Things to do in Halong Bay

December 06, 2023

Many visitors refer to Halong Bay as "paradise on Earth’.  Because of its one-of-a-kind landscape and scenery, it has become a "must visit once in a lifetime" destination for many people. If you're planning a trip here, let's find out in advance what to do in Halong!

Halong Bay possesses majestic and poetic natural beauty with over 1,900 large and small islands, hundreds of limestone caves, many natural attractions, floating villages, and stunning beaches. Therefore, you will have a wonderful time in this bay as there are so many fun activities to take part in.

Take an overnight cruise

Unsurprisingly, the greatest thing to do in Halong Bay is cruising. If you love romantic natural scenery, try spending the night on a yacht. There are hundreds of ships available, from luxury to low-cost, and large to small with prices ranging from US $100 - $400. So, no matter what type of tourist you are, there is always a cruise that will suit you.

Take a cruise; you will have a stress-free trip as everything is organized in advance. This is a full-package tour that includes tasty meals, comfortable lodgings, and expert service. Furthermore, it offers fantastic activities like Tai Chi, swimming, kayaking, squid fishing, cooking classes, visits to gorgeous caves, fishing villages, islands, and much more.

Here are our top recommended cruises for a wonderful overnight trip. Let’s check it out!

Stay overnight on a cruise

Stay overnight on a cruise is a must-try thing


Explore spectacular caves

Another suggestion for tourists when traveling to Halong is to explore caves. The spectacular cave system here dates back thousands of years, and become a hallmark for any visitor due to its unique geological and archeological features. With complex stalactites and stalagmites and enigmatic tunnels, the view inside these caves can let your imagination go wild. 

These caves are perfect for both adults and children to explore because they are located on prominent islands with easy access by boat. It’s recommended that tourists hire a day boat or book a Halong Bay Cruise to visit these caves.

Some of the caves that are the most notable are:

  • Sung Sot Cave - the largest and the most famous cave in Halong Bay with a size of 10,000 m2.
  • Luon Cave with the cave entrance sculpted by nature into a beautiful arc-shaped dome with thousands of stalactites hanging down. 
  • Thien Canh Son & Trong Cave with countless stalactites and stalagmites in many different interesting shapes.
  • Thien Cung Cave - one of the most beautiful caves, associated with the legend of the Dragon King helping people eliminate enemies.

Explore stunning caves

Stunning view inside Sung Sot Cave


Take a seaplane for sightseeing

This is a relatively luxurious experience but worth trying. On the seaplane, you’ll have the same view as a bird flying high above, taking in the entire majestic landscape of Halong Bay. Traveling this way allows you to see the bay from a different perspective. Let’s be captivated by the spectacular panorama of imposing limestone mountains and turquoise water. It's like a scene straight from a movie!

Each seaplane flight has a maximum capacity of 12 people. Passengers are allowed to film and take photos. Visitors can take a 25-minute scenic tour from Tuan Chau for around 80 - US $90/pax. Guests can also book charter flights with prices from US $375 or above.

Witness Halong Bay on a Seaplane

Viewing Halong Bay from above is a wonderful choice


Try kayaking

Enjoying the scenery of Halong Bay by kayak is an interesting activity that tourists look forward to. This has been by far the finest way to appreciate the bay's splendor up close and comfortably.

Most overnight cruises include kayaking in the itinerary, so booking a cruise tour is ideal to try it. You’ll be able to sit on a small kayak, sail in the middle of the cool sea, and feel the harmony of clouds and sky in a tranquil setting.

The most famous kayaking places for travelers are Luon Cave, Tra Bau Area, Cong Do, Ba Trai Dao region, Ao Ech area, and so on. This activity is best to try from March-May and October - November when the weather is mild and there are no accidental rains.

Discover the bay on kayaks

Discover the magnificent bay on kayaks


Unwind on stunning beaches

In Halong Bay, there are many beaches for visitors to play on. When you go there, you may swim in the refreshing emerald water, sunbathe, or participate in thrilling water sports. This is an excellent method to relax and calm your thoughts after a long day.

Bai Chay is considered the most beautiful beach in Halong City with clear blue water and smooth white sand stretching nearly 1,000m. Overnight cruises also take you to many pretty beaches further in the bay, notably Ba Trai Dao, Titop Beach, Cap La, Frog Pond, etc. 

Relax on pretty beaches

There are many pretty beaches for visitors


Learn about local life in fishing villages

As many tourists opinions, if you have not been to a fishing village, you will not fully enjoy the beauty here. The combination of pretty floating houses with ancient features and typical traditional culture, majestic limestone mountains, tranquil sea, and graceful natural beauty make floating villages appealing attractions.

Tourists visiting here can join the locals to experience fishing and become a fisherman. You may also explore the pristine beauty and immerse yourself in the peaceful nature here by getting on a boat rowed by locals or by kayak.

Nowadays, there are only 2 fishing villages open for tourists, which are Cua Van and Vung Vieng. To visit Cua Van, you should book Halong cruises, such as Catherine and Paradise Cruises. For Vung Vieng Village, you may choose Bai Tu Long cruises.

Visit floating villages

Discover local fishermen's life in floating villages


Explore Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba archipelago includes 367 islands in the South of Halong Bay. Among them, Cat Ba Island is a hidden gem for tourists. This place features the classic Halong Bay landscape of limestone mountains, verdant woods, and tranquil blue water.

As the largest island in the bay, you can try everything for your vacation: relax in luxury resorts or cruises, swim in stunning beaches, trek to ancient forests and marvelous caves inside the National Park, cycle to local villages, and so much more.

About 20km south of Tuan Chau Island, it’s advisable to book Lan Ha Bay cruises including Cat Ba Island in the schedule. Or else, you may take a speed boat from Tuan Chau Pier to Gia Luan, Cat Ba.

Explore Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba, known as the Pearl Island


Cycling in pristine Viet Hai Village

Viet Hai is a small village deep within the Cat Ba National Park, Cat Ba Island. This ancient village is a poetic and pristine place that possesses charming landscapes, limestone mountains, seas, forests, and a rich and diverse ecosystem.

Cycling is a must-try activity in Viet Hai Village for adventurous tourists. Let’s hop on a bicycle and ride across the unspoiled track, passing by imposing mountains, vast rice fields, and the gorgeous coastline. Cycling allows you to slow down and appreciate the fresh air while enjoying the calm and peaceful atmosphere.

Most overnight cruises to Viet Hai Village include a bike tour as part of the itinerary. If you don’t book a cruise, you may rent a bicycle for US $3 - 5/pax/day to explore the village.

Have a bicycle tour in Viet Hai

Have a bicycle tour in the pristine Viet Hai Village


Go hiking, trekking

With its enormous system of islands and caves, Halong Bay is an ideal place for adventurers. The most recommended spot for trekking is Cat Ba National Park. The forest ecosystem in this area is extremely varied, with over 282 plant species and nearly 800 animal species. 

With all this diversity, Cat Ba National Park is a wonderful place for those who are passionate about exploring, researching, and learning about natural flora and fauna. Trekking through the forests, you can see rows of ancient trees, extremely large trunks, and super wide foliage. What a sight to behold!

For families, Titop Island is more suitable for hiking. After walking on the relatively short stairs, you may witness the spectacular panoramic view of Halong Bay from high up.

Go trekking/hiking

Being adventurous with a trekking trip


As you can see, Halong Bay is an appealing destination for many kinds of travelers, from young to old, couples or families. No matter what your hobbies are, there will always be amusing activities for you to enjoy in Halong. Let’s plan a tour with us for a trip that creates a lifetime of memories.

Hale Nguyen

Images source: Internet

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