8 Steps to choose your Halong Bay tour
8 Steps to choose your Halong Bay tour
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Halong Bay is the most famous tourist destination in Vietnam. With the majestic natural beauty of the complex of limestone caves and islands, Halong Bay attracts over one million travelers coming each year. Today, the Halong Bay tourism services have developed a lot with the variety of hotels, restaurants, cruises, and travel agencies. However, besides the advantages, it also makes the tourists confused when planning Halong Bay tours. Therefore, in this article, we will show you 8 simple steps to choose Halong Bay tours. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Deciding how long your Halong Bay tours will last
Deciding the length of your trip is absolutely essential because it will affect a lot of things on your trips such as your budget, your choice about suitable accommodations, tours, etc. Therefore, first of all, you definitely decide how long you will stay in Halong Bay. Depending on your schedule, you can choose the most suitable length of your Halong Bay tours from the below recommendations:
1. Halong Bay Day tours - An overview about Halong Bay beauty
Halong Bay Day tours are extremely suitable for busy people who want to combine their business with a short tour to Halong Bay. You can explore the highlights of Halong Bay beauty such as Thien Cung Cave, Surprising Cave, Ti Top Island, etc and enjoy some typical activities like kayaking and so on.
It is highly recommended to book full-package Halong Bay day tours which are usually Halong Bay tours from Hanoi. Because it will provide you with a fixed and detailed schedule as well as the transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay so you can manage your time better with affecting your own schedule. Also, the tour guides of the full-package tour will help you explore Halong Bay more in a short time. Moreover, the Halong Bay day tour price is really reasonable from VND 600,000 to VND 2,000,000.
2. 2 day-1 night tours - The most popular choice of tourists
Most tourist coming to Halong Bay choose the 2 day-1 night tours. If you spend about 2 days in Halong Bay, the 2 day-1 night cruise is highly recommended by the prior travelers. This option will provide a closer view of Halong Bay to immerse in its beauty when cruising around the bay and the famous destinations. Also, the cruise tour offers you with a lot of extra activities like diving, exploring fishing villages, kayaking, tasting cuisines, etc to create the unforgettable memory. Besides, you can spend a day in Halong City and a day on the cruise to explore entire the beauty of both city and bay.
3. 3 day-2 night tours or longer - Deeply exploring Halong Bay
Halong Bay is not a large area but there are so many interesting things for you to explore cause each corner of Halong Bay has its interesting stories. Therefore if you have time, the 3 day-2 night tours or longer are great choices. You can spend all your time on the cruise to reach the remote areas of Halong Bay and explore its hidden beauty as well as join in more wonderful activities. In addition, from the Halong Bay tour reviews of the prior tourists, you should spend one night in Halong City to enjoy its beautiful nightlife and taste the Halong City’s specialties.
An note you should know is that according to the regulation of port authorities, the maximum time you can stay on the cruise is 3 day-2 night. Therefore, if you plan to spend more than 3 day-2 night on the cruise, you must come back to the mainland before continuing your trip on the cruise.
Step 2: Deciding the time you are going to take your Halong Bay tours
There is no definition for “best time to visit Halong Bay” because Halong Bay is a year-round touristic destination so you can come here any time you want. In different periods, you can explore the different charms of Halong Bay. However, you should consider carefully cause the time you come to Halong Bay will affect your budget and the activities you can take part in.
1. Halong Bay in Spring - Enjoying the festive atmosphere of Halong City (January to March)
In spring, the Halong Bay weather is continuously drizzling and misty with the average temperature of 19C. This weather condition is absolutely suitable for the growth of trees and flowers. If you come to Halong Bay in this period, you can see the colorful picture of plants. In addition, the period between late January to early February is the Tet holiday in Vietnam. Therefore, there are a lot of festivals and activities to celebrate the Tet holiday. You can understand more about Vietnamese culture and get closer to the local people.
2. Halong Bay in Summer - The peak season of domestic tourism (April to August)
In summer, the temperature of Halong Bay is usually from 27oC to 30oC, which is much lower than the temperature of the surrounding areas. Also, the sky is prettily clear and the sea is pure and blue. As a result, summer is the ideal season for water activities in Halong Bay like swimming, diving, kayaking, etc. Therefore, in this season, there are so many people from other regions of Vietnam coming to Halong Bay for their summer vacation. Especially, the period between July and August is considered as the peak touristic season in Halong Bay. If you want to come to Halong Bay in this period, you should book in advance about a month to avoid the overloading of tourism services.
3. Halong Bay in Autumn - Enjoying the romantic autumn of Halong (September to October)
Autumn is considered the best time to travel to Halong Bay for foreign tourists. The temperature of Halong Bay in autumn is usually around 25oC, the rainfall is low and the sky is partly cloudy, partly windy. This comfortable weather is super suitable for cruising around the bay and enjoy the romantic atmosphere with your partner. However, you should check carefully the weather forecast before coming because in this period, maybe, Halong Bay will receive some sudden tropical storms.
4. Halong Bay in Winter - Exploring the tranquil and silent charm of Halong (November to early January)
In winter, the average temperature of Halong Bay is quite low at 15oC, sometimes, it can drop to 8C. At this time, the number of tourists coming to Halong Bay will decrease significantly. However, Halong Bay still has its own beauty - the tranquil and silent charm. Therefore, winter is extremely suitable for those who love the novel and mysterious beauty of Halong Bay.
Step 3: Deciding the budget for your Halong Bay tours
So you have decided the time you will come to Halong Bay and how long you will stay. Now, let’s come to an important factor of your Halong Bay tour - your budget. To find out the suitable budget for your tour, you should consider 2 elements: your maximum amount of money you can spend and the cost level in Halong Bay such as accommodation price level, food price, etc. The fact is that you should not worry too much about whether you can have a nice Halong Bay tour with this budget or not. Because with the development of tourism services in Halong Bay, it can adapt to all your requirements from a saving-money trip for the backpacker to a luxury honeymoon with a romantic atmosphere.
Read more: 10 Steps to plan Hanoi to Halong Bay tour
Step 4: Choose your accommodations in Halong Bay
After deciding your budget for your tour, the next step is choosing the accommodation in Halong Bay that suits your budget. In Halong Bay, there are various kinds of accommodations so you can easily choose the most suitable one. You can consider 4 choices below:
1. Halong Bay Cruise - Taking a closer view of Halong Bay’s beauty
The boat cruise is the most famous kind of accommodation in Halong Bay. A lot of tourists choose Halong Bay cruises because it offers a great way to explore Halong Bay. You can cruise around Halong Bay and enjoy closer its stunning beauty. Also, watching the sunset and sunrise or night sky with full of stars on the cruise is the highlights of your Halong Bay tour that you should not miss. Besides, the extra activities on the cruise such as Tachi session, kayaking, fishing, etc will give you unforgettable memories.
There are many types of cruises in Halong Bay from budget cruises to luxury ones, which can be suitable with all your requirements. The Halong Bay cruise tour price (2 day-1 night) is from VND 1,200,000 to VND 30,000,000 including 3 meals. Here are some Halong Bay cruise recommendations for luxury cruises (Paradise Cruise, Emperor Cruise, Aphrodite Cruise, etc), mid-range cruises (Paloma Cruise, Bhaya Cruise, Stellar Cruise, Rosa Cruise, Swan Cruise, Indochina Sails, Pelican Cruise, etc), budget cruises (Dragon Legend, Phoenix Cruise, Glory Legend Cruise, Wego Halong Cruise, etc) private cruises (L'Amour Junk Private Charter, L'Azalee Private Charter, etc).
2. Halong Bay Resort - Experiencing the first-class stay in Halong Bay
Today, many resorts have built in Halong Bay to serve the tourists’ increasing requirement of accommodations. If you have the seasickness or are looking for a place with full facilities and professional service to stay, the resorts in Halong Bay are a great choice. Most resorts in Halong Bay is close to the beach or even have a private beach so you can easily experience water sports and other water activities. Also, the facility system of resorts including spa, bar, restaurant, fitness center, etc will have a perfectly relaxing holiday in Halong Bay. The price of a Halong Bay resort is from VND 2,000,000 to VND 10,000,000. Some recommended resorts in Halong Bay are Vinpearl Halong Bay, Royal Lotus Halong Bay Resort and Villas, La Paz Resort, Tuan Chau International Resort, etc.
3. Halong Bay hotels and homestays - A chance to enjoy Halong City
Besides cruises and resorts, Halong Bay hotels and homestays will be a more reasonable choice for tourists when coming to Halong Bay because it has the flexible price level from VND 200,000 to VND 5,000,000 per night. Also, Halong Bay City has a lot of interesting things to explore such as Halong City’s cuisine, Bai Tho Mountain, Halong Market, etc. In which, Halong City nightlife is one of the highlights that you should not miss. In addition, in the spring, especially in Tet holiday, you can take part in many festivals and carnivals in Halong Bay City to understand more about the local culture. Here are some hotels and homestays receiving good reviews from prior travelers: Halong Ginger Homestay, Halong Happy Hostel, Halong Seoul Hotel, Ruby Halong Homestay, etc.
4. Halong Bay Cruise and hotel package - The interesting and novel combination
For those spending over 3 days in Halong Bay, the Halong Bay Cruise and hotel package tour is a great choice. That means you will have a 2 day-1 night cruising around Halong Bay and a night in a hotel in Halong City. Therefore, you can not only enjoy the gorgeous beauty of Halong Bay from the cruise but also explore the daily life in Halong City. Besides, when booking this package tour, you can have special deals or attractive discounts.
Step 5: Choose the places you are going to visit in Halong Bay
With the complex of thousands of isles and limestone karsts, Halong Bay has numerous places to visit. Many people said that no matter how long you stay in Halong Bay, there are still a lot of things waiting for you to explore cause each place, each corner in Halong Bay all have its own charms.
If you just have a short time in Halong Bay, you definitely visit the top 5 famous and typical destinations of the bay. It includes Dau Go Cave which is the largest grotto in Halong Bay, Thien Cung Cave which is really well-known for the magnificent and majestic system of stalactites, Sung Sot Cave which is the widest cave in Halong Bay, Mat Rong Island which is considered a new-discovered wild beauty of Halong Bay and Tip Top Island which is called as the luminous pearl of the bay.
In addition, the more time you stay in Halong Bay, the more chance you have to explore the hidden beauty of Halong Bay. In case you have more than 2 days in Halong Bay, you should spend time to visit Cat Ba Island, Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay which is also the famous tourist attractions and quite near Halong Bay. If you want to explore the remote areas, you can take an adventure tour to reach the novel caves and islands.
Step 6: Choose the activities you are going to do in Halong Bay tours
Besides visiting the tourist attractions, there are a lot of interesting activities waiting for you in Halong Bay In order to make your Halong Bay tours more perfect and full of wonderful experiences, you should research these activities. Here are some activities that you should not miss in Halong Bay tours:
1. Activities when taking Halong Bay cruise tours
When talking about activities to do when cruising around Halong Bay, kayaking is an indispensable activity. This is one of the best ways to contemplate the spectacular beauty and immerse in the blue water of Halong Bay. Kayak is quite easy to use and the safety guide will be available to help you. Also, this activity is included in most Halong Bay cruise tours so do not hesitate to try kayaking.
In addition, visiting the floating fishing village is a great activity that you should not miss. You can experience the daily life of the locals and enjoy the rustic charm of Halong Bay. Besides, you can try night squid fishing on the cruise. It is definitely an awesome experience. You can both see the sparkling and mysterious scene of Halong Bay at night and savor fresh squids for your meals the following day.
2. Activities when exploring Halong City
If you have a chance to explore Halong City, savor Halong cuisines is a great choice. Because of the comfortable weather and the rich cultural identity, Halong City has a lot of unique specialities. Also, experiencing Halong City nightlife and join the local festivals are recommended activities for tourists.
Step 7: Search the Halong Bay tours that suit your requirements
Now you have decided all elements you need for your Halong Bay tours including the time you travel, how long you will stay, your budget, your accommodation, the places you will visit and the activities you will do. So it is the time to find the suitable Halong Bay tours for you. You can search on the Internet with the keywords like “Halong Bay day tours”, “2 day-1 night Halong Bay tours”, Halong Bay adventure tour”, etc to find the tour that fits your requirements.
Step 8: Booking Halong Bay tours at right places
Have you found your suitable Halong Bay tour? If yes, let’s move on the final but extremely important step - booking your tour. There are many ways to book a Halong Bay tour.
1. Booking Halong Bay tours through booking websites
Today, booking through websites is increasingly popular. It is obvious that this booking method has huge advantages. First of all, there are thousands of Halong Bay tours available on booking websites so you can have a variety of choices from budget tours to luxury tours. Another advantage of booking Halong Bay tours through booking websites is transparency. All information such as price, amenities, itinerary, inclusions, and exclusions are shown clearly. Therefore, you can easily compare the different tours to choose the most suitable one. In addition, each tour on booking websites all has the rating and reviews from the tourists who have used it. Based on the reviews from the prior guests, you can easily find out which is the good or bad tour.
However, booking the Halong Bay tour through booking websites also have some drawbacks. As you know, the price and deals on these websites change daily so sometimes, the price of the tour on websites can be higher than the real price of the tour. To choose a good-price tour, you have to spend time to hunt special deals and discounts. Also, today the number of phishing websites is increasing so please research and read carefully about the website and its policy before booking.
Here are some recommended Halong tour booking websites:
- Website HalongBayCruise.vn: This is a Halong Bay cruise hunter website with over 50 cruises and hundreds of cruise tours available. Also, this website provides a lot of full-package Halong Bay cruise tour from Hanoi that means the transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay is included in the cruise price)
Website address: www.halongbaycruise.vn
- Website HalongTravelGuide.com: This is one of the prestigious booking websites of Halong Bay providing both cruise tours and normal tours.
Website address: www.halongtravelguide.com
- Website ToursHalong.com: This is also a famous booking website of Halong Bay offering a variety of Halong Bay tours. Also, when booking on this website, you just need to deposit $99 and pay the rest on location.
Website address: www.tourshalong.com
- Website Halongbaytours.com: This is the favorite booking website of tourist when coming to Halong Bay.
Website address: www.halongbaytours.com
2. Booking Halong Bay tours through travel agencies
Unlike booking websites where tourists just buy tour tickets, travel agencies are a place where they will take care of all your requirements. Therefore, booking the Halong Bay tour through travel agencies is a favorite method of many tourists. Especially, you travel with a big group over 10 people, you definitely choose this booking method cause the travel agencies will offer you a lot of discount and extra benefits.
If you can, we recommend that you should book directly on the travel agency’s offices. Because you can get the direct consultant from the travel expert, especially when you want to design a customized tour or have the special requirement like travel with little children, the elderly or special health problems, etc. Also, you can pay directly at the office with transparent papers, which is more reliable.
If your home is far from the travel agency’s office, you can book through the telephone. This booking method is more convenient cause you can discuss direct discuss with the travel experts of the travel agencies without getting to the office from a long distance.
If you even do not want to spend on the telephone bill, you can book the Halong Bay tour through email or chatting with staff on their fanpage or official website. However, sometimes, you have to wait a bit for their answers and the misunderstanding usually occurs.
3. Booking Halong Bay tours directly through the cruise operators
When speaking of Halong Bay tour, the cruise tour is the popular choice of tourists. Therefore, if you want to book Halong Bay cruise tours, you can book directly through the cruise operators. There are some cruise operators having their offices in Hanoi but most cruise operators just have the offices in Halong City. Therefore, if you want to book tour through the cruise operators, you have to book in Halong Bay City. That means you have to get to Halong Bay by yourself while if you book through booking websites or travel agencies, the transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay is included in your price of the ticket.
In addition, although you can buy the cruise ticket with the original price, you have to face the problem that all cruise tickets are sold-out. Therefore, this booking method is not recommended, especially in the peak season of tourism in Halong Bay.
So we have gone through 7 simple steps to choose your Halong Bay tours. Have you finished booking your Halong Bay tour yet? We hope that you find this article useful and help you book the best Halong Bay tours for your trip. In addition, remember to book in advance in the peak tourist season and see the weather forecast to prepare carefully for your Halong Bay tour. Have a nice trip!