Halong Bay is located on the Western side of the Gulf of Tonkin in Northeastern Vietnam. The bay is approximately 35 km (21 miles) northeast of the port city of Hai Phong and approximately 170 km (105 miles) by road from the capital Hanoi. The town of Halong is situated on the coast to the North of the bay. The journey from Hanoi to Halong takes approximately 3.5 hours.
Halong Bay is formed by Cat Ba island to the South, Ngoc Hung and Van Canh islands to the East and the Vietnamese coastline to the North and West. The bay covers a total area of 1,553 square kilometers (600 square miles). Keeping the heart of the bay between Halong town and Cat Ba island, the central World Heritage area stretches for 434 square kilometers (167 square miles).
As a year-round destination, the visitor will come away with different impressions of the bay, depending on the time of year they visit. In the sun the bay sparkles, with the dark limestone karsts rising up out of the emerald green water in stark contrast. In the winter, the mist can make the bay very atmospheric and eerily quite.
For sunshine and high temperatures head to Halong Bay between May and September, although this season experiences tropical storms. Daytime temperatures can reach to the lơ 30°C and remain in the mid-20°C at night, ensuring pleasant evening out on the deck.
The winter, from November to March, is cooler, with the coldest months being January and February, although on sunny dáy the temperatures can reach mid-20°C. The weather ranges from clear sunny dáy to overcast with lơ visibility.
Be aware that at any time of year the cruise boat operators may have altered their itineraries depending on the local weather conditions at the time.
Halong Bay is justifiably known for its extraordinary scenery and the memorable experience of cruising through the enigmatic islands and spending a night or two in a traditional junk out in the bay. But there are a number of other activities that tempt travelers to stay a little longer in the bay area. As a year-round destination, visitors will come away with diﬀerent impressions of the bay, depending on the time of year they were there.
There is no better way to witness Halong Bay from above (by seaplane). Despite cruising can help you view the bay at the horizon, yet the view may not be spectacular and appealing as there are many karsts as well as islands rising in the bay. The seaplane will allow you to reach the height of 300m above the water level, so you will see almost the whole famous landscapes of Halong Bay
Among thousands of jungle-covered peaks dramatically rising out of the emerald water of Halong Bay, there are a few illuminated caves, picturesque hidden coves, isolated grottos of all sizes and shapes. Sung Sot and Dau Go caves are known as the Amazing Cave‘, a must-see in Ha Long Bay. These caves are vast and truly beautiful; you’ll feel like you’re stepping into another world.
The floating village is an interesting feature of the daily life of Halong Bay locals. For most of us, a cruise on the emerald clear green water of Halong Bay is a unique experience, so it might be hard to imagining living everyday life surrounded by the beauty of this well-known bay.
Thanks to thousands of isles and islands, clean blue water and calm tides, Halong Bay is perfect for kayaking. Kayaking in Halong Bay is very easy to take part in for every tourist, even adventure kayaking. The adventure kayaking will be held in some of the most beautiful places in Halong Bay with mountain surrounded, beaches and water tunnel cave. The most common places are 3 Peaches islets, Dark and Light Cave
Swimming at Titop beach, fishing quid, climbing on a mountain, riding the cable car in Bai Chay…
The Au Co Company has two ships, each with 32 spacious cabins, private balconies, and well-equipped bathrooms. Launched in 2012, Au Co is the only cruise operator in Halong Bay oﬀering continuous three-day/two-night cruises in a single trip through the Gulf of Tonkin, covering world-renowned Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Cat Ba Island.
Launching in 2016 with a totally diﬀerent concept in Halong Bay, they are a true luxury innovator in cruising. With a service-oriented team, they oﬀer five-star experiential travel on an exclusively designed boat, on an all-inclusive basis with ultra-personalized service.
Paradise Luxury I, II, III and IV was built according to the traditional Vietnamese cruise design. The four Paradise Luxury cruise boats oﬀer 68 luxurious cabins and suites featuring a stylish restaurant and bar for an exclusive dining experience on the third deck with impressive 5-star service. The top deck serves as a perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and discovering the splendid beauty of the bay.
Backed by over ten years’ experience hosting international guests on the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, Indochina Sails has set a new standard for luxury cruising. The first company to oﬀer overnight cruises on the bay, their ﬂeet of four wooden junks are designed in time-honored traditional style, with contemporary and luxurious cabins and facilities.
One of the most luxurious cruises on Halong Bay, it has with beautiful bedroom system which includes nice Jacuzzi hot tub and ocean view balcony in each cabin. This cruise is the most suitable for lovers on a honeymoon vacation, or for the family’s celebration. Along the journey, Halong Violet will take a break in Lan Ha Bay – one of the very few untouched islands, you will have a great opportunity to explore the wildness of Halong Bay by kayaking, swimming or rock-climbing…
Combining oriental style with contemporary luxury these boats are recreated from original designs and with impeccable service ft for a king. There are 40 luxurious cabins or suites, stylish restaurant with fine dining and an array of onboard activities. Bhaya Classic stands out among the most reputable and sought after cruise operators, providing cruises at aﬀordable prices.
Perfect for those seeking a more exclusive and intimate experience, Valentine is a full-service vessel oﬀering all the facilities and amenities of larger boats, but with only five cabins, with four Deluxe cabins and one Suite cabin. All of the bathrooms feature bathtub/Jacuzzis as well as showers.
With just 10 cabins with large panoramic windows, this is an elegant boat with a fine restaurant and cozy bar, a sundeck with comfortable lounge chairs, early morning tai chi classes, and cookery demonstrations, this is justifiably a popular choice.
A classic Chinese-styled wooden junk with 22 cabins, each one decorated with a touch of luxury and equipped with a full range of amenities to ensure maximum comfort. Guests enjoy delicious meals in the restaurant, a pampering spa, kayaking, tai chi and can even go fishing in the evening.
Address: A13, Block 1, East of Hung Thang 2, Bai Chay Ward, Halong City.
Conveniently located just five minutes away from Halong’s city center, the Royal Lotus Hotel Halong is set in an ideal location. Whether you set out to explore the bustling city or discover the unspoiled beauty of the World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, this hotel is a perfect base.
Address: 160 Ha Long Road, Bai Chay, Ha Long City.
A smart hotel with polished stone, glass, and marble against delicate Asian textures, with sweeping windows and oversized mirrors, the hotel captures panoramic views of Halong Bay and its spectacular seascapes at every turn.
Address: 8 Halong Road, Bai Chay, Halong City.
This luxurious property boasts panoramic views of the bay and Bai Chay Bridge. An ideal choice for business and leisure travelers, there are 200 well-appointed guestrooms and suites with a choice of restaurants serving European, Japanese, Thai, or Vietnamese cuisine. The hotel presents a variety of amenities including BBQ facilities, tours desk, currency exchange, pool, spa, and a business center.
Address: Dao Reu, Bai Chay, Ha Long, Viet Nam.
With spectacular views of the limestone pillars stretching across Ha Long Bay, Vinpearl Ha Long Bay Resort is exclusively located on its own private island of Dao Reu. Your personal waterfront gateway to this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vinpearl Ha Long Bay Resort oﬀers an escape from a world of the usual to an extraordinary paradise of luxury and romance.
Address: Bai Chay, Tuan Chau District, Halong City.
For those who prefer luxurious seafood with good hygiene, Cua Vang (Golden Crab) restaurant is an ideal place. Customers can enjoy Vietnamese seafood in a deluxe ambiance of Western-style in this restaurant. It stands out with its unique combination of pink, blue, and yellow neon lights. The restaurant offers customers a vast variety of high-quality seafood. Cua Vang is known for its unique feature, which is that all dishes here are cooked in a clay pan to keep the natural flavor.
Address: Premium Villas, Bai Chay, Halong City.
Co Ngu restaurant is considered one of the largest, most luxurious and unique restaurant in Halong. The restaurant has an ancient appearance, making it a spitting image of an old royal palace. A wide selection of Western cuisine and Asian delicacies is served at this premier local seafood restaurant.
Thanks to its popularity, Halong Bay is quite accessible from just anywhere in Vietnam and neighboring countries. Many visit Halong Bay on a larger international cruise ship which docks in Cai Lan International Port (about 10 minutes from Halong Bay). Others choose to ﬂy to Hanoi (180km) or Hai Phong (80km) airport and take a road trip to the Bay. The most popular way to get to Halong Bay is by road, which follows Highway 18 that passes by Tuan Chau Island, Bai Chay Road, and Hon Gai Bridge. If you travel from Hanoi, most cruise trips will arrange a transfer from your hotel to the pier for you (either cruise bus or private car). An average trip without traffic will take at least 4 hours for one way.
Depending your time to travel Halong tour, we recommend four best destinations that you can combine for Halong tour.
The first and most important destination is Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. This city has the International Airport, very convenient for tourists to arrive and departure. You should explore Hanoi by booking a Ha Noi city tour.
Visit Trang An by boat, visit Tam Coc Cave, and many temples & pagodas. Biking is another option to visit attractions in Ninh Binh.
Sapa is mountainous area and famous for the stunning terraces and many ethnic groups. We discover the life of ethnic people with trekking, visiting the local market, climbing Fansipan peak, and taking a look at local ethnic villages.
Mai Chau is a peaceful valley located in the North of Vietnam. This destination also has many ethnic groups like Sapa. If you love staying in a quiet place, Mai Chau is definitely the best choice.
Cha Muc is the most famous food of Quang Ninh and also in the top 50 specialties of Vietnam. The main ingredient of Cha Muc, of course, is a squid. However, according to local fishermen, high-quality dishes must use squid from the Halong area. The crunchy and delicate texture of this specific variety of squid, and the juicy flavor and attractive aroma of this dish go perfectly well with Xôi (boiled rice, sticky rice) or Bánh Cuốn (a type of thin, steamed rice cake). This beautiful piece of culinary mastery is sold at many stores and stalls around the city and especially at Halong Market.
Halong Bay has many kinds of prawn, lobster, white pearl shrimp, or tiger shrimp. However, the most valuable and most delicious are prawn and lobster. There are two popular methods of prawn/lobster processing, steaming and breaded frying. However, steaming with using additional ingredients like beer or tubers lemongrass to remove the fishy smell is more preferable because people love to enjoy the natural taste it provides.
The best quality lobster and prawn are usually served on cruises, especially in top cruises. In luxury cruises such as Signature Cruise, Paradise Peak Cruise, and Orchid Cruise, you would be definitely blown out by high-class lobster dishes. It is always a wonderful moment to enjoy these dishes along with magnificent scenes in Halong Bay.
Another well-known seafood in Halong Bay is oyster. Oyster is a nutrition-rich food and provides a plethora of energy for your body. Inside its hard-shell is blood-like red bowel, which carries the most delicious and nutritious part of an oyster. It can be eaten raw with a lemon slice or grilled with cheese.
Banh gat gu is made from steaming rice flour mixture. It has a white in color and served with a dipping sauce made according to their own recipe. When you eat it, the cake is dipped in a special sauce, along with a piece of caramelized pork. This sauce is really a star of this dish. Having an okay or amazing experience with this food all depends on the sauce. The feeling of cool, soft cake and juicy pork is an enchanting culinary experience.
The name "gat gu" stems from the fact that when holding this cake to eat, the cake keeps nodding up and down on the handle, but because of its elasticity, it just reclines without breaking. In addition, when enjoying, people often compliment delicious. Since then the name "gat gu" was born.
Being constructed and officially operated in 2003, the new Halong Market is one of the most attractive destinations in the city that draw a huge number of local and international tourists coming for shopping. The market is located in the center of Halong City at Bach Dang Street. Products which are exhibited and sold here are diverse in the range from normal to luxurious goods and pretty competitive in price. Moreover, this is also one of the places that sell specialties of Halong City, such as dried squid or seafood, with most ensured quality and reasonable price. Halong Market opens all 7 days a week, from 6.00 am to 6.30 pm.
For various tourists who visit Halong City, Halong Night Market is a place that they should not miss out. A market is a group of more than a hundred stalls which sell diverse types of products, such as handicrafts, handmade accessories, clothes, and other dispensable items such as swimwear, lotion, or hat. Tourists tend to come to this place for purchasing unique products of the beach city like necklaces made from seashells, snails, wooden small boats, or T-shirt with images of Halong Bay on. And the great things is that sellers here are friendly with advance English skill so that tourists should not worry about bargaining, posing, and tourists can have a nice chat with them about this charming city. Halong Night Market opens 7 days a week, from 6.00pm until midnight.