One of Vietnam’s best-known destinations is Halong Bay. It is also known as Ha Long Bay and is located in the northern Province of Quảng Ninh. Halong bay is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often on the list of seven natural wonders chosen by people. What are the things to do in Halong Bay?
Halong Bay has around 2,000 islands will many of them uninhabited. When in Halong, you visit any of these islands in Halong bay and relax on the beach as many of the islands have good beaches. You can explore caves or go for a hike. Plus you can go snorkeling or visit forts and other monuments in the area.
In this post, we will go through things to do in Halong Bay Vietnam. Let’s get started!
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Is Halong Bay Worth Visiting?
It’s definitely worth it. Not only because it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world but it’s worth seeing how gorgeous and breathtaking Halong Bay can be. As well as there are boat rides, caves, and pagodas to keep you busy.
We would recommend doing a little more research to make sure you have a Halong cruise that is better suited for us and to know what to expect.
When To Visit Halong Bay Vietnam?
The best time to visit Halong bay is in spring and autumn. With spring starting March to May and Autumn from September to November. In spring and autumn, the weather is around 25oC on average, making the temperature mild and the sky clear and bright.
Is Halong Bay Safe To Swim In?
It depends, shore swimming is safe but there are a lot of currents in the bay and you might get caught in a current so therefore it’s not safe in the open water. Unfortunately, there is some pollution in Halong bay mainly rubbish.
Is Halong Bay A Wonder of The World?
No, Halong Bay is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Things To Do In Halong Bay Vietnam
Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s best-known locations and being a UNESCO World Heritage Site it is blessed with beautiful scenery and over 2000 islands as well as you can enjoy the local food.
Here are some of the best things to do in Halong Bay Vietnam.
Explore Hang Sung Sot Cave
Starting with Hang Sung Sot Cave. It is located on Bon Hon Island. It requires extra effort as you need to hike up a steep path to get there. However, it is worth the effort for the inner views. Inside the cave, there are two different chambers.
Their height is around 30 meters. The inner one is known for having a number of stone formations. People say it looks like sentries lining up. There is a stone in the center of the cave, which looks like a general talking to his soldiers.
With the perfect light and good positioning, when the light streams across the water, it makes the formations come to life.
Go Diving / Snorkeling
If you are a diver, you can dive in Halong Bay. There are islands that are perfect places to enjoy the underwater world. The waters here offer excellent visibility when you are scuba diving or you can swim through scenic underwater caves.
What if you can not scuba dive? Well, there are a number of diving schools. If you take your family with you and want a safe journey, then it is better to just take a boat to the islands and go swimming and snorkeling around the shallow spots.
See our list of the best dive site in Vietnam.
Visit Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island is the biggest island in Halong Bay. It is also the most renowned attraction. The island lies near an ancient fisherman’s port and has a friendly relaxed vibe.
It is a good place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. One of the most exciting things here is riding a bike from the countryside to the main town.
Relax On Monkey Island
Also known as Cat Dua in Vietnamese, Monkey Island is a site if you are looking to take a boat trip in Halong Bay. There is a private beach where you can spend the time topping up your tan on the white sand.
You can also go swimming and snorkeling. If you are more interested in doing a more exciting activity you can try kayaking or hiking across the island.
Visit Cat Ba National Park
There are huge types of mammals in Cat Ba, more than 25 different animals. Cat Ba is a gorgeous national park. It has langurs which are the most endangered primates in the world.
There are amazing hiking trails which include an 18 km climb to the summit of the main peak in the national park. If you are a nature lover and enjoy hiking, we recommend visiting Cat Ba National Park.
See The Fighting Cocks Island
Halong Bay has some gorgeous landmarks and Fighting Cocks Island is one of them. In Vietnamese, it is called Hon Ga Choi. Two large rocks that stick out of the sea formed these islands which resemble cocks fighting.
When you go there at sunset, you will see the stunning sun when it sets behind the two pulchritude stone formations.
Visit Cannon Fort Tour
Cannon Fort offers the best view of Cat Ba Island. From the top of the fort, you can grasp rolling hills as well as fishing boats and karst formations. Before you can do that, you have to walk up a hill to the main gate.
Furthermore, you can check out underground tunnels here as well and view a number of attractions such as gun emplacements. The fort is also decorated with real size soldiers and there are several vantage points.
Shop At Cat Ba Island Market
When you are visiting Cat Ba Island and want to try some local food, you have to opt for the central market. There are countless local fruits and vegetables, and check out the local seafood like crabs, jump shrimp, and fish here.
If you want to set up your own barbecue, then this is a seamless place.
Visit The Ho Chi Minh Monument
Another place to visit while in Halong bay and will add to your knowledge about Vietnamese history. In this case, Ho Chi Minh Monument is a flawless pick. Vietnamese praised Ho Chi Minh as the founding father of modern Vietnam.
When you go around Vietnam, you will see that every town in the country has a statue of this formidable leader. As well as seeing the statue, because it is located on a hillside which is known as Mountain Number. You can take a walk and check out the vistas from a high.
Try Seafood Barbecue
Because of its location, Halong Bay has a glut of seafood to offer. Lots of restaurants are found along the main beaches. You can dine with your feet in the sand and taste the freshest food of the day, for example, baked king prawns as well as squid, crab, and lobster.
If you want to have your private fire pits, this is your choice.
USEFUL TRAVEL RESOURCES
Booking.com has a large range of properties from hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and resorts where you will find the best deals. Airbnb and Hostelworld also have a good range of places to stay at good prices.
Skyscanner is a flight search comparison website that searches millions of flights all at once. Ultimately it is the best flight comparison website online at the moment.
Booking Transportation & Things To Do
Rome2rio and 12Go is a great way to plan how to get anywhere by searching train, bus, car, and ferry routes. Especially useful in countries like Vietnam or Thailand. While Klook is great to explore things to do in each place.
Travel insurance is cheap and more than likely you will never need to use it but you will have peace of mind if something does happen, you are covered in case of an emergency. World Nomads have great customer service and competitive prices.
Check out our resource page for the best companies to use when you travel.
Finally, it would be a mistake if you miss seeing Halong Bay. There are around 2,000 islands will many of them uninhabited. If you visit any of these islands in the bay, you can relax on the beach, enjoy the stunning bays, visit historical sites, and more. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and definitely worth visiting.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the things to do in Halong Bay Vietnam other than cruises has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.