If there is one truly unmissable experience of Vietnam, its a night or two spent on the waters of Halong Bay.
Ha Long translates to "Bay of Descending Dragons". Legend has it that in Ancient Vietnam, the jade emperor-god sent dragons to help the people defeat the foreign invaders. The dragons spat pearls which changed into karst stone island towers when they hit the water, thus creating Halong Bay.
To drift around on a boat among these 1500+ islands in some of the most enchanting coastal scenery in the world is one of the best experiences you can have in Vietnam.
What to see, what to do?
We recommend two nights/three days on a boat in Ha Long, although one night/two days is also possible. If you can spend a little extra, doing it on your own in one or two cabin private sailing junk is an amazing experience - private junks can moor for the night in small secluded bays that the bigger boats are not permitted to enter. The private junk we use has two functional sails, which allow her to cruise without engines, and a bow sun deck large enough to sleep under the skies if you want to!
Whatever cruise option you take, as well as drifting through the islands, you'll get a chance to swim and kayak, and visit a floating fishing farm village.