Ha Long Bay


HIGHLIGHTS

01 WHEN TO VISIT

02 HOW TO GET THERE

03 BEST WAY TO EXPLORE

04 THINGS NOT TO MISS


Located in northeastern Vietnam is the beautiful Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can definitely understand why once you see it’s beautiful emerald green waters and the unique limestone karsts scattered throughout the bay. This place is definitely worth the visit and in this article I’ll be sharing exactly why you should go. 


01 WHEN TO VISIT

When it comes to weather, the best time to visit Ha Long Bay is from March to May and from September to November. The weather should be nice and sunny most of the time and if it gets too hot, you can always jump in the water to cool off.

Ha Long Bay is also very beautiful from November to March but make sure to bring warm clothes and a rain jacket with you since it gets cold in northern Vietnam around this time. My family and I visited in late November and were not prepared for the cold at all. However the views were so, SO worth it even though we were freezing our butts off.

If you’re on a budget, try visiting during the low season which is between May and September. Tours and cruises are cheaper during this time. However, visiting during the summer months can be a huge gamble because storms and hurricanes hit this area pretty frequently especially in July and August. If the weather is really bad, tours and cruises most likely will cancel last minute due to safety reasons.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

02 HOW TO GET THERE

The easiest way to get to Ha Long Bay is by flying into Hai Phong. From there you can either take a taxi, bus, or hire a private driver to take you there. If you plan on doing a cruise, try to look for packages that include two-way transportation. With a new highway that has just been opened as of October 2018, it should take about 45 minutes to get to Ha Long Bay from Hai Phong Airport.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

03 THE BEST WAY TO EXPLORE THE BAY

The best way to explore Ha Long Bay is by booking a cruise that will take you around to all the major spots in the bay. One major thing to note is that these boats are not your typical cruise boats and are even referred to as “junk boats.” They’re a lot smaller so that they can navigate around the karsts scattered throughout the bay.

The hardest part is narrowing down which cruise to take. Just like hotels, cruise tours can range from expensive to budget-friendly. It really all depends on what you want and what your budget is like.

You’ll also want to do a lot of research to make sure you’re not getting scammed which, sadly, can happen. One of the more well-known and highly rated cruise companies is Indochina Junk. Bhaya is also another popular cruise company to check out. My family and I decided to go with a mid-range cruise company that has now changed it’s name. The boat was definitely run down but the crew was fun and we had a good time.

If you can, try to book a 2 day / 1 night cruise in order to see a good portion of Ha Long Bay. Typical cost for one person can range from 100 to 200 USD. Try to avoid anything lower than that because there might be hidden fees for food and / or park entrance fees. Also, some cruise lines offer early bird specials so keep on eye out for offers on their webpage.

If you’re not a boat person and / or get motion sickness, staying on Cat Ba Island is a great alternative! You will still have to take a boat out there but it’s not far from the mainland.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

04 THINGS NOT TO MISS

Ha Long Bay is already beautiful in itself but here are some things you’ll definitely want to make sure is on your cruise itinerary.

Vietnam-HB-03-1920x1280.jpg

Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave

Arguably one of Ha Long Bay’s most famous caves. You’ll see why it’s nicknamed “Surprise Cave” once you’re inside ;) The cove that this cave is located in is also very beautiful (and also the one that’s making it’s way around popular social media sites).

Vietnam-HB-SecretBay-1920x1280.jpg

Hang Luon

Kayak or paddle boat your way under a limestone karst into a hidden lagoon. Keep your eye out for monkeys!

Ti Top Island

Hike to the top of this island for an unforgettable 360 degree view of Ha Long Bay. The beach on this island is also very popular. Make sure bring a towel with you!

Vietnam-HB-OysterFarm-1920x1280.jpg

Ha Long Pearl Museum

You’ll learn all about pearls and oysters at this combo farm / museum. At the end of the tour, you’ll get a chance to check out their jewelry store.

Vietnam-HB-Kayaking-1920x1280.jpg

Kayaking & Squid Fishing

If you get the chance, definitely take a kayak out and paddle around the bay. At night, some cruises have squid fishing after dinner. Don’t expect anything fancy though; the fishing poles they provide are bamboo poles with string and a hook. If you’re lucky, you might catch something!


Thanks for stopping by! For those who have been to Ha Long Bay before, what were some of your favorite memories from your trip? Let me know in the comment section below.

 

XO,

Tina


PIN IT FOR LATER

A Travel Guide to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam #halongbay #travelguide
A Travel Guide to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam #halongbay #travelguide
A Travel Guide to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam #halongbay #travelguide