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Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is a famous tourist destination which is located on the West coast of the Gulf of Tonkin. With thousands of magnificent islands and many nearby attractions, the bay is a favorite destination of many tourists.

Table of Contents

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay, located in the northeastern part of Vietnam, is renowned for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it spans an area of around 1,553 square kilometers and is home to approximately 1,960–2,000 islets. The name "Ha Long" means "Descending Dragon," which is derived from a legend that explains the bay's formation and its unique landscape. This destination is not just a visual spectacle; it's also a haven for biodiversity, including several endemic species.

Key Attractions

Activities

  • Cruise Tours: Taking a cruise is the most popular way to explore Ha Long Bay. Options range from day trips to multi-day stays on luxurious boats with onboard amenities.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing: Paddle through the bay’s clear waters to explore hidden lagoons, caves, and secluded beaches.
  • Hiking and Cycling on Cat Ba Island: For those who wish to be more active, hiking in Cat Ba National Park or cycling around the island offers great views and the chance to spot wildlife.

Travel Tips

  • Best Time to Visit: The best months to visit are from October to April, when the weather is cooler and drier. The summer months can be hot and humid, with a higher chance of storms.
  • How to Get There: Ha Long Bay is accessible from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It’s about a 2.5 to 4-hour drive, depending on the mode of transportation. Many tour operators offer packages that include transfers from Hanoi.
  • Respect the Environment: Given its UNESCO status and ecological importance, visitors are encouraged to respect the environment by avoiding littering and using eco-friendly products.

Accommodations

Options range from staying on the mainland in the city of Ha Long, where you can find accommodations from budget to luxury, to overnight cruises in the bay itself, offering a unique experience to wake up surrounded by the bay's iconic landscape.

Cultural Importance

Ha Long Bay is not only a natural wonder but also a place steeped in mythology and history, reflecting in its name and the folklore surrounding its formation. The area's cultural and historical significance is showcased in local legends and the archaeological sites found on some islands, indicating human presence as far back as 18,000 years ago.

Exploring Ha Long Bay offers a blend of breathtaking natural beauty, adventure, and a deep dive into Vietnamese culture and history. It’s a must-visit for anyone traveling to Vietnam, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is a famous tourist destination which is located on the West coast of the Gulf of Tonkin. With thousands of magnificent islands and many nearby attractions, the bay is a favorite destination of many tourists.

Contents

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is known as the Northern tourist paradise (Source: Collected)

Being one of the top 7 natural wonders of the world recognized by UNESCO, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is surely the dream destination of every traveler around the world. If you and your family are planning to travel to Quang Ninh and especially want to explore Ha Long Bay, this article will be extremely useful for your trip.

1. About Ha Long City and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

About 180 kilometers away from Hanoi, Ha Long is the first-class provincial city of Quang Ninh Province and known as a tourism paradise in the Northern region. Thanks to its privileged location, Ha Long Vietnam attracts millions of domestic and international tourists each year.

One of the most prominent factors that brings renown to Ha Long is the beauty of Ha Long Bay. The bay has an area of ​​1,553 square kilometers which is made up of 1,960 large and small limestone islands in vivid shapes. Ha Long Bay in Vietnam has been recognized as a natural wonder of the world many times by UNESCO and is known as a must-visit place once in a lifetime. 

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is recognized as a world cultural and natural heritage by UNESCO

In addition, the modern transportation system contributes to the development of Ha Long tourism. Over the years, Ha Long has had extremely high economic growth. The system of facilities and infrastructure is invested synchronously with a high standard. Therefore, Ha Long will certainly meet all of your needs in terms of entertainment, relaxation, shopping, dining,... when you come there.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long is worth a visit once in your life 

Ha Long weather changes month by month and each season has its distinct features. It is the reason why you should check the weather forecast carefully before starting your trip. To travel to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, you can choose from the following time periods:

  • From April to June: This is the ideal time for you to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life through your Ha Long tour. At this time, the weather is warm and mostly sunny. Therefore, it is extremely suitable for sightseeing or soaking in the sunlight with your family and friends at some beautiful beaches.
  • From June to August: This is the peak season so there are many families traveling to this city with their children for their summer vacation. As a result, the number of tourists increases and so does the price of rooms and services. Therefore, you should make a specific plan in advance in order to have a cost-effective trip.
  • From late November to Tet Holiday: At this time, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam usually welcomes a large number of foreign tourists. Compared to the peak season, it is relatively less crowded so you can have more private space to experience Ha Long tourism in the best way.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is from April to June 

3. How to get to Ha Long, Vietnam?

With the synchronous development of transportation infrastructure, it is very easy for you to go to Ha Long from Hanoi by the following means:

3.1. By motorbike

From Hanoi and some Northern provinces, you can go to Bac Ninh by motorbike via Highway 18. Then, make your way to Pha Lai Ward in Chi Linh District, Hai Duong Province. After going to Dong Trieu Town - the western gateway of Quang Ninh Province and continuing past Uong Bi City, you will arrive in Ha Long City.

With this route, it will take you about 4 - 5 hours to travel. For those who like going backpacking, this will be a great experience. However, you should beware of danger by maintaining an appropriate speed, wearing a helmet with glasses and wearing long-sleeved clothing during the journey.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Traveling to Ha Long by motorbike is an interesting experience 

3.2. By car

Traveling by car is a time-saving way for your Ha Long trip in Vietnam. From the center of Hanoi, you need to follow the directions on Hanoi - Ha Long Highway to reach Ha Long City quickly and safely. In comparison to traveling by motorbike, it offers shorter travel time which is only about 2 - 2.5 hours.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Traveling by car only takes you about 2 - 2.5 hours 

3.3. By public transport

In addition to private vehicles, you can also use public transport such as taxis, coaches, trains or buses to go to Ha Long. Also, if you depart from the Southern provinces, you can take a plane which lands at Cat Bi Airport in Hai Phong or Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh. From these places, it is very convenient for you to visit Ha Long Bay in Vietnam and explore its beauty.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

It will also be convenient if you choose to go by coaches 

 

4. Top 7 attractive tourist destinations in Ha Long City

Here are more information about Ha Long Bay in Vietnam and some famous destinations in Ha Long City you should know:

4.1. Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay possesses the majestic and poetic natural beauty with thousands of large and small islands as well as many unique caves. Each year, it attracts a large number of tourists who come to explore some splendid tourist attractions here such as Dragon Eye Island, Ti Top Island, Con Coc Island, Ngoc Vung Island, Sung Sot Cave,...

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is a not-to-be-missed destination 

4.2. Tuan Chau Island

Lying in the Northwest of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Tuan Chau Island covers an area of about 2.2 square kilometers. It is blessed with stunning beaches, lush vegetation and rich archeological values. Coming to Tuan Chau Island, you should not forget to participate in some beach activities and visit Tuan Chau Park to explore numerous wonderful things.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Many tourists love visiting Tuan Chau Island when traveling to Ha Long in Vietnam

4.3. Quang Ninh Museum

Considered as a miniature model of the province, Quang Ninh Museum is known as a great pride of Ha Long people. Not only having unique architecture, this place also stores a lot of important and meaningful cultural information. Therefore, if you intend to pay a trip to Ha Long City, put this place in your checklist!

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

The front of Quang Ninh Museum is an awesome background for taking photos

4.4. Cua Van Fishing Village

Cua Van Fishing Village is one of the top-rated Ha Long tourist destinations that you should visit once. Coming there, you will have a chance to immerse yourself in a peaceful place with many charming natural landscapes. Besides, some activities to experience and discover the livelihood of fishermen here will make you extremely excited.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Cua Van Fishing Village is always on the top of the most beautiful fishing villages in Vietnam

4.5. Bai Tho Mountain

Bai Tho Mountain is a famous tourist destination for those who love adventure. The mountain has an altitude of over 200 meters and is located right in the center of Ha Long City which is very close to the sea. It is considered as a masterpiece that Mother Nature has bestowed upon Quang Ninh Province. From here, you can see the whole romantic scenery of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

From Bai Tho Mountain, you can get a full view of the beautiful bay 

 

4.6. Bai Chay Beach

Bai Chay is an artificial beach with a length of up to 1,000 meters and a width of more than 100 meters. It is recognized as the largest Ha Long beach to have clear blue water and a clean white sandy shore. A straight row of trees is also the highlight of this place. It will provide a great background for tourists to take a lot of amazing photos.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Bai Chay Beach attracts a large number of tourists 

4.7. Hon Gai Beach 

Hon Gai Beach is one of the most invested artificial beaches in the North of Vietnam. Specifically, it has a length of 900 meters and a width of 185 meters. With such a scale, Hon Gai Beach has become a Ha Long tourist destination that has gained a lot of love from domestic and foreign tourists.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Hon Gai is an artificial beach which is invested with an amount of up to 1,000 billion VND

5. What to eat in Ha Long? Some must-try specialties suggested for you

Your Ha Long trip will not be complete if you do not try the dishes below once:

5.1. Grilled chopped squid

For the question of what to eat in Ha Long, the first answer is a very delicious dish - grilled chopped squid. It is a famous food of Ha Long and one of the most unique specialties in Vietnam. Its main ingredients come from the sea and all of them are pounded completely by hand, and then processed according to the recipe passed down by generations.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Enjoying grilled chopped squid is one of the things to do in Ha Long City 

5.2. Peanut-worm

Peanut-worm is an extremely valuable sea worm that you should enjoy once when visiting Ha Long Bay. Each kilogram of dried peanut-worm costs up to 4 – 5 million VND. When coming to this city, do not forget to enjoy the specialties from peanut-worm which can be processed in many different ways such as frying, boiling, grilling,...

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam4

The dishes made of peanut-worm have high nutritional value

5.3. Stir-fried snails with soy sauce

Without guise leaves and cooking oil, Ha Long people stir-fry snails with saw leaves, desiccated coconut and lime leaves. As for the dipping sauce, it is taken from the soy sauce used to stir-fry the snails before. Stir-fried snails with the mix of crispy, greasy and spicy flavor will definitely bring you an unforgettable experience.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Stir-fried snails with soy sauce has a mix of crispy, greasy and spicy flavor 

5.4. Grilled oysters

Grilled oysters with onion fat is a rustic dish in Quang Ninh that is loved by many tourists. The shells of oysters are pried on one side with scallion oil added on top and then grilled on a charcoal stove. When you hear the sizzling sound, add a few small broken peanuts and enjoy the dish.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Grilled oysters is a must-try food in Ha Long 

 

5.5. Seafood vermicelli

As a sea region with a rich source of seafood, Ha Long is very famous for seafood dishes. The rich sweetness of the broth along with the firm texture of the meat, the dried shrimp and the grilled chopped squid are the outstanding features of this dish. All of these create a delicious bowl of seafood vermicelli for you to try.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Seafood vermicelli is a highlight of Ha Long cuisine 

6. Where to stay during your Ha Long travel?

In Ha Long, there are many resorts, hotels and motels of various classes (from affordable to luxurious ones) which will serve all the needs of tourists. However, to enjoy the holiday in Ha Long to the fullest, you can choose to stay at Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long in Reu Island.

Inspired by the design of French theaters, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long is like a magnificent royal castle with white as the main color scheme. All the rooms of the hotel face the sea so you can see a very romantic view if staying there. Along with that, you will have a chance to enjoy a luxurious stay with a harmonious and modern 5-star utility system.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long is located in the heart of Reu Island with a clear view to the sea 

Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The highlight here is the pool bar serving outdoor parties with the aim of helping tourists to relax as much as possible. Furthermore, the restaurant system at Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long is diversified according to a 5-star standard and serves all kinds of seafood dishes, BBQ or daily meals.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

The indoor swimming pool of Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long

Also, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long offers perfect venues for meetings, events, travel rewards, and top-notch cultural and art events.

  • Large-capacity meeting rooms showcasing regal European-style architecture with maintaining state-of-the-art facilities and advanced technology that meets all event requirement
  • Signature culinary experiences that will delight visitors on their journey
  • Diverse high-class accommodation options
  • Professional, dedicated & experienced staff who offer outstanding customer service and continually contribute to the success of events held at Vinpearl
ha long travel

7. Some tips to have an economical trip to Ha Long, Vietnam

If you and your family are planning to visit and enjoy your time in Ha Long City, here are some travel tips that will help you lower your cost quite a bit:

  • Make reservations 3 weeks to 1 month in advance to ensure a well-planned vacation.
  • It is forbidden to bring plastic utensils, water bottles or plastic bags when boarding the boat to visit Ha Long Bay. You can buy drinks with the price of only 20,000 to 30,000 VND per drink on board.
  • If you buy tickets to visit places, you should keep the ticket stub for the next tourist destinations because the staff of each place will check your ticket.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

You should note some tips to get a cost-effective trip to Ha Long Bay in Vietnam
 

Ha Long is a perfect suggestion for your upcoming vacation with your beloved. Hopefully, the above useful information about Ha Long Bay in Vietnam in specific and Ha Long City in general will help you and your family have a memorable trip with lots of fun. Don't forget to note yourself some useful tips before departing to this wonderful place.

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