Halong Bay in Vietnam is a picturesque beauty that many people only see pictures of. If you are seeking a vacation in this beautiful, exotic and unique location, it’s important to have as much information as possible. While you can go and have an amazing trip of a lifetime, there are things to be cautious about. The more you know about your potential destination, the more likely you’ll have a good time and come home safe.
Things To Know About Halong
When you see a location in tour and vacation brochures, it’s important to realize you are only getting the best version of the story. If you are informed and keep your expectations realistic, you’ll have a much better time. In Halong, people are often taken aback by things they weren’t expecting. Reading the following will not only keep you safe, it will help you understand your destination and what to expect so you won’t be disappointed or alarmed.
Pollution and Garbage
Visitors are often unprepared by the pollution and garbage often found in Southeast Asia. The laws and regulations we have come to expect around littering, dumping and pollution simply don’t exist here, or aren’t always enforced. In the cities, expect smog and other air pollution. Even in more natural settings, though, you will see garbage. Halong Bay is no exception. You will see trash floating in the water and strewn on banks. The water may be dirty and polluted. Overall, you’ll find breathtaking beauty, but just know it’s not going to be pristine, untouched beauty.
The Port Is A Busy Place
If you are taking a boat tour of the bay, expect there to be some chaos. There are hundreds of boat tours in the area, and you’ll find major traffic, congestion and confusion in the surrounding area. Expect crowds, long waits and traffic. If you expect it and accept it you won’t be surprised. If you are prepared and allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be, it won’t ruin your trip.
Stay Safe In The Water
Be aware that if you swim off your boat you may run into strong currents and jellyfish. While your captain may be diligent about warning you of potential problems — he may not, either. You have to be responsible for yourself.
Always be sure you know where life vests are kept, as boats do sink here. Keep in mind that the safety requirements are not up to par with what most people are used to. It’s important to realize this and take your own precautions. Don’t expect captains or other workers to take care of you.
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