Why Vietnam was the perfect location for Kong: Skull Island

Vietnam is “gorgeous and otherworldly”

“The look of Vietnam is gorgeous and otherworldly at the same time,” he said. “There’s such a raw, powerful and unspoiled beauty that general audiences hadn’t experienced on screen before. There’s a ruggedness and a beauty to a place like Vietnam.”
Even though it has been chosen as a Hollywood film location before, this was the first time Vietnam has hosted a film production of this size, scale and magnitude. The entire cast and 120 crew members of Kong: Skull Island were all on site in February last year, shooting in Quang Binh’s colossal caves and the tranquil town of Phong Nha, as well as the world-renowned Ha Long Bay and the northern province of Ninh Binh.
Known for their untouched spectacular scenery and wondrous natural structures, these are some of the most remote and beautiful parts of Vietnam that have not been seen much in a Hollywood film. “That’s the reason why we shot there, because you’re trying to find something that is completely untouched and looks unlike anything you’ve seen before. And Vietnam is the answer to that,” said actress Brie Larson. “You can see it in the film. People will have to go visit it. I cannot say enough nice things about Vietnam. It was my first trip there and it will certainly not be my last. Hanoi was absolutely incredible … and Ninh Binh was also beautiful. I tell everyone who wants to go there that (Hanoi) is such a great place to start because there’s so much to do and so much to see.”
Veteran actor John Goodman told Channel NewsAsia that it was a “pleasure” to run around the streets of Hanoi trying to get lost and finding his way back. “In and out of the countryside, you see some rice farmers, some buffalos, things that I never thought I’d see. Water, caves, it was just beautiful.”
Because of its remoteness, actor Samuel L Jackson shared that travelling from where they were living to the actual location took up to two hours on some days. “Some days, we had to get in canoes with little ladies who rode us through the mountains and caves,” he said with a smile. “But that was kind of fun!”
“The topography of where we were … I’ve never seen landscapes like that before,” he continued. “It’s our job as actors to imagine we’re living in this desert island and undiscovered wilderness untouched by man. And the fact that we’re in these swamps, out of which arises these towers of rock, makes at least that part of the imagination easier. “But it’s such a beautiful part of the world. I find that people on that side of the world have that general graciousness that we lack here (in the US). And so I sincerely believe that our film will have a positive impact on tourism, filming, and a general understanding of how stunning and beautiful the country is.”

Son Doong Cave

Son Doong Cave, a cave belongs to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang grotto system in central Quang Binh Province, has been discovered to be the biggest in the world.

Son Doong cave in Vietnam is one of the most beautiful natural caves and the largest ever found in the world. Hang Son Doong cave complex of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, located in Son Trach, Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province of Vietnam Son Doong cave is one of the largest natural cave ever found in the world. Who first discovered as a peasant named Ho Khanh. In 1991, he happened to shelter in this cave while looking deep into the fores.

Son Doong 9km long, 200m wide and 150m deep. Besides the beauty that anyone should see that breathlessly overwhelmed by nature’s masterpiece in Vietnam.. Cave was formed about 2 to 5 million years ago, ever since the cave has developed a cave ecosystems along the underground river and trees .. Although discovered in 1991, however, until 2006, when an expedition of the British Royal Society to search for new caves in Phong Nha – Ke Bang, his new Khanh brought his story to tell they listen and expedition decided to come here.

Son Doong is much larger than Deer Cave in Malaysia, currently considered the world’s largest, an explorer said (Deer is 90 meters wide, 100 meters high and 2 kilometers long). The Son Doong cave has replaced to take pole position as the world’s largest cave. bristish explorers have recently discovered that Son Doong is much larger than the world’s biggest known cave.

Halong Bay

The long-lasting history of geological formation of Halong Bay is known with more than 500 million years of changes between mountain growing, marine degradation, mountain sinking, and encroaching sea. Halong used to be a very deep sea during Odovic – Silua era, shallow sea during Cacbon – Pecmi era, and coastal area during Plaogen – Neogen era. Not only that, contributing on the present natural wonder Halong Bay was the result of a magnificent ancient marine limestone accumulation, which reached above 1,000 meters 340-240 million years ago, and the Karst erosion period of more than 20 million years.
In addition, the permanent erosion process of rain and tides from the sea resulted into special geological formation of the most unique valleys, Karst lakes and towers in the world, and a complicated system of primitive caves. This system is separated into three main forms: developing vertically, for example the highest and most ancient caves that can be seen now; developing horizontally, which resulted into middle-age caves; and the final form is composed due to the cutting and erosion of water streams, which provides priceless biological, geological and oceanographic values.
During the 12th Century, Van Don Port in Halong used to be the busiest port in Northern Vietnam, which soon welcomed foreign traders in the neighbour areas come to trade specialties of the local countries. Van Don Port is especially convenient for business activities that attract a lot of international traders thanks to a system of ground, islands, and rocky islands that separate Halong Bay into smaller lagoons and deep canals, which are all airtight for ships and boats docking safely.
Bai Chay in the Western side of Halong Bay recorded the victory of Tran Dynasty for burning the battleships of the Mongol invaders, and Dau Go Cave is the historical vestige of Lord Tran Hung Dao triumph on Bach Dang River. Hundreds of vestiges in Halong combine together and the imagination of local people have built up many interesting legends of the bay.

Our cruises :

Oriental cruise (3*) :

Built in 2009 and newly renovated in 2014 in ancient Vietnamese style, Oriental Sails features 18 deluxe cabins of traditional style combined with modern facilities and comfort. The junk boasts rattan & wooden furnishings, a multitude of windows for amazing views from the inside, and a panoramic sundeck allowing different activities with the beauty of Halong Bay as a backdrop.

Inspired by traditional Vietnamese style, Oriental Sails II (8 cabins) features Vietnamese charm combined with modern facilities and high quality service. The junk boat offers rattan & wooden furnishings, cozy cabins & restaurant, wide windows for stunning panoramic views of Halong Bay, and relaxing spacious top deck allowing endless joy & leisure.

Calypso cruise (4*) :

“Glamour” and “Grandeur” are best to characterize the Calypso. The cruiser presents a luxurious exterior blending with the gorgeus nature of Halong bay harmoniously. Calypso Cruiser features 12 deluxe cabins, all finely equiped and exposed to the widest view of the bay as well as wide range of recreational activities in the spectacular scenery of the Bay of Descending Dragons. Calypso cruiser also characterizes a fine dining resturant and bar on the second deck, which always serves you best food ever like a feast for the senses. The top deck gives you a panaromic view of splendid Halong bay and  let you enjoy the magical moments of a day – dawn and sunset, which promises you unforgetable and thoroughly relaxing moments in your Halong bay Cruise tour. Moreover, this is a place for different activities like Taichi in the morning, dining at night which will enhance your experiences at magical Halong bay. Recreational activities like cave visiting, swimming, kayaking in the emerald water of Halong bay are intergral experience during your time with Calypso.

Starlight (5*) :

Starlight Cruise is truly a remarkable Halong luxury cruise ship as she has many superior and luxury features that a cruise on Halong Bay is able to offer. She is the symbol of an elegant but unique cruise among Halong Bay luxury cruises with new bold ideas to realize a world class standard accommodation on the water of Halong Bay.  Starlight luxury cruise ensures more spaces than any other cruise ship on Halong Bay as well as features chic decorated cabins and public areas. The ship’s 32 spacious staterooms feature all the high-end amenities of a five-star hotel of international standard.

We believe that “luxury” should and must be built from every single aspect of a cruise trip, from modern facilities, professional and delightful hospitality onboard, exquisite cuisine, delicate dining services, exciting excursions and entertaining, etc. Among which, caring, helpful and friendly staffs are the ambassadors of the luxury.

Other cruises : 

Paradise Elegance : 5*

Opened in March to redefine luxury cruising, the Paradise Elegance is an impressive escape to Halong Bay. A meticulously-designed steel boat that boasts grandeur architecture and classical interiors, inspiring travelers to explore the natural heritage and its mysteries beyond.

The Au Co : 5*

Unique Continuous Three-Day Two-Night Itinerary
The Au Co Cruise takes you further, exploring Cat Ba Island so you can experience its distinctive geology, local history and endemic flora and fauna. Unlike more common three-day two-night cruises which use transfer boats, guests will remain on the same Au Co for the entire trip.

Finding Balance – State of the Art Luxury Design and Exemplary Cruise Safety
Aboard the Au Co, a luxury cruise means a safe cruise. Unwilling to compromise the customers experience, aboard the Au Co we have set new benchmarks in Halong for both luxury and safety.

Ninh Binh

A Travel Mate has offered both Ninh Binh tour packages and customized tours at reasonable price. Ninh Binh is a wedge-shaped province south of Hanoi, which stretches from Cuc Phuong National Park to the Gulf of Tonkin. It is the land surrounded by a stunning landscape of lush green paddy fields and striking limestone outcrops in main sights including Tam CocBich DongTrang AnBai Dinh pagodaHoa Lu ancient capitalVan Long and Cuc Phuong National Park. Ninh Binh is easy to reach from Hanoi by car or motorbike and especially, some attractions in Ninh Binh are within 12km from Ninh Binh city, so they can be reached by bicycle or motorbike reasonablely. Therefore, some of Ninh Binh tours are designed as a bicycle tour – the best way to really appreciate the striking scenery along the roads. Ninh Binh tours surely help you enjoy fresh air that you may not have in the busy life in big cities.

Travelling with A Travel Mate’s Ninh Binh tours, you will have great opportunity to bike along beautiful route to Hoa Lu ancient capital. A couple of hours biking through stunning limestone karst valleys surrounded by picturesque villages will make you feel like being lost in paradise. Besides biking to Hoa Lu, few hours in a sampan to Tam Coc – Halong bay on land also bring you memorable experiences. If you like spritual tourism, a Ninh Binh tour to Trang An – Bai Dinh will satisfy you because of its grandeur and impressiveness in landscape.

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