Ha Long Travel Guide

  • A boat at Halong Bay
    A boat at Halong Bay
    by SurfaceTravel
  • Kayaking at Halong Bay
    Kayaking at Halong Bay
    by SurfaceTravel
  • View from stairs up to top of Ti Top Hill
    View from stairs up to top of Ti Top...
    by wannabeglobetrotter

Ha Long Things to Do

  • Indochina Junk

    Indochina Junk ran our tour to and of Ha Long Bay. We took the Dragon Legend tour, which is one night. It began with pick up from our hotel (also arranged by IJ) in a luxury van at 7.30am - we were worried that their definition of luxury would differ from ours but it was actually very comfortable with 7 big seats in the back, and it had a...

  • Lovely romantic luxury cruise

    Indochina Junk ran our tour to and of Ha Long Bay. We took the Dragon Legend tour, which is one night. It began with pick up from our hotel (also arranged by IJ) in a luxury van at 7.30am - we were worried that their definition of luxury would differ from ours but it was actually very comfortable with 7 big seats in the back, and it had a...

  • Enjoying the Views on Halong Bay Cruise

    That's what everyone is expecting in this place. Too bad you can't see this view without taking the boat. And to see this spectacular view, you must stay one night on the cruise, is a bit expensive, but on board the boat crew treating you like king and queenIf you stay a night on the Junk, you can observe Halong Bay at night. When all boats are...


Ha Long Hotels

See all 19 Hotels in Ha Long
  • Mithrin Hotel Halong Bay

    East Hung Thang, Ha Long, CA, QU 033, VN

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Royal International Hotel

    Ha Long St, Bai Chay, Halong Bay, Vietnam

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

  • Heritage Halong Hotel

    88 Ha Long Rd., Bai Chay Beach, Halong Bay, Vietnam

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Business

Ha Long Restaurants

  • Cat Ba's best restaurant

    We went to the opening, and were just treated like on of the family. The food served at the opening was fantastc and all the staff there were really friendly and helpful. Even giving suggestions on how to eat and with what... (the free alcohol whch we got was also good :) )

  • Really posh!

    I took my 3 day/2 night Halong Bay tour with ODC Travel who are based in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. The junk that I spent an overnight stay on was called the Sun Cruise (see my accommodation tip). When we set off to Halong Bay, we first had lunch which was very luxurious of small prawns, potato croquettes, butterfish etc. After visiting some caves...

  • free breakfast, lunch and dinner

    (last date visited - April 24 - 26, 2007)Free breakfastFree lunchFree dinner- included in tha package toura) tofub) spring rolls


Ha Long Nightlife

  • Father & daughter combo

    Don't expect much nightlife here but luckily we were entertained by a father and daughter duo who sang traditional Vietnamese songs and instruments on our boat which was a nice surprise.

  • A Quiet Night In

    If you stay on board overnight rather than on Cat Ba island then obviously there is little in the way of entertainment. I was a little worried that I might be bored but I wasnt. There was a bar on board and although drinks were dearer than on land they were still reasonable. If you are on a very tight budget you could always take your own as one or...

  • Cat Ba Town Nightlife

    There are a few tourist-centric nightclubs in Cat Ba Town, but I stuck with the trusty bia hois. Since there aren't many locals in the tourist area of town, bia hois were harder to find, but I just asked a local! Just like in the big Vietnames cities, bia hois are a relaxing place to grab a cool, refreshing, watered-down beer!


Ha Long Transportation

  • Was Good....and Perfect ship

    Coming to Halong Bay one of the world's natural heritages and also among seven of natural wonders. Soon you will notice taking part in a Halong Bay cruise is the best way to complete and explore the stunning beauty of this destination. The feeling of cruising through around thousands islets of Halong Bay is definitely a fantastic experience....

  • Our boat

    In this boat it has desks like a restaurant inside and has a deck with chairs. The kitchen is at the back and also the toilet too.

  • Columbus Travel Company

    When you wish to book a Halong Bay cruise online, you need to be discreet as to what tour company to choose as practically all of them would require your credit card details should you want to pay by that mode. What will make you apprehensive even more is that they require your signatures on some forms they will email to you in order to make the...


Ha Long Shopping

See all 10 Shopping in Ha Long
  • Only chance for snacks

    When you visit the Amazing Caves (Hang Sung Sot), as it's a very busy bay full of other tourist junks, you'll see a few boats that act as floating shops. They sell snacks, biscuits, drinks, cigarettes and even fruit and vegetables. You name it, they'll probably have it but as you're far from any conventional land based shops, expect to pay that...

  • Local lacquerware and stuffs

    The Ha Long night market at Bai Chay is a collection of stalls selling various Vietnamese products. Trading can be done in Dong, USD, Reminbi and even Malaysian ringgit. Lacquerware, the famous Vietnam lady wooden statues, T-shirts, traditional Vietnamese dress etc. Basically souvenirs. Bargain heavily! The starting price would usually be 30-40%...

  • Floating Fruit

    There were boats that would come up to the junk boat tours selling fruit and other snacks. More expensive than in town


Ha Long Local Customs

  • The Legend of Ha Long Bay

    Vinh Ha Long or Bay of the Descending Dragon is often touted by proud Vietnamese as the world's wonder. One of the main attractions of Ha long is the bay's calm water and the thousands of Limestone Mountains dotting the seascape. The Bay's water is clear during the spring and early summer. Some of the islands are quite large and there are small...

  • Floating Fishing Villages

    Halong Bay has many floating fishing communities and if you travel to Cat Ba Island you'll see them up close. We paddled past them complete with barking dogs when we went canoeing. I have heard that some of the people living on them were born here and never set foot on dry land - kind of like in the film Waterworld starring Kevin Costner.

  • Three dishes

    On the long list of seafood, here is a small summary on the most impressive : 1. Sai sung rang moi xao - Roasted sipucudilac " Sai Sung " - sand worms fired with garlic & cabbage - ( hearty meal it makes ). It also tasted good when dried & served with beer. Willing to try? 2. Tom Hap - steamned lobster You can choose once the boat stop at the...


Ha Long Warnings and Dangers

  • Sinking Boats

    On Feb 2011, a boat sank quickly while tourists were asleep killing 12 people. There wasn't any storm. A wooden plank simply let loose and water gushed in quickly leaving very little time for the tourists to save themselves. In the previous years, boats have been known to capsize during heavy storms bringing down lives with it.Check the credentials...

  • Before you jump...

    For overnight cruises, Halong Bay boats would normally drop anchor at a place where it's suitable for guests to swim. The water's great but the main thing to watch out for are jellyfishes which could pack a sting. Other than that, no need to worry about sharks or other marine creatures.There can be a lot especially near fishing villages but then...

  • Snake wine

    This particular one was photographed at our lunch venue when we returned from our Halong Bay trip, in Halong City. It was a huge glass container and in it were snakes, lizards and even birds.Try it if you dare - but be warned. It could cause severe stomach upset. I wasn't silly enough to try it, but I do know one VT member who has - and he was...


Ha Long Tourist Traps

  • Hawkers

    I was a little reluctant to actually put this in the tourist trap tip as its more of a minor nuisance. Every time the boat was moored we would be approached by a small boat laden with cheap goods, occasionally the occupants would be quite persistent in trying to sell you bits and pieces. Sometimes they would have small kids with them to try and...

  • Santa Maria Cruise - Halong Bay -...

    I never got on the Santa Maria cruise but if it's useful i can tell you about our experience with Columbus. Me and my fiance got atrocious service, fed with a bunch of lies, and got bumped off the boat on our honeymoon. All this before we even got on the boat.We booked the santa maria for a 2d1n trip on 8 aug, paid the deposit and confirmed the...

  • Thien Cung Grotto (Heavenly Cave)

    Thien Cung Grotto was a pretty big cave, but there were lights that they put in the cave that made it look like a tourist exhibit. Nothing exciting.


Ha Long What to Pack

  • Must-brings on a cruise

    It can be quite hot and humid out at sea so better bring sunblock (it's difficult to find or buy any from Hanoi's pharmacies), mosquito repellant and a wide-brimmed hat. The sunblock will come in handy should you swim or ride a kayak. If you'll take an overnight cruise, bring along your own bottled water. Your boat might provide you a couple of...

  • Don't pack too many woolies

    We travelled from HCMC up to Hanoi in March and the only time we needed to wear a jumper was in Dalat at night, and when we were out on Halong Bay. So I would suggest that you bring a jacket or jumper that you are not terribly fond of. Then you can dispose of it by giving it to a local. I donated mine to an elderly chap who was wheeling his...

  • Bring these .....

    Small overnight bagpack with one day change of clothes, swimming gear Bring your own toiletries - No shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste provided. They do give you a towel and provide toilet rolls.Mosquito repellent (usually at the deck of boat, you will feel that there are some mosquitoes around) Lots of memory cards for taking landscape of...


Ha Long Off The Beaten Path

  • Bus Ride to Halong... get away from the...

    If you take a guided trip, your bus will stop in one of the communal tourist towns on the way to Halong. The stated intent of the stop is for a restroom break, but the restrooms happen to be in the middle of huge tourist shopping centers. If you really want souvenirs, go shopping, but if you want to get off the beaten path, leave this compound and...

  • Dai Nghia Humanitarian Center

    On the way to Halong City, the bus made a refreshment stop at the Dai Nghia Humanitarian Center. This is a craft, food and souvenir market that claims to use the proceeds to benefit children affected by Agent Orange and other people who suffered war injuries. A sign is prominently hung up to guilt people into buying stuff. The prices are expensive...

  • Enjoy The Silence of A Secret Lagoon

    When you take the Bai Tho Cruise, the boat will moor in the early afternoon. You have a choice of activities: fishing of a small boat, swimming, or kayaking.As it appeared to be too cold for swimming and fishing was not my thing, we chose kayaking. My colleague, H and I changed into our shorts and life jacket and clambered onto the brightly...


Ha Long Sports & Outdoors

  • A New Perspective

    One of our favorite experiences in Ha Long Bay was taking a kayaking tour. It’s a good idea to kayak with a guide as the rock formations start to look alike, especially when you’re at water level, so it’s easy to get lost. The great things about kayaking is you get to see the bay from a new and different perspective. It also gives you the...

  • Kayaking Halong Bay

    There is no better way to explore Halong bay than doing a kayaking trip which makes the visit a totally different one. With a kayak, you can easily enter the caves placed very low above the water, leading to the lagoons inside, while there is no way doing that with normal tourist boat. But, there are times you need to stretch your body lying on the...

  • Kayaking Ha Long Bay

    One diversion from the boat was two hours of kayaking in the afternoon of the second day. We disembarked at a small collection of kayaks and docks surrounded by water on all sides and paddled underneath a narrow hangover into a pool ringed by steep karst walls. The open-top cave gave the feeling of paddling around a deep and narrow volcanic crater...


Ha Long General

See all 36 General in Ha Long
  • Thien Cung grotto

    On Dau Go island you can wander around the underground grottoes. Some fascinating views here bathed in multicoloured light. Well worth checking out the stalagmites and stalactites

  • Ti Top Island / Titov Island / Dao Ti...

    The view from the top is very nice. When deciding which tour/junk for your daylong/overnight cruise of the Ha Long Bay, please make sure they have a stop over at Ti Top Island (also referred to as Dao Ti Top, or Titov Island).We were there in August 2011. Our junk (Bai Tho) stopped for a little over 30 minutes. You have the option to swim/play...

  • Some practical matters

    Here are a few practical tips in getting the most of your Halong Bay holiday:1) Day tours are a no-no: don't even consider taking a day tour of Halong Bay. This enchanting place is best enjoyed at sunset and at sunrise when a thick misty fog envelopes the karsts. Better even with your favorite cocktail on hand (at sunset), or with a cup of freshly...


Top 5 Romantic Weekend Destinations: Ha Long Bay

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

For the unexpected romantic gesture, one VirtualTourist member suggested a cruise on Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Start your trip with a day in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital and second largest city, before embarking on a two day, one night tour of Ha Long Bay. Members warned that the drive from Hanoi to Ha Long takes about three and a half hours (including one rest stop), with the second half of the trip being significantly bumpier, though all members unanimously agreed the journey is worth it. Rather than a large cruise liner with crowds of people, splurge on a "luxury junk" (which there is no shortage of on the bay) and enjoy one of the most beautiful scenes in Southeast Asia with your significant other. The bay, which includes more than 1,600 islands and islets, is comprised primarily of limestone pillars. One island, TiTop Island, can be explored on foot and affords those who make the climb to its summit an amazing view of the bay. Many visitors choose to explore the bay and the natural caves by kayak. The site is a rare combination of a truly rare geological occurrence (the bay and its islands are a UNESCO Heritage Site) with unique beauty that is protected from human encroachment by the very bay that surrounds it.

Instant Answers: Ha Long

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

151 travelers online now


View all Ha Long hotels

Map of Ha Long