From my first Halong Bay exploratory in May, 1992 and throughout the 90's,
Halong Bay sea kayaking was reasonable. But after SeaCanoe Vietnam was
selected as a National Geographic World Top 25 Adventure in 1999, the
copycats started and Halong became as bad or worse than Phang Nga Bay,
Thailand. The locations we developed in the 90's now have a non-stop stream
of "sea kayaks", none of them real or even trained. Fortunately for their
guests, they don't attempt deep cave explorations. You may think you booked
a sea kayaking trip, only to find out you bought three days on a floating
hotel with sea kayaking offered only on the second afternoon at an
additional charge. These trips return to the crowded floating city anchorage
every night, severely limiting your range.
At my urging, after five years, SeaCanoe Vietnam finally received the
authority to once again free-range throughout the Bay - allowing us to offer
you a true sea kayaking expedition with support boat to Halong's far
reaches, staying at a different remote island every night.
Every October, I do a training trip for SeaCanoe Vietnam, Halong's only
operation with a properly trained experienced staff with professional
standards. We remain the only team emphasizing deep cave explorations, the
primary and unique reason for paddling Halong Bay. This October past, the
training trip was a preliminary exploration of a new region never visited by
tourists. In five days, we only saw sparsely-populated Vietnamese. We also
found incredible locations, paddling some and noting others for further
We aren't saying where this trip goes, so trust our vague itinerary. Please,
no GPS allowed on this trip. We don't want the copycats finding us and
mucking up more of the Bay.
The 7-day trip departs on Sunday, May ___, allowing you Saturday for
traveling. You can book the Hanoi Hotel of your choice through SeaCanoe
Vietnam, and we have a welcome dinner and briefing that night at a
traditional Hanoi restaurant, then take you to the famous Water Puppet show
for a taste of traditional Vietnamese culture. We pick you up Sunday morning
for the drive to Halong Bay and lunch on our boat at mid-day. Then it's off
to parts unknown.
After seven days of virgin explorations plus my favorite non-commercial
islands, we return to Hanoi on Saturday afternoon, May ___, for a Thank You
dinner and Hanoi night before your Sunday flight back home. (Hotels are your
own selection and not included in the trip price.)
We offer three styles of kayaks - let us know your preference:
In deep, tight caves we use SOTAR inflatable caving kayaks. These allow us
to safely enter tight spots nobody else can even consider.
Outside the caves, we offer Sit-On-Tops, perfect for tropical waters.
For cold water purists, we also offer Decked kayaks.
The escort boat is luxurious, not a slow-moving Chinese junk, and comes with
our famous Vietnamese seafood-vegetarian meal plan.
Operating on a new permit that allows us to escape the masses and their
crowded overnight anchorage, last October's staff training trip explored the
outer reaches of Halong Bay. We surveyed a remote region with few
Vietnamese, no tourists, no foreigners, but plenty of stunning marine
limestone. The marine topography is as exotic and picturesque as the
locations I first explored in May, 1992 - perhaps even more mystical.
Now it's time for a detailed look. From Sunday May 6 to Saturday, May 12, we
visit virgin tidal sea cave/Phong systems in a lost world that's seen few
outsiders, and even fewer Westerners. (Do Big Monkeys count?).
After 17 years in Asia, we won't give away locations, but we do guarantee an
exciting, intriguing primary exploration with an always-active
island-hopping route on the way to and from distant sites. Expect sea cave
"first entries", bird hikes to regions that still have birds (including
white belly sea eagles), and seas with no other sea kayaks.
Halong 2007 is real sea kayaking exploration and adventure with our usual
great food on a comfortable support boat fast enough to cover far more
territory than slow Chinese junks, but still with on-suite staterooms
including hot water showers.
Saturday evening May 5, we meet in Hanoi for a pre-trip briefing, dinner,
trip kit distribution and Water Puppet show. On Sunday morning, May 6 we
pick you up at 8AM at your hotel for the drive to Halong Bay and parts
Caveman will document this primary exploratory in both video and Digital, so
if you want to be in the video, please sign a media release. (Not required.)
Vietnam visas upon arrival including airport-Hanoi transfers are available
at an $85 additional charge. Prices do not include Hanoi hotels. Book your
Visa on arrival and Hanoi hotel independently with Mrs. Mai Huong at
Included: Pre-trip dinner, Water Puppets and Halong 2007 Outer Limits
Exploratory Trip Kit. All transfers, all meals from Lunch May 6 to Dinner,
May 12, guided paddling using Caveman's Sea Explorers by SOTAR inside the
caves, Ocean Kayaks outside caves and decked kayaks upon request.