I’m traveling to Southeast Asia next month for a couple weeks, and my buddy and I are starting to figure out which places we want to visit in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong while we’re there — Halong Bay in Vietnam is one of the early finds.

Halong Bay

Picture via Village Voices

halongbay_vietnam_wallpaper.jpg

Photo by Kristupa Saragih (found here)

If you have any suggestions about specific places to visit, please leave a comment or e-mail me.


  • Drew, I just spent 6 weeks in Thailand and I recommend Ko Lanta. It’s much more relaxed than many parts of Thailand, still with lovely beaches. IT’s also close to Phi Phi islands and Krabi with its stunning islands.

    Have a great trip.

  • Joel Burslem

    I second Marcus’ recommendation of Ko Lanta. Krabi is really nice too. Personally I’d avoid the Gulf side of Thailand and stay on the Andaman Sea side.

    Highly recommend a few days in Saigon (HMC) and definitely a stay in Hoi An. Vietnam was by far my favorite country in SE Asia.

    If you make it to Cambodia – the jetboat ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap over Tonle Sap is amazing. Heard Sihanoukville is really nice too.

  • You should check out my flickr photos from our trip in June ’06. We rented an entire boat on Halong Bay (slightly overkill). I would reccomend 3, maybe even 4 days in Hoi An. The coolest clothing shopping I’ve ever seen in my life. The people are also very cool. Pho Quoc Island wasn’t worth the trip, but HCMC was pretty amazing too, esp. the Massage School Of The Blind.

  • Thanks for the comments, they all seem like awesome suggestions.

  • siriwan

    beautiful halong bay

  • Cliff CHEN

    Halong Bay of Vietnam is amazing, I will go there, and Saigon also. thank you for the comments, It helps…

  • Been There

    Yes, I have been there. It is just beautiful. I always thought the haystacks on the Oregon coast were interesting and beautiful until I saw these 3000 mountain tops for myself aboard a Bay cruiser made of Teak wood. The food was great and the weather wonderful in October, 2009. From the cruiser, you can also catch a junk paddled by women to go to the islands. There is a floating fishing village with maybe 200 people and a school house and a floating cultured pearl business in the bay. Other things worthy of seeing/doing are the caves, swimming in the bay; but only if you are a good swimmer, because there is a strong current and the water is cold, and the monkeys on the islands. All this can be seen in 2 days.

    Otherwise, leave Halong Bay and drive west to HaNoi. Catch the over-night train to Lao Cai for some wonderful sight seeing around the village of Sapa in the mountains among the Hill peoples of the region. From Lao Cai you can also look across the Red River into China. Sapa, Vietnam is a great town for its beauty and native peoples. The prices for handmade goods is very reasonable. I shopped for Christmas gifts of wood carvings, fine handcrafted silver jewelry, and silk scarves and clothing. If this means anything to you, Sapa has at least 2 pizza parlors and many other ethnic food types besides Vietnamese.