Spend the night on Halong Bay if you can
Halong Bay, Vietnam was recently listed as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Having been there, I know why. The place is simply amazing. Rocks just seem to shoot out of the water and they are covered with beautiful greenery. But there is more. The people and the fishing village. The people are hard-working and the houses they live in are modest.
I would not recommend doing this as a day trip from Hanoi though you could. You'd be much better off to make it a two day trip and spend the night out on the bay.
We spent a night aboard a tourist boat. It was a great time and I highly recommend sleeping out on the bay. All of our meals were served on board. The cabins were equipped with in-suite bathrooms. The boat also had a top deck with lounge chairs for just relaxing and taking in the views. If you were adventurous you could jump off the top deck and go for a swim or kayak trip.
One thing we did not expect were caves. There are large caves carved into some of the rocks there. They are set up for people to see them, of course. So, our tourist boat can docked there and a guide took us up some steps and into the cave. There was a walking loop around the cave to keep traffic flowing. The cave was beautifully lit with different colors which give it a surreal feeling. The lights also made for good pictures.
Check out more of my photos from the trip in the Halong Bay gallery.
Anyone else have tips or suggestions for a trip here? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section!