Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha Bay Cruise

Updated, August 2019

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Lan Ha Bay vs. Ha Long Bay

Our original plan had been a three day - two night cruise on Halong Bay. We had delayed booking to be sure we had decent weather. By the time we were ready, the cruises were sold out. A blessing in disguise. We met a Danish family at breakfast on our first morning in Hanoi and they had just returned from a similar cruise. If they could do it again, they would go to Cat Ba Island instead and just do a day cruise on Lan Ha Bay. The cost is much less, the scenery is said to be equivalent and you avoid the extremely busy, touristy Ha Long Bay area. We quickly adapted plan B. 


Two men working from their fishing boat near a floating village on Lan Ha Bay.


Lan Ha Bay Cruise

Lan Ha Bay is part of the famed Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including 2.000 islets, most of which are limestone.

As indicated earlier in the blog, I normally shy away from organized tours but I may have to reevaluate this philosophy after our trip with Cat Ba Ventures on Lan Ha Bay. We booked a one day tour on the docks of Cat Ba Island for the following day. The tour included a lunch and 2-hour kayak trip.


Floating fishing village on Lan Ha Bay


Our guide Hang was charming and gave us just enough information along the way to make it interesting. He also knew when to leave us alone to enjoy the scenery. Lunch onboard was excellent. Travelling as a couple we sometimes get stuck in your own ways and it was refreshing to connect with other travellers and hear their experiences. The group included visitors from France, Germany, Holland, Norway, India, Russia and other Eastern European countries.

Kayaking Tour Lan Ha Bay

The 2-hour kayaking trip was nothing short of amazing. The scenery from the water’s edge is magical. We were in a double kayak with Di in front and me in the back with the camera. There were lots of cheer as we paddled through the tunnels. What a fantastic experience.

The cruise continued after the kayak trip and we passed through mind blowing scenery and fishing villages located right on the water. We stopped at a fish farm and gained further insight into how a community lives on the water. We even sailed by Monkey Island. Amazing. We highly recommend this cruise!

Please see the captions under the photos and the photo gallery below.


We paddled among the bays and inlets and passed though three tunnels. One more than 200m long.


Making our way back to our ship, it felt like we were in a movie, paddling in the lovely scenery.


The photos in this post are captured using a Fujifilm X-Pro2
Lenses -
XF 35mm f/1.4 R and XF 14mm f/2.8 R


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Diana & Morten


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