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Vietnam Halong Bay "Outer Limits" Exploratory, October 2008

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Halong Staff Training - 2006 Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery >>

If you don't believe us, go to National Geographic.,

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 exploration.

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.

Check out the "Halong Staff Training - 2006" slide show and the Halong website slide shows then send me an email with your questions at info@johngrayseacanoevietnam.com.

4-10 guests

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. See.

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 unknown.

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 sales@inserhan.com

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.

For more information, contact John Gray at info@johngrayseacanoevietnam.com


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Golden Series - Primary Expeditions
October Halong Bay Outer Limits 107,500 52,550 42,700 38,900 36,800 33,900 31,250

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©2005 John Gray Sea Canoe Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
124 Soi 1 Yaowarat Rd., Taladyai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Tel. (66-76) 254505-7 | Fax: (66-76) 226077
E-mail: info@johngrayseacanoevietnam.com