Digital photography has made professionals out of amateurs. You may remember the time when your photos were poor. Unless you get the whole of the image you want in the frame, nothing has changed. It cannot add feet or heads where you have missed them off the image but beyond that the editing capacity can help you centre the image, improve the colour, contrast and brightness and crop the image to what you want. At the end of a holiday, you can expect to have an album full of great photographs, and some will surely be of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay which will likely be in all Vietnam packages. The sunrises and sunsetsare particularlyimpressive so you are likely to be tempted to take plenty of shots and keep a few of the best.
When you board a boat to cruise in Halong Bay, you get to choose what you want to do. You may just want to take in the beauty that surrounds you and do little else; other than take photographs of course. A Halong cruise is special. If you head for Halong Bay from Hanoi without having booked anything, you can ask a Halong travel agent what Halong tour packages are available. There will be plenty of tourists but plenty of space as well.
There are a number of fishing villages dotted around the Bay of Lan Ha (Cat Ba). All the houses are built on stilts which are quite a sight. For the villagers fishing is their livelihood but there is nothing to stop you fishing yourself during you time on the boat. Perhaps, swimming is your thing and there is plenty of time for that as well.
There is a huge number of islands in the Bay. Islands like Cat Ba have a well-developed tourist infrastructure which includes the chance to stay overnight but many of the uninhabited islands are little more than limestone rocks jutting out of the sea. There are plenty of caves to explore while a Halong tour guide can direct you to the best places for rock climbing and hiking.
One of the many delights of Vietnam is its cuisine. If you arrange a tour in Halong Bay, perhaps with a couple of nights on board you can expect full board with all your meals provided. More and more people are interested in cooking, and learning new techniques. You can get a couple of cooking lessons in Vietnamese cuisine if you like. Some of the ingredients might be new to you and that is part of the experience. Fish sauce may not smell too great; it is fermented over time. However, it adds to the flavour of the top Vietnamese dishes and is now available far beyond the borders of Vietnam.
Another interesting thing to do while on a Halong cruise is learning Ta Chi on the cruise's sundeck in the early morning, which is definitely a unique experience.
You will never forget Halong Bay wherever you subsequently travel in the world; it is that spectacular and no one in Vietnam should miss the chance to sail on its waters.