Ha Long Bay is a center of a larger area which includes Bai Tu Long Bay to the northeast, and Cat Ba Island to the southwest. These larger zones share a similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate, and cultural characters. Many of the islands are also home to famous caves where you can go sightseeing the breathtaking beauty bestowed by mother nature. The food here is also very diverse, from local dishes to fresh seafood are affordable and extraordinary. If you are a person who likes to experience different activities, there are a lot of things to do in Halong Bay.
Here are 15 best things to do in Halong Bay, please read and choose for your trip.
- 1 Take a cruise
- 2 Go diving
- 3 Visit Lan Ha Bay
- 4 Explore Me Cung Cave
- 5 Take a cycling tour
- 6 Visit Sung Sot cave
- 7 Travel to Monkey Island
- 8 Hike around Cat Ba National Park
- 9 Travel to the shrine at Virgin Cave
- 10 Check out Trong Mai Island
- 11 Go night squid fishing
- 12 Shop at Bai Chay Market
- 13 Kayaking Halong Bay
- 14 Shop at Cat Ba Island Market
- 15 Grilled seafood in the beach
Take a cruise
If you truly want to see all the beauty scenery of Halong Bay then you should try stay on a cruise for 1 night. There are a lot of cruises for you to choose from low to high price range, due to your budget.
Currently, travel services in Ha Long are quite diverse, with day or night cruises. Stay on a boat overnight will be a truly memorable cruising experience. Normally, you can book a tour package on the boat to see Halong Bay including: sightseeing, kayaking experience, relaxation, breakfast, buffet meal.
Diving is one of the top activities in Halong Bay and the islands are the idea spot to enjoy the underwater delights in this part of Vietnam.
The waters here offer excellent visibility and you can go diving and swim through scenic underwater caves grottoes. There are a number of diving schools here, or if you prefer you can just take a boat to the islands and swim and snorkel around.
Visit Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay is located in the East of Cat Ba Island, in the South of Halong Bay, in Cat Hai District, Hai Phong. Lan Ha Bay is a sea and island complex of more than 400 islands, and 139 small and unspoiled beaches. Lan Ha Bay looks not much different from Halong Bay in terms of majestic natural beauty, but Lan Ha Bay gives visitors incredible silence and tranquility.
The attraction of Lan Ha Bay is the wild beauty, quiet space, very suitable as a destination for those who want to find new space to relax. Besides, traveling to Lan Ha Bay, you also have the opportunity to visit the Cua Van fishing village and Cai Beo fishing village to explore the daily life of the fishermen here. One of the best things to do here is lying under the sunshine on the beach or swimming in the cool water in autumn.
Explore Me Cung Cave
This is one of the most picturesque caves in Halong Bay, once getting inside, the chamber opens up and you will find winding tunnels that are covered in gorgeous stalagmites and stalactites.
The entrance of the cave is through a narrow entrance which you need to squeeze into. There are also fossils in the cave so if you are a fan of caving then this is a great spot to explore.
Take a cycling tour
Cycling is an outboard activity which is more relaxing in the laid back atmosphere of Halong Bay.
The most popular area to organize cycling is the “isolated oasis” Viet Hai Village, located approximately 18 kilometers from Cat Ba Island and belonging to the core of Cat Ba National Park. Surrounded by high mountains, thick jungles, and vast ocean, Viet Hai is absolutely separated with the outside world.
Cycling in the village, travelers will have a great opportunity to enjoy the truly airy ambience, visit old houses, take pictures of forest trees, and admire natural scenery.
Visit Sung Sot cave
Sung Sot Cave is located on Bo Hon Island and you will need to pass the rocky steps to get here, although it is worth the effort for the inner views.
The cave is divided into two main chambers, the entire first chamber is like an immense large theater. Ceiling cave is covered with a layer of “velvet carpet” silky, countless “chandeliers” hanging by glitter stalactite, all seem to shaking between the real and dream realms.
As the light streams across the water and makes flickering patterns on the inside of the cave, it looks as if the formations are coming to life.
Travel to Monkey Island
Currently, the name of the island is called Monkey Island because on the island there are more than 20 monkeys released by Cat Ba National Park management. That is also the special feature of this island, where every morning you can see mischievous monkeys looking at you outside the window.
To get to Monkey Island, tourists will take a boat from Ben Beo, takes about 10 minutes through Cai Beo village and a number of small islands to reach.
Hike around Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba is a gorgeous national park which boasts 32 different kinds of mammals. The island itself is essentially a giant sized version of one of those limestone karsts that can be viewed from nearby Halong Bay.
As a result of this, the islands topography is pretty insane, and the view from the top (the reason why you need to go to the National Park) is pretty spectacular. If you love nature and don’t have a huge amount of time to explore Halong Bay then this is a good pick as you will get to see a wide range of species in a short amount of time.
Travel to the shrine at Virgin Cave
Trinh Nu cave is famous not only for its natural beauty, but also for its folk telling. The story goes that two people who love each other but can’t get together.
Stepping into Trinh Nu cave, right in the middle of the cave is a statue of a stone girl, lying with long hair, eyes looking out to sea, languishing and desperate. Virgin Cave is located at Bo Hon Island. There is a shrine now inside the cave to commemorate the legend and this is a top attraction in Halong Bay.
Check out Trong Mai Island
Trong Mai Island is also one of the best known landmarks in the Halong Bay area.
The island is made up of two large rocks that jut out of the sea and resemble two cockerels fighting. The best time to visit the island is at sunset as the sky looks stunning when it sets behind the two pretty stone formations.
Go night squid fishing
Anyone interested in nightlife should consider a popular nightlife in Halong Bay which is night squid fishing.
When you sign up for the squid fishing, you will be provided with a fishing rod and you will be able to bring large flocks of squid swimming around these waters after nightfall. When you catch squid, you can also enjoy grilled squid as the staff will show you how to roast these delicious sea creatures.
Shop at Bai Chay Market
One of the best places to taste the local products in Halong Bay is Bai Chay market.
Bai Chay market is a local Vietnamese market in Halong Bay where you can find a lot of vegetables, fresh fruits as well as plenty of seafood. Moreover, if you want to collect some local items like clothing, textiles and souvenirs, you can find everything you need here.
Kayaking Halong Bay
Anyone who loves the beauty of Halong Bay should consider kayaking as a must-try activity. Sitting on a tiny kayak, paddling in the blue water, wriggling into the cave, or touching the stalactites, .. what’s more amazing!
Halong Bay has perfect conditions for kayaking as the seas are calm and the visibility is excellent.
Shop at Cat Ba Island Market
Cat Ba Island market is popular with travellers about local delights in the center of Cat Ba.
Here you will find a variety of local fruits and vegetables and you can also check out the local seafood. There are huge mounds of crabs, jump shrimp and fish here, and if you want to set up your own beach barbecue later then this is the place to source your produce.
Grilled seafood in the beach
Halong Bay is located by the sea, which is why this place offers such a rich and varied source of fresh seafood every day. When walking along Bai Chay beach, it is not difficult to see grilled seafood restaurants, where you can dine with your feet in the sand and taste newly caught seafood.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. The name Hạ Long means “descending dragon”. The bay features about 2000 amazing limestone islands in various shapes and sizes, where you can find many of them uninhabited and covered in gorgeous lush vegetation, making them perfect for hiking.