Ha Long Bay, Vietnam Meeting Planning Overview
Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay in the Quang Ninh Province is located in the northeast of Vietnam about is 165 kilometers from the capital of Hanoi. Twice voted a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it covers an area of 43,400 hectares, spread across over 1,600 islands and islets (mostly uninhabited), forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, rock formations and caves, popular with groups that rent a kayak or junk boat to explore the majestic formations. This is an ideal destination for incentive organizers for team building.
Originally built for the Vietnamese Air Force, Hanoi Airport (Noi Bai) is located 102 miles from Ha Long Bay. A daily bus shuttle operates between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay that takes three and a half hours. A helicopter transfer is also available.
Hotel venues in Ha Long Bay can host smaller groups with 4- to 5-Star hotel rooms, having a total 400 rooms. The Novotel Ha Long Bay has six meeting rooms having a capacity for 300. There are also some 350 boats for cruises.
A option for a post-tour itinerary from Hanoi, or after a conference at Ha Long Bay, is a three-day cruise that includes kayaking through a tunnel under a karst mountain. Legend has it that these centuries-old karsts, carpeted in lush greenery, are a gift from heaven and form a natural fortress to protect the city against intruders. When viewed from an elevated distance, they portray the image of a water dragon, and thus the name "Ha Long" which translates as "Bay of Descending Dragons." Excursions, while on the cruise, include swimming, cycling and sightseeing and even tai-chi on the sun deck.
A city tours includes Bai Chay, one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, the limestone 201-meter Bai Tho mountain, the Long Tien Pagoda and the Hon Gai market, a five-minute walk away from where one can see local fishermen busy with their everyday lives.