With some 1,600 islands and islets towering high above crystal-clear turquoise water, Halong Bay is largely considered to be the “eighth wonder of the world.” Surprisingly, we didn't know what all the fuss was about until the day we arrived in Hanoi…and every fellow traveler was shocked that the famed destination wasn't on our itinerary. Luckily our flexible plans allowed us to make time for an impromptu visit to Halong Bay. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that proved to be one of the best we made in Vietnam.
Halong Bay is a four-hour drive from the capital city of Hanoi. You can book tours from the city that include transportation, food and cruising through the islands. The trip can be done in a day, but we recommend taking a multi-day cruise to fully enjoy the splendor of the archipelago.