Tips To Discover Halong Bay Vietnam - A World Heritage Site

HA LONG BAY

OVERVIEW

Halong Bay in Vietnam is home to a system of about 1,969 islands, most of which are limestones, stretching over an area of 1,500km2 with more than 30 scenic spots. These attractive & diverse attractions include gorgeous beaches, spectacular limestone mountain systems, rustic fishing villages, amusement parks, spiritual-cultural sites, and so on. 

HaLong Bay view

 Source: Ytb Vietnam Booking

I - Where is Halong bay located & how to get there?

As a part of the Gulf of Tonkin, this bay belongs to Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province - about 170km east of Hanoi, bordering Bai Tu Long bay and Cat Ba archipelago. With comfortable weather and beautiful scenery, this is a year-round tourist destination that you can reach by many means of transportation, from plane or bus.

1 - By air

It is quite easy and convenient to get there by airplane. Some airports near Halong bay Vietnam are Cat Bi International airport, and Van Don International airport. 

Another interesting way to get and explore the bay is to take a seaplane offered by Hai Au aviation from Hanoi. The flight time takes about 45 minutes, and the seesight tour lasts for 15 minutes. You have a chance to admire the whole bay from above, it will be an amazing experience. 

2 - By bus or limousine to get to Halong bay

From Hanoi, you can take a bus from My Dinh bus station to get to Bai Chay bus station in Halong city. 

- My Dinh bus station: No.20 Pham Hung street, My Dinh, Nam Tu Liem, Hanoi

- Bai Chay bus station: No.17, 279 street, Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City

From Hanoi, it is highly recommended to take a limousine to get to bay for more convenience.  

II - Halong Bay entrance fee

Currently, there are 5 routes to visit the bay, with ticket prices depending on attractions and time of visit:

Attractions in HaLong Bay

Halong bay day tours at Me Cung cave - Source: Internet

1 - Day tour to discover the bay

Taking a one day tour is the most popular way of discovering the bay. You can get on a boat, cruise and check in top most famous spots such as Titop island, Sung Sot cave,...

Route 1: Ship wharf - Van Canh Park

- Attractions: Thien Cung Cave, Dau Go Cave, Dog Stone Islet, Ba Hang Cave, Dinh Huong Islet, Trong Mai Islet (Ga Choi).

- Ticket price: 250,000 VND / tour / person ($11)

Route 2: Ship wharf - Park of Caves

- Attractions: Soi Sim Beach, Titop Island, Sung Sot Cave, Me Cung Cave, Bo Nau Cave, Luon Cave, Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, Dong Tien Lake.

- Ticket price: 250,000 VND / tour / person ($11)

Route 3: Ship wharf - Marine Culture Conservation Center

- Attractions: Cua Van Floating Cultural Center, Tien Ong Cave, Ba Ham Lake, Ba Men Temple, Ang Du.

- Ticket price: 200,000 VND / tour / person ($8.8) 

Route 4: Ship wharf - Marine Entertainment Center

halong bay co caveSource: Internet

- Attractions: Co Cave, Thay Cave, Cong Do Cave, Cap La Cave, Vong Vieng Area, Tung Ang - Cong Do Ecological Zone, Hon Xep Park.

- Ticket price: 200,000 VND / tour / person ($8.8)

Route 5: Ship wharf - Gia Luan wharf (Cat Ba - Hai Phong)

- Attractions: Cho Da Islet, Ba Hang Cave, Dinh Huong Island, Trong Mai Island (Ga Choi), Gia Luan Wharf - Tuan Chau Port.

- Ticket price: 250,000 VND / tour / person ($11)

2 - Overnight tours in Halong Bay Vietnam

Route 2 with one-night stay

-  Overnight stay: Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, Dong Tien Lake, Lat Island 690, Ti top Island 587.

- Ticket price: 550,000 VND / tour / person ($24.23)

Route 2 with two-night stay

- Overnight stay: Trong Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, Dong Tien Lake, Lat Island 690, Ti top Island 587).

- Ticket price: 750,000 VND / tour / person ($33)

Route 3 with one-night stay

- Overnight stay: Tien Ong Cave area

- Ticket price: 500,000 VND / tour / person ($22)

Route 3 with two-night stay

- Overnight stay: Tien Ong Cave area

- Ticket price: 650,000 VND / tour / person ($28.64)

Route 4 with one-night stay

- Overnight stay: Cong Do area

- Ticket price: 500,000 VND / tour / person ($22)

Route 4 with two-night stay

- Overnight stay: Cong Do area

- Ticket price: 650,000 VND / tour / person ($28.64)

III - What is the best way to see Halong Bay? 

Cruise ships to explore the bay usually depart from Hon Gai wharf, you can choose from these three different types:

1 - Sightseeing boats

Boats under trip contracts

- Price: 500,000 - 700,000 VND / hour / boat ($22)

Boats follow announced routes

- Route 1: 150,000 VND / person / trip ($6.6)

- Route 2: 200,000 VND / person / trip ($8.8)

- Route 3: 350,000 VND / person / trip ($15.4)

- Route 4: 350,000 VND / person / trip ($15.4)

- Route 5: 350,000 VND / person / trip ($15.4)

2 - Kayaking tour when visiting Halong Bay in Vietnam

The favorable terrain has made kayaking one of the most enjoyable options to sightsee around the bay. When kayaking, you will feel all the majesty of nature, from the scenes of unique looking caves, flocks of birds perched on the cliffs, or by touching thousands of years old stalactites.

As an indispensable part as well as a "specialty" when visiting this bay, this activity appears in most overnight cruises and below is the price list for kayaking in some areas in Halong Bay UNESCO world heritage site: 

Luon Cave

- Price: 60,000 VND / 2 person ($2.64)

- Service provider: Nam Tung LLC (No.102 Huynh Thuc Khang Street, Hong Ha Ward, Ha Long City

- Contact: 0935 226 888

Ba Hang Fishing Village

- Price: 50,000 VND / 1 person ($2.2)

- Service provider: Fishing Cooperative Con Do Co Tich (No.225, Group 7, Zone 2, Hung Thang Ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province)

- Contact: 0908 430 666 - 0989 883 110

Cua Van Area

- Price: 100,000 VND / boat / hour ($4.4)

- Service provider: Hai Phong Ha Long JSC (No.3 Nguyen Van Cu Street, Hong Ha Ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province)

- Contact: 0978 781 423

Vung Vieng Area

- Price: 50,000 VND / person / hour ($2.2)

- Service provider: Van chai Ha Long Tourism Service Cooperative (No.269, Group 5, Zone 5, Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province)

- Contact: 0936 451 823

Hon Ban Chan Sand Area

- Price: 60,000 VND / person / hour ($2.64)

- Service provider: Van chai Ha Long Tourism Service Cooperative (No.269, Group 5, Zone 5, Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province)

- Contact: 0936 451 823

3 - Bamboo boat

HaLong Bay in Vietnam

Halong Bay pictures - Source: Paradisecruise

Bamboo boating is also a type of activity that is very popular with tourists when they want to experience exploring the bay in a different style. Each bamboo boat can seat 4 to 6 people, rowed by skillful fishermen and taken to visit caves, limestone mountains, and interesting stalactites… You can comfortably immerse yourself in the fresh air of the sea, take pictures and videos, and chat with enthusiastic and sincere locals.

Like kayaking, bamboo boating services are available in most one-day and two-day tours or on overnight cruises, with price included or separately for guests to choose.

- Price: 50,000 - 100,000 VND / person ($2.2 - 4.4)

IV - Halong Bay history

Legend has it that this bay is the place where the Mother of Dragon and her children descended to help Vietnamese people defeat invaders. Accordingly, Tra Co peninsula is the location where the Dragon flapped her tail while the islands within the bay were the pearls they used to block the attack directions. After defeating invaders, due to their love for hard-working Vietnamese people, the Dragon Gods decided to stay here in Halong Bay to protect and support the locals.

This legend also relates to another Vietnamese legend named "Con Rong - Chau Tien” (The Legend of Dragon King and Fairy’s descendants) which has some interesting  and suitable answers to the inherent natural scenes of the bay. 

At the same time, Ha Long culture (ancient name: Danh Do La) is one of the four most ancient cultures in Vietnam with the relics discovered from 3,000 to 5,000 years old. The living area of ancient Ha Long inhabitants is not only in Halong Bay Vietnam but also spreads to other provinces of Phu Tho, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa and even to Fujian (China). A typical feature of this culture is the development of ceramics and stone tools with the most prominent trace being the porous pottery products made of shell, sand, soil, with wavy patterns. 

If you want to explore more about the culture and life of the ancient Ha Long people, you can visit Tien Ong Island - which is known as the "roof" of the ancient Ha Long people. The cave is about 1,000m2 wide containing a lot of stalagmites and stalactites dividing the cave into two extremely beautiful parts. The inside of the cave is cool in the summer and warm in the winter because the door faces southeast, reducing the influence of cold winter winds.

V - Halong Bay reviews: What international travelers say about this place

There are three main reasons why tourists often visit this bay after visiting Hanoi:

- Unspoiled, primeval nature with many attractive and diverse tourist attractions, ranging from unique cave systems, beautiful landscapes, vibrant coastal fishing villages, spiritual sites and so on.

- Diverse accommodation and tourism services to meet the demand of 10 million visitors each year, including resorts on the mainland with 2 - 5 star standards, homestays with unique design space, friendly staff, and reasonable prices. 

Taking Halong Bay trips with overnight cruise is highly recommended for travelers who want to have unique experiences with all-inclusive services including dining, accommodation, relaxing activities such as night squid fishing, boat parties, sunrise and sunset watching, kayaking & swimming.

HaLong Bay review

Banh Cuon is a must-try food in your Halong Bay trips - Source: Quan Nguyen

- Ha Long's excellent and diverse cuisine, which is greatly contributed by the rich marine resources, creating an endless list of famous seafood dishes.

Ha Long has always been a top tourist destination in Vietnam to international travelers with more than 7,616 positive reviews on Tripadvisor such as:

“You must visit Halong bay in Vietnam once in your life. It is a place with unspoiled and natural beauty” (from account: Khushbu Mehta)”

“One of the places that is worth your journey when coming to the North of Vietnam. We had a great and memorable experience here.” (from account: 64 Glasgow)

“One of the best travel destinations for those who love nature. Food was served on the boat and they were very good. I had the best experience here” (from account: Kogirn).

It is obvious that Halong Bay in Vietnam with rich islands and beaches, impressive limestone caves and tons of exciting beach activities is worth a visit. 

vung vieng fishing village
Source:
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