Another popular excursion when doing a cruise on Halong Bay is to explore Luan Cave (Hang Luan). You can either go by row boat or by kayak depending on your preference, but either way it is an enjoyable experience. After passing through the cave, you enter an isolated inlet with stunning cliffs and turquoise water. Near the mouth of the cave, you will likely find several monkeys who climb across the rocky shore hoping for some treats from the many tourists who visit.
Luan Cave is interesting enough with its ceiling that has been carved out by the water over the centuries. It is one of many caves in Halong Bay, but the real treat is the inlet that is hidden on the other side of the cave. We spent about an hour going through the cave and then seeing the beautiful scenery and amazing mountain cliffs. It is a wonderful opportunity to get up close to the mountains that rise out of the waters of Halong Bay.
After looping around smooth water and seeing the lush greenery that clings to the walls of the cliffs, we made our way over to the shores where the monkeys had gathered. We did not feed the monkeys, but it was clear that they had gotten a variety of food from other tourists. Some of the monkeys watched us with curiosity while others were completely ambiguous to our presence. We spent about ten minutes just watching the mischievous animals before making our way back through the cave to the dock.
We visited Luan Cave at the end of our first day on Halong Bay and it was quite busy. Shortly after returning to our cruise ship we watched the sun as it set over the bay and the mountains. We truly enjoyed our time seeing the mountains up close and watching the monkeys as they climbed around on the rocks of the cliffs.