Ha Long Bay (Halong Bay) Travel Guide


 Name: HaLong Bay
 Area: 1,553 km² (599.6 sq miles)
 Population: 227,000 as per 2013
 Language: Vietnamese and Basic English
 State: The Gulf of Tonkin, within Quang Ninh Province (Northeast of Vietnam)
 Currency: VND (Vietnamese Dong)
 Time Zone: Indochina Time (GMT+7)
 Religion and Belief: Buddhism

Ha Long Bay (Vietnamese: Vịnh Hạ Long) has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular and affordable tourist destinations for family as well as solo travelers. Ha Long means "descending dragon". There have been evidences of prehistoric presence of ancient cultures such as Soi Nhu culture, the Cai Beo culture and the Ha Long culture.

Dense cluster of limestone monolithic islands rising spectacularly from the ocean with enormous caves has made this a majestic nature tourism destination. The fishing villages: Cua Van, Ba Hang, Cong Tau and Vong Vieng in Hung Thang ward, Ha Long city lives in floating houses which are of equal interesting sights for Ha Long Bay travel.

Best Places to Visit

1. Cat Ba Island
2. Bai Tu Long Bay
3. Cong Do Island
4. Sun World Ha Long Park
5. Ti Top Beach
6. Quang Ninh Museum
7. Thien Cung cave
8. Cai Bau Pagoda
9. Vung Vieng Floating Village
10. Tuan Chau Island

Cat Ba Island is the largest island here and also the starting point for those who want to trek through the bay. You can also experience snorkeling between May and September. Bai Tu Long is a maverick choice and is very less crowded than the rest of the bay. The clear water of Cong Do Island makes it a perfect destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Do not miss the largest amusement park of Vietnam - Sun World that also has a water park.

See more about 10 Things to Do in Halong Bay     Diving in Halong Bay

Best Time for a Ha Long Bay Tour: March

For Ha Long Bay travel, the ideal to visit will be during spring and autumn that is during the months of March, April, September, and October. The climate tends to be cold and foggy during January – February. Clear and blue sky is during March–April and also has low domestic tourist volume. Early summer in the north of Vietnam has around 95 ℉ temperature. August is the hottest time and also receives the maximum rainfall. September–October offers moderate temperature around 60℉-65℉. Make sure to carry sunglasses, sun cream, insect repellent, and preferably cotton clothes.

Ranking List of Ha Long Bay Food

1. Cha Muc (Grilled Chopped Squid)
2. Sam (Horseshoe crab)
3. Drunken Prawn and Lobster

Cha Muc is undoubtedly one of the top regional specialties that are squid cakes and the squids from Ha Long Bay are of best quality. You cannot miss this gastronomic experience. It is usually served with sticky rice and fish sauce. There is an abundance of Sam in the bay and serves as the main source of meat. Try Crab salad, steamed crab, sweet and sour, sautéed crab with lemongrass and pepper and more. Prawn and Lobster are the specialtities of the region which is available as snacks as well as main course.

Best Restaurant in Ha Long Bay

1. 1958 Restaurant Ha Long Bay

 Location: E19 – E20, Nam Tuan Chau New Urban Area, Tuan Chau Island, Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh

Try authentic northern Vietnamese cuisine and enroll for the cooking class.

2. Cua Vang Restaurant Ha Long

 Location: No. 32 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh

This is a must visit restaurant because of luxurious seafood with good hygiene and also a wide range of Eastern, Vietnamese, and Western food.

3. Avocado Ha Long Bay Restaurant

 Location: C342-343, Old Street Zone, No. 9 Ha Long Road, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh

Do not miss the traditional Ha Long squid cake with sticky rice.

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay – 70% People Stay at Cat Ba Island

• Cat  ba Island - 70 %
• Quang Ninh - 25%
• Quan Lan Island - 5%

Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long, Muong Thanh Luxury Quang Ninh Hotel, Central Luxury Ha Long Hotel, Novotel Ha Long Bay Hotel are some of the top options to plan your stay for Ha Long travel. They all offer the state of the art amenities with good hygiene and connectivity. You can choose the stay options based on your purpose of the trip. There are world class properties for business travelers and budget stay hotels for family groups. You can book these accommodations online.

Transportation in Ha Long Bay

During your Ha Long Bay travel, Taxi is an excellent option for going around Ha Long bay. It starts with around 5,000 VND ($0.25 USD) and after that is around 14,000 VND ($0.70 USD). You can also opt for car or motorbike rental in Ha Long travel for a more independent travel. Semi-automatic bike for rent costs around 100,000 VND (about $5 USD) for a day while an automatic bike costs around 150,000 VND ($7 USD). A car rented would cost around 800,000 VND and 1,200,000 VND ($40 to $60 USD).

Van Don Airport is located in Quang Ninh is about 50km (31mi) from Ha Long Bay and takes around 1 hour. Passengers flying to Van Don get free bus tickets for the Ha Long – Van Don Route. Noi Bai Airport is located in Hanoi and is about 150km (93mi) from it.

Hanoi is about 2h 18min away from Ha Long Bay and you can reach by bus that takes 3.5 hours and costs about $14.

See more about How to Get to Halong Bay

Top Shopping Markets

1. Ha Long Market

 Address - Vạn Xuân, P. Bạch Đằng, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam

Conveniently close by to a new port, you can get everything from fabrics to flowers. Do not forget to bargain and shop during Ha Long Travel.

2. Bai Chay Commercial Center

 Address - Đường Anh Đào, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh 202400, Vietnam

This is a local shopping area offers authentic Vietnamese shopping experience.

3. Ha Long Floating Markets

 Address - Usually can be found around tourist areas

Enjoy the wonderfully fresh fruits like Dragon fruit, durian, lychees and mangoes at very affordable rate. More than shopping, this is a perfect place for the shutterbugs.
- Last updated on Mar. 15, 2021 -
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