Ha Long seaplane tour: seeing the World Heritage Site from above
Last summer, I discovered one of the oldest attractions in Vietnam – Ha Long Bay, from a whole new perspective: via a seaplane of Hai Au Aviation. I must say, this seaplane experience in Vietnam was just as exciting as flying above the Maldives.
The day I planned finally came: I got to fly from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by seaplane. So eager was I that I went to the airport one hour earlier than the flight time. Actually, I didn’t need to go to the airport that soon as getting on a seaplane with several people (12 guests at most) did not take much time in the checking and boarding process.
Hai Au’s staff were extremely lovely and friendly, they even took me to the quarantine area after I finished the procedure.
Passengers entered gate No. 14, Hall E, Terminal 1 of Noi Bai airport and then were taken to the plane by private car. At the parking lot, the pilots were waiting for us. On this trip, we had a foreign Captain and a Vietnamese First Officer. Before the flight, all passengers gathered in front of the plane, to be introduced to the crew and flight safety instructions. Overall, the service was delicate and exquisite to me.
Hai Au seaplane is a single-engine aircraft Cessna Grand Caravan 208B-EX, which can carry up to 12 passengers and 2 crew members and accompanied luggage. The journey from Noi Bai to Ha Long takes 45 minutes, after that, passengers are taken around Ha Long Bay for sightseeing for another 15 minutes.
One very interesting note here is passengers are allowed to turn on the phone and use electronic equipment throughout the flight, including taking and landing. This does not affect the flight safety at all. During the flight, I was free to take as many photos and videos as I could!
The plane had just take off, passing through the provinces of the Northern Delta.
After about 45 minutes of flight, the seaplane arrived in Ha Long and started a 15-minute flight around this UNESCO-listed heritage. Looking from above, Ha Long Bay is a true wonder. Going on a cruise cannot open up this panoramic view of the Skull Islands. I cannot say anything more but leave you to the following series of Ha Long Bay photos taken from seaplanes.
Also, the pilots are also the guides. As we flied, the pilot and first officer introduced each spot for us. Such a service. Really worth the money!
For those who would fly back to Noi Bai from Ha Long, you can go to Hai Au waiting room in Tuan Chau port. Here you will be served water before boarding the plane.
On the return flight, I got to admire Ha Long Bay again.