According to Vietnamese legend, once upon a long, long time ago, an amber dragon swooped down from the misty hills of Halong and wrestled a beautiful log cabin into the waters of the bay, eventually giving up the struggle to live out the rest of its days as a luxury houseboat. Well, that’s not strictly true, but you get some idea of the beautiful aesthetic on show here. A truly breathtaking way to discover Halong, Black Tomato has uncovered a luxury lodge on water that’s guaranteed to have you absolutely spellbound.
Surrounded by hills that resemble the never-ending verdant rear-section of some gargantuan stegosaur, you’ll be cruising through the 3,000 or so monolithic limestone islands of Halong Bay, North Eastern Vietnam. Birds climb and wheel from islet to islet, backed by a sporadic chorus of monkey howls and antelope noises as you hop aboard a kayak and disappear under the stalactites of the cathedral-like Wooden Stakes Cave. Surreally, really beautiful.
Natural materials, rich wooden decor and large windows looking out to the constantly-changing dreamlike views of the bay, the Ginger Boat’s cabins are luxurious, comfortable and airy – not a tatty hammock or dirty porthole in sight.
Why we like it
We’re used to waking up between crisp cotton sheets, looking out onto spectacular views, rubbing bleary eyes before opening them wide to the wonders of the world – it’s what we do (not a bad way to live admittedly). But onboard the Ginger Boat, the enigmatic waters and mystical islands of Halong Bay glide by the windows like an impossible daydream. It truly is breathtaking. We love the onboard sunrise Tai Chi classes – a great way to wake up. Taking out one of the Ginger Boat’s private Canadian kayaks to weave through Halong’s countless islets was a real pleasure, surely the best way to grasp the majesty of the setting. It may be called a junk, but if our waters were littered with more of these, it’d be a far more beautiful world to bob through.