HA LONG BAY → Travel Guide + TIPS

Ha Long Bay – Vietnam (Travel guide). What to see and do in Ha Long Bay, tourist activities and transport to Ha Long.

ℹ️ Information about Ha Long
🚍 How to get to Cat Ba Island
🚢 Cruises in Ha Long Bay
🚍 How to get to Ha Long Bay
☀️ Weather in Ha Long Bay
🏡 Accommodation in Ha Long
🔍 Interesting sites in Ha Long
📍 Map of interesting places
🎫 Book a Tour in Ha Long
🎫 Book Ticket to Ha Long

Ha Long Bay: The Most Popular Tourist Site.

    • Ha Long (Hạ Long) means “where the dragon plunges into the sea.“ According to legend the islands were formed by a dragon who flew over this area and using his tail carved each valley with his tail. Then he plunged into the sea and the valleys were flooded with seawater. Many visitors come to take a 2-3 day cruise between the enchanting islands in the bay and soak up the atmosphere of this unique and beautiful place.

Tens to hundreds of cruise ships offer tours in the bay.

    • Ha Long Bay has a lot of types of accommodation. It is one of the most visited places, and prices are a bit higher than elsewhere. Even without a reservation, you are bound to find Guesthouses and Nha Nghi (hotels). The city is divided into the two parts. Bai Chay is a tourist area with many hotels and restaurants. Hon Gai is a district with businesses, supermarkets and other shops. These two parts are connected by the Bai Chay bridge.
Ha Long Bay and Ha Long City.

Almost 2,000 mountainous islands are located in Ha Long Bay.

    • Ha Long Bay has up 1,969 small and large inhabited and uninhabited limestone islands of various shapes and sizes. Among the islands the villages of local fishermen can be seen. They have built houses on rafts, and between the houses they string fishing nets. On these islands, people and their animals live together. A lot of mountainous islands reach a height of around 100 meters and some even contain lakes. Dau Be Island has 6 enclosed lakes.

Accommodation in Halong Bay

There is not much to see in Ha Long city, take a trip to the islands.

    • If you stay a while in Ha Long town, definitely go to the Nui Bai Tho sightseeing stop located at the port of Hon Gai. If you are not taking a sightseeing aircraft flight or helicopter ride , this place offers the best view onto Ha Long Bay and its hundreds of islets. Nui Bai Tho is very easily accessible from the town. In 2016 the Sun World Ha Long park was opened with a cable car, a ferris wheel, and many other attractions for tourists (a bit Disneyland).
The fishing village in Ha Long Bay.

Sun World Ha Long – Entertainment Complex in the Heart of Ha Long.

    • Sun World Ha Long is a fascinating entertainment complex located in the picturesque area of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. This complex is synonymous with fun, adventure, and unforgettable experiences. One of the main attractions of Sun World Ha Long is the exceptional Queen cable car, which takes you to the top of Ba Deo, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Ha Long Bay. The cable car journey itself is a memorable experience, with views of the expansive landscape and majestic cliffs captivating visitors. It is a vast complex and is particularly popular among Vietnamese locals.
    • For adrenaline and adventure enthusiasts, there is also the Sun World Adventure Park, offering a wide range of thrilling attractions and activities. From water slides to rope parks, every visitor will find something to get their heart racing. Sun World Ha Long preserves the authentic atmosphere of Vietnamese culture in its architecture and design. Visitors can discover the beauty of traditional Vietnamese structures and artworks.
    • One of the highlights of the visit is also the Sun World Water Park, ideal for those looking to enjoy refreshing water fun. Pools, slides, and water attractions provide countless hours of joy for visitors of all ages. Sun World Ha Long is not just a place for entertainment and adventure but also offers a wide range of opportunities for shopping, gastronomic experiences, and cultural events.
Sun World Ha Long entertainment complex with attractions in Ha Long town.

Quang Ninh Museum: A Window into the Rich History and Culture of Ha Long.

    • Quang Ninh Museum in Ha Long is a treasure trove of rich history and culture, offering visitors a fascinating glimpse into the past of this picturesque area. Located in the heart of Ha Long, it showcases not only a multitude of historical artifacts but also sheds light on the unique stories of the people who shaped this region. The museum encompasses a wide range of exhibits from archaeological findings to traditional art, with each piece telling its own story. Visitors can explore the diversity of cultural heritage and history in Quang Ninh through interactive exhibitions that illuminate the development of the area from ancient times to the present.
    • The museum is not just a static space but also a place of meeting and education. It hosts various cultural events, workshops, and educational programs that connect the past with the present, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the history and traditions of Quang Ninh. For lovers of history, art, and culture, the Quang Ninh Museum is an essential point on the map of Ha Long, opening a window into the fascinating world of the past and connecting us with the rich history of this picturesque region.
Quang Ninh Museum is a very nice modern maintained museum in Ha Long city.

Tuan Chau Island: Tourist Resort in the Heart of Ha Long Bay.

    • Tuan Chau, a small island in the heart of Ha Long Bay, is undeniably one of the most visited places in the region. With an exceptional combination of natural beauty and modern luxury, Tuan Chau offers an intriguing experience for visitors. It is essentially a newly developed area for tourist recreation. The island features beaches with fine white sand, making it an ideal retreat for those seeking relaxation away from the city. Moreover, Tuan Chau is not just about natural beauty; it is home to luxurious accommodation options that provide the perfect blend of comfort and convenience.
    • From this island, a variety of excursion boats set sail to explore Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha. One of the main attractions is also an amphitheater with regular performances featuring traditional dances, music, and stunning light shows, as well as Tuan Chau Park with animal performances. Tuan Chau also boasts a golf course and a wide range of water sports for those seeking adventure. For lovers of maritime history, a visit to the island’s museum is available, detailing the history of Ha Long Bay and surrounding areas. The island is connected by a bridge and easily accessible, and from here, you can also take a boat/ferry to Cat Ba Island.
Tuan Chau Island is a modern tourist area but also a traffic junction for cruises going to Ha Long Bay.

Ha Long Bay was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

    • The whole area covers around 1,553 km². The center of the bay has an area of 334 km² with a high density of 775 islets. The islands in Ha Long Bay are formed of limestone and slate and they are almost 250 million years old. Ha Long Bay comprises an area of islands northeast of Bai Tu Long Bay and Cat Ba Island to the southwest. Ha Long Bay is one of the seven wonders of the world and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

CAT BA is the largest island in Ha Long Bay with beautiful caves and jungles.

    • Half of Cat Ba Island (Cát Bà) is a National park with its beautiful hills, lakes (Ech – the largest lake) and two caves (Hospital Cave and Hang Trung Trang Cave). The park was founded in 1986 primarily to protect the interesting ecosystems (forests, swamps, mangroves and reefs). The island occupies an area of approximately 350 km² and is one of the prettiest islands in Ha Long Bay. In the southern part of the island you can visit the Hospital Cave (Han Quan Y). It was built between 1963-1965 and it was an important place in the war with the USA. You can see 17 rooms here, an operating room and a large cave that was used as a cinema.
Monkey Island – Cat Ba.

Cat Ba Island is the perfect place for a stay by the sea-side in northern Vietnam.

    • The island has rich flora and you can find up to 745 kinds of plants, trees and herbs. They can be seen when you are trekking through the island. You can also stay of course on Cat Ba Island itself. Accommodation and services are found around the town in the southern part of the island. It is recommended to take some cash to the island. According to my information, there are only about 3 ATMs.

Book your tour to Halong Bay

Visit the beautiful Lan Ha Bay on the southeast side of the Cat Ba Island.

    • Lan Ha Bay is the perfect place where you can take a boat trip and is about 30 minutes sailing from the town of Cat Ba. Explore some of the beautiful and deserted beaches where you can swim or kayak. Lan Ha is a better place than some full tourist beaches in Ha Long Bay. In the Lan Ha Bay area there is approximately 300 islets, these islets are as beautiful as those in Ha Long Bay, including 200 species of fish and 500 species of molluscs. Ask for trips in the city or at the hotel in Cat Ba town. Lan Ha is characterized mainly by untouched nature and deserted islands. Watch this video from Cat Ba Island.

Southeast Asia’s longest sea-crossing bridge in Hai Phong – Tan Vu-Lach Huyen.

    • In September 2017, the longest sea-crossing bridge in Southeast Asia – Tan Vu-Lach Huyen – was opened. This bridge connects Hai Phong on the highway that leads to Hanoi and ends on Cat Hai Island, about 2 km from Cat Ba Island. The length of the sea-crossing bridge is 5.4 km, and the transport from Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island is greatly accelerated (see map under article).
One of the beaches in the Lan Ha Bay near of the Cat Ba island.

🚍 How to get and travel to Cat Ba Island?

1. From Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by bus+ferry

    • the fastest and comfortable way how to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
    • bus goes over the longest sea-crossing bridge in Southeast Asia – Tan Vu > Lach Huyen (opened in September 2017)
    • travel by bus+ferry from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island takes about 3.5-5 hours
    • bus company: Cat Ba Express, Good Morning Cat Ba, Full Moon Party, Daichi Travel, Grouptour…
    • bus tickets from Hanoi to Cat Ba cost 11-17 USD
    • bus is going directly to the Cat Ba town on the Cat Ba Island over the Cat Hai Island
    • Book and buy bus e-ticket from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island ➜
    • read this article: How to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island?

2. From Tuan Chau Island to Cat Ba Island

    • boats / ferry from Tuan Chau to Cat Ba (north) from terminal
    • to the northern part of Cat Ba Island – into Gian Luan Pier port
    • the fastest and shortest option (price – 70,000 dongs for ticket, the journey takes about 1 hour)
    • You can take a motorcycle with you (price – 90,000 dongs per person with a bike)
    • then you still need to get into the town in the southern part of the island, you can take the bus to Cat Ba town

3. From Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island (boat, ferry)

    • boats / ferry from Ben Binh harbour (Pha Binh Port) and Dinh Vu Pier
    • Book and buy ferry tickets from Hai Phong to Cat Ba Island ➜
    • boats of Hoang Long company can also go from Dinh Vu Pier
    • the journey is longer and more expensive (about 150-250,000 Dong) but you will arrive straight into the town on the island of Cat Ba
    • if you arrive by train from Hanoi, Hai Phong is probably the best option for getting to the Cat Ba Island

Accommodation in Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba National Park.

The other islands in Ha Long Bay area:

    • Ban Sen (densely forested, almost uninhabited island)
    • Quan Lan (historically significant remote island with several beaches)
    • Van Don Archipelago (a lot of inhabited islands)
    • Tuan Chau (much frequented by tourists)


The islands can be accessed from various ports:

    • Cai Rong – small harbor to the northeast areas (for Quan Lan island)
    • Ha Long city – there are a several ports (for Tuan Chau but also for Cat Ba island)
    • Hai Phong – large historic port city at the mouth of the Red River (for Cat Ba island)
Kayaking in Halong Bay.

The caves in Ha Long Bay are
the biggest attraction for tourists:

    • Dau Go (Wooden Stakes cave) – large cavern consisting of three underground halls
    • Thien Cung – one of the most beautiful caves, 130 m long, impressive image of the characters stories
    • Sung Sot – most visited cave on the island of Bo Hon, 3 halls, another cave Hang Bo Nau
    • Trong (Drum Cave) – named after the sound of distant drums, visitors hear the sound when there is a wind
    • Luon – about 3 km northeast of Sung Sot cave
    • Trinh Nu – close to the Trong Cave, also called the „Romantic Cave“
    • Tam Cung – on an isolated May Den island, 5 km northeast of Sung Sot Cave
    • Ba Ham – the most distant caves in Ha Long Bay, Dau Be Island in Lan Ha Bay
    • Thien Long (Dragon Cave) – this cave is on Cat Ba Island

There are another caves in Ha Long Bay, not all are written here. Some of the caves are not open for tourists and some have been discovered more recently.

Sung Sot cave in Ha Long Bay.

🚢 Planning to stay on a ship / cruise in Ha Long?

    • Ha Long Bay attracts large numbers of tourists from all over the world throughout the year. If you come here, be careful with the selection of a boat. It is better to choose a smaller boat with a smaller number of tourists and cruise for two days. You will see so much more and you will experience the true authenticity of this magical place.
    • You can also use some cruise ships which you can come across in the ports. It is possible to take a cruise for a few hours or a whole day. Then you can also sleep on one of the habitable islands.
Tourist boat in Ha Long Bay.

Do you want to take a 1 day only cruise in Ha Long Bay?

    • You can ask for a fee one of the local fishermen to take you , they can take you in Ha Long Bay on shorter trips. This trip with the locals sometimes surpasses expectations, it avoids the tourist crowds and maybe you’ll learn more than with a tourist tour.

Book Tickets from Hanoi to Ha Long

One of the several places in Vietnam where th „Kong: Skull Island“ movie was filmed.

    • Ha Long Bay, one of the several locations in Vietnam, where the movie Kong: Skull Island (2017) was filmed in 2015-2016. Some places of the Ha Long Bay scenes are: Ngoc Vung Island, Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave and Ba Hang area. All are marked on the map below this article. It’s not the first time that this bay was used for filming. Other films filmed in Ha Long Bay: Pan (2015), James Bond (1997), Indochina (1992).
Quan Lan Island in the no-tourist season.

QUAN LAN Island is a nice and not so visited island.

    • Quan Lan Island is located in Bai Tu Long Bay, and its total area is approximately 11 square kilometers. Quan Lan was in the 11th century a bustling port designed mainly for international trade between Vietnam and other countries. Many remains related to trading activities have been found here. There is also a preserved temple from the 18th century with an interesting architectural design.
    • If you want to swim its no problem, there are 3 beaches for swimming – Quan Lan, Son Hao Minh Chau. These beaches are untouched by tourists compared to other beaches in Ha Long Bay. Accommodation in Quan Lan is possible in guesthouses or dormitories. Prices are from approximately 10 to 30 USD per room. More information about Quan Lan Island.

Accommodation in Quan Lan Island

🚢 How to get to Quan Lan Island?

1. From Cai Rong (Van Don) to Quan Lan Island

2. From Ha Long (Hon Gai port) to Quan Lan Island

    • Tra Ban is the large island north of the Quan Lan island. It is a place without tourists. If you go on a trip to Tra Ban island its worth knowing there is no accommodation here. The island is covered by jungle and hilly and rocky cliffs. This island is best mainly for ship sightseeing trips. You can visit also Co To Island.
Ha Long Bay

🏷️ Prices for transport in Halong Cat Ba, Quan Lan:

    • bus from the Gia Luan port > Cat Ba town – 25,000 dongs
    • ferry/boat from the Tuan Chau island > Cat Ba island – 70,000 dongs
    • taxi from the bus station in Ha Long city > Tuan Chau island – 100,000 dongs
    • bus from Tuan Chau island > Van Don (Cai Rong port) – 30,000 dongs
    • ferry/boat from Cai Rong port > Quan Lan island – 100,000 dongs
    • ferry/boat from Ha Long port > Quan Lan island – 200,000 dongs
    • ferry/boat from Hai Phong town > Cat Ba island – 150 – 250,000 dongs

🚍 How to get from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay + Hai Phong?

Ha Long Bay and tourist boats.

🚍 How to travel from Sapa to Halong Bay?

    • from Sapa to Ha Long you can travel by tourist bus, minivan, car or bus+train via Lao Cai, Hanoi
    • there is no flight and no direct train from Sapa to Ha Long
    • bus tickets from Sapa to Ha Long cost about 15-19 USD/pp
    • travel by bus from Sapa to Ha Long takes about 8-9 hours
    • read this article: How to reach Ha Long from Sapa?

🚍 How to travel from Halong Bay to Tam Coc?

    • Ninh Binh from Ha Long is accessible by bus, private car, minivan or train via Hanoi
    • there is no flight and no direct train from Ha Long to Tam Coc in Ninh Binh
    • bus tickets from Ha Long to Tam Coc / Ninh Binh cost about 12-19 USD/pp
    • travel by bus from Ha Long to Tam Coc takes about 3-4.5 hours
    • read this article: How to reach Tam Coc from Ha Long?

🚍 How to travel from Halong Bay to Cao Bang?

    • from Halong Bay to Cao Bang you can travel by bus, minivan or private car
    • Cao Bang has no airport, so it is not possible to travel by plane
    • travel by bus from Halong Bay to Cao Bang via Hanoi costs about 14-25 USD/pp
    • travel by bus from Halong Bay to Cao Bang takes about 13-20 hours via Hanoi
    • read this article: How to reach Cao Bang from Halong Bay?

☀️ Weather in Ha Long Bay + The Best Time to Visit:

    • Halong Bay, located in the northern part of Vietnam, experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by four distinct seasons. The region has a monsoon climate, which means it has two seasons: a dry season and a rainy season. Before you arrive to Ha Long, you should check Current weather in Ha Long Bay.
    • The dry season in Halong Bay lasts from November to April, and this period is considered the best time to visit. During this season, the weather is sunny and dry, and the temperature ranges from 15°C to 25°C. The skies are generally clear, and the bay is calm, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as kayaking, swimming, and hiking.
    • The rainy season in Halong Bay lasts from May to October, and it is characterized by high humidity, heavy rainfall, and occasional storms. The temperature during this season ranges from 25°C to 35°C, and the humidity levels can be quite high. The rainfall peaks in July and August, and it’s not uncommon for typhoons to hit the region during this time.
    • While the rainy season in Halong Bay can be a bit challenging for travelers, it also has its advantages. The rainfall makes the landscape greener and more vibrant, and the waterfalls and rivers are at their fullest. Additionally, the region sees fewer visitors during this season, which means that prices may be lower, and there are fewer crowds to contend with. In summary, the best time to visit Halong Bay is during the dry season from November to April, when the weather is mild and sunny. Read this article: Weather in Halong Bay.

🏡 Accommodation in Ha Long Bay:

Halong Bay is oen of the most visited popular tourist destination, and there are many accommodation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. There are cheap and also luxury very expensive facilities, modern hotels, guesthouses, hostels or bungalows on the islands.

    • Cruise ships: One of the most popular ways to explore Halong Bay is on a cruise ship. These ships vary in size and amenities, from basic to luxury. Some of them offer day cruises, while others offer multi-day cruises with overnight stays on board. These cruises offer an opportunity to explore the bay’s many islands, caves, and beaches while enjoying the comfort of a floating hotel.
    • Hotels and Resorts: There are many hotels and resorts located around Halong Bay, ranging from budget to luxury. Many of these accommodations offer scenic views of the bay and come equipped with amenities like swimming pools, spas, and restaurants.
    • Homestays: For those who want to experience local culture and hospitality, there are many homestay options available around Halong Bay. These homestays offer a chance to stay with local families, enjoy home-cooked meals, and learn about local customs and traditions.
    • Hostels: There are several hostels located around Halong Bay that offer budget-friendly accommodations for backpackers and budget travelers. These hostels offer shared dormitory-style rooms or private rooms at affordable rates.
    • Camping: For the adventurous traveler, camping is also an option in Halong Bay. Many tour operators offer camping trips on remote islands or beaches where travelers can enjoy the serenity of the bay under the stars.

Accommodation in Ha Long Bay (+boats…) – Book Here
15 best cruises in Ha Long Bay
15 best hotels in Cat Ba Island
15 best cheap hotels in Ha Long
15 best luxury hotels in Ha Long


🔍 Places of Interest in Ha Long Bay / Cat Ba Island:

    • Nui Bai To sightseeing top
    • Sun World Ha Long park (Cable Car, Wax Museum, Ferris Wheel…)
    • Ba Vang buddhist temple (35 km from the town of Ha Long)
    • Yen Tu mountain (50 km from the town of Ha Long)
    • Dau Go, Thien Cung, Sung Sot, Trong caves
    • Quan Lan Island, Tra Ban Island (Van Don Archipelago)
    • Cat Ba Island (+Cat Ba National Park, Cannon Fort), Dau Be, Cong Tay, Cong Do Islands
    • Hospital Cave in Cat Ba Island
    • Co To Island (+Thanh Lanh Island – Van Don Archipelago)
    • Lan Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay and Monkey Island
    • Tuan Chau Island (transfer to Cat Ba Island, Cruises, Hotels…)
    • sightseeing flight above the Ha Long Bay (Hai Au Aviation)
    • Haiphong port
    • Cruise boat or kayaking
    • deserted and magical beaches in the islands
    • floating villages

📍 Ha Long Bay / Cat Ba Island – tourist map:

Frequently Asked Questions about Halong Bay + Cat Ba:

1. How to book tickets or private car from Hanoi to Ha Long or Cat Ba?

    • You can book tickets or private car from Hanoi to Ha Long or Cat Ba Island on Baolau or 12go.asia.
    • You can change your travel route, e.g. Hanoi > Cat Ba, Hanoi > Hai Phong, Hanoi > Ninh Binh…

2. How to search and book a tour or boat to Halong Bay?

    • You can search and book a tour to Halong Bay or boat/cruise with KLOOK. There are various tours + trips or hikes + motorbike loops in Vietnam.

3. Is there a flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

    • There are no direct flights from Hanoi to Ha Long, but there are sightseeing flights to Tuan Chau Island.

4. What is the travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long?

    • Travel by tourist bus from Hanoi to Ha Long town takes about 2-3 hours.
    • Travel by tourist bus+ferry or car from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island takes about 4-5 hours.

5. How much does it cost to travel from Hanoi to Ha Long or Cat Ba?

    • Travel by tourist bus or minivan from Hanoi to Ha Long costs about $5-15/pp.
    • Travel by private taxi/car from Hanoi to Ha Long costs about $70-150/car.
    • Travel by tourist bus+ferry Hanoi to Cat Ba Island costs about $10-17/pp.

6. How far is Ha Long town from Hanoi?

    • Travel distance from Hanoi to Ha Long town is about 180 km by tourist bus and about 220 km to Cat Ba Island.

7. What is the best way to explore Halong Bay?

    • The best way to explore Halong Bay is on a cruise ship. There are many cruise options available, from budget to luxury, and they offer an opportunity to explore the bay’s many islands, caves, and beaches while enjoying the comfort of a floating hotel.

8. What is the ideal length of stay in Halong Bay?

    • The ideal length of stay in Halong Bay depends on how much time you have and what you want to see and do. If you’re short on time, a day trip from Hanoi is possible, but we recommend at least 2-3 days to fully explore the bay and its attractions.

9. What should I pack for a trip to Halong Bay?

    • You should pack comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for outdoor activities, a swimsuit, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, and a light jacket or sweater. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning scenery.

10. What is the weather like in Halong Bay?

    • Halong Bay experiences a humid subtropical climate with two distinct seasons: a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. The weather is generally mild and sunny during the dry season, with occasional light rains. The rainy season is characterized by heavy rainfall and high humidity.

11. What are the must-visit attractions in Halong Bay?

    • The must-visit attractions in Halong Bay include Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island, Bai Tu Long Bay, and Cat Ba Island. You can also go kayaking, swimming, and hiking to explore the bay’s natural beauty.

12. What is the local cuisine in Halong Bay?

    • The local cuisine in Halong Bay is a mix of seafood, rice, and noodles, with influences from Chinese and French cuisine. Some popular dishes include grilled squid, fried rice with seafood, and pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). There are also many vegetarian and vegan options available.

13. Can I swim in Halong Bay?

    • Yes, you can swim in Halong Bay. Many of the cruise ships and tour operators offer swimming and kayaking activities. However, you should be aware of the water quality and follow the safety guidelines provided by your tour operator.

14. How to travel solo in Vietnam?

    • Discover the wonders of solo travel in Vietnam as you explore ancient temples, cruise through scenic landscapes or karst sceneries, hike various national parks and ethnic villages and connect with the warm-hearted locals, creating a personalized journey of cultural immersion and breathtaking experiences.

15. What are the most interesting things or facts about Vietnam?

    • Vietnam, a country with a captivating allure, is celebrated for its breathtaking landscapes, including the mesmerizing limestone karsts of Halong Bay, the terraced rice fields of Sapa, and the bustling waterways of the Mekong Delta. Its rich history unfolds through ancient temples in Hanoi, the imperial city of Hue, and the Cu Chi Tunnels, providing a glimpse into Vietnam’s resilience during wartime. The country’s vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality further enhance the allure of this Southeast Asian gem. Read this: 15 Interesting Things of Vietnam.

16. What to expect from Vietnam Culture?

    • Expect a vibrant cultural tapestry in Vietnam, characterized by traditional values, a strong sense of community, and a deep-rooted respect for family. You’ll encounter a fusion of French, Chinese, and indigenous influences in art, architecture, and cuisine. Traditional water puppetry, folk music, and dance performances showcase the country’s artistic flair. The importance of rituals and festivals in daily life adds a colorful dimension, while the warmth and friendliness of the Vietnamese people make for a welcoming and enriching cultural experience.

BOOK a TOUR / ACTIVITY in Halong Bay

Interesting Facts about Ha Long Bay: Description
1. Geological Marvel:

Ha Long Bay, situated in the northeastern part of Vietnam, stands as a geological masterpiece, showcasing the incredible beauty of nature’s sculpting over an astonishing 500 million years. This enchanting landscape is composed of over 1,600 limestone and dolomite islands, each telling a unique story of erosion, sea level changes, and tectonic shifts. The result is a mesmerizing panorama of karst formations, cliffs, and arches that have earned Ha Long Bay its well-deserved UNESCO World Heritage status.

2. UNESCO World Heritage:

In 1994, Ha Long Bay was honored with a place on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list, recognizing its outstanding cultural, historical, and geological significance. Beyond its breathtaking landscapes, the bay hosts a rich tapestry of cultural artifacts, caves adorned with ancient stalactites and stalagmites, and remnants of human activity dating back thousands of years. This accolade underscores Ha Long Bay’s dual importance as both a natural wonder and a testament to human history.

3. Legends of the Dragon:

Imbued with mythical tales, Ha Long Bay is steeped in legend, particularly that of the descending dragon. According to local folklore, these spectacular limestone formations were created when a celestial dragon descended to the earth, its thrashing tail carving out valleys and crevices, and its jeweled eyes and scales creating the glittering islets. This legend not only adds an air of magic to the landscape but also reflects the deep cultural connections between the Vietnamese people and the bay.

4. Enchanting Caves:

Beneath the towering limestone cliffs and islands of Ha Long Bay lie mysterious and captivating caves. Among them, Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace Cave) and Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave) stand out as wonders of nature’s artistry. Inside these caverns, visitors are greeted by intricate stalactite and stalagmite formations, illuminated by soft lighting to reveal shapes resembling mythical creatures, ancient cities, and cascading waterfalls. Exploring these caves is like stepping into a surreal, subterranean gallery.

5. Circular Cruises on Traditional Junk Boats:

To truly immerse oneself in the splendor of Ha Long Bay, many visitors opt for circular cruises aboard traditional junk boats. These iconic vessels, adorned with distinctive red sails, harken back to a bygone era. Sailing on these wooden boats not only provides panoramic views of the bay but also invites a sense of tranquility and connection with the region’s seafaring heritage. The gentle lapping of water against the hull and the rhythmic creaking of the boat create a soothing melody as visitors traverse the emerald waters.

6. Unique Fauna and Flora:

Ha Long Bay’s ecological diversity extends beyond its geological wonders to encompass a rich array of flora and fauna. The bay is home to several endangered species, including the elusive Cat Ba langur, one of the rarest primates on the planet. Bird enthusiasts will delight in sightings of the black-and-white hornbill and the emerald kingfisher, whose vibrant plumage adds bursts of color to the lush greenery. This thriving ecosystem contributes to the bay’s status as a globally significant biodiversity hotspot.

7. Cultural Festivals and Events:

Beyond its natural wonders, Ha Long Bay is a vibrant cultural hub, hosting a variety of festivals and events that celebrate the region’s heritage. The Van Diem Festival, in particular, showcases traditional music, dance, and crafts, providing visitors with an immersive experience of local culture. These cultural festivities underscore the enduring connection between the people of Ha Long Bay and their ancestral roots, adding depth and resonance to the visitor experience.

8. Kayaking in Fairy Coves:

For those seeking a more intimate exploration, kayaking through Ha Long Bay’s secluded coves and hidden caves offers a unique perspective. Paddling quietly along the jade-green waters, visitors can navigate through narrow passages, marvel at the intricate rock formations, and discover tucked-away grottoes inaccessible to larger vessels. This eco-friendly and serene mode of exploration allows for a deeper connection with the bay’s natural beauty and an appreciation for its delicate ecosystems.

9. Floating Fishing Villages:

Embedded in the cultural tapestry of Ha Long Bay are its floating fishing villages. These communities, resilient and resourceful, have adapted to life on the water for generations. Visiting these villages offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals, where houses perched on stilts above the bay are interconnected by intricate networks of boats. This cultural immersion allows visitors to witness traditional fishing practices, discover unique floating markets, and gain insight into the symbiotic relationship between the people and the bay.

10. Sustainable Tourism Practices:

As a testament to its commitment to responsible tourism, Ha Long Bay actively engages in sustainable practices. Efforts are underway to preserve and protect the delicate ecosystem, from implementing waste management strategies to monitoring the impact of tourist activities. The delicate balance between promoting tourism and safeguarding the environment exemplifies Ha Long Bay’s dedication to ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at its unparalleled beauty. Visitors are not only treated to a visual spectacle but also contribute to the ongoing preservation of this natural treasure.


➡️ Where to go from Ha Long Bay:

You can continue to Hanoi, Lang Son, Ninh Binh. From Hai Phong you can also take a flight to Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang. In December 2018, there was also opened a new international airport in Van Don more infos).

1. How to get from Cat Ba to Ninh Binh?
2. How to get from Hai Phong to Ninh Binh?
3. How to get from Hai Phong to Hue?

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