This is it. The final episode of our blog series with successful photographer Sian Owen. We’ve saved the best for last, we can’t think of a more majestic place to end this exciting journey Sian’ taken us through than Halong Bay and Cat Ba. If you’ve been to Vietnam, you’ll know this is what many consider the highlight of this extraordinary country. With her photos, Sian’s able to capture the beauty and vastness of this pristine place in its most natural state.
Vietnam is one of the major travel destinations in Southeast Asia. It’s no wonder teaching English in Vietnam has become very popular too. If you on the fence about going to Vietnam, Sian’s photos will have you booking the next available flights to this stunning part of the world.
As mentioned in Part 7, Sian used Hanoi as a base. She traveled from Hanoi to Halong Bay using a minivan which cost her $12 and took approximately 3 hours.
Happy Halong Hostel
“All the hostels are in an area called Bai Chay, I personally wouldn’t even recommend staying in Halong City. Rather get a minivan from Hanoi at 8am to the harbor and get straight onto a boat cruise. Al the boats seem to board at 1pm.”
Hike up Bai Tho Mountain
“The only reason I would recommend staying in Halong is to squeeze in a hike up Bai Tho. The view from the top is unreal. It is a very sneaky entrance to the start of the trail though.”
Royal Palace Boat Cruise
“Start saving now if you wanna do a boat cruise in Halong Bay, they are not cheap. You can find them all over booking.com, there are actually 1000s. It cost us $215 for two nights on the Royal Palace Boat Cruise. The fortunate thing is that it included all the food and activities.”
“You can’t go to Halong Bay and not do a boat trip, it’s an absolute must! I obviously can’t speak for all the boats, but ours was honestly perfect, the food, the crew, and the rooms were just immaculate.”
“A local ferry from Halong Bay to Cat Ba cost 700 000 VND (±$30) and took close to an hour. From there we took a bus to the Cat Ba town which was 25 000 VND. (±$1)”
“This place is very popular for it’s scenic mountains, so I would highly recommend renting a motorbike and taking a drive around the island, they’ve got fantastic windy roads which lead to some stunning views.”
“The town itself wont take your breath away, but the accommodation is super cheap, so we stayed there and just explored the island by ourselves during the day. Great places to check out are Cat Co beaches 1, 2 and 3. They’re such beautiful, relaxing and undisturbed beaches.”
Sian Owen is a South African Business Science graduate and photographer. She specializes in wedding and lifestyle photography. This series of bog posts follows her recent trip through Cambodia and Vietnam, showcasing the incredible beauty of these two fascinating countries.
To see more of Sian’s amazing photography, here are her contact details:
Interested in Teaching English, volunteering or interning abroad? We’ll send you more info!