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Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site found within the Quang Ninh province of Vietnam (in the northern portion of the country). Possessing as many as 2,000 individual inlets, this location has always been important with international trade and shipping. Due to its startling beauty and the many limestone formations, Ha Long Bay is now known as one of the top tourist destinations within the entire country. Let's take a quick look at how you can arrive here by aeroplane as well as some of the top attractions that are never to be missed during your stay.
The main airport that caters to this region is Cat Bi International Airport (HPH). This can sometimes be referred to as Haiphong Airport. Upon arrival, there are bus and rail services which will transport you to the heart of Ha Long Bay. The ride is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes although during the rainy season, this trip could take considerably longer. Some of the major airlines which serve Ha Long Bay and Cat Bi International Airport include:
So, it is clear that you will first need to arrive at another larger airport such as those located in the Philippines or Japan. Be sure to check flight times as well as which carriers are supported in advance.
Most tourists can be found at Cat Ba Island. This location offers the widest variety of restaurants, hotels and pubs. Both regional and international cuisine can be found here and the locals are said to be very friendly. Still, it can be argued that the most popular quality of this quaint island is that it has been a centre for fishing for literally thousands of years. The methods have not changed much and visitors are still able to acquire an insight of some truly ancient maritime techniques. There are many guided fishing tours available for anyone who wishes to try their hand at this timeless industry.
Dau Go Island is another spot not to be missed. While not as large as Cat Ba Island, the natural beauty here cannot be ignored. This location is known for its large caves and numerous stalactites; many of these said to be more than 20 metres in size!
Another unique quality which can rarely be seen in other parts of the world are the floating villages and fish farm scattered throughout the bay itself. These tend to draw a great deal of attention for their sheer beauty. There can even be times when homes upon these floating islands are rented out to visitors.
The northern portion of Vietnam tends to get hit with some rather strong monsoons between October and April. So, it is best to make reservations during the summer months. The weather here will be temperate (although a bit on the hot side) although it is rare that heavy rains occur for lengthy periods of time.