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Legend has it that when Vietnam first formed itself as a country, a family of dragons rose from the Red River to create this renowned bay. These dragons are said to have assisted locals in protecting the land at Halong by dropping giant emeralds on incoming enemy troops, in turn forming the estimated 1,900 towering limestone islands that stand there to this day. Whether you are a believer in this mythical tale or not, the immense cliffs rising out of the still aquamarine waters really are astounding and it will strike you how easy it is to connect the landscape’s ethereal beauty with the divine. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994, Halong Bay remains the country’s premier attraction, drawing in over 2 million foreign visitors annually.

Aside from providing a stunning backdrop, the bay is also a place of historic importance. Research has revealed proof of prehistoric human activity in the area and remains of successive ancient cultures; from the Soi Nhu culture dating back to 18,000BC to the Ha Long culture of four millennia past. Despite thousands of years passing, modern day locals share a remarkable amount in common with these ancient forefathers; to this day, visitors will encounter local fishermen out at work and quaint communities of floating houses lurching above the crystal waters.

Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy Halong Bay is by cruising through the sparkling turquoise waters by boat. We recommend spending a day or two aboard a luxury charter and indulging in a massage on board to experience the otherworldly location in true style.

No trip to Halong Bay should be complete without also visiting one of the region’s many cave complexes – explore Sung Sot Cave to see a grotto of unique grandeur with a fantastic array of animal and bird life.

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There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India

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