Halong Bay

The Most Beautiful Bay in the World?

Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. And this nature reserve certainly belongs on your list. But it is also very touristy. But with these tips you get the best out of your trip.

Halong Bay comprises 1.969 lime stone islands rising from the ocean. Many of the islands are hollow and full of caves you can explore. Or you can climb to their highest points for great views.

Which Cruise Do I Take in Halong Bay?

Many tourist only take a day trip to Halong Bay, so it can be very busy here. It’s much nicer to stay at least for one night, better is to stay a few. You’ll go deeper into the bay and see less of the other tourists.

One of the boats in Halong Bay. ©Corno van den Berg

A One-Day or Multi-Day Cruise?

Many tourists enter the area by boat and return the same day. Which makes it very busy. And you only see a small part of Halong Bay. What a shame of such a special place.

It is much better to stay here for at least one night. Better still; stay several nights. Because then you go deeper into the bay. You will encounter less tourists and other boats. But to be fair, most boats meet up in the evening. And you lie with dozens of other boats in a bay.

Longer Cruises

There are longer trips of, for example, 4 days and 3 nights. Leaving the many tourists behind you. This can only be called a real cruise.

The most special thing about this tour is that you visit, for example, Vung Vieng, a remote fishing village. And the Thien Canh Cave on Hon Co island, which is almost deserted.

Hike to a Viewpoint

A viewpoint in Halong Bay. ©Corno van den Berg

Besides kayaking, the bay is great for walking, fishing and swimming. And don’t forget to climb to one of the peaks on one of the islands to get a great view. Best to do this in the early morning, or at sunset, to get an even better picture…

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking in Halong Bay. ©Corno van den Berg

You can also explore by kayak: you’ll be paddling around in one of the seven wonders of the world. You can either rent one from the ship on which you’ve traveled to the bay, or hire one on one of the islands.

See the Floating Market

A Floating Market in Halong Bay.

Halong Bay has a Floating Market. These are mainly women who sail past boats with a boat full of fresh fruit and vegetables. Where you can buy almost everything. Just take a good look at those boats. It is stacked very artfully, but is also a nice color palette.

Visit a Cave

One of the many caves in Halong Bay.

This breathtaking landscape has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1994. And for obvious reasons, as you can see. It’s beautiful above and below the ground. There are lots of caves to visit. Ask around.

Book a Flight over Halong Bay

You can fly over Halong Bay by small plane. Only then can you properly see how many islands this immense area consists of. This excursion is very popular and definitely not cheap. You can book this excursion in both Hanoi and Halong Bay.

Visit a Pearl Farm

Pearl farms in Halong Bay allow visitors to learn about pearls.

The water of Halong Bay is very suitable for growing pearls. This happens in so-called Pearl Farms. During this tour you will visit a pearl farm. You can learn how pearls are placed in an oyster. The oyster is placed back in the water for the pearl to grow. Of course you can also buy pearls on the spot, even pearl necklaces are for sale.