One of the most well-known locations in Vietnam is Halong Bay, which is made up of a collection of magnificent limestone islands that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are about 2000 islands in the harbor, many of which have lovely, rich vegetation and are therefore perfect for strolling. There are caverns on many of the islands. Taking a boat across Halong Bay is the best activity because it allows you to explore the islands up close and visit caves and floating villages.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Halong Bay
#1. Enjoy a wonderful sail across the stunning scenery.
#2. Take part in an adventurous sport like rock climbing or kayaking.
#3. Watch the inhabitants of the floating villages at work.
#4. Discover the vistas and caves on several islands.
#5. Go on a romantic cruise, check out a spa, and eat in a cave.
How to Get to Halong City and Prepare for Your Trip
The majority of cruise lines offer pickup and delivery in Hanoi. For boats traveling to Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, it is not usually included, but there is always the opportunity to reserve this. This is because they leave from a different, farther-off port.
Halong Bay buses
There are buses that travel 160 kilometres, or around three and a half hours, from Hanoi to Halong City.
Buses leave from My Dinh, Gia Lam, and Luong Yen bus terminals, and the fare is between $5 and $10.
Most buses make a stop at a bus stop near to the Bai Chay bridge.
It is more convenient to reserve a minibus with pick-up in the city center. The limousine buses are also incredibly cozy. An additional choice is to use a private vehicle.
Air Travel to Halong Bay
A seaplane departs from Hanoi and flies to Tuan Chau Island in Halong Bay, not far from Halong City.
How to Get Around
To move around and view the sights on the island of Cat Ba, you can rent a scooter or a car with a driver. Cycling is a well-liked substitute approach. You can always bring your own bicycle, but many lodging options on the island offer complimentary bicycle rentals.
If you want to see more of the bay, take a boat ride every time.
Recommended length of stay
The bay may be seen on day trips from Hanoi, but if you have the opportunity, try to spend at least one night here. Remember that the trip from Hanoi to Halong already takes three hours.
ATMs and Currency Exchange
Both Cat Ba Island and Halong City have ATMs. Almost every cruise offers credit card payment options.
Best time to visit
The spring (March, April) and fall (September, October) are the greatest seasons to visit Halong Bay. You are having the nicest time of the year because of the chilly weather.
The bay is sunny and comfortable to swim in during the summer, which lasts from May until early September. There may be a few days of mild rain or perhaps an unexpected typhoon, which could cause your cruise to be canceled.
From November to March, Halong Bay experiences winter, which brings cold weather, particularly in January and February; this is not the best time to go swimming. The intense monsoon and the cloudy days are also present at this time.
Halong Bay Tours & Activities That You Can’t Miss Out On
There is more to see and do in Halong Bay besides the thousands of islands and floating villages, which already provide an amazing experience. The majority of these attractions are covered by the cruise that you purchase. So, be careful while choosing the cruise you choose. The finest activities to do in Halong Bay are listed below.
1. Explore Halong Bay by boat
Unsurprisingly, taking a cruise is the best thing to do in Halong Bay. There are hundreds of boats, ranging in size from very little to very huge, expensive to inexpensive, and day boats to multiday boats. Therefore, there is always a cruise in Halong that suits you, no matter what kind of traveler you are. There aren’t any waves in the bay, so you won’t have to worry about feeling seasick. Because there are so many activities accessible during the boat journey, you won’t get bored easily either. On the larger islands, you can kayak, swim (during the proper season), explore caverns, see floating towns, and go on walks. After an adventurous Vietnam holiday, if you’d rather unwind, you can just stay on the ship and take in the stunning scenery of the karstones and uninhabited islands protruding from the ocean.
2. Aerial sightseeing over the bay
The greatest way to appreciate the magnificence of this UNSECO site is to fly over Halong Bay on a scenic trip. It is ideal for those who want to explore the bay quickly, or if it fits within their budget, they may combine it with a cruise.
Seaplanes are used for the 25-minute trips, which depart from Halong City’s lagoon. Even though taking off and landing from the ocean alone is a fantastic experience, flying above the islands and rocks is undoubtedly the best part.
You can document this unique experience by taking photos during the journey with a camera or mobile device.
While you can see the entire environment from a cruise, a kayak allows you access to areas that are inaccessible to boats. On the water, where there are no waves and little current, it is also a lovely activity. Kayaking is one of the top activities in Halong Bay because of this.
You can paddle through caves to reach a completely undiscovered area of the bay. A kayak can also be used to explore a variety of beaches. Almost all cruise ships feature this activity on their travel itinerary, whether they are taking day trips or multi-day voyages. You can decide not to go kayaking if you don’t feel like it or if it’s pouring.
4. Villages of fishermen on boats
Vietnamese people adore fish. You will see fishing boats all over the shore, trying to meet the great demand for these sea foods. Halong Bay is also a location where floating fishing towns have cropped up due to the area’s exceptionally still water. On the river here, people actually live and work.
Fish and shellfish aquaculture utilizes several of the floating platformers. Visiting a floating village, where you can witness how the residents work and occasionally live for days, is a unique experience.
5. Unwind on beaches
Despite having hundreds of islands off the shore, Halong Bay is not one of Vietnam’s most popular beach destinations. This is due to the fact that many islands lack beaches and those that do frequently have small and challenging-to-access beaches. They can only be visited on a cruise because of this. Because of this, going to one of the beaches in Halong Bay is even more special.
It is recommended to go to the island of Cat Ba if you want to enjoy beaches but don’t rely on a cruise. You can remain on this island and go to many of the beaches on your own.
6. Discover Cat Ba
The largest island in Halong Bay, Cat Ba is also one of the few where you may book accommodations. The island offers a stunning natural national park where you can go for walks, see animals up close, and take in lovely views while immersed in the jungle.
Other enjoyable activities on the island include riding a bike or scooter, going kayaking, or simply lying on the beach. You can also take a day tour by boat from Cat Ba if you want to see a little more of the bay.
7. Visit Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay
Most people are familiar with Halong Bay, but did you know that there are two other bays nearby? Although smaller than Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are as stunning. The fact that there are significantly less boats and, consequently, tourists visiting these two Halong Bay alternatives is their strongest feature. Therefore, you are not required to be so worried that you must share a beach or cave with numerous other tourists.
You will drive for a longer period of time because both bays are a little farther from Hanoi. Additionally, you will experience things like visiting floating fishing communities, exploring caverns, and solo kayaking as well as similar scenery and activities.
The terrain at Phong Nha, where you can discover some of the most impressive and largest caverns in the world, is built of the same granite as the islands of Halong Bay. Therefore, Halong Bay has a large number of caves.
There are several of these caves that you can explore, and every cruise schedule often includes a visit to one of them. Some caverns are also exquisitely lighted in a variety of hues. Eating in a cave is another interesting experience.
9. Nice perspectives
The best view of the islands is frequently from above and is frequently only accessible from a boat ride. The greatest substitute for taking a scenic flight is to go to a viewpoint higher up in the bay if you don’t have the time or money to do so.
The top vantage sites in Halong Bay are dispersed. You have Ti Top Island in the middle of the bay, Bai Tho Mountain close to Halong City, and various perspectives on the island of Cat Ba, for instance.
10. A rock climb
Go rock climbing in Halong Bay if you don’t mind exerting some effort to gain a vantage point. The entire journey is a terrific adventure, not just the view from the top. One of the top spots in the world for climbing, the rocks in the bay are ideal for climbers. Deep-water soloing is another possibility.
We have come to the end of this article. If you’re looking for a beautiful tour destination then Halong Bay will be perfect for you – it’s one of the most popular places in Vietnam. Trust us, the experience there is worth it and will leave you without words.