Ha Long

Ha Long

Things to do - general

Ha Long Bay is a body of water of approximately 1,500 square kilometer in north Vietnam with a 120 kilometer coastline, in the Gulf of Tonkin near the border with China, and 170 kilometer east of Hanoi. “Vịnh Hạ Long” — Ha Long Bay — means “Bay of the Descending Dragon” in the Vietnamese language. Hạ means “descending” and Long means “dragon” in Sino-Vietnamese.
The bay consists of a dense cluster of 1,969 limestone monolithic islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, which rise spectacularly from the ocean. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. Hang Đầu Gỗ (Wooden stakes Cave) is the largest grotto in the Ha Long area. French tourists visited in the late 19th century, and named the cave Grotte des Merveilles. Its three large chambers contain large numerous stalactites and stalagmites (as well as 19th century French graffiti). There are two bigger islands, Tuan Chau and Cat Ba, that have permanent inhabitants. Both of them have tourist facilities, including hotels and beaches. There are a number of wonderful beaches on the smaller islands. Some of the islands support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish and 450 different kinds of mollusks. Many of the islands have acquired their names as a result of interpretation of their unusual shapes: such names include Voi Islet (elephant), Ga Choi Islet (fighting cock), and Mai Nha Islet (roof). 989 of the islands have been given names. Birds and animals including bantams, antelopes, monkeys, and iguanas also live on some of the islands.The bay was World Heritage listed by UNESCO at the 18th meeting of the Committee of the World Heritages of UNESCO (in Thailand on December 17th, 1994). It is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations

Country Vietnam
Languages spokenVietnamese
Currency usedVND
Area (km2)15000

1.Overnights in traditional junk boat cruise is the best way to explore the mythical Halong Bay. It is recommended to stay overnight onboard so that you have more time to discover the spectacular limestone formations, natural grottoes and floating villages.

 

Traditonal junk boats in Halong

Traditional junk boats in Halong

2. Visiting a traditional floating village to experience the daily life of local fisher men is a popular activity. From generation to generation, these fisher men and their families have been living amongst the magnificent beauty of Halong bay and earning their livings from its abundant seafood supply. You also have a chance to see and meet lovely children playing and studying on the floating houses.

Halong fishing villages

Halong fishing village3.                                                                                                                                                           It is also recommended to go cycling on Cat Ba Island. Cat Ba is famous for its impressive natural beauty with diversified range of species and fascinating natural habitats. You can explore this beautiful isle either on foot or by bike to the limestone hills, natural lakes and grottos. If you are lucky enough, you can see the Cat Ba Langur hidden in the coastal limestone forests. You should book a 3 day cruise to reach Cat Ba Island. It cruises from Halong Bay to Lan Ha Bay and disembark at the southern coast of Cat Ba, Viet Hai pier, where you can rent the bike or start your walking.

 

 

 

 

4. Discovering caves and grottos on Halong Bay is another interesting activity. Halong bay with thousands of jungle-covered peaks rising dramatically out of the emerald waters posses a large number of natural caves, isolated grottos and picturesque hidden coves of all shapes and sizes. Thien Cung Cave or the Heavenly Palace Cave, Dau Go Cave or known as the Cave of Wonders, Sung Sot Cave or Surprising Cave, Trong Cave or Drum Cave are the most beautiful and popular caves. Yet, there are several hidden caves waiting you to explore.

Halong cave

Halong cave

 

5. You love adventure and wild life? Kayaking between karst limestone outcrops to find hidden lagoons is just right for you. Hop on a kayak and explore the beauty of the bay up close. Sailing through caves then finding out small lagoons surrounded by limestone peak will bring you awesome feelings. There, you can see many special plants and animals in these areas.

 

Halong Bay with many isolated white sandy beaches is one of the best destinations to swim in Vietnam. You should sail further to the Lan Ha Bay or Bai Tu Long to visit these beaches. Imagine only you and your beloved partner on a private, unspoiled beach. It will be a unforgettable moment for you two!

 

6. Visitors are also attracted by Halong Bay’s food.  The authentic Vietnamese cuisine, with its rich seafood delicacies like crab, clams, prawns, lobsters, lamprey and more, is a must-try.

7. Get a bird’s eye view of this marvel of nature as you take seaplane tour from Hanoi to Halong.

Useful information

Halong Bay weather in 12 months:

  • March + April + May: Temperature: ~ 20°F-22°F; Some day have light rain; Clear with blue sky
  • June + July + Aug:  Temperature: ~ 26°F-28°F with strong Sun; Carefully with Typhoon; Some day have trong rain but quick
  • Sept + Oct + Nov: Best time to enjoy Halong with cool temperature: ~ 26°F-28°F
  • Dec + Jan + Feb: Temperature: 18°F~20°F; Cold with strong wind; Some day is misty and rain

Cruise packages

There is different scale of prices for overnight tours to Ha Long Bay but beware that we just get what you pay for. Price differences are based on the quality of the boat, food, accommodation, transportation, crew as well as other invisible elements. Frequent questions to ask before making a booking are the group size on boat and on car, cabin type (with or without A/C), included and excluded services in the package so that you know what to expect in advance.

Halong Bay is famous for seafood so most of the dishes are seafood. Hundreds of sea snails and seafood derivatives like prawns, squids, crabs, etc. are freshly caught from the sea and supplied to the boats to bring you great taste.

 

   

 

Buffet, set menu or BBQ are served onboard. You can easily choose among many delicious and fresh dishes, including seafood soup, Pho, big juicy prawns, grilled monkfish in a sweet sauce, beef teriyaki, delightfully fresh salad, beautifully marinated chicken and beef skewers, several choices of cold cuts..

Culture and history info

Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistorical human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. The successive ancient cultures are the Soi Nhụ culture around 18,000–7000 BC, the Cái Bèo culture 7000–5000 BC[6] and the Hạ Long culture 5,000–3,500 years ago.[7] Hạ Long Bay also marked important events in the history of Vietnam with many artifacts found in Bài Thơ Mount, Đầu Gỗ Cave, Bãi Cháy.[7]

500 years ago, Nguyễn Trãi praised the beauty of Hạ Long Bay in his verse Lộ nhập Vân Đồn, in which he called it "rock wonder in the sky".[8] In 1962, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of North Vietnam listed Hạ Long Bay in the National Relics and Landscapes publication.[9] In 1994, the core zone of Hạ Long Bay was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site according to criterion vii, and listed for a second time according to criterion viii.

Culture and history image

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

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