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Helicopter – new way to cruise Ha Long Bay: CNN

Two Bell 505 helicopters are used for the Ha Long Bay scenic flight service. Photo: CNN
Cruising Ha Long Bay has long been one of the top things to do when visiting Vietnam, but now tourists have a new way to experience the dazzling natural attraction, the US Cable News Network (CNN) Travel said.

CNN reported that Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company, a subsidiary of state-owned helicopter operator Vietnam Helicopter Corporation, has launched a series of tourism flights over the scenic Ha Long Bay area.

Three different routing options are offered, with prices ranging between 125 USD and 396 USD per person.

The cheapest journey lasts for 12 minutes and will hover over six tourist sites, while the most expensive experience lasts for 40 minutes with views of 17 different sites along Ha Long Bay.

Two Bell 505 helicopters are used for the scenic flight service.

Flights depart from and arriving at Tuan Chau island, which is about 170-kilometers from Hanoi capital.

CNN Travel cited a company representative as saying that since the launch of the service in early May, the company has hosted 300 customers so far.

This sightseeing flight operation is not the first in the area.

Hai Au Aviation, the company operating Vietnam's first commercial seaplane service out of Hanoi, also offers scenic flights over Ha Long Bay.

The 25-minute tour takes off and lands from the water at Tuan Chau Island Marina.

The cost ranges from 102-120 USD depending on the season.

Recognised twice by the UNESCO as a global heritage site for its landscape and geological value, Ha Long Bay in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh has become a magnet for visitors. Last year, Quang Ninh province welcomed 12.3 million visitors, including 5.2 million foreigners, and earned 24 trillion VND (1.03 billion USD) in tourism revenue.