Visit Halong Bay: Travel Guide 2020
- on Jun 17, 2020       By: BN
A magnificent postcard, a geological museum on the open sea or a world natural wonder, whatever its nickname, Halong Bay has established itself, in successive years, at the top of Vietnam's best destinations. Listed in Unesco’s list of world natural heritages for its exceptional values, both in terms of landscape and geology, Halong is a guaranteed dream vacation to be had without delay.
An excursion by boat or kayak in a magical setting formed by thousands of limestone peaks, an exploration of the caves more beautiful than the last, visit the charming fishing villages… all perfect options to make Halong Bay a place to visit at least once in your lifetime.
Halong is located west of the Gulf of Tonkin, 170 km from Hanoi. Its 1553 km2 is made up of a core zone and a buffer zone. The bay has a total of 1969 multiform islands and islets, of which 980 are still waiting to be named.
- Halong city has a coastal climate with two distinct seasons: winter from November to March and summer from May to August.
- The average annual temperature of Halong is 23.2 ° C, it is warmest in June (29 ° C) and coldest in January (16 ° C).
This famous site is taken over by national tourists during the summer holidays which begin between May and July. Travellers from other continents prefer it for the winter period starting in November.
- The months between August and October and between April and May are the two best periods to visit Halong Bay, with ideal temperatures between 24 and 28 ° C and perfectly clear skies.
- Note that a cruise in Halong Bay between June and July could be spoiled by the rains and even the typhoons that threaten the Northern regions at this time.
Motorbike, bus, train and seaplane are all possible ways to get to Halong from Hanoi.
- Bus departures from My Dinh, Nuoc Ngam and Giap Bat bus stations start at 6 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. every day.
- Around 3 - 4 hours on the road, the ticket price is 100,000 VND for the seat and 200,000 VND with berth.
Take the Halong Express tourist train from Gia Lam station to Halong. The 5-hour journey costs around 100,000 VND for one way per person.
By motorbike, two practical routes:
- Route 1 (155km): NR 5 - crossroads of Sai Dong - Bac Ninh - NR 18A - Pha Lai - Chi Linh - Dong Trieu - Uong Bi - Halong.
- Route 2 (160km): Noi Bai Airport - Bac Ninh - NR 18A - Pha Lai - Sao Do - Dong Trieu - Uong Bi - Halong.
This comfortable method, which is actually more expensive, allows you to have a panoramic view of the sea over a height of between 150 and 3000 metres. Able to accommodate 12 travellers, it would provide you with a fantastic and unforgettable experience on one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Discovery of a fabulous series of caves and islets
Thien Cung Cave (Celestial Palace)
The spectacular painting of Halong Bay is revealed by crisscrossing amid innumerable pitons with particular shapes but also by penetrating the admirable caves they sculpt.
Explore the wonders in its depths, the Thien Cung (Celestial Palace), Dau go (Wooden head), Sung Sot (Surprises), Trong and Trinh Nu (Man and Virgin) caves, to name a few.
Created at the end of the descent of the Dragon into the sea, as indicated by the legendary name of Halong, the mythical islets will undoubtedly surprise you during your excursion with the most known names, Head of the man, Fisherman, Combat roosters, Veil, Monk, Incense burner, Frog… for example.
Swimming on beautiful beaches
Minh Chau Beach
You can bask in the sun on one of the beaches bordered by the emerald water of Halong, from the most frequented to the most isolated, namely:
- Two artificial stations of Bai Chay and Tuan Chau, very lively during the holidays.
- The beach on Ti Top Island, known for being a magnificent landscape setting.
- Discreet stations found in the more distant islands, Ngoc Vung, Quan Lan, Minh Chau and Three Peaches.
One of the top 25 spots in the world for kayaking by National Geographic Adventures, the place has everything to delight lovers of this activity, definitely one of the experiences not to be missed in Halong Bay.
Easily accessible at ports and on the islands, the rental of a kayak varies between 100,000 - 200,000 VND per hour, depending on availability for one, two or three people.
Admiring Halong Bay aboard a seaplane
What could be better than to contemplate the breath-taking beauty of the loaves of green sugar from a bird's eye view? Visiting Halong Bay by seaplane was voted one of the most attractive activities in 2015 by The New York Times magazine.
Staying the night on a boat on Halong Bay
To enjoy the miraculous universe on the open sea, a stay in Halong of at least two days is preferable to savour the timeless moments, going from sublime dawn to dazzling twilight. Imagine after dark, a whole starry sky that envelops your romantic evening for two. For many travellers, this night escape is to be done at least once in your lifetime.
Visiting fishing villages
The waterside getaway of this world wonder does not fill up nonstop at a local village. Vung Vieng, Cua Van or Ba Hang are beautiful floating villages where you can chat with smiling fishermen and rowers to get closer to an understanding of this peaceful life in a boat.
Discovering the rock climbing routes in the open sea
Superb cliffs, numerous mythical gorges and caves that shape the reliefs of Halong Bay make it a perfect place for climbers of all levels. Let yourself be carried away by the sea breeze and the climbing tracks giving views of the breath-taking landscapes.
Halong Sun World Theme Park
This park covering 214ha offers a whole range of entertainment at an international level. Composed of two giant poles, one along the coast and the other located in the Ba Deo mountain, this complex offers a multitude of activities, from the most fun to the most fantastic for a family outing.
Other points of interest, the Quang Ninh Museum and the religious sites around Halong such as Ba Vang pagoda, the historical and religious remains in the mountains of Yen Tu.
As Halong welcomes millions of vacationers from around the world every year, the hotel and entertainment structures are constantly diversifying. You will, therefore, have a very large choice of accommodation in Halong Bay and there is something for all tastes and budgets. Note that the price of rooms is normally doubled or even tripled on public holidays.
Along Halong Street
This axis offers the majority of high-end 4 to 5 star hotel with a sea view. Much higher than in other sectors, the price offered is at least 1 million VND per night.
Hai Quan or Maritime Crossroads
The rooms here correspond well to the low budget, costing between 200,000 and 300,000 VND per night.
Vuon Dao sector or peach garden
As with the choice at the Hai Quan crossroads, the hotels in this part are very affordable for a price of between 300,000 - 700,000 VND per night.
Halong Bay has no shortage of surprises to make you experience an unforgettable gourmet stay. Besides the fresh crustaceans, other flavours that make the reputation of the sea and the land of Halong are sticky rice and dumplings with squid pancakes, "sa sung", " banh gat gu "or local ravioli, etc.
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