8 Best Things To See In Halong Bay
There are only 40 of the islands on the bay are inhabited, and only a few of those have been developing enough tourism infrastructure such as hotel’s accommodations, restaurants, and recreational opportunities for visitors—including the larger Cat Ba Island, where most of the cruise boats dock. Still, many visitors that arrive in Halong Bay via a cruise spend their nights onboard, using the daytime to snorkel, kayak, or sunbathe.
If you're planning a trip to the area, let’s find the best things to do in Halong bay with following list for a beautiful holiday in Halong Bay.
Cruise boats on Halong Bay
There are 2 way to get to Halong Bay, first way and short is highway No5 B is just over 140 kilometers from Hanoi, just more than 2 hours ride is arrival to Halong tourist boat wharf. Second way is national road 18B, its 165 km is longer, so a one-night cruise leaving from the Hanoi might be just about enough. These 2 days, 1 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. 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.
Discover Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island is biggest island located in southeastern of Halong, under management of Hai Phong province. Here is best stop if you want to do something else besides exploring the deep turquoise waters. The island is home to some nice hotels and resort; Cat Ba National Park that covers one-third of the island; and a number of tourist attractions related to the Vietnam War—more notably the Hospital Cave, an underground, bomb-proof hospital and safe house. 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.
Beside interesting site on shore, here is also 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.
Kayaks on the beach in Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long is really beautiful bay located right next to Halong Bay, this region is less touristy, 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 Bay aren't as crowded with large ships, you can easily and safely to explore by kayaking. 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.
Experience in the theme Park of Halong Sunword
Halong bay Sun World is largest amusement park in Vietnam, a mega recreation complex consisted 214 hectares and is divided into two sections: the Mystic Mountain Complex located on the top of mountain on the other side of city. Come here 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.
The two complex of the park are connected with each other’s by the huge Cable Car, which rides high up over the bay and the island for two kilometers, this would a great chance for photos shooting. 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.
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.
Vietnam Luxury Homestay a great Culture interactions
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.
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.
Exploring the Thien Cung Cave
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.
Discover the Vung Vieng Floating Village
Vung Vieng fishing village such a typical floating village in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay. Originally set up in early of the 19th century by local fishermen, nowadays totally have more than 310 people—some of them are actually live inland but daily take shuttle boat back and forwards to the village for works.
Luckily for tourists, the village has innovated one of their larger floating house into an open center, which visitors can attend workshops or stop by to purchase handicrafts and food. Highly recommended tourist to 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.
Visiting 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.