World Heritage site Halong Bay had been the city I was the most excited to visit – I couldn’t wait to see the towering limestone structures jutting out of the water. Unfortunately, everyone else ALSO wants to see Halong Bay and it is becoming extremely touristy. We had a water view from our hotel and nearly the entire water front was a construction zone for new hotels, resorts and even an amusement park. That being said, I still enjoyed our trip here, the limestone was truly amazing to see!
What We Did...
The junk boat tour we took was beautiful, but I wish we had done at least an overnight tour. Speaking of junk boats, those amazing boats with the beautiful sails you see in pictures, those sails don’t exist anymore unfortunately. Aside from the boats though, we were able to sit inside or out and just watch the beautiful scenery.
Our tour included food, and I knew I pushed my luck with being gluten free, and this was the only time on the trip I got sick from what I am assuming was gluten. Even though our guide tried his best to communicate my needs, I just don’t know that they really understood. That being said, the food was amazing. There was rice, veggies, a noodle dish, tofu, pork on stick, spring rolls, crab, fish and even squid. The link above is to top Halong Bay tours, but I did do a search and you can find junk boat tours that can accommodate gluten free and other allergens, like this one by Indochina Junk.
Along our tour, we stopped at a sort of boat dock, where you could rent a kayak or have someone take you on a small fishing boat trip. The kayaks had a long wait, so we did the boat tour. The boat tour wasn't my favorite, but we did paddle past a few local fisherman, and I really enjoyed watching how they worked. There is a cave you are supposed to be able to paddle into and through to an opening on the other side, but at the time we were there the water was too low to paddle into it.
Along our way back we stopped at Dao Go Cave which was quite cool. I believe there are a few caves, and as long as you are here, checking at least one out is worth it!
You might also be interested in my posts on Can Tho, Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, and Hanoi! For specifics on each city, check out each post! Or find basic information and tips for traveling gluten free in Vietnam HERE.