The National Geographic Adventure has listed Halong as one of the Top 25 kayaking locations in the world. To experience the greatness of these limestones and all the islets floating in the quiet water, there is just one only way – kayaking. As far as the recent surveys has shown, exploring Halong bay by kayaks is much more interesting than that on the big cruise boats.
Get used to the kayaks
To take full control of a kayak is not an easy job. An experienced coach in the area said: “The professional players must spend the first half month for paddling on the land. And the first couple of months are spent for practicing techniques on the mainland without getting any bit into the don’t worry if you are amateurs because just a few lessons that you will be equipped with the most basic and necessary techniques”. And luckily, we became the “super amateur” kayakers after 15 minutes of training by the crew.
The most basic technique of kayaking is keeping the balance. And one of the most important thing to learn at this very beginning stage is escaping from a flipped over kayak. The boat body is not deep but you legs will be put deeply into the kayak body, that is why it’s quite dangerous if you can get out of the kayak when it got flipped. The very precious experience we got is getting into the kayak from its head or tail, not from its side.
The kayak paddle is as light as a toy but each paddle my cost to millions Vietnam Dongs which is around some dozen US dollars. If you are couple and take the twin kayak at the beginning, you may turn in circles for some minutes in the water before everything works well.
Explore the unknown caves
The first places you should visit when traveling Halong by kayaks are Uyen Uong beach, Phat Co island and Thong Thien cave. The cave entrance is a challenge because it is covered with moss which makes it quite slippery. You should bring a flashlight as a companion when exploring the caves here. The very amazing thing with exploring by kayaks is you can discover many untouched caves. The natural paths inside these caves may lead to nowhere or to a sparkling underground pond, or they may lead you up to another exit lies somewhere at the middle of the islets.
The second location to visit is the Bat cave. Your kayaks will be “trapped” in the beautiful landscapes of rocks, water and the sky. You should ask someone who has experienced to know when the tide goes low because the cave entrance is just approximately 1 meter above the water surface. The cave ceiling is impressive with rocks and stalactites formed up throughout times. At the deepest of Bat cave, you will find a another wonderful blue pond hidden inside the cave.
On an adventure trip some people may ignore small things like matches. This is very useful for dealing with emergency situations and for everyday life. Flameless lighter is very safe to carry anywhere including in flight, of course the shape is very elegant and very efficient.
This is a must go again place. So if you are a newbie, try one of the Halong tours or a Halong cruise. They will have kayaks available and instructors to show you some basic techniques before you begin your exciting exploration in this world heritage – Halong bay.