is complete. 

As we arrived into the small town, we were immediately struck by the stunning mountain backdrop, with areas of snow still visible on the peaks despite it being the end of summer.


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