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Ha Long Bay: Fun places, travel experiences from A-Z

Where is Ha Long Bay located?

Belonging to Quang Ninh province, Ha Long Bay is located adjacent to Cat Ba and Lan Ha Bay to the southwest, Bai Tu Long Bay to the northeast. Spreading over an area of more than 1500km², the vast Ha Long Bay area includes about 1900 magnificent limestone and schist islands formed millions of years ago. Ha Long Bay was recognized as a UNESCO heritage site for the first time in 1994, becoming the most attractive tourist destination in the North.

Map of Ha Long Bay ( Google Maps) 

Distance and travel time to Ha Long Bay

Location Distance (km) Travel time
Hai Phong 63km 1-1.5 hours (Motorcycle, car)
Ha Noi 172km 2-3 hours (Motorcycle, car)
Nghe An 443km 3-5 hours (Car, airplane)
Hue 781km 4-6 hours (Car, plane)
Da Nang 880km 4-6 hours (Car, plane)
Danang 1441km 5-7 hours (Car, plane)
Da Lat 1526km 5-7 hours (Car, plane)
Ho Chi Minh city 1831km 6-8 hours (Car, plane)
Can Tho 1988km 6-8 hours (Car, plane)

What's interesting about Ha Long Bay?

Ha Long Bay is a top destination not only for domestic tourists but also for international tourists. The bay complex is made up of thousands of islands, rocky mountains, beautiful lyrical landscapes and extremely peaceful spaces away from all the hustle and bustle. This is also a very bustling tourist center with hundreds of high-class boats operating.

The image of Trong Mai island standing proudly in the middle of the bay is a symbol of Ha Long Bay that you cannot forget to check-in. Besides, Ha Long Bay is also very famous for its beautiful, clean and full-service artificial beaches such as Bai Chay beach, Titop moon-shaped beach, Tuan Chau beach. Spending time immersing yourself in the blue sea, enjoying the cool breeze or simply walking on the endless white sand beaches are all extremely wonderful moments.

Photo: @im_quinney - Hon Trong Mai

In addition to swimming, visiting caves, climbing mountains and kayaking are the best ways to explore Ha Long Bay. The central area of the bay has many beautiful caves, most notably Sung Sot cave and Thien Cung cave.

Photo: @lilynemesis - Spacious and magnificent space inside Sung Sot cave

Visitors wishing to understand more about the local culture must definitely visit Tung Sau pearl village and Cua Van fishing village. If Tung Sau pearl village gives you the opportunity to witness firsthand the process of raising and processing pearls delicately by skilled people, a visit to Cua Van fishing village is full of tradition. Visitors sit on bamboo boats to visit ancient floating houses and learn more about how fishermen fish, enjoy the idyllic atmosphere.

Some attractive destinations on the bay

Some attractive destinations on the bay

  • Sung Sot Cave: located on Bo Hon island, Sung Sot cave with beautiful stalactites is a destination not to be missed for visitors. Climbing more than 100 steps to the entrance of the cave, an extremely large space opens with a path led with shimmering and fanciful neon lights.
  • Luon Cave: located on Bo Hon island, not far from Sung Sot cave, about 1km, Luon cave is like a small tunnel leading you into a quiet, cool interior. You will be able to kayak on the water, touch the rocks and watch monkeys climb on the mountain.
  • Titop Island: Titop Island is one of the most famous landmarks in Ha Long Bay. Titop Peak has the best view overlooking the bay. Below are the clear blue beaches, very romantic white sand. Facilities on the island are quite complete with float rental services and freshwater bathrooms.
  • Cua Van fishing village: If you want to find out about the past, understand more about people's lives, you can come to Cua Van fishing village. This ancient village preserves small floating houses and fishing facilities, the main livelihood of the people here.

Must-try experiences in Ha Long Bay

Photo: @lee_ken_d - Thien Cung Cave

  • Kayaking: the typical activity to explore Ha Long Bay is kayaking. With a compact boat and a companion, you can actively explore the bay, enjoy the natural beauty and cool air. Boat tours often include kayaking.
  • Taking pictures from seaplane: a very different view of Ha Long Bay from above is an experience not to be missed. Hai Uu private airline provides seaplane service to help visitors have unforgettable moments on the bay.
  • Climbing to the top of Titop: paddle more than 400 steps to the top of Titop mountain and you will be able to see the breathtaking view of Ha Long Bay from the sight-seeing hut.
  • Explore caves: Ha Long Bay has many beautiful and largest caves in Vietnam. Therefore, getting lost in the massive space of the caves and enjoying the cool air, separate from the outside world is not to be missed. Famous caves include: Sung Sot cave, Thien Cung cave, Dau Go cave and Hanh cave.

Means of transportation to Ha Long Bay

Moving to Ha Long Bay is very easy with a variety of means of transport. The simplest way is to book a cruise to visit Ha Long Bay of travel companies and ship operators in Hanoi. These tours usually include round-trip transfers from Hanoi to Ha Long, meals on board and the cost of sightseeing on the bay.

President Cruise to visit Ha Long Bay

Cruise Terminal Departure
President Cruises Tuan Chau, Ha Long Ha Long Bay – Sung Sot Cave
– Dong Tien lake – Titop island
Pelican Cruise Tuan Chau, Ha Long Ha Long Bay – Tung Sau area
– Titop island – Sung Sot cave
Glory Legend Cruise Tuan Chau, Ha Long Ha Long Bay – Tung Sau area
– Titop island – Sung Sot cave
Aphrodite Cruise Tuan Chau, Ha Long Ha Long Bay – Sung Sot Cave – Luon Cave – Titop Island

From Hanoi, if you choose to travel on your own, you can take the bus route My Dinh - Bai Chay. The bus routes are usually 15 minutes apart and the price ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 VND.

Traveling by seaplane operated by Hai Au airline is a new option for tourists who want to see the beauty of Ha Long Bay from above. Departing from Noi Bai international airport, the travel time to Tuan Chau port is shortened to only 45 minutes. You can book tickets at website seaplane.vn, ticket prices range from 5,500,000 to 9,700,000 VND.

From Hai Phong, if you are at Cat Bi airport or Lac Long parking lot, you can choose Minh Hieu Limousine to go to Ha Long. The frequency is about 4 flights a day and the ticket price is 150,000 (Lac Long parking lot) - 200,000 VND (Cat Bi airport). In addition, Phuc Xuyen bus is also a reasonable choice to go from An Duong - Bai Chay bus station. Ticket price is only 60,000 VND with a frequency of 1 trip per day.

The ideal time to travel to Ha Long Bay

Photo: @thehumblemuse - The ideal time to visit Ha Long Bay is from January to April and December 10

Ha Long weather has 2 distinct seasons: the dry season from May to September and the rainy season from November to March.

In fact, you can visit Ha Long Bay at any time of the year. However, the period from January to April and October to December is the ideal time to visit the bay.

Average temperature in Ha Long Bay over the months:

Month High/Low (°C) Rainy day
January 20°C/14°C 4
February 21°C/15°C 4
March 23°C/18°C 7
April 27°C/21°C 6
May 30°C/24°C 8
June 32°C/26°C 9
July 32°C/26°C 11
August 32°C/25°C 12
September 31°C/24°C 10
October 29°C/22°C 4
November 26°C/19°C 3
December 22°C/15°C 3

Ha Long Bay tour price when traveling on your own

If you want to explore Ha Long Bay on your own without using a package tour service, it is extremely necessary to find out the costs of self-sufficient sightseeing.

You can buy tickets directly at Tuan Chau international passenger port or Ha Long international passenger port (less popular and fewer ships than Tuan Chau wharf).

Ha Long Bay has 5 main sightseeing routes with different ticket prices (including passenger ticket through the port 40,000VND/person).

  • Route 1: Van Canh Park Conservation Center. Destination: Thien Cung cave, Dau Go cave, Dog stone island, Ba Hang cave, Dinh Huong island, Trong Mai island. Ticket price is 290,000 VND/person/day.
  • Route 2: Cave Park Conservation Center. Destination: Soi Sim island, Titop island, Sung Sot cave, Bo Nau cave, Luon cave, Ho Dong Tien cave, Trong cave, Trinh Nu cave, Me Cung cave. Ticket price is 290,000 VND/person/day.
  • Route 3: Marine Cultural Conservation Center. Destination: Cua Van floating cultural center, Truc forest area, Tien Ong cave, Ang Du, Ba Ham lake, Ba Men temple. Ticket price is 240,000 VND/person/day.
  • Route 4: Marine entertainment development and conservation center. Destination: Co cave, Thay cave, Cong Do island area, Cap La cave, Tung Ang Cong Do ecological area, Hon Xep park, Vung Vieng area. Ticket price is 240,000 VND/person/day.
  • Route 5: Thien Cung cave, Dau Go cave, Cho Da islet, Ba Hang cave, Dinh Huong island, Trong Mai island, Gia Luan wharf. Ticket price is 290,000 VND/person/day

In the above 5 routes, tourists with little time often choose route 1, which goes for 4 hours in the morning and only has activities to visit caves. Route 2 (6 hours) is most often chosen to go half a day, full of kayaking activities, visiting caves. Meanwhile, routes 3 and 4 are suitable for travelers who need to sleep at night and experience more. Finally, route 5 is the ideal choice for travelers who want to visit the whole Cat Ba island after the tour is over.

See more: Top 10 cruises to visit Ha Long Bay 2022

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