Halong Bay excursion in 1, 2 or 3 days, what can we see and do?
- on May 7, 2023       By: BN
Is there a traveller who has never dreamed of discovering the majestic Halong Bay, a true natural jewel of Vietnam, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List? Let’s succumb to the temptation of cruising to explore this unique marine landscape site in the world where more than 2000 islands and islets dot an emerald sea. A sublime, mythical destination, shrouded in legends that will leave you with lasting memories if you prepare your cruise well. So, should we choose 1, 2 or 3 days to discover this majestic nature?
What to do in Halong in 1 day?
Unless you have an extremely tight travel schedule, we do not recommend discovering Halong Bay in one day. Please note that there are nearly 6 hours of the round trip road from Hanoi and that you will only sail for 3 to 4 hours. You will then not have the opportunity to go to the heart of Halong Bay and in the end, you will have spent more time in transfers than contemplating the magnificent landscapes of Halong Bay. In addition, the companies that offer this day trip are not careful about the quality of the services. We also advise against sleeping in Halong city which is without charm and without much interest.
Halong Bay Tour in 2 Days
This is the formula most appreciated by travellers, the one that allows you to take a cruise in the heart of the limestone wonderland of Halong with a night on board the boat. Sailing on this sea bristling with thousands of strangely shaped islands and islets is a magical spectacle. The course of your cruise program in Halong Bay will depend on the level of services you have previously chosen, but generally, the 2-day/1-night cruises in Halong follow a roughly similar pattern. After nearly 3 hours of transfer, you have arrived at the pier where you board your boat. Welcome by the crew with a drink, then you can settle in your cabin and after that, a seafood lunch is served to you as the cruise begins. While feasting on local specialities, you can contemplate the spectacular seascapes of Halong Bay.
After a rest period that you can spend lounging on a deckchair on the upper deck, the crew will offer you various activities, depending on the company, such as a kayak trip, the discovery of a floating fishing village and a pearl farm or the ascent of the Titov peak which offers a breath-taking panoramic view of Halong Bay. The sunset is another great spectacle that is offered to you while sipping an aperitif. Some companies offer massage treatments and/or a cooking class to end this beautiful day in style. Dinner will once again be an opportunity to awaken your taste buds and discover other local specialities. After dinner, you may be offered to try your hand at squid fishing or karaoke with the crew.
Waking up at dawn with a tai chi class as the sun gently rises is another highlight of your cruise. After breakfast, you will be offered an activity such as a visit to one of the many caves that offer impressive geological formations. You will have time to enjoy them from the upper deck the fantastic landscapes of Halong Bay as the boat makes its way to the port. After lunch, you will have to say goodbye to the crew and then join the vehicle which will take you to Hanoi or another destination of your choice.
Halong Bay Tour in 3 Days
For travellers who wish to enjoy more of the natural wonders of Halong Bay by extending their trip to Halong Bay one more day, there are several options available to them. They can make a stopover on Cat Ba Island to enjoy the island's beaches, its national park that is rich in biodiversity, take a pleasant bike ride or discover the fabulous neighbouring Lan Ha Bay from Halong Bay.
It is also possible to continue your cruise in Halong to discover Bai Tu Long Bay, further from the coast than Halong and Lan Ha bays, which are therefore much less crowded. Although Bai Tu Long Bay has fewer karst formations than its neighbour Halong Bay, it is no less spectacular. We particularly appreciate Ban Sen Island, very wild and hospitable, and of course the magnificent Quan Lan Island. It’s a destination off the beaten track where you can peacefully enjoy long pristine white sand beaches, the picturesque local life turned towards the sea, the friendliness of the population and the seafood feasts. You can choose to sleep on Quan Lan Island or spend your second night on the boat.
The best period to visit Halong Bay
1, 2 or 3 days, please be careful to choose your period so you can enjoy your stay in Halong Bay in the best conditions. The preferred months are April, May, June, September, October and November.
>> How to choose your cruise in Halong Bay? 
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