A Culinary Guide to President Cruises’ 2019 Menu

Having worked closely with Michelin Star celebrity chef John Burton-Race for an extended period in order to produce this menu, it’s safe to say that we’re proud of the results. We’ve put together a short guide to some of the finest ingredients available on the menu to get you in the mood for our fine dining experience.

Oscietra Caviar

Aboard the President, we like to provide only the finest luxury available, that’s why we spared no expense in importing some of the world’s most desirable caviar. Oscietra is famed as one of the most highly sought-after varieties of caviar, obtained from the oscietra sturgeon, and second in price to only the legendary Beluga caviar. It varies in color, and can range from a deep brown to gold, with gold oscietra producing the richest flavor.

Hạ Long Prawn 

One of the many local ingredients that we’re ever so proud of here in the bay; the prawns that we catch in the area spend very little time out of the water before making their way to your plate. Besides just how fresh this ingredient is, one of the best parts of our prawns are their size: big in stature, meaty but still succulent, and tender – they’re a must-try for anyone visiting Halong Bay.

Truffle 

Think of a truffle, in layman’s terms, like a fungus, or mushroom, that grows underground. Growing them is no easy feat and due to living underground, around the base of a tree, they’re fairly hard to find. This is, in part, what makes them such a delicacy. They’re a prized ingredient within French, Italian, Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Spanish cuisine, with French chef Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin calling them, “the diamond of the kitchen.”

Fillet of beef

Back in December we proudly announced the arrival of our beefsteak into the bay. John Burton-Race arrived shortly after the steak, bringing his incredible standards and high-end cuisine with him. After much demand, we decided to maintain this incredibly high standard of western cuisine for future guests and kept John’s take on the fillet of beef on the menu.

Wasabi

When it comes to western cuisine, wasabi alone has grown in popularity over the years, due to the growth of a global taste for sushi. The green paste has garnered a certain reputation, however, for being mustard disguised as wasabi, in certain parts of western cuisine. There will be none of that aboard the President, of course. We use only the finest wasabi root to produce our wasabi, and then mix it with mayonnaise to create a fine blend of flavor and texture.

7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Halong Bay in Spring

March and April are great months to visit Halong Bay; the weather is not too hot, not too cold and although there are higher chances of rain and increased humidity, it’s easily one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Halong Bay.

The pleasant weather, coupled with longer days, means there is more opportunity for outdoor activities. Better still, due to the lack of tourists in this period, there’s more space for you to take in the stunning majesty of the Halong Bay.

Picturesque scenery

Halong Bay is an explosion of beauty and charm in spring, where orchids bloom and nature flourishes. The air is fresh and sweet, the scenery is breath-taking, and the temperature is perfect. The weather itself creates an ominous yet alluring mist that sweeps through the bay and fills the ancient cave systems, creating a spectacular display at dawn and dusk.

More daylight hours

One of the major appeals for anyone hoping to get off the sun lounger and into the bay itself is the joy of spring’s increased daylight hours. This gives you more time to get out in the water before watching the sun set over the limestone karsts. March and April receive the most daylight hours of any month in Vietnam, with eight hours of sunlight a day, so don’t miss out.

Not too hot

While Halong Bay’s tourism may peak in fall, it tends to drop in the summer, when the weather is at its hottest and stickiest. In spring, however, the climate is optimal, with temperatures ranging from 19 to 24 degrees Celsius and a lot less humidity, though there are high chances of a light, but consistent, drizzle.

Not too crowded

With Vietnam’s tourism peaking in fall, a holiday in Halong Bay around spring provides a less crowded atmosphere, making ventures off the boat and into the water all the more immersive. On a clear day, you can feel as though you have this ancient seascape all to yourself.

More affordable

Due to the lack of tourism, prices are often lower than other times of the year, making some options more affordable.

Halong Carnival

Landing in April each year, Halong Carnival is the biggest festival in Halong, with a colorful, vibrant atmosphere, thousands of actors, dancers, singers, musicians and students, most of whom are Halong residents.

Optimal time for activities

Warming up after the winter chill, spring offers a comfortable temperature, not too hot, nor too cold. This creates the perfect climate for Halong’s many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, biking, kayaking or hiking, all of which you can enjoy even if there’s a sprinkling of rain.

>> Check out the best Halong Bay overnight cruise

What to Pack for Halong Bay in Spring

Packing for weather in Spring can be tricky; you’ll have to be frugal whilst also being prepared for different weather conditions. While temperatures can be on the lower end for Vietnam’s standards, you can expect a pleasant average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, still warm enough to enjoy a day out. Temperatures can range from lows of 14 degrees Celsius and highs of 20 degrees Celsius. It’s easy to bring too much, but as long as you keep it simple, packing for a trip to Halong Bay should be a breeze.

A jumper or sweater

Though it’s not always easy to predict what the weather will be like, it’s best to pack a bit of warmth on your trip. Make sure you bring at least one jumper or sweater for the evenings and, likely, daytime.

Swimwear

As contradictory to the previous comment as it sounds, average sea temperatures are an appealing 29 degrees Celsius. You may even want to pack a few different pairs of your chosen swimwear, as you’ll likely want to spend a lot of time in them if Halong Bay isn’t experiencing a cold patch. Halong Bay is also full of exciting and fun water sport activities, an even more encouraging reason to pack something to get wet.

Sandals

Sandals, flip-flops, thongs, whatever you call them, you’re going to want a pair. It’s recommended that you wear something that’s easy to dry for any trip off the boat and onto the water, particularly in precarious vehicles like a kayak.

Walking shoes

Though Halong Bay may be a water bound destination, it contains a few minor hikes to the top of its limestone karsts, where you’ll get the best views of the bay’s stunning vistas. Though these hikes may be simple; it would be preferable to wear something other than sandals if you’re going to undertake them.

Long trousers

You may think of Vietnam as a typically warm country, but as mentioned, there are a few months that can catch you off-guard. Make sure you pack a good pair of trousers or jeans to stay warm if needed.

A hat

Sunburn is not unheard of in the winter months in Halong Bay, so bringing a hat to shade your face is a good idea. Cold ears, however, are also pretty common, so you may want to pack for both occurrences.

A raincoat

While it may be the driest month of the year, a bit of rain is always a possibility in Vietnam. Pack a light, easily stored raincoat for minor explorations.

A warm coat

The evenings in Halong Bay in January can be on the cold side, and depending on your luck, so can the day times. Make sure you bring a warm coat so you’re not caught off-guard.

Sunglasses

While it may be on the chilly side, there’s still the inevitable bit of sun to deal with. You’ll want to pack a good pair of sunglasses for trips out into the bay.

Warm pyjamas

Temperatures in northern Vietnam can drop during the evening, so make sure you pack a warm pair of long pyjamas to avoid that nighttime chill.

>> Check out the best Halong Bay overnight cruise

The National Tourism Year 2018 – What Went Down?

Vietnam’s National Tourism Year 2018 opened in April with a ceremony themed, ‘Ha Long – Heritage, Wonder – Friendly Destination’ along with Carnival Ha Long. Quang Ninh, the eastern Vietnamese province and home to world-famous Halong Bay, played host to the National Tourism Year 2018, in a bid to raise the province’s profile on the world stage.

Hoping to add to the tourism boom within the area, the provincial People’s Committee hosted close to 100 events throughout the year, ranging from a conference on road development for tourism between Vietnam and China, to a paragliding competition.

Other events included an RFC international off-road motor race, a food festival, the grand opening of a photo exhibition and award presentation and, most recently, the Ha Long – FLC 2019 open golf tournament.

The series of events in the region have been deemed a success. In February, for example, Dong Trieu held the Ngao Van spring festival, drawing in about 25,000 visitors within the first three days. Alongside this, there were various other successful festivals across the province, such as Uong Bi’s Ba Vang pagoda and Yen Tu festivals, Van Ninh festival in Mong Cai city, Luc Na festival in Binh Lieu district and Ha Long city’s Loi Am temple festival, all of which attracted a wide array of visitors.

As a part of the initiative, local authorities have taken special care to restore local relics, such as the Yen Tu relic site in Uong Bi, with an upgrade of the road to the site and the construction of a new cable car system, aimed at preventing traffic congestion.

Work is underway to complete the first phase of the Yen Tu festival tourism services center, which includes a Zen garden, pilgrimage village, King monk Tran Nhan Tong museum and Truc Lam palace.

As the event has been a bid to increase tourism numbers, Uong Bi city paid special attention to safety, with the city working to prevent fire and explosions, ensuring social order and traffic safety were both heavily monitored.  

So far, not enough research has been undertaken into the success of the event, but judging by numbers, it all went according to plan.

– View more about Halong Bay UNESSCO World Heritage Site  –