Ha Long Bay Day Trip – Ha Long Bay is one of the natural heritage whose beauty is timeless. This bay with thousands of beautiful islands spread across northern Vietnam presents a stretch of natural scenery that you won’t find anywhere else.
Ha Long Bay is a cluster of limestone islands, which of course are not inhabited at all. But you will be hypnotized by the natural beauty that Vietnam has to offer.
Apart from boasting the beautiful Tosca blue sea as well as islands and caves that evoke an adventurous spirit, Ha Long Bay is home to much endemic flora and fauna.
Why Ha Long Bay is a must-visit destination in Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, located in the Quang Ninh province of northern Vietnam, is one of the most famous natural wonders in the world. Its striking landscape of towering limestone cliffs, hidden caves, and crystal-clear waters attracts millions of visitors each year. In recognition of its unique beauty and ecological importance, Ha Long Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or simply someone in search of stunning scenery, Ha Long Bay is a destination you won’t want to miss.
Getting to Ha Long Bay: Transportation options from Hanoi
If you’re staying in Hanoi, the easiest way to get to Ha Long Bay is by booking a tour. Most tours include transportation to and from Ha Long Bay, as well as a boat cruise and other activities. If you prefer to travel independently, there are several options for getting to Ha Long Bay:
- Public bus: The cheapest option, but also the most time-consuming. Buses run from Hanoi’s Gia Lam bus station to Ha Long City, where you can catch a boat tour of the bay.
- Private car: A faster and more comfortable option, but also more expensive. You can hire a private car or taxi to take you directly to Ha Long Bay.
- Motorbike: For the adventurous traveler, renting a motorbike is a popular option. The journey takes about 3-4 hours and is a great way to see the countryside.
Choosing a Ha Long Bay Day Trip: Different Types of Tours and What to Expect
When it comes to choosing a day trip to Ha Long Bay, there are several types of tours to choose from, each offering a unique experience. Here are some of the most popular types of Ha Long Bay day tours:
Traditional junk boat tour
The traditional junk boat tour is the most popular type of tour in Ha Long Bay. You’ll board a beautifully decorated wooden boat and sail around the bay, passing by towering limestone cliffs and stopping at various islands and caves along the way. This type of tour typically includes a seafood lunch and activities such as kayaking and swimming.
Luxury cruise tour
For a more luxurious experience, consider booking a cruise tour. These tours typically include spacious cabins, fine dining, and a range of amenities such as a spa, swimming pool, and bar. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in activities such as cooking classes, Tai Chi lessons, and cave exploration.
If you’re looking for a more unique experience, a catamaran tour may be just what you’re looking for. These tours offer a faster, more agile way to explore the bay, and often include activities such as fishing and snorkeling.
For those who prefer a more personalized experience, a private tour may be the best option. With a private tour, you’ll have your own boat and guide, allowing you to explore the bay at your own pace and tailor the itinerary to your preferences.
Regardless of the type of tour you choose, you can expect to see some of the most breathtaking scenery in Vietnam, with towering limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and a variety of unique flora and fauna.
Best things to do in Ha Long Bay: Top activities and sights to see
Ha Long Bay itself is a popular tourist destination, especially among tourists who love to admire the natural beauty. So, if you are planning to go to Vietnam but don’t know where to go, you can consider the following Halong Bay tourist areas.
1. Exploring Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba is the largest island in the Halong Bay area. In fact, this place is the main destination for anyone who vacations in Halong Bay.
Considering that this island is an entertainment center, you can find many places to stay, kayaking on the surrounding beaches, exploring caves, snorkeling at the beach, and even climbing the hill to visit the national park.
Although the island is large, Cat Ba only has roads. Therefore, you need to use a bicycle and walk to visit one spot to another. You can also use holiday packages offered by tour service providers there.
Cat Ba Island has three beaches perfect for beautiful swimming – even the atmosphere is perfect for sunbathing in the morning.
|Place name: Cat Ba Island||Opening hours: 24 hours|
|Address: Cat Ba Islands, Halong Bay, Vietnam||Ticket price: Free|
2. Try a Cruise Tour
One of the most famous tours on this island is the Halong Bay Cruise. This is the right choice of tour for those of you who want to get to know Halong Bay better – although you have to prepare more budget to join the tour.
This cruise ship tour has different rates, depending on what facilities you want to enjoy and how long you want to spend around Halong Bay.
|Place name: Halong Bay Cruise||Opening hours: From 08.00|
|Address: Halong Bay, Vietnam||Ticket price: From USD 362 per 2 nights|
3. Dive on Cong Do Island
One of Vietnam’s tours that you shouldn’t miss is diving and snorkeling. Cong Do Island, for example, has many diving spots with lots of fish and other beautiful marine life. You will find rare coral reefs, turtles, and seahorses in the waters of Cong Do Island.
In addition, this place has a fairly rich ecosystem, considering that there are five lakes scattered between scattered islands but still connected to the sea. Anyway, you shouldn’t miss snorkeling or scuba diving when visiting Cong Do.
|Place name: Cong Do Island||Address: Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam|
|Opening hours: 24 hours||Ticket price: Free|
4. Kayaking in Bai Tu Long
Does Halong Bay have a beach? Of course, there are even many beaches that surround this one bay. One of the places you must visit is Bai Tu Long Bay, which is located next to Halong Bay.
Tourists usually visit this place for kayaking. Even though this place is quite popular among foreign visitors, Bai Tu Long still tends to be quiet, especially since this place is not a cruise ship tourist destination. Apart from that, you can explore many caves on this island.
|Place name: Vung Vieng Fishing Village||Opening hours: 24 hours|
|Address: Vung Vieng, Bai Tu Long, Vietnam||Ticket price: From USD 100 – includes Bai Tu Long Cruise Tour|
5. Tour the Cai Bau Pagoda
Still in Bai Tu Long, you can climb the hill on this island and visit the Cai Bau Pagoda. This place of worship stands on 20 hectares of land.
If you come here, you will see many shrines, towers, and also gates that are places of worship. You can admire the architecture of the pagoda while breathing fresh air on the hill.
|Place name: Cai Bau Pagoda||Opening hours: 06.00-22.00 daily|
|Address: Thôn 1, Vân Đồn District, Quảng Ninh 200000, Vietnam||Ticket price:Free|
6. Healing at Lan Ha Bay
If you are looking for a quiet and calm place, Lan Ha Bay is for you to visit. This bay is south of Halong Bay. In addition, this place has not been touched by many developers, so you will feel like you are on a private island.
Lan Ha Bay will spoil you with lots of beautiful and still beautiful beaches. You can even enjoy the sunset and white sand without having to share them with other tourists.
- Place name: Lan Ha Bay
- Address: Lan Ha Bay, Hai Phong, Vietnam
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Ticket price: Free
7. Visit the Quang Ninh Museum
After traveling from island to island, now is the time for you to enjoy the collection of the Quang Ninh Museum. Located in Halong City, this place is actually a combination of a museum, library, and exhibition space.
There are many collections on display in this place, ranging from sailing ships to Buddhist culture. Then if you are tired of walking around, you can stop by the coffee shop that is still in the museum area. More than anything else, the Quang Ninh Museum is perfect for those of you who are tired of walking around all day out there.
- Place name: Bao Tang Quang Ninh
- Address: Trần Quốc Nghiễn, Hồng Gai, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam
- Opening hours: 08.00-12.00 and 13.00-17.00 daily
- Ticket price: From USD 1.5
Best things to do in Ha Long Bay: Top activities and sights to see
No matter which tours you choose, there are certain activities and sights in Ha Long Bay that you simply can’t miss. Here are some of the top things to do and see:
- Cruise around the bay: The most popular activity in Ha Long Bay is a boat cruise around the stunning scenery. Most tours include a cruise with stops at various points of interest, like hidden caves or floating villages.
- Visit Thien Cung Cave: One of the most impressive caves in Ha Long Bay, Thien Cung Cave is known for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
- Explore Cat Ba Island: If you have time, consider adding a visit to Cat Ba Island to your itinerary. The largest island in Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba offers opportunities for hiking, beach lounging, and wildlife watching.
- Swim or kayak in the bay: For a more active experience, consider swimming or kayaking in the bay’s emerald waters.
- Watch the sunset: One of the most magical experiences in Ha Long Bay is watching the sunset over limestone cliffs. Most tours include a sunset viewing stop, but you can also ask your guide to take you to a more secluded spot for a quieter experience.
What to pack for a Ha Long Bay day trip: Essential items to bring with you
When preparing for a Ha Long Bay day trip, it’s important to pack the right gear and supplies to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential items to bring with you:
- Sunscreen and a hat: The sun can be intense in Ha Long Bay, so make sure to bring plenty of sunscreens and a hat to protect your skin.
- Swimsuit and towel: If you plan on swimming or kayaking, don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and towel.
- Comfortable shoes: If you plan on exploring any of the caves or islands, make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good traction.
- Camera: You’ll want to capture the stunning scenery of Ha Long Bay, so don’t forget to bring a camera or smartphone with a good camera.
- Water and snacks: Although most tours include lunch and snacks, it’s a good idea to bring your own water and snacks in case you get hungry or thirsty during the day.
Tips for staying safe and comfortable during your Ha Long Bay day trip
To ensure a safe and comfortable Ha Long Bay day trip, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Wear a life jacket: Whenever you’re on a boat or kayak, make sure to wear a life jacket at all times.
- Stay hydrated: It can get hot and humid in Ha Long Bay, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Protect yourself from the sun: In addition to wearing sunscreen and a hat, consider bringing a lightweight long-sleeved shirt or cover-up to protect your skin from the sun.
- Be mindful of your belongings: Keep your valuables close and secure, and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas.
- Follow your guide’s instructions: Your tour guide is there to keep you safe and ensure a memorable experience, so make sure to follow their instructions and guidelines.
A day trip to Ha Long Bay is a must-do experience for anyone visiting northern Vietnam. Whether you’re interested in exploring hidden caves, relaxing on a boat cruise, or kayaking through emerald waters, Ha Long Bay offers something for everyone. By choosing the right tour, packing the right gear, and following some basic safety tips, you can ensure a safe and unforgettable day trip to this natural wonder.