Halong Bay is a famous tourist destination of Vietnam, located in the West of the Gulf of Tonkin of Vietnam. With thousands of wonderful islands – an amazing gift of Nature, Halong Bay has been recognized as a natural heritage of the world. Halong tourism has an overstanding advantage of the beautiful scenery, which appeals to domestic as well as international tourists to visit. If you’re having no idea about worth visiting places in Halong Bay or get tired searching the information about this place one by one? Now you’re in the right place. In order to help you fully explore the beauty of Halong Bay, this article will give you informative suggestions about the city, about how to get to, where to go, what to eat and where to stay. So let’s make a plan and explore Halong Bay with us!
I. OVERVIEW OF HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
Halong Bay is located in the part of the Gulf of Tonkin, in the northeast it borders on Bai Tu Long Bay, in the southwest it is bordered by Cat Ba Archipelago, in the west and northwest by the mainland, in the southeast and south. northern Gulf. It contains mainly limestone islands formed more than 500 million years ago, some of which have extremely unique and alluring cave system. Halong Bay has a total area of 1553 km2 including core zones, buffer zones with 1969 large and small islands – 989 named islands and 980 unnamed islands.
II. WHEN TO TRAVEL TO HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
1. Weather in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Located in the north of Vietnam, Halong has four distinct seasons. Spring starts from March to April, with a warm and mild climate, which is an appropriate time for many kinds of flowers to bloom. Summer usually lasts from May to early October. Guests should note, at this time, the temperature rises with heavy rainfall. Fall usually lasts two months later with a pleasant heat, less rain. Finally, the winter is from November to February, cold and dry. The average temperature is around 17℃ to 22℃. From July to September, there are usually tropical storms from South China sea, which cause heavy rains and strong wind.
2. Best time to travel to Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay has different charms in each season. Therefore, you should choose which one this the most suitable for you before making a plan to the bay. If you are into crowds and enjoy a bustling atmosphere, you should visit Halong in summer and autumn. On the other hand, if you want to explore the tranquil and silent charm of the bay, take a trip to Halong in winter and spring to have your own space with this majestic place.
Spring is the time for all kinds of flowers blooming in the bay. Besides, the sun warmly shines and the ocean is gentle and calm. With this weather, tourist can truly experience the best of Halong as they can enjoy the tranquil but poetic scenery and comfortable atmosphere.
a. Halong Bay in summer( from April to August)
Summer in Halong would bring clear views of the stunning islands and pleasant temperatures for swimming. The sun rises very early in the morning until 7 pm, which makes. you have more daylight time to join in the activities in the bay. However, at this time is the high season when a lot of domestic tourists, which makes the bay crowded. Also, you should check the weather forecast in advance because there will be storms and heavy rains in the summer.
b. Halong Bay in autumn( from September to October)
Autumn is also a perfect time to visit Halong Bay. The average temperature is lower than 27°C, so you can enjoy the cool and pleasant weather here. From October, it is the ideal time for tourists to take a cruise on the bay. The wonderful weather will enable you to enjoy all activities offered on board while making sightseeing as perfect as it could be.
c. Halong Bay in winter( from December to January)
Winter begins from November and gets coldest in January and February. The highest temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius, while the lowest temperature can drop to about 8 degrees Celsius. Although swimming is not suitable for this season, you can still have a lot of exciting activities and contemplate the peaceful and quiet atmosphere of the bay.
III. HOW TO TRAVEL TO HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
1. How to get to Halong Bay
a. Getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi by seaplane
Currently, besides the usual means of transport, tourists visiting Halong Bay from Hanoi also have a new option with the modern and luxury seaplane.This is a very new as well as an interesting way to visit Halong Bay. Each airplane with 2 seats for pilots, 12 seats for passengers and spacious windows will give tourists the most comfortable experience. What is more, it takes only 45 minutes to the bay from Hanoi International Airport. You can also enjoy the picturesque scene of the ocean from the above. Up to now, Hai Au Aviation provides exclusive seaplane service with the price from $175. Also, this firm has 25-minute sightseeing flights over Halong Bay.
Hai Au Aviation:
- Address: Floor 9, 70-72 Ba Trieu Street, Hang Bai Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Phone: +84 962 069 689
- Fax: +84 3943 2299
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: Seaplanes.vn
b. Getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi by shuttle bus
You can easily to take a shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay. There are a lot of shuttle bus companies provide Hanoi – Quang Ninh route and it takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach Halong Bay. The price for a ticket varies from VND 100,000 to VND 200,000 depending on the seat type you want.
c. Getting to Halong Bay by private car
This is another way for you go travel to Halong Bay. It is very easy for you to rent a private car from Hanoi and have a 4 hour trip to Halong. The average price for renting a private car varies from VND 1,200,000 (including payment for tolls, petro, and driver) depending on the size of the car you rent
2. How to get around Halong Bay, Vietnam
a. Getting around Halong Bay by taxi
This is the most common way to travel around Halong. There are a lot of taxi company in Halong, so you can easily get one and go to the place you want. The average taxi price here is about VND 15,000 per kilometer.
b. Getting to Halong Bay by mortobike
Discovering Halong Bay by motorcycle is one of the great experience here, and visitors will experience the attractive life of Halong Bay. The average price for renting a motorbike in 24 hours is from VND 100,000 to VND 300,000 depending on the motorbike brand you rent.
Note for traveling by motorbike in Halong Bay
- When renting motorbike in Halong, visitors should remember to give the motorbike owner the necessary information such as your name, the hotel you are staying, room number, telephone number, etc
- When driving, ensure steady steering, especially the highways
- Make sure your helmet is good enough for your safety. If the helmet is underqualified, you need to change the new one. And you should always wear a helmet when driving motorbike
- Prepare a repair kit in case the motorcycle is broken down on the road without an automobile repair shop
- Drive at the proper speed, and slow down in crowded places
- Paying attention to where you can buy gas, you can buy gasoline in plastic bottles and carry them when the gas station is far apart
c. Getting around Halong Bay by bike
Average bike rental in Halong hourly is from 20,000 to 30,000 VND/ hour. This is also an affordable price for tourists. What is more, it is an interesting experience for tourists when exploring the cbay by bike
Note for traveling by bike around Halong Bay
- To rent a bicycle, visitors should book 4 – 5 days in advance, especially on crowded days or you will not be able to rent a bicycle.
- Do not go on holidays, weekends
- Book your bike before arriving in Halong
- Ask the price Check the quality of the before renting
IV. WHERE TO TRAVEL IN HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
1. Thien Cung Cave
Thien Cung grotto is located in the north of Dau Go island. It is one of the most beautiful caves in Halong. The 10,000m2 wide cave has a very complex and extraordinary structure. Especially, in the cave, where everywhere we also see a lot of stalactites, stalagmites with strange shapes.
2. Dau Go Cave
Along the Dau Go island chain, about 300m from the Thien Cung cave. Dau Go is a large, beautiful cave with mossy antique style, which the French called “The cave of wonders”. The cave has a diverse ecosystem with various kinds of fauna and flora. This is a distinctive feature compared to many other caves in Halong Bay.
3. Soi Sim Island
Soi Sim is about 8.7 hectares, located in the west of Halong Bay, about 12km from Halong city, about 700m from Ti Top Island. The island is a primeval forest with many kinds of special plants many of which are endemic, valuable the Halong Bay ecosystem. Local people said, because on the island grew a lot of sim trees should be called Soi Sim.
4. Tip Top Island
Unlike many other tourist destinations in Halong Bay, besides beautiful natural scenery and charming nature, Ti Top Island also owns a beautiful beach, called Ti Top beach. Visitors can climb to the top of the mountain in the island to see the whole beautiful view. From above, Ti Top Beach has a shape of a full moon embracing the island. Although the beach area is not large but quiet, airy and very clean, the sand in the beach is always clean and white around the year. Perhaps thanks to these prominent advantages, Ti Top always attracts a lot of tourists to visit, especially international tourists love to go to this beach. In summer, there are a lot of tourists come to visit the island everyday
5. Sung Sot Cave
The cave is located in the heart of the World Heritage Halong Bay. Inside of Sung Sot cave are fossil stalactites with extremely interesting shapes. Sung Sot Cave is located among many famous tourist destinations of Halong, such as Ti Top beach, Bo Nau Cave, Me Cung Cave, Luon Cave. Visiting the cave, tourists will be amazed by the delightful charm of the grotto, which gives it the name “Surprise Grotto”
6. Mat Rong Island
Mat Rong Island with an area of about 30 hectares is also known by the name of Bai Dong island. The island is located in the southern part of Halong Bay, adjacent to the Lan Ha Bay area. It can be said that the most attractive point of Dragon Eye Island is in the wildness and primitiveness. If you are afford to have a trip by seaplane, you can admire the entire Halong Bay from above and then understand why this island is called the Dragon Eye. The island lies between the majestic mountain range, which makes a magnificent scene for this place.
7. Bai Tho mountain
Bai Tho is located in the center of Halong City with a mysterious appearance that attracts visitors at the first sight. From the peak of Bai Tho – one of the highest mountains in Halong, visitors can see a clear view of the city – almost every roads of Halong City – the capital of Quang Ninh province as well as blue ocean with long white sand beach
V. WHAT TO EAT IN HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
1. Cha Muc – Squid Sausage
The most famous dish in the list of Halong specialties is probably squid, which is made from fresh squids. What makes the taste of squid sausage here different from other place is that it is made completely by hand. After being spiced, the rounded pieces are fried in a pan of boiling oil and turned yellowish and give a pleasant aroma to the nose. Thanks to that, Halong squid is crispy and the taste is very natural.
- 34 Doan Thi Diem street, Bach Dang ward
- 30 Hai Phuong street, Hong Hai ward
- 286 Cao Xanh street
Price: VND 30,000 – VND 55,000
2. Bun hai san – Seafood noodles
A bowl of seafood noodles contains shrimp, squid, fish balls, crab meat, beans, vegetables. The sweetness of the bone broth comes harmoniously with the chewy and fresh taste of seafood, herbs. In the city of Halong, you can easily find this dish in almost every restaurant on the street.
- Le Thanh Nghi street, Hong Bang ward
- 30 Hai Phuong street, Hong Hai ward
- Van Lang street, Hong Gai ward
- Gieng Day street
Price: VND 30,000 – VND 45,000
3. Hau – Halong Bay Oysters
This is another famous seafood in Halong Bay, which is very nutrious and good for health. The best way to eat this seafood is to grill and then enjoy salt mixed with some lemon and pepper. Another way is to grill the oysters with green onions and peanut.
- 122 Lan Bien urban area
- 30 Hai Phuong street, Hong Hai ward
- 4 Cai Dam street, Bai Chya ward
Price: VND 100,000
4. Oc – Snails
Come to Halong, you can not miss a chance to try the taste of snails because this is a very popular food with a reasonable price. It is cook in many ways, such as boiling, grilling and frying. Also, there are various kinds of snails for you to choose at the restaurant. The chewy and fresh taste of them will surprise you at the first bite.
- 30 Hai Phuong street, Hong Hai ward
- Tran Nhan Tong street
- 347 Cao Thang Street
Price: VND 80,000 – VND 100,000
VI. WHERE TO STAY IN HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
1. Luxurious cruises in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Interestingly, there are a lot of luxurious cruises in Halong Bay, which is an alternative option for tourists to have a brand new experience. They are basically luxurious hotels on water, including five-star amentities and services. Normally, it costs about $220 for an overnight trip including 3 main meals a day.
a. Paradise Luxury Cruise – A modern and comfortable accomodation
Inspired by traditional Vietnamese Junk, Paradise Luxury Cruise features a dining area and spacious sun deck with loungers and views of Halong Bay. Public areas have free Wi-Fi. Each air-conditioned cabin at the Paradise Luxury Cruise features classic wood furnishings with panoramic sea views. Also, guests can take part in activities such as kayaking and squid fishing from the yacht. The on-board Le Parfum Spa offers relaxing massage therapies and treatments. Tai Chi classes and movie nights are also among the boat activities.
- Address: Tuan Chau Island
- Phone: +84 203 3384 2368
- Email: email@example.com
- Price: $224/night/room/2 adults
b. L’Azalee Cruises Halong – A brand new experience for guests
L’Azalee Cruise Halong is a traditional wooden sailboat cruising around Halong Bay. The cruise here offers air-conditioned rooms with en suite bathrooms, and serves on-board meals. Each room has wooden floors and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and free toiletries. In-room windows feature bay and mountain views. Additionally, baggage storage facilities are available at the 24-hour front desk. Guests can sunbathe on the spacious deck. Moreover, water activities including kayaking, scuba diving and fishing are provided by L’Azalee Cruise.
- Address: No.18 Tuan Chau International Marina, Tuan Chau Island
- Phone: +84 93 6878 093
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: $275/night/room/2 adults
c. Dragon Legend – A unique cruise in Halong
Dragon Legend Cruise offers elegant accommodation with an oriental design. With a sun terrace, guests can enjoy Tai Chi lessons and Water Puppet show on board. Furnished with full amenities, air-conditioned rooms come with a wardrobe, a safety deposit box, a seating area and a flat-screen TV. Rooms also have a private bathroom with bath/shower, slippers, hairdryer and free toiletries. Also, Dragon Legend Cruise has a 24-hour reception with English-speaking guides. Guests can enjoy a massage at the spa, or take part in activities such as fishing or kayaking.
- Address: Bai Tu Long bay
- Phone: +84 964 34 33 22
- Price: $54/night/room/2 adults
- Website: www.dragonlegendcruise.com
2. Resorts in Halong Bay, Viet Nam
a. Vinpearl Halong Bay Resort – Perfect accomodation for tourists
Vinpearl Halong Bay Resort has its own private beach area and relaxing spa. Located on Reu Island, the resort offers 3 dining options and free Wi-Fi. Guests can use the outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and fitness center.The nearest airport is Cat Bi International Airport, 68 km from Vinpearl Halong Bay Resort. Moreover, each spacious, air-conditioned room has a balcony, flat-screen cable TV, safe and minibar. Private bathrooms come with a bathtub, shower, hair dryer and free toiletries.
- Address: Reu Island, Bai Chay Ward
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +84 203 355 6868
- Price: From VND 3,000,000/night/room/2 adults
b. La Paz Resort – Modern resort with perfect services
La Paz Resort Resort offers beachfront accommodation with views of Halong Bay on Tuan Chau Island. It features an outdoor pool and guests can dine at the on-site restaurant or sip a drink at the bar. Wi-Fi is free in public areas.
- Address: Tuan Chau Ward
- Phone: +84 33 3 842 999
- Tax: +84 107 659 229
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: From VND 1,500,000/night/room/2 adults
c. Royal Lotus Halong Resort & Villas – An ideal place to stay
With a spa center and sauna, Royal Lotus Halong Resort & Villas is located in Halong City, 9 km from Vincom Plaza Halong. The resort offers year-round outdoor pools, a drink bar and free private parking on site. Each room at the resort comes with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a seating area and a kettle. Private bathrooms come with a shower. Slippers, bathrobes and free toiletries are also available for guests’ convenience.
- Address: Peninsula 2, Hung Thang Ward
- Phone: +84 2033 593 999
- Email: email@example.com
- Price: From VND 1,700,000/night/room/2 adults
3. Hotels in Halong
a. Halong Paradise Suites Hotel – A luxurious 4 star hotel
This hotel has a 3-minute walk from the beach. Situated along the banks of Halong Bay, Paradise Suites Hotel offers accommodation with modern amenities on beautiful Tuan Chau Island. The hotel offers a restaurant and bar offering international cuisine. What is more, spacious suites come with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, wooden furnishings and large windows overlooking the street. There is also a private marble bathroom with standing shower and free toiletries.
- Address: Tuan Chau Island
- Phone: +84 2033 815 088
- Fax: +84 203 3384 2366
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: From VND 2,000,000/night/room/2 adults
b. Wyndham Legend Halong – A beloved 5-star hotel with considerate services
Located in Bai Chay Ward, Quang Ninh Province, 6.5 km from Halong City, Wyndham Legend Halong has an outdoor pool for guests to relax after a long day of sightseeing. International and local dishes are served at the on-site restaurant. Almost every beautifully designed rooms overlook the sea of Halong Bay. Rooms come with a flat-screen satellite TV and a private bathroom with bathrobes and slippers. Some rooms also feature a seating area.
- Address: 12 Halong Road, Bai Chay ward
- Phone: +84 203 3636 555
- Email: email@example.com
- Price: From VND 1,900,000/night/room/2 adults
c. Hotel Novotel Halong Bay – A lovely hotel by the beach
It is a 6-minute walk from this hotel to the beach. Novotel Halong Bay Hotel offers 4-star accommodation in the heart of Bai Chay Ward. It offers views to the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Halong Bay, an outdoor pool, restaurant and free private parking on site.
- Address: 160 Halong road, Bai Chay ward
- Phone: +84 203 3848 108
- Fax: +84 203 3848 018
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: From VND 1,600,000/night/room/2 adults
d. New star Halong Hotel – Great accomodation choice for tourists
Set in a peaceful area in Halong City, New Star Halong Hotel offers tastefully furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi access in all areas. There is also a 24-hour reception and a restaurant.
This hotel is 1.5 km from Bai Chay Beach and Bai Chay Bridge, while just 3 km from Halong Railway Station as well as the famous Halong Night Market.
- Address: Cai Dam, Bai Chay Ward
- Phone: +84 2033 515 288
- Fax: +84 333 841298
- Email: email@example.com
- Price: From VND 1,800,000/night/room/2 adults
e. City Bay Palace Hotel – A place for everyone
Located in Halong City, City Bay Palace Hotel offers free Wi-Fi and restaurant as well.
Air-conditioned rooms are fitted with wooden flooring and come with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Each room comes with a private bathroom with free toiletries.
- Address: 156 Le Thanh Tong street, Bach Dang ward
- Phonel: +84 203 362 1838; +84 203 363 6338; +84 203 363 5788
- Fax: +84 203 363 8199
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Price: From VND 900,000/night/room/2 adults
f. Halong Seoul Hotel – A friendly hotel for tourists
Located in Bai Chay Ward, Halong Seoul Hotel offers free motorbikes and has a restaurant for guests to use. Wi-Fi in all areas and indoor parking are free. All rooms have a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bath or shower, free toiletries and a work desk. Rooms also have wardrobes.
- Address: 3 Phan Boi Chau street, Cai Dam
- Phone: +84 983 358 098
- Email: email@example.com
- Price: From VND 500,000/night/room/2 adults
VII. WHAT TO DO IN HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
1. Visting floating fishing villages
Coastle fishing villages in Halong Bay are peaceful and tranquil destination where tourists can find a rustic charm of the bay. Visiting the villages, you can enjoy the fresh air and immerse yourself into the rural life here with the locals. What a must-try experience!
Some floating villages in Halong Bay:
- Ba Hang village: Hung Thang commune
- Cong Dam village: Bai Tu Long bay
- Cua Van village: Hung Thang commune
2. Go kayaking around the bay
A lot of tourist enjoy this activity while traveling to Halong Bay. It is a perfect way to explore the bay as well as contemplate the spectacular scenery of Halong Bay. Don’t hesitate if you don’t know how to drive kayak, because you will be fully instruct how to use this type of boat before start your own journey. Moreover, you can easily rent one in some wharfs with the rental price of about VND 150,000 per hour.
3. Night squid fishing expericene
Another interesting activity for you in Halong Bay must be going squid fishing at night. You can both go squid fishing and enjoy the sparkling and mysterious scene of the ocean in Halong Bay by night. What is more, you can enjoy the squids right after you catch them in the middle of the sea. However, you can only join in this activity between April and September, when the squids are considered to proliferate most and when the weather is good enough to go out to the sea.
4. Watching sunset on the beach
It would be a very enjoyable experience for you to admire the alluring charm of Halong Bay. You will never forget the dramatic scene of the red sun going down, blemishing the sea water with sparkling and glorious hues. What is more, it is better to enjoy this scenery on the boat on which you can feel the peaceful atmosphere.
VIII. WHAT TO BUY IN Halong Bay, VIETNAM
1. Fresh Halong seafood
Obviously, the most famous speciality in Halong is seafood and there are various types of seafood you can buy as a gift for friends and family. In case you’re afraid about the freshness of them when transfering, you can choose to buy dried seafoods, which are also a very tasty dish like dried squids, dried Sa Sung, etc.
- Mong Cai Market: 1 Tran Phu street
- Halong Market: Bach Dang street
- 33 Le Quy Don street
- 149 Tran Hung Dao street
2. Unique handmade souvenir
In Halong, you can find many kinds of souvenir to buy as a smally lovely gift like handmade necklaces, wooden products, T-shirt with Halong Bay image or some Halong Bay postcards. Additionally, all the products are made by the locals here.
Address: Halong Night Market, Bai Chay beach
IX. TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO HALONG BAY, VIETNAM
- If you visit Halong in the summer and autumn, don’t forget to bring some items to avoid sunlight such as: hat, sunscreen… etc to protect the skin from the harsh sunshine
- Before buying something, you can bargain in order not to being overcharged
- You should go in a large group to reduce the service expense like bike rental price, hotel price, etc
- Do not throw garbage in public or into the sea to protect the environment
The above is the complete from A to Z Halong Bay Travel guidebook for you. Moreover, along with these above activities, there are still many other wonderful things in Halong Bay are waiting for your exploration and footprints. Wish that you’ll have a memorable trip!