Halong Bay Overview
Halong Bay or Bay of Descending Dragon is as the most spectacular landscape and most popular tourist destination of Vietnam. Administratively the bay belongs to Quang Ninh Province, bounded by Bai Tu Long Bay to the northeast and Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay to the southwest. The bay features thousands of limestone pillars and islets topped by green forests, towering on the greenish water of Gulf of Tonkin.
On the entire area of over 1500 sqkm, visitors to Ha Long Bay see themselves lost in the marvelous wonders of nature – the dotted bay with various limestone islands and islets in many shapes and sizes, wave-eroded caves and grottoes concealing magnificent sights of sparkling stalactite and stalagmites, pristine green beaches on wild islands and the rustic floating fishing villages.... Being separated from the busy and bustling cities, Ha Long Bay will give you the feeling of being on an exotic planet.
What To See And What To Do In Halong Bay?
Halong Bay has something for every kind of travelers: shimmering beaches with sunlight and rain not lasting long for swimming opportunity; the permanent beauty of the island system multicolored with a variety of shapes and regarded as a watercolor, a work of art for photo opportunities; the islands at different shapes and sizes provoking the imagination scattered all around the bay: Con Coc (Toad), Dinh Huong (Incense Burner), Ga Choi (Fighting Cocks), etc., Dau Go Cave (Wooden Stakes), Thien Cung Grotto (Heavenly Palace) for exploration lovers.
No trip to Halong Bay could be complete without a cruise to see 1,600 limestone karsts and various small islands and beaches in a different perspective, especially at sunrise or sunset, to enjoy the peace, fresh atmosphere and relaxation throughout the trip, to paddle a kayak to get access to these hidden lagoons that big boats cannot reach, to explore magnificent formations in the depths of a cave or even take part in a Vietnamese cooking class to know how to cook Vietnamese dishes by yourself.
Besides, if you choose a cruise trip, you might have the chance to explore the floating villages which have a unique lifestyle and investigate the pearl farming process. You can buy pearls as a present for your family members, lover or friend at a very good price.
Moreover, on a cruise trip, you can have a one-of-a-kind experience that you might have never imagined. What can be more amazing than a steamy BBQ party by the caves in one of the gorgeous natural complexes of the world?
What To Eat And Drink in Halong Bay?
Halong Bay is a complex of limestone islands so it’s rich of seafood. As coming to Halong, surely you will be served fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid, mussel, scallop, etc.
Food in Halong Bay is wonderful. Don’t worry that you will have nothing to eat. Most of the cruises in Halong Bay serve excellent food even if you are a vegetarian.
When To Visit Halong Bay?
Depending on your own desire for a memorable holiday, the best time to visit Halong Bay may be different.
If you want to participate in swimming off the boat and relaxing on sundecks in the warm weather in Halong, these months from April to October are the best time to go.
To avoid the terrible tourist crowds, especially during Christmas and New Year break, the period from May to September -the low season for foreign travelers, is the rewarding time to visit Halong Bay.
At that time, you can also find a better flight, cruise, and other service rates. However, your boat trip may be delayed or even canceled due to bad weather during the peak typhoon season in September, make sure to have plan B for your trip in Hanoi capital city.
Options for Visting Halong Bay
Travelers visiting Halong Bay may choose the different options depends on the time they have and the style of the cruise they may want to join in. Most of the Westerners like staying in an Overnight Halong Bay Cruise while Asian and Vietnamese like to spend their time on Halong Bay day trip ( Halong Bay 1 day cruise) so they can join in some activity on the mainland in the evening in Halong Bay City.
In the evening on the mainland in Halong City, they may go to the night market or go to Tuan Chau Island for seeing some show like Crocodile Show, Dolphin Show or Water Music Show.
With such extraordinary beauty and significance in geography, geomorphological and biodiversity, Ha Long Bay was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site two times, in 1994 and in 2000.