Travel agents can now include a trip to Halong Bay for just half a day as a new highway now connects Vietnam’s capital Hanoi to the UNESCO World Heritage site.
There’s no need for an overnight trip to Halong Bay to experience its beauty as Vietnam debuts a faster way to get to the country’s most famous natural attraction. On 1 June, a new highway connecting Hanoi and Halong Bay was completed, cutting the four-hour drive in half. The highway, which costed VND 13 trillion (US$572 million), is one of two major transport projects finishing in Quang Ninh Province. Currently, it is being tested by authorities before opening to the public.
To make travelling even easier, a new international airport just east of Halong City is also expected to debut in the second quarter.
The new infrastructure will aid Quang Ninh in welcoming 12 million visitors for over 50 cultural, sports and tourism events this year now 2018 has been named Vietnam National Tourism Year. Last year, Quang Ninh accommodated 9.87 million tourists.
Nguyen Cao Son, chief operating officer of Paradise Cruises, said: “The timing couldn’t be better. With so much happening in this region all the way up until the opening of the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January of next year, there’s no doubt visitor interest will be at an all-time high.”
Prior to the construction of the highway, travellers had to endure a four-hour trip one-way to Halong Bay. This meant that tourists had to realistically squeeze in an overnight trip to the bay into their schedule. Those who did would possibly have to sacrifice visiting another part of Vietnam.
In celebration of the highway opening and in an attempt to further drive tourism to Halong Bay, Paradise is rolling out a day-cruise promotion.
Starting 10 June, the day-cruise package, which costs VND 1.8 million (US$80) per person, includes a round-trip transfer by shuttle bus from Hanoi, lunch aboard Paradise Explorer and all sightseeing fees as well as any taxes and service charges.
“Our day-cruise is perfect for anyone who is short on time but still wants to explore the best of Halong Bay. Tourists and travel agents have been crying out for a luxury day cruise in Halong Bay for quite some time,” Cao Son said.
Founded in 2008, Paradise runs a total of seven luxury cruise ships in Halong Bay as well as the 156-room Paradise Suites and Paradise Trend hotels in Halong City.