Kayaking in Halong Bay

 

Halong Bay was one of the destinations that I most wanted to visit in Southeast Asia, and I finally made it there last week!

Sam and I chose to take a 2 day tour of the harbour and one of the activities we got to enjoy on our first day at sea was kayaking!

I was really looking forward to going for a dip in the water, but since it was jellyfish season (we could see them bobbing near the surface!) that was out of the question. Instead, we hopped on a boat that took us out to a floating village, and from there we slipped into our kayaks and set off to explore the jagged karsts and limestone cliffs.

I am happy to say that we did not tip over the kayak – phew!

Here are a few photos from our afternoon at sea:

Our kayaking faces - ready to go kayaking in Halong Bay

{Our kayaking faces – ready to go kayaking in Halong Bay}

Bright orange life jackets to go kayaking in Halong Bay

{Taking the boat to a nearby floating village}

Kayak paddles

{Paddles stacked on the dock}

Kayaks in Halong Bay, Vietnam

{Bright kayaks on the green waters}

Kayaking in Halong Bay and enjoying the scenery

{We are kayaking in Halong Bay!}

A floating village in Halong Bay, Vietnam

{One of the floating villages in the bay}

There you have her, beautiful Halong Bay – another reason why you should visit Vietnam.

Have you been kayaking in Halong Bay?

56 Comments

  • Audrey,

    Such amazing pictures. Who is the photographer between the two of you? 🙂

    Halong bay looks so nice and Savi and I have always wanted to go for kayaking but have always been afraid of the waters (gulp!) – we are headed to Vietnam in December and will definitely include Halong Bay in our itinerary.
    Bruised Passports(Vid) recently posted..Offbeat Prague: Top 10 ExperiencesMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Halong Bay is a must when you make it to Vietnam. It was my first time kayaking so I was a bit nervous whenever the boats going past us would create waves, but it was also lots of fun. 🙂

  • David says:

    That looks so awesome! But man my wife would be freaked out kayaking during jellyfish season. I can hardly get her to go knee deep in the water.

  • Terence says:

    Very beautiful and lovely photos.

  • Looks amazing! I really hope you and Sam keep making videos, I am loving them 🙂
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Roatan Month 9 RoundupMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Thanks Rika! We post videos several times a week on our YouTube channel. I’m going to start sharing more of them here on the blog. 😉

  • Zhu says:

    Kayaking is much harder than it seems, it’s true team work… and hard work! Lovely setting though!
    Zhu recently posted..Picture of the Week: The Polite SignMy Profile

  • Camille says:

    those are really cute photos of the two of you together. now I really want to go kayaking too! so glad you could take me there through the video, since my trip to Halong Bay wasn’t quite as beautiful and sunny as yours! looking forward to seeing more of your adventures!

    -Camille

    http://www.sparkandfizzle.com
    Camille recently posted..A Little Net and WonderMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Thanks Camille! I was prepared for foggy weather (I figured if anything it would add a little mystery), but fortunately we did get blue skies in the end.

  • Thomas Dembie says:

    Amazing photos! The floating villages are quite cool. I was there a few years ago and loved it. Didn’t get in a kayak though! Did you try and fresh seafood? I remember someone coming up to our boat with the catch of the day, but nobody wanted to give it a try.
    Thomas Dembie recently posted..8 Things I Can’t Wait To Do In Italy This SummerMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but they did serve it on the boat every night. I didn’t see any people selling the catch of the day, though there were a few smaller vessels that would come up and try to sell us drinks. Bottled water is a good business out at sea. 😉

  • Agness says:

    We’ve done the same tour when visiting Ha Long Bay last year. We had such a great time kayaking although it was way too short! 🙁
    Agness recently posted..15 Things Macau Has Surprised Us WithMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Nice! How did you guys like it? It would have been fun to go kayaking more than once, but if was a pretty packed schedule with the hiking, visiting caves, beach time…

  • Roisin says:

    Halong Bay looks beautiful and great photos. Looks a lot of fun. 🙂
    Roisin recently posted..A Quick Visit To Murray BridgeMy Profile

  • Tim says:

    Kayaking the bay looks like the best way to enjoy it. It looks like all the kayaks are doubles, did they have one-person kayaks too?

    Were you two able to see any fish in the water or spot wildlife?
    Tim recently posted..ASP 003: Travel, Moving to Korea and Overcoming the Fear of UncertaintyMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Most of them were doubles, so people just teamed up. And in terms of wildlife, the only thing I spotted were the jellyfish bobbing near the surface – that and a lone eagle on our last day there.

  • angelatravels says:

    I saw pictures of Halong Bay, and it peaked my interest. I really hope to get there someday. And hopefully I will be able to kayak it as well.
    angelatravels recently posted..My Little Green JournalsMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      I hope you get to visit soon. It was one of the highlights of my time in Vietnam. Highly recommend it. 🙂

  • memographer says:

    Great stuff! Looks like you had a lot of fun 🙂
    Sam’s look reminds me good happy 70s 🙂
    memographer recently posted..Atlanta SkyscrapersMy Profile

  • Megan says:

    Love it! I went kayaking in Halong Bay a few years ago and had a great time- though our weather was pretty cloudy! Did you get to check out the national park (or something like that) in the bay? It was gorgeous and untouched- especially compared with some of the debris and trash we came across in the more heavily trafficked areas. Regardless, though, it was an awesome experience.
    Megan recently posted..Flashback Friday: Ballin’ Eco Lodge in Costa RicaMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      We did get to visit a cave network and a private beach while we were there, but we also had plenty of time to just hang out on the boat with other travellers. A few people have mentioned to me that there was a lot of garbage in the water when they visited, but they must be making an effort to clean the place up because it looked pristine when I was there.

  • I loved Halong Bay too. I did the three day/two night trip and wish I’d had even more time.
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Four Things to Consider When Contemplating Living AbroadMy Profile

    • Audrey says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! It would be nice being able to spend about a week on a boat, just hanging out, swimming, and enjoying the scenery… 😉

  • Hogga says:

    too bad about the jellyfish but it still looks awesome!
    Hogga recently posted..The Worst Vacation EverMy Profile

  • Jonny Blair says:

    Audrey I did Halong Bay last year too. Think you got better weather for it though! Looking forward to hear where you guys head after Sapa. Safe travels, Jonny
    Jonny Blair recently posted..Exploring Kampong Ayer: “The Venice of Asia”, Bandar Seri Begawan, BruneiMy Profile

  • Marilyn says:

    Audrey you are a brave person to kayak for the first time while seeing those jellyfish..I have done some crazy things but would decline this offer..keep up the great videos and your blogs

  • Kayaking is always fun – glad you haven’t tipped yet, especially because of the jelly fish (otherwise, tipping ain’t no thang)!
    And wow, girl! When did you get 34 thousand fb likes? Last time I checked it was 10K and the time before that you were soaring up around 7-800! Congrats? That’s unbelievable! You are amazing.
    Also, loved the Sapa trekking videos!!!
    Colleen Brynn recently posted..To Hear The JungleMy Profile

  • This looks like so much fun. I’d be scared of rolling over into the water too though. I see that Sam took his DSLR into the kayak-very brave. Did you have some kind of water protection for your cameras just in case?
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Can an Englishman fall in love with Germany?My Profile

  • Charli l Wanderlusters says:

    Thanks for adding another Asian adventure to my bucket list Audrey! Sam is rocking the beard shades combo!
    Charli l Wanderlusters recently posted..Creating A Successful House Sitter ProfileMy Profile

  • James says:

    How long did you get to do the kayak tour? When I went we had strict instructions to paddle around for half an hour then back to the boat. A heap of fun though.

  • shannon says:

    Hi Audrey- what 2 day tour did you choose to do? I am finding that alot of the overnight tours are quite expensive.

    • Audrey says:

      I went with ATP Travel (booked through the ET Pumpkin office in Hanoi). It was around $65 per person for the 2 days.

  • Ceri says:

    Wow, you must see some pretty amazing things that way. Unfortunately I’m still super afraid of water so I always end up missing out on experiences like this. 😛
    Ceri recently posted..The Sweet Sound of SummerMy Profile

  • Kayak Halong Bay - Bobby Nguyen says:

    Nice pics and kayaking holiday in Halong Bay. We have found some beautiful places in Halong Bay for kayaking such as Cong Do where you can experience a lot of incredible islets and caves as well as fishing villages. You can kayak Halong bay for 3 or 4 days to explore all Halong bay’s beauty.
    Kayak Halong Bay – Bobby Nguyen recently posted..Halong Bay_ one of 25 top destinations of the world for kayaking.My Profile

  • Robin S says:

    So, if if person is NOT a swimmer, do you still feel like it is okay to kayak? We are going in November and want to do the overnight tour, but am concerned about kayaking.

  • Nguyen Helen says:

    Halong Bay is really a must-visit destination in Vietnam. Thanks for sharing your experience with us
    Nguyen Helen recently posted..Safe Vietnamese Cooking When TravellingMy Profile

  • Rebecca says:

    I will have to pop this on my to do list!
    Rebecca recently posted..Travel and Design – New SeriesMy Profile

  • namy says:

    Nice post & beautiful pictures. You seem truly excited

  • Rick says:

    One of the best spots for kayaking is exactly like this, breathtakingly beautiful. I am glad to know you did not tip over 😉
    Rick recently posted..The Best Fishfinder for KayaksMy Profile

    • Nicole says:

      Hey Audrey! I know this post is getting old but I was wondering what tour group you used for the kayaking trip?

      • Audrey says:

        The kayaking outing was included in my 3 day – 2 night boat tour of Halong Bay. I didn’t have to pay extra for that, so I didn’t make note of the company name, unfortunately.

  • Carol says:

    Hi Audrey!! Love your blog and stories! Im going to Vietnam in a couple of days. Im so excited. Im planning on going to Halong Bay too. Do you recommend any tour? There are so many to choose from. I want to stay there for two days. I will appreciate any advice. Should I book the tour before getting there or just when I get to Hanoi.
    🙂

    • Audrey says:

      Hi Carol, there are lots of companies out there so it really depends on what you’re looking for. I booked mine through ET Pumpkin (they have offices in the Old Quarter of Hanoi) and it was a mid-range tour: lots of great food, all the sightseeing activities were included, and it was more of a mature crowd (mid 20s-60s). I’m not really into the party scene, so this was the right choice for me. If you’re looking for the party boat, then book your tour through Hanoi Backpackers – they are renowned for their Castaway Tours. 😉

  • Lynn lamb says:

    Hi Audrey. Heading to Vietnam with 19 and 20 year old children next year and trying to work out an itinerary to take in Halong Bay, Sapa mountains, caves and some watersports. Any tips on best time of year and tour companies? Also, is it fairly easy to book tours while out there? Booking here seems much more expensive but we don’t want to waste lots of time out there searching.

    • Audrey says:

      Hi Lynn,

      That sounds like it’ll be a very fun trip! Here’s a link to an itinerary I wrote for travelling in Vietnam. It includes Halong Bay and Sapa so you might find it useful. When it comes to booking tours, it’s very easy to do so once you’re there. There are countless tour operators and travel agencies, so I would suggest shopping around and comparing prices before you commit to one. I booked both my trip to Halong Bay and the train journey to Sapa through “ET Pumpkin” in Hanoi. What I liked about their cruise is that it catered to a more mature crowd. Our group consisted of 25-60 year olds, so while we enjoyed a few drinks together over dinner, it wasn’t a complete boozefest like it is on other cruises… I hope that helps you out a bit.

      Wishing you safe travels!

      Audrey

  • Awesome pics! Love it! Kayaking is a must-do in Halong Bay. We had a great fun while kayaking with my partners. We want on 3 days trip on Halong Bay. On the second day, we had an amazing time while padding through lagoon and tunnels nearby Dark and Light cave. we had a awesome BBQ lunch on Three Peach Beach which is very unique to Halong Bay.
    David @ Ume Tours recently posted..Dalat Vietnam Travel GuideMy Profile

  • Melvin says:

    How amazing it was. Such a great place for kayaking. I plan coming to Vietnam next summer. I will definitely go to Ha Long bay. Thanks for sharing great information and photos.
    Melvin recently posted..The reasons for my Bow Fishing Day with KayakMy Profile

  • Valeria says:

    Hello Audrey,
    How are you?? My name is Valeria from Argentina. In august I will travel for 2 months to Asia and I would like if you can tell me and recommend the hotels you stayed?
    Thanks… enjoy Isla de Pascua
    Vale

  • Alie says:

    Planning a trip to Vietnam now, and this is one of our top destinations! Any advice on tour companies? Thanks!!

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