Killer View: Cruising Through Halong Bay on the Emeraude
When making your way through the affordable luxury of Vietnam's capital, don't miss out on the opportunity to scoot out to Halong Bay, or the "Bay of Descending Dragons." It's about a three-hour car ride to the east of Hanoi, heralded for its remarkable scenery of 2,000 islands that rise up from its waters.
There are literally hundreds of boats willing to take tourists out for a sail, some for the day and others overnight. While many are known for scamming tourists with high rates and low returns, we had a great experience upon the Emeraude, known for its tasty cuisine, friendly staff, and cozy confines.
Rooms aboard the Emeraude were recently renovated and feature hardwood floors, surprisingly spacious and tiled bathrooms, air conditioning, and beds that would put you to sleep even without the gentle rocking of the boat. There are three suites available if you're traveling with a family, but regardless of which you end up in, the major highlight, of course, is the killer views you get from anywhere onboard while you cruise the beautiful bay.
Rates during the low season (summer) start at $253 per night for a twin cabin inclusive of meals. If you want transportation to and from Hanoi, which we recommend for convenience's sake, rates start at $290 for a twin cabin and meals.
Will was on assignment for another publication when cruising on the Emeraude, but all opinions are his own.
[Photos: Will McGough]