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Halong Bay is a beautiful natural wonder in northern Vietnam near the Chinese border. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sqkm. This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. For many tourists, this place is like something right out of a movie. The fact is that Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed featured in endless movies.

Ha Long Bay weather overview

Halong locates in the North of Vietnam – just 156km away from Hanoi capital so the weather in Hanoi and Halong is similar. 

Both Hanoi and Halong Bay climate share the same typical humid & tropical monsoon weather. 

While the South of Vietnam has only two seasons (rain and dry season), Halong has 4 seasons with its own weather features. 

Here is the graphs for an overview of the weather conditions and see when is the best time of year you should go to Halong Bay

Please check the below table to have the general idea of Ha Long weather throughout the year:

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 18.8 15.7 13.3
Feb 20.8 17.8 15.6
Mar 22.4 19.9 17.8
Apr 26.7 23.4 21.1
May 30.6 26.9 24.1
Jun 32.4 28.8 25.9
Jul 31.9 28.6 25.8
Aug 31.4 28 25.3
Sep 30.7 27.1 24.3
Oct 29.3 25.3 22.3
Nov 26.1 22.1 19.1
Dec 21.7 18 15.2

 

Best time to go to Ha Long Bay

October to December (Fall) is the best time to visit Halong Bay and peak season thanks to the pleasant weather and low chance of rain, though you can expect double the crowds. While June to September (Summer) is the low season and has a higher chance of storms and typhoon. 

However, with some planning, you can have an amazing Halong tour with half of the normal price when booking cruise in the low season. 

Ha Long Bay's seasonal weather guide

Winter (January - February): Mystical Halong Bay

The temperature of Halong Bay is around 13-20°C which is very pleasant and perfect for relaxing. 

There is sunlight during the day but mostly you will see fog and drizzle in the morning and late afternoon. 

However, during this time you can see a completely different look of Halong Bay. 

A mystical Halong Bay, where the rock formations hide under cloudy fog, appear, disappear and then show up again.

Compared to October to December, Halong is less crowded and you will have the chance to experience Lunar New Year – the most important holiday in Vietnam.

Spring (March - May): The New Beginnings

The weather is not hot yet average of 24°C but it will be more likely to rain especially during March. Humidity will start to increase during this time.

However, the weather is still pleasant and there is more sunlight for outdoor activities such as swimming and kayaking in the daytime.

When you visit Halong during this time, you can avoid the peak season and still enjoy the nice weather. 

Keep in mind that the end of April, there will be slightly crowded due to Hung Kings Temple Festival and Reunification Day ( You can read more about weather and information of April at below article)

Summer (June - September): Storm Season

Can be hot and humidity for westerners but Halong during this time is very charming with crystal clear sky and emerald water.

There can be some light rain but overall, you can expect a lot of direct sunlight.

If you want to enjoy a clear view of the bay, especially from the seaplane, this is the best time to do so.

There will be more time for swimming, kayaking, and other water activities than in the fall and winter.

Starting from June to the end of September is the rainy season with a higher chance of storms and typhoon.

The temperature is quite hot average of 29-32°C so you can swim as long as you like. 

It tends to rain the most during August but don’t worry too much: usually, the rain does not last long so you can relax at your hotel for a day and continue your adventure the next day with a bright blue sky.

During this period, your trip or cruise can be canceled or delayed; however, almost cruise companies will usually give you refund or reschedule your tour in that case.

On the bright side, many cruise lines offer deals and promotions during this low season.

If you keep your eyes on the weather forecast around 14 days prior to your booking, you can easily avoid the crowds and enjoy the beautiful Halong Bay with half of the usual price.

Fall (October - December): Peak Season

October – December is a good time if you have plan to visit Halong Bay, thanks to its pleasant weather. The humidity level drops considerably and the temperature is around 13°C-21°C.

There is less rainfall during this period of time. However, you can expect cloudy weather toward the end of December.

Tourists can enjoy more sunshine, which is not as harsh as in the summer. 

December is also time for Christmas and New Year, however, you can expect rare light rain during this month.

There will be more deals and special programs for this occasion.

Overall, keep in mind that this is the peak season for tourists so Halong is expected to be more crowded. 

On a side note, if you are into squid fishing, mark these months in your calendar because you have the best chance to catch big squids. 

Ha Long Bay's Current weather & 7-day forecast

HẠ LONG WEATHER

Halong Bay is famous for its limestone karsts and almost two thousand islands and islets that dot the turquoise-green waters. While most of these islands are just towering rocks emerging from the ocean, with no place to land, many make for great climbing destinations or have caves that can be approached with boats.

If you're considering a trip to the area, discover the best things to do with our list of the top attractions in Halong Bay.

1. Take a Cruise

There's no better way to see the beauty of Halong Bay than from the water, zigzagging among the tiny islands and towering limestone cliffs that populate the bay. But what type of cruise experience you want makes a world of difference, and the options go from quick half-day tours around the day to overnight trips leaving from the capital Hanoi.

You also have a choice of amenities: you can take a traditional junk-boat cruise with sails or a more modern yacht-style boat that's faster but less charming.

Halong Bay is located just over 140 kilometers from Hanoi, so a one-night cruise leaving from the Hanoi might be just about enough. These two-day, one-night trips are perfect if you want to just kick back and relax without having to make any plans on your own: food, accommodation, and sightseeing will all be part of the cruise ticket.

Halong Bay cruises are usually air-conditioned and offer sun loungers for an open view of the waters as you get to and then explore Halong Bay. If you get a cruise trip for two to three nights, you will probably also get the option of sleeping at a resort on one of the islands (usually Cat Ba).

When choosing a cruise, always ask what activities are included—most offer a combination of kayaking, swimming, cave exploring, onboard cooking classes, and sometimes excursions to floating villages.

2. Visit Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is Halong Bay's largest island and the best stop if you want to do something else besides exploring the deep turquoise waters. The island is home to some nice hotels; Cat Ba National Park that covers one-third of the island; and a number of tourist attractions connected to the Vietnam War—more notably the Hospital Cave, an underground, bomb-proof hospital and safe house.

Cat Ba is also the starting point for adventurers wishing to get up close and personal with Halong Bay. This is the best place to get a kayak, join a tour to explore the caves on the island, take off on a hike through the national park (trails are clearly marked so you won't get lost), or do some rock climbing. Organized tours are available if you want to try something not included in your cruise package, but many visitors just pay a local for a ride on their boat.

Cat Ba doesn't have many roads, so walking and biking are not only the easiest and greenest ways to get around but also the best options to make sure you don't miss out on anything—including opportunities to run into giant lizards or catch sight of a rare eagle in flight.

Cat Ba also has its own three beaches that are perfect for swimming and quiet in the mornings, before cruises arrive. Between May and September, it's also possible to snorkel around the island.

3. Kayak in Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long is technically right next to Halong Bay, but it's an area that until recently wasn't part of the normal cruise tours. While more and more visitors are now making their way to this corner of the bay, it still mostly remains off-the-beaten-track—mainly because accessing it through the labyrinth of limestone mountains is a little trickier, so only those on a longer cruise (at least three days) will find their way here.

Since the waters around Bai Tu Long Bay aren't as crowded with large ships, you can easily (and safely) explore the area in a kayak. Bai Tu Long has a number of caves that can only be accessed from the water, as well as hidden pockets of stunning untouched beauty around almost every corner.

The island itself is covered in rain forest and mangroves, and it's home to a number of endangered species, including the leopard cat and the large Indian civet.

4. Snorkel and Dive near Cong Do Island

The clear waters of Halong Bay make snorkeling and scuba diving some of the top things to do, but the areas around Cong Do Island and Van Gio Island are especially good starting points because their isolated location means less boat traffic and a greater variety of marine species.

Cong Do Island is a favorite snorkeling destination because it has its own system of five lakes that are hidden among limestone peaks but still connect to the sea, offering a unique and diverse ecosystem.

In addition to rare corals such as red and forest corals, the island is also home to seagrass beds, the preferred living space for sea turtles and sea horses. Stone crabs, lizards, and hornbills inhabit the wet areas around the coast and can be easily spotted once you step back on land.

Once off the water, the islands also offer plenty of hiking opportunities, where you'll run into hidden lagoons and ancient trees along the way.

5. Experience the Thrills of Sun World Halong Park

Sun World is Vietnam's largest amusement park, a mega recreational complex that covers 214 hectares and is divided into two sections: the Mystic Mountain Complex (also known as the Ba Deo Hill Park) and the Coastal Amusement Complex, which also includes the Typhoon Water Park.

The two sections of the park are connected by the Queen Cable Car, which rides high up over the bay and the island for two kilometers of beautiful photo opportunities.

The Coastal section of the park offers plenty of thrill rides, including a roller coaster, water rides, giant slides, and lots of options to cool off—all surrounded by its own sandy beach that gently slopes into the turquoise waters around.

At the Ba Deo park, you'll find one of the world's tallest Ferris wheels, the Sun Wheel Halong, which offers stunning views of the bay from its 64 cabins. There's also an arcade; an indoor game zone; a wax museum; and a Zen garden complete with bonsai trees, waterfalls, and a miniature Mount Fuji.

6. Sunbathe in Ti Top Beach

This crescent-moon shaped beach might not be the largest in Halong Bay, but it's definitely one of the most stunning. Tip Top island is a tiny islet with white sands and calm waters and can only be reached by boat from Halong Bay.

A popular rock climbing destination, the island is also a common stop for day cruises—however, boats only stop here for a couple of hours, so if you want a longer visit, rent your own boat and spend some extra time just sitting on the sand, admiring the majestic bay around you.

The island has a small shop that doubles as a mini café and also rents equipment for snorkeling and swimming, as well as beach chairs.

7. Stop by the Quang Ninh Museum

Covering an area of 24,000 square meters in Halong City, this mix of museum, library, and exhibition space offers a very eclectic collection that includes everything from sailboat models to items connected to Buddhist culture and the resistance effort against the French Colonial empire.

While the exhibits are clearly marked, this isn't meant to be a typical museum where you can find large collections organized into specific groups, but more of a wide insight into the land and people (including minority ethnic groups) of Halong Bay.

In addition to a massive book collection, the library also offers a screening room, theater, coffee shop, and bookstore. With reading rooms, special rooms for kids, and areas where rotating exhibits are available, this is a great complex to learn more about the city, but also a good place for a quiet break from the heat when you're in the area.

8. Explore Caves

With cliffs and mountains everywhere, it's no surprise that Halong Bay also has an abundance of caves—and Driftwood Island is a particularly good spot to discover some of them.

This small island in the southwest of Halong Bay is home to two caves: the massive Thien Cung cave and the tall but less deep Dau Go grotto. Both caves are at least two million years old and have some impressive chambers—the entrance of Dau Go cave, for example, is "just" 12 meters high, but the highest dome inside reaches 25 meters tall, and it's covered in stone pillars and stalagmites.

Artificial lights have been arranged all around the caves to illuminate certain areas, especially rock formations that seem to mimic animal forms and even a deep well of clear, blue water.

Thien Cung Cave is home to three ponds, and it's illuminated with colorful lights, which creates a dancing of ghostly images on the walls as visitors walk by. Openings in the ceiling also let in natural light, and there are narrow passageways connecting different rooms for those who are more adventurous and want to explore deeper.

9. Walk the Grounds of the Cai Bau Pagoda

Located high up on a hill overlooking Bai Tu Long Bay, the large pagoda occupies an area of 20 hectares, where shrines, gates, and towers offer a spiritual break and plenty of opportunities for photo taking. Although there were temples in this location over 700 years ago, the current pagoda was completely reconstructed and expanded in 2007.

The manicured gardens of the pagoda include small ponds, bells, statues (including two large mythological creatures guarding the entrance through the gate), and plenty of secluded spots to sit and enjoy the cool breeze and the stunning views over the water.

10. Discover the Vung Vieng Floating Village

Vung Vieng is a fishing village in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay. Originally set up in the 19th century by local fishermen, it is home to over 300 people today—some of whom actually live inland now but still spend most of their time in the village for work. And while it's the largest of four similar floating villages in the Halong Bay area, Vung Vieng has also remained the most authentic—the village's main earnings still come from sustainable fishing rather than tourism.

Luckily for tourists, the village has also converted one of their larger floating buildings into an open center, in which visitors can attend workshops or stop by to purchase handicrafts and food.

It's also possible to get a peek into some of the houses to see what they look like and even spend the night in one of the homes (and do some night fishing with the locals) for the ultimate authentic experience.

The village can only be approached on small rowing boats, often manned by the local residents themselves.

11. Visit Tuan Chau Island

Located just off the coast of Halong City, this tiny island of just 1,500 residents is one of the most developed tourist destinations in the area. Tuan Chau can be reached via a two-kilometer-long road that connects it to the mainland, which has made it a lot easier and convenient for visitors to stay here and get "the island experience" without having to worry about transportation.

A well-developed resort destination, the island has a golf course; beach villas; a number of restaurants; and a beautiful marina, where cruises often stop so travelers can catch a dance performance or grab some souvenirs.

A nature reserve on the island offers chances for trekking and camping, while the coastline is perfect for kayaking, water skiing, and parasailing

Besides the spectacular natural scenery, Halong is also well known for its diverse featured cultural cuisine cooking from delicious seafood. Many specialties of Halong became famous brands such as Halong squid cake, Cai Rong fish sauce, Van Don Geoduck, etc.

#1 - Cha Muc – Squid Pie

As one of the ten most famous dishes of Vietnam in 2013, cha muc or squid pie is a specialty that you must try in Ha Long. I’ll show you how the local people make squid pie. The squid is ground by hand into squid paste. Afterward, it’s seasoned with pepper and fish sauce, the paste is molded into a flat, round shape. Then, these patties are deep fried until they turn into an attractive yellow. The squid pie is ready to serve!

An interesting fact about this food is that the squid in Ha Long is sweet while the squid in central and southern Vietnam is salty. Therefore, the squid pie here is the most delicious in the entire country. Squid pie is usually served with sticky rice (xoi) or rolled rice pancake (banh cuon). I recommend trying this dish for breakfast. 

Where to eat:

Ba Yen Restaurant

  • Address: 36 Doan Thi Diem street, Bach Dang ward, Ha Long city
  • Phone Number: 0203 3827 086
  • Opening Hours: 5:30 AM – 1 PM
  • Price: 40,000 VND

#2 - Chao Ha – Acorn Barnacle Porridge

Ha or acorn barnacle has a similar shape to the oyster, but the acorn barnacle is smaller. In Vietnam, acorn barnacle is only found in the sea of Quang Ninh province. Because Ha Long is the city of Quang Ninh province, this dish has become a specialty of Ha Long. Acorn barnacle cannot be cultured in a farm, it’s a wild animal! Acorn barnacles cling to rocks deep in salt water. The local fishermen need to use a hammer to separate them from the rock.

There are a few different dishes made with acorn barnacle, but chao ha or acorn barnacle porridge is the most popular dish. The fresh acorn barnacle is marinated with pepper and fish sauce, then stir-fried with onion. After the rice is cooked, the acorn barnacle is stirred into the rice. Once the rice cooks down into a porridge, you just have to add a few garnishes. Add some spring onion, coriander, and pepper on the top. Local people like to eat a hot bowl of this delicious porridge at night. 

Where to eat

Co Hang Restaurant

  • Address: 42 Tran Hung Dao street, Ha Long city
  • Opening Hours: 5:30 PM – 12 AM
  • Price: 40,000 VND

#3 - Sa Sung – Peanut Worm

Sa sung or peanut worm lives in deep caves under the sand. It is reddish brown and looks like a giant earthworm 10 to 15 centimeters long. In northern Vietnam, dried peanut worm is used to sweeten the broth of pho or other noodles. Sweet and sour peanut worm, grilled worm with chili sauce, and salad are the most favorite dishes made from peanut worm. You may be scared of its ugly shape at first, but try a bite. Traveling is all about adventure!

Where to eat

Cua Vang Restaurant

  • Address: 32 Phan Chu Trinh street, Bai Chay ward, Ha Long city
  • Phone Number: 033 3819 919
  • Opening Hours: 10 AM – 10 PM

#4 - Bun Be Be – Noodles with Mantis Shrimp 

In the past, mantis shrimp was not a popular seafood in Ha Long. However, it has become a favorite seafood of local people recently. And bun be be or noodles with mantis shrimp is the most popular dish. The mantis shrimp is boiled and peeled. The shell is cooked with pork bone to make the broth tastier. Then, boiled mantis shrimps are placed on top of a big bowl of noodles and broth. Squid, squid pie, shrimp, fried tofu, and vegetables are also added to the noodles to enhance the flavor.

Where to eat:

Dong Bac Restaurant

  • Address: 6 Hai Phuong street, Hong Hai ward, Ha Long city
  • Opening Hours: 6 AM – 11 AM
  • Price: 30,000 VND

#5 - Bun Xao Ngan – Stir-fried Noodles with Mud Clam

Mud clams are bigger than a clam, and they have a grey and white color because they live deep under the sand. Mud clam is mostly caught naturally from March to October in the lunar calendar. Did you know that Vietnamese fisherman and farmers usually use the lunar calendar for their work? This is because the moon affects the tide and the tide affects the lives of plants and animals.

There are many ways to cook mud clam. Grill ‘em, steam ‘em, make ‘em into porridge, serve ‘em with noodles, or you can even use these little guys to make wine! Among these options, stir-fried noodles with mud clam is the most favorite dish. The mud clam is washed and cut into small pieces. The noodles are seasoned and stir-fried in the pan for a few minutes. Then, sliced wood ear and Chinese black mushrooms are added to the mix. Lastly, stir-fry the mud clam for a few more minutes before the dish is ready to serve.

Where to eat:

Cua Vang Restaurant

  • Address: 32 Phan Chu Trinh street, Bai Chay ward, Ha Long city
  • Phone Number: 033 3819 919
  • Opening Hours: 10 AM – 10 PM

#6 - Ga Loi Am Nuong – Loi Am Grilled Chicken

This grilled chicken is named after Loi Am pagoda because this dish can be found at the foot of the pagoda which is 15 kilometers away from Ha Long city. You need to take a ferry across a huge lake to get to Loi Am pagoda which gives you access to this delicious food! The trip may be a little arduous but it’s worth it to chow down in beautiful scenery.

These chickens are released on hillsides to search for their food, so their meat is firm, not fatty, has a natural yellow color and delicious scent. Another highlight is that the chicken is still alive before you order the dish. After the order is received, the chicken is cooked and grilled immediately. The menu only has two dishes: regular grilled chicken and grilled chicken with mugwort. Dipping the grilled chicken into lemon pepper salt and enjoying it with boiled or stir-fried vegetables is the best. 

Where to eat:

Dam Da Restaurant

  • Address: near ferry port of Loi Am pagoda, Dai Yen ward, Ha Long city
  • Phone Number: 0833 398 268
  • Opening Hours: 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Price: 350,000 VND per chicken 

#7 - Banh Gat Gu – Nodding Cake

Banh gat gu or nodding cake looks similar to rolled pho (pho cuon) or rolled rice pancake (banh cuon). The rice cake is curled up into a long roll. When you eat this dish, you must nod your head up and down to finish eating the whole cake. This is where it gets its unique name. The cake is served with a special sauce including a bowl of chicken fat and a bowl of minced meat, fried onions, fish sauce, and chili.

Where to eat: You can easily find these special cakes in food markets such as Ha Long night market, 1st Ha Long market, and 2nd Ha Long market.

You want to visit Halong Bay but you don’t know where to lay your head at night? We’ve compiled this guide to help you make the best decision for you. Read on to decide where to stay in Halong Bay!

1. Stay overnight on a cruise

Visiting Halong Bay by cruise is clearly the most popular and obvious option around. You can spend the evening on deck listening to the ebb and flow of the waves, surrounded by the silhouettes of impressive limestone mountains. When you wake up in the morning you can watch the sunrise over the mountains and enjoy some Tai Chi on deck before getting ready for a day full of activities. There are several different areas that cruises generally tour which you should take into consideration when choosing where to stay in Halong Bay.

a) Lan Ha Bay Cruise

Lan Ha Bay is a quieter and less visited alternative to Halong Bay. It has the same landscape with masses of limestone karsts and white sandy beaches. The main difference is that there are fewer boats in this area meaning fewer tourists. This is a great option if you prefer to take it easy and stay away from the crowd.

b) Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise

Bai Tu Long Bay is sometimes called ‘The Bay Less Traveled’. It is another option for those who want to keep off the beaten track. It’s an extension of Halong Bay and an absolute hidden gem. As there are fewer tourists here, there is less pollution and the water is clearer. Choose this route if you like to travel off the beaten path!

c) Halong Bay Cruise

Halong Bay is obviously the most popular route available for a cruise and the best option if you want to see all of the most famous attractions in Halong bay. It’s a lot busier than the other two options, but arguably bigger with more to see.

2. Stay overnight on an island

If you dread the thought of staying overnight on the sea you can choose to stay on an island! Staying on an island gives you the option to go to the beach any time you want, swim at night, trek by day and visit local restaurants. Which island should you choose? Read further to consider our recommended choices.

a) Cat Ba Island

Halong Bay’s biggest and most inhabited island Cat Ba will undoubtedly give you a comfortable stay. During the day you can trek in the national park, then spend the afternoon at one of Cat Ba’s beautiful beaches, before watching the sunset and spending an evening at one of the local seafood restaurants.

b) Co To Island

Co To Island is still somewhat undiscovered by tourists. The main draws are its white sandy beaches, clear waters and delicious fresh seafood restaurants. As it is relatively quiet and not very developed, this island is great for those who wish to explore undiscovered areas. However, it will not be the most convenient location to choose and does not cater to tourists.

c) Quan Lan Island

Quan Lan is another great option for those who love nature. This island is charming in its pristine natural beauty. The island has beautiful landscapes and also great seafood!

3. Stay inland

If your priority is resting up, then you should consider staying inland. If you choose the right hotel you can have a wonderful stay in Halong City and use the city as a base to explore Halong Bay.

Here we give you some highly recommended hotels to help you make your decision:

Muong Thanh Luxury Quang Ninh Hotel

On booking.com this hotel is described as being a perfect choice for couples. It is close to Bai Chay beach and Halong Night Market. Bai Tho Mountain is 6 miles (10 kilometers) away, Tuan Chau Island is 9 miles (15 kilometers) away. The hotel itself is stylish and modern and has an outdoor swimming pool and rooms with mountain views. Double rooms go from $73 USD per night.

Address: Hạ Long, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam (Map and directions). Phone: +84 203 3646 618

Central Luxury Hạ Long Hotel

Central Luxury Ha Long Hotel is one of booking.com’s bestsellers in Halong City. It has great facilities including an outdoor swimming pool and restaurant as is 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) away from Tuan Chau port. Rooms have mountain or sea views and prices start from $95 USD per night for a twin room with mountain views.

Address: Hùng Thắng, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam (Maps and directions) .Phone: +84 203 3979 999 (verified as of 2020)

Novotel Halong Bay Hotel

Novotel is one of booking.com’s top picks in Halong City. It’s a 4-star hotel, ideal for business travelers, families and couples alike. The hotel has great amenities and facilities and is only 800 meters away from Halong night Market. Rooms start from $74 USD per night for a standard twin.

Address: 160 Ha Long road Ha Long City, Quảng Ninh 200000, Vietnam (Maps and directions) Phone: +84 203 3848 108.

From Hanoi

Hanoi is approximately 165 kilometers from Halong Bay, so a road trip between these destinations will take travelers around 2.5 hours. There are a few different ways to move from Hanoi to Halong Bay, most popular ones are by coach, by cruise’s bus, or by private car. 

Cruise bus/ mini bus

Perhaps the easiest and the cheapest way to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is to book a cruise tour that includes two-way transfer. With a cruise package, travelers don’t have to worry about the transfer anymore because they will be picked up and dropped off by the cruise’s mini bus which is quite safe and comfortable. 

Private car

Booking a private car through your travel agent is undeniably the most comfortable way to get to Halong Bay. Currently, as the service industry becomes more and more flourished in Vietnam, it is easy to contact with a travel agent and book your own private car. However, the service quality is surely commensurate with the price, it means that the more comfortable you get, the more expensive you have to pay. 

Coach

If tourists prefer to book a vehicle by themselves, do not hesitate to go to big terminals in Hanoi such as My Dinh Bus Station, Gia Lam Terminal, or Luong Yen Terminal to catch a coach departing from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The price for one way ticket is around 100,000 - 200,000 VND (US$5 - 10). Normally, most of coaches will stop at a terminal near Bai Chay Bridge. From the terminal, tourists can easily catch a taxi or a motorcycle taxi to arrive at Tuan Chau Marina. To be honestly, you are discouraged to get to Halong by this way because it is a bit complicated for a foreign traveler, you may be overpriced for the ticket price or you have to face other unpredictable problems.

Seaplane

In 2014, a new type of tourism in Halong Bay - Vietnam Seaplane Tour - was officially launched by Hai Au Aviation. With this package, travelers will be transferred between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay by Hai Au seaplane (45 minutes for each route). It will be your once in a life time experience as you have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a scenic tour to admire panoramic view of Halong Bay from a height in Hai Au seaplane. The scenic tour will last during 15 minutes. This is undeniably the most wonderful option for travelers who have a generous budget.

To book a seaplane flight, you can visit: https://www.seaplanes.vn/en/

From Hai Phong

Hai Phong is only around 75 kilometers away from Halong Bay, so in comparison with Hanoi, it is faster to travel from Hai Phong to the Bay. It used to take travelers about roughly 45 minutes to move from Hai Phong to Halong Bay by road.

Bus/ Coach/ Taxi

Currently, Lac Long Terminal, which is located in No.22, Cu Chinh Lan Street, Hong Bang District, Hai Phong City, has been operated a few of routes connecting Hai Phong to Quang). Please see the following table for your reference:

(Please be noted that the price in the tables are for your reference only, it can changed anytime by service’s providers)

Route Operating time Price (VND)
Hai Phong - Bai Chay 6.00am – 6.00pm 40,000
Hai Phong – Cua Ong 4.00am – 8.00pm 50,000
Hai Phong – Cai Rong 4.00am – 8.00pm 50,000
Hai Phong – Cam Pha 4.00am – 8.00pm 45,000
Hai Phong – Hon Gai 4.00am – 8.00pm 40,000
Hai Phong – Mong Cai 4.00am – 8.00pm 100,000

 

For your convenience, you can also catch a taxi from Hai Phong to Halong Bay. The price is around 830, 000 VND (about US$35). You should negotiate with a taxi driver in advance before getting on the taxi.

Ferry

In addition to taxi and bus, ferry is another good option to travel from Hai Phong to Halong Bay. To travel by ferry, tourists have to go to Ben Binh Terminal. These ferries will transfer tourists from Ben Binh Terminal to Cai Vieng or Cat Ba. Please look at the following table for price information:

(Please be noted that the price in the tables are for your reference only, it can changed anytime by service’s providers)

Price for Cat Ba Horizontal Ferry:

Time Route Price (VND)
From Monday to Thursday Ben Binh – Cai Vieng 130,000
Ben Binh – Cat Ba 150,000
From Friday to Sunday Ben Binh – Cai Vieng 150,000
Ben Binh – Cat Ba 170,000

 

Departure time from Ben Binh & Cat Ba: 7.00, 8.00, 10.00, 13.00, 15.00, 16.00
Departure time from Cai Vieng: 7.45, 8.45, 10.45, 13.45, 15.45, 16.45

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Family / 16 days / fr. $1,739

Join us on an in-depth journey through magical Vietnam, traversing the country from north to south. Bike alongside the rice paddy fields of Mai Chau and explore the intricate network of waterways i... More

Family Journey through Vietnam Family Journey through Vietnam

- Vietnam -

Family Journey through Vietnam
Family / 12 days / fr. $2,590

Discovering the wonders of the diverse cities of Vietnam, meet with passionate craftsman who create joyful performances and traditional crafts. Suitable for children between 6 and 12 years old, thi... More

Red River Delta & Ha Long Essential Red River Delta & Ha Long Essential

- Vietnam -

Red River Delta & Ha Long Essential
Must-see / 6 days / fr. $799

Ha Noi, Ninh Binh and Ha Long are the most interesting and beautiful places which you would not miss when travel to the North of Vietnam. While Hanoi is the country’s center of historical and... More

Trek & Cruise: From Pu Luong to Ha Long Bay Trek & Cruise: From Pu Luong to Ha Long Bay

- Vietnam -

Trek & Cruise: From Pu Luong to Ha Long Bay
Trek & Hike / 10 days / fr. $1,129

Trek and cruise the remote sites of north Vietnam. Beginning at Pu Luong National Park, trek through hidden villages with basic homestay experiences. Then take a boat trip in Tam Coc to discover sp... More

The Unseen Northeastern Vietnam The Unseen Northeastern Vietnam

- Vietnam -

The Unseen Northeastern Vietnam
Unseen / 18 days / fr. $1,990

With its endless mountains and forests, green hills and sweeping rice paddies, northeastern Vietnam is a place unlike any other. The region’s natural beauty is breathtaking and will make a tr... More

Highlights of Vietnam Highlights of Vietnam

- Vietnam -

Highlights of Vietnam
Must-see / 12 days / fr. $1,369

Explore Vietnam from north to south, getting a taste of the country’s diverse landscapes, intriguing history and rich culture. From the natural beauty of Halong Bay to the buzzing streets of... More

Cycling Remote Northeast Mountains of Vietnam Cycling Remote Northeast Mountains of Vietnam

- Vietnam -

Cycling Remote Northeast Mountains of Vietnam
Cycling / 10 days / fr. $2,520

Gear up and hit the road for a challenging but rewarding Vietnam biking adventure. Head to the rugged north where miles of quiet roads await. Pedal over imposing mountains, passing through vibrant... More

Vietnam & Myanmar Contrasts Vietnam & Myanmar Contrasts

- Asia -

Vietnam & Myanmar Contrasts
Luxury / 16 days / fr. $3,519

Discover the kaleidoscope of cultures and histories that define Myanmar and Vietnam. Encounter incredible traditional cultures, admire picture-perfect landscapes and explore ancient heritage sites.... More

World Heritage Sites in Style World Heritage Sites in Style

- Asia -

World Heritage Sites in Style
Luxury / 17 days / fr. $3,250

Be captivated by the rich heritage of Southeast Asia. Admire glorious wonders left by the ancient kingdoms of Thailand and Cambodia. Explore vestiges influenced by French colonisation in Laos and C... More

Active Vietnam Honeymoon Active Vietnam Honeymoon

- Vietnam -

Active Vietnam Honeymoon
Honeymoon / 15 days / fr. $3,750

For newlyweds who want to experience a combo of culture and adventure, Vietnam is the ideal honeymoon destination. Plus, with fantastic food and some beautiful white sandy beaches the usual honeymo... More

Luxurious Vietnam Honeymoon Luxurious Vietnam Honeymoon

- Vietnam -

Luxurious Vietnam Honeymoon
Honeymoon / 12 days / fr. $10,230

Vietnam encompasses a stunning array of diverse cities, deep blue beaches, magnificent mountains, boundless rivers, sacred temples and more, making it a hugely rewarding romantic destination for co... More

Unforgettable Vietnam Honeymoon Unforgettable Vietnam Honeymoon

- Vietnam -

Unforgettable Vietnam Honeymoon
Honeymoon / 15 days / fr. $4,286

Vietnam is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the most romantic countries in Asia and has become a popular destination for an unforgettable and extraordinary honeymoon or wedding anniversary ce... More

Classic Indochina Honeymoon Vacation Classic Indochina Honeymoon Vacation

- Asia -

Classic Indochina Honeymoon Vacation
Honeymoon / 20 days / fr. $5,986

Embark on an oriental adventure to discover the hotspots of sleepy Laos, explore the rich culture of Cambodia and enjoy the contrast of Vietnam’s bustling cities and tranquil coastline. Stay... More

Active Indochina Honeymoon Active Indochina Honeymoon

- Asia -

Active Indochina Honeymoon
Honeymoon / 29 days / fr. $8,390

If you fancy a honeymoon where you can explore the best of three countries, with lots of memorable off-the-beaten-track adventures thrown in along the way – look no further. On this action-pa... More

Vietnam Culture & Beach Break Vietnam Culture & Beach Break

- Vietnam -

Vietnam Culture & Beach Break
Wellness & Leisure / 14 days / fr. $1,949

Explore the main highlighted destinations in Vietnam while immersing in authentic experiences. Meet the locals, experience their daily lives and learn about ethnic history and culture. This include... More

Southeast Asia Spiritual Path Southeast Asia Spiritual Path

- Asia -

Southeast Asia Spiritual Path
Must-see / 29 days / fr. $3,480

Discover a land that is inherently spiritual and deeply traditional. Visit Southeast Asia’s religious centres, from Chiang Mai to Yangon, Luang Prabang to Siem Reap. Participate in time-honou... More

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN Vietnam
Hanoi
Hanoi

Sapa
Sapa

Hoi An
Hoi An

Hue
Hue

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

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Vietnam PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Honeymoon
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Cruise
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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Family
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Cycling
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Vietnam PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Vietnam BLOG ARTICLES

Hue Festival is a biennial celebration that takes place in Hue City. Here you can enjoy an array of cultural events, games, and performances held over the course of a week. Founded in 2000, the festival is held to preserve the traditional customs that have been practiced since the Nguyen Dynasty.

...more

On June 7th, 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than a hundred countries and territories, including Vietnam and Laos in the list of "safest to travel".

Time to travel now? We do not think so! Let's check more detail below.

...more

The Hmong New Year celebration is a cultural tradition that takes place annually in select areas where large Hmong communities exist and in a modified form where smaller communities come together. During the New Year's celebration, Hmong dress in traditional clothing and enjoy Hmong traditional foods, dance, music, bull fights, and other forms of entertainment. Hmong New Year celebrations have Hmong ethnic traditions and culture and may also serve to educate those who have an interest in Hmong tradition. Hmong New Year celebrations frequently occur in November and December (traditionally at the end of the harvest season when all work is done), serving as a Thanksgiving holiday for the Hmong people.

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Backpacking Vietnam… If you are seeking epic adventures, unique experiences, mouth watering foods and ancient historical sights; Vietnam is the place for you. Once upon a time, the very mention of Vietnam conjured up images of war-torn destination but now Vietnam is a backpacker haven and travelling in Vietnam is a popular part of many Southeast Asian adventures.

Backpacking Vietnam offers an incredible opportunity to get off the beaten track… Explore dramatic mountains in the North, stop in for some corn wine and a friendly chat with the locals before heading south to party the night away…

Many travelers opt to explore Vietnam by motorcycle. Vietnam is a big country and there are lots of Vietnam backpacking itineraries on offer… The most popular backpacking route is heading from Hanoi to Saigon.

Backpacking in Vietnam is a great choice for backpackers on account of the super cheap cost of living and the plentiful adventures.

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The phrase ‘banana pancakes trail’ is the stuff of legend in Southeast Asia’s backpacker route. Along the banks of the Mekong, across many a dorm room and questionable dive bar, backpackers come to learn the story of the first tourists to travel ‘on the ground’, making a conscious effort to immerse themselves in local life. Decades later, their influence is having transformed the region: tourism here is now the fastest growing on Earth, receiving a quarter of total travelers worldwide. 

When you travel through Southeast Asia these days, it is hard to imagine that tourism was almost non-existent just a half century ago. Here is the story of how hippies, guidebooks and banana pancakes helped to create one of the most famous backpacker routes in the world.
 

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Lantern Festival is celebrated in China and other Asian countries that honors deceased ancestors on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar (usually falls around mid-February of Gregorian calendar). The Lantern Festival aims to promote reconciliation, peace, and forgiveness. 

Originally, the holiday marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the end of the Chinese New Year. In some other Asian countries such as Thailand or Laos, the festival is celebrated around late October or early November to mark the end of the Buddhist Lent & the beginning of the festive season.

During the festival, houses are festooned with colorful lanterns, often with riddles written on them; if the riddle is answered correctly, the solver earns a small gift. Festival celebrations also include lion and dragon dances, parades, and fireworks. 

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CHECK OUT OTHER DESTINATIONS
Thailand
bee-white Thailand
Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
Cambodia
bee-white Cambodia
There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
Myanmar
bee-white Myanmar
It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
Laos
bee-white Laos
Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.
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