Hanoi to Ha Long Bay: 7 March 2013

On Thursday, 7 March, we left the Hang Ngoc Dynastie Hotel which is located near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, and drove 98 miles east to Ha Long. Ha Long is the capital of Quang Ninh province, and is located on the Northeast coast of Vietnam adjacent to the East Sea (also known as the South China Sea). Upon our arrival, we boarded a boat, and spent the day cruising on Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spent the night on the boat, and continued the cruise the next morning. The below selection of photographs illustrates the drive from Hanoi to Ha Long.

Below is the GPS tracked route from Hanoi to Ha Long: Distance 98 Miles.

Leaving Hanoi

On the outskirts of Hanoi.

Farmers separating young rice plants; giving them space to grow, mature and produce rice. Vietnam is the worlds second largest exporter of rice, and the worlds seventh largest consumer of rice.

We saw many burial plots built on rice fields. All of the land is owned by the government, and the government allows local farmers to be buried on the field that they farmed when they were alive.


We are now about 50 miles east of Hanoi. These are young school children leaving school and going home. School in Vietnam is approximately 1/2 day long. The younger children go to school in the morning and the older children attend school in the afternoon. Note that the girl closest to the camera is riding an electric powered bicycle.

More school children heading home. The roadway is wet, but that is not due to rain. This town is located near an open pit coal mine, and the government washes the street every day in an attempt to keep airborne coal dust to a minimum.

We are approaching Ha Long City, and so is the train on the left. The train is coming from Hanoi, and it does so once a day. The train tracks are a narrow gauge track as constructed by the French more than 80 years ago.

The government is widening the road. Since all land in Vietnam is owned by the government, it is not a difficult matter to remove a building when necessary, in order to widen a road.

We are crossing the Bai Chai Bridge which spans the Cua Luc Straits, and are entering Ha Long, which can be seen in the distance.

We are now in Ha Long City and are heading to Ha Long Bay to board the vessel that will take us on a tour of Ha Long Bay.

A freighter in Ha Long Bay.

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Neil Mishalov neil@mishalov.com

Copyright © Neil Mishalov; posted 29 April 2013