Things to do in Halong Bay - Top Activities

  • Thu, 20/04/2017
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It is sure that a trip to the north of Vietnam is never complete without a visit to Halong Bay. Its inspirational beauty and stunning karsts make the bay one of the most popular destinations for both domestic and international travelers for decades. Along with being added to the list of UNESCO’s world heritage site, it is home to over 1600 islets, where their limestone have been worn down by the tropical downpours as well as topped by the lush jungle growth. While a few islands are so hollow that breathtaking caves have been created, other larger ones have their own lakes (see our tour to Halong Bay here).

Halong bay

The bay also gets its name famous, thanks to a lot of legendary myths about the formation of Halong bay. The common one is about dragons that were sent here by gods to protect this S-shaped country from invaders. When trying best to defend Vietnam, the dragons began to spit jades and jewels to the sea, which then turned into the islands and islets. At that time, a solid protecting wall against these invaders was created. As a result, the name of Ha Long is also understood as “the Descending Dragon.” Today, let’s find out more about Halong Travel Guide here now!


Means of Transportation
 
Thanks to its popularity and modern access, getting to Halong Bay is much easier, which you can start from anywhere in Vietnam and other neighboring countries. Refer to details below:
  • By plane: From Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, and Nha Trang, you can book a flight to Hanoi or Hai Phong Airport, and then catch a taxi or car to the bay.
  • By car: This is considered the most popular way to reach Halong Bay by following Highway 18 that tends to pass by Bai Chay Road, Tuan Chau Island, and Hon Gai Bridge.
  • Other means: If you wish to enjoy a luxurious vacation, then traveling to Halong by helicopter is a nice idea. It takes around 2 hours and only accessible from Hanoi.
hanoi to halong
Hanoi to Halong Bay
 
Time
 
Best time to say hello to Halong is said to depend on your travel purpose and your own definition of an ideal trip. If the weather is your main concern, then from September to November and from March to May are indeed perfect for this trip. In case you are a budget traveler, then make sure to schedule your journey in the period of May and September. At that time, you are luckily able to hunt for a few great discounts on a cruise trip. But, keep yourself cautious as the risk of bad weather can even go up during the months of July and August.
 

Top activities
 

Spend a romantic night on a traditional junk
 
Halong bay wins tourists’ heart by a number of junk boat cruises to select from. These are said to offer both day and overnight trips, with comparative prices. From the junk, it is quite possible to navigate some magnetic islands as well as reach concealed caves and less-visited bays by kayak. On board, you are able to enjoy freshly cooked spice squid (mực rang muối), chicken curry (cà ri gà) and drink cool cocktails on the polished top deck when the sun goes down. Boats have different sizes, such as 10-, 20-, or 24-cabin vessels. In case you would like to gain an intimate experience, then booking a private boat is a fine choice.

Halong Bay junk
 

Go kayaking around the bay’s islands
 
The serene water and exquisite islands of the bay make it totally perfect for going kayaking. This activity is done by many travelers once they spend a cruise here. For them, it is a wonderful opportunity to discover the Halong’s beauty and essence by themselves. If you are not expert at kayaking, there is no need to worry. The reason is that the junk’s crew is willing to provide you with detailed instructions.

go kayak halong bay
 
Kayaking among hundreds of islands here is really enthralling. Watching the limestone forms from a junk boat does not give a deep experience. So, let’s sit in a kayak and gaze up at their high peaks.
 

Visit a floating village
 
Halong Bay is well-known for not only limestone cliffs, spectacular caves, and stunning beaches, but also common floating villages. Some of the must-visit fishing villages are Ba Hang, Cua Van, Cong Dam, and Vung Vieng.

village in Halong Bay
 
After dropping by one of these villages, you may indeed mingle with an authentic natural setting where blue sky and ocean, fresh and cool air, as well as picturesque seascape are beautifully vivid in front of your eyes. Besides, it is also a good occasion to broaden your knowledge and take hands-on photos about local culture and daily life. People here are very sociable, friendly, and enthusiastic. Just asking, and they are always ready to guide you how to spread a net, row a sampan, or even bait a hook. It is very great, right?
 

Participate in a BBQ on beach
 
If traditional Vietnamese delicacies on a cruise trip are not tasty enough to tickle your taste bud, then a BBQ party in a unique way will surely make you inspired. Such BBQ party is often organized in reputable beaches on bay, like Soi Sim Beach, Ba Trai Dao Beach, and so on. Try imagining how romantic it is when you take a seat on a beach, spread your eyes over ocean’s waves, listen to the soothing melody of birds, sample array of mouthwatering and grilled seafood, as well as share joy with other members. Without a doubt, you should not skip this chance of a lifetime!

 bbq halong bay
 

Best dishes
 
Halong Bay also draws visitors’ attention by its fresh and delicious seafood. In general, dozens of quality restaurants can be found in Bai Chay Town. Those eateries mainly introduce to gourmets both Vietnamese and Chinese dishes with an attractive selection of fish, oysters, crabs, snails and shrimps. Even the pickiest tourists can find it satisfied with not only cooking styles, but also exotic flavor of each dish here.

sea food Halong bay

Some of the famous dishes you should try once  after visiting here include Halong Squid Pie (Chả mực Hạ Long), Peanut worm (Sá Sùng), Austriella corrugate (Ngán biển), Horseshoe crab (Sam biển), Snout Otter Clams, Sea snail, "Gat gu" cake, etc.
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