For many travelers, Halong is like something right out of a movie. It seems to be full of fantasy and hence to good to be true. Halong Bay has a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed featured in endless movies. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stunningly picturesque Halong Bay and its activities outdoor are an excellent choice for an unforgettable getaway. And for more details about what to see and do, which cruise to book and how to get to Halong Bay, keep reading!
Halong Bay Kayaking
Towards the travelers who have been to Halong Bay, the kayak is considered as the best way to feel all the grandeur of Halong nature and explore cliffs below the waves rolling up thousands of years, or watch birds on the cliffs or touch thousands of years old stalactites. Sitting on a tiny kayak, paddling in the blue water, feel all the grandeur of nature,… what’s more amazing?
It’s no coincidence that in 2000, Halong Bay be voted by National Geographic Adventures magazine as 1 of 25 world best destinations for kayaking. However, with the high demand for this activity, sometimes it’s quite hard to rent one. But it won’t matter if you travel with our Halong Bay Cruise.
Activities in Halong Bay
We offer many types of kayaks such as kayaks made from composite plastic, molded rubber or inflatable kayaks with oars which are for 2 people/ 1kayak. While the kayak is going through Thien Canh Son Cave, Ba Trai Dao, Ba Ham, Dau, Cong Dam Area,… you can get the opportunity to admire the beauty of coral reefs, the tiny fishes swimming and dancing around, and many other interesting sceneries.
Halong Bay Kayaking
In addition, although kayaking is generally assumed to be very safe in these calm waters of Halong Bay, travelers still are advised to listen to the tour guide and to avoid some areas. Here, we provide you with some steps about kayaking in Halong Bay for your safe and enjoy a wonderful trip:
- It’s necessary to prepare something before kayaking. For example Life vests, sun cream, dry bag, water, camera, insect repellent,… You should choose clothes that match the weather here. And we also provide our readers with Ha Long's weather information in this article. You can click here for more info “The best time for travelers coming with this World Heritage Site”.
- While kayaking, it’s important to follow your tour guide, listen to the route, time and rules. You can check with your tour guide the weather, tide, and wind strength to have the best and safest route. You also should keep away from the places which have a strong flow, against the wind; take advantage of the wind strength and flow.
- No matter where you travel, you should anticipate unexpected situations. We must warn you that there are cases of people being sucked into the cave by coming too close to the caves and karsts or drinking will dull your sense and might lead to an unfortunate accident. Besides, in case the kayak capsizes, travelers need to swim a bit, and then take the water out of the kayak with the help of their tour guides. They’ll catch the kayak, take the water out by putting your kayak on his in the T- shape and then put the kayak back into the water, keep it still so that travelers can be on the kayak again. For the children under 5 years old is suggest not using the kayak. In summary, kayaking is not difficult and we wish you enjoy it completely.
Halong Bay Cycling
There are many different types of vehicles for travelers exploring the famous attractions in Ha Long. However, if you want to deeply enjoy the quiet atmosphere, scenic setting on the beach or the hectic pace of life most clearly cycling and trekking will be a perfect suggestion for you. Bai Tho 1 Bridge, Bai Tho Bridge 2, or the “isolated oasis” Viet Hai village,… are the most popular area to organize cycling.
Looking down from Bai Tho Bridge 2, you will be impressed by the hustle and bustle of fishermen. While cycling in Viet Hai village that is surrounded by high mountains, thick jungles, and vast ocean, you can have a great opportunity to enjoy the truly airy ambiance, visit old houses, take pictures of forest trees, and admire natural scenery.
Cycling in Viet Hai village
Besides, you can spend a morning to explore the coastal road with your family or your friends. While trekking on the beach, tourists will be free to enjoy gaze stunning seascape or cozy white sandy ground of Halong Bay.
And if you still have some questions about how to rent a bike or a double bike, you can visit our article “How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay?” for more details.
Halong Bay Swimming
This is one of the most interesting activities in Ha Long that we hope you will not miss if you come here. Halong Bay is an ideal place with beautiful beach with calm tides, clean, and green water and for sunbathing with dazzling sunlight. Ban Chan, Vung Ha,… are considered the best beaches in Ha Long that you should visit.
Ban Chan Beach
If you are seeking solitude on a pristine beach of Halong Bay, please don’t skip Ban Chan Beach. This beach is considered as a harmonious picture between the clouds and water like an exceptional masterpiece, bewitching any public thoughts had. Ban Chan Beach is known as one of those rare places where you should go to do nothing, nothing but contemplates your surroundings- perhaps by taking a walk along the coastline or cooling off with a swim in the crystalline waters.
Ba Chan Beach in Halong Bay
Together with us, you can also take the time to cruise around the island and check out the rest of the nearby coast. Although it is not a popular beach as others in Halong Bay, it’s unique with a primitive and unspoiled beauty which you've never seen in almost any famed beaches. No matter who you're, what you do, where you come from, and how old are you, you will be impressed by the airy space or the white sand of Ban Chan Beach. This is truly a perfect choice for them who wish to escape from the bustle and hustle of large cities and be in harmony with nature.
Vung Ha Beach
Vung Ha Beach is famous for a fascinating natural world with biodiversity, indigenous plant, and animal species. With the vast beaches remain unspoiled and the lack of people, Vung Ha offering a perfect opportunity for those who do come here to get back to nature.
Coming to Vung Ha Beach means to touch the magnificent beauty of the mountains and ocean which can make anyone fall in love. In addition, there are a lot of coral reefs concentrating under the crystal clear water, which intrigue the curious mind of swimmers and snorkelers. You can also explore underground lakes inside the mountain and underwater caves here together with the smooth and turquoise beach.
Vung Ha Beach in Halong Bay
Similar to kayak, swimming in Halong is very interesting but still possess hidden dangers. This is why here we give you some safety instructions if you have a trip in 1 of the beaches of Halong Bay:
- You should follow the instructions and conditions before swimming or surfing.
- According to the researches, the swimming ability is severely decreased in cold water so no matter how confident you are at your swimming, try not to swim too late in the afternoon or the morning.
- You are advised to stay away from the white water in the center of the wave to avoid "over the falls".
- Especially, you shouldn’t swim in deep water and while intoxicated because the precedents of death due to hypothermia and other accidents have been recorded in Halong Bay.
Halong Bay Exploring
Halong Bay cave
Sung Sot Cave
Sung Sot cave is discovered by the French in 1901 and originally named "Grotte des Surprises". In addition, Sung Sot Cave related to the ancient legend that after defeating the An Enemy, Thanh Giong flown to Heaven, leaving his sword and horse to reassure local people and dislodge demons. So inside this cave, there are many natural images as the marks of that fierce battle and the trail of his horse became many little lakes and smashed rocks.
Visitors will be able to step into another world after a steep climb of around 50 steps to get to the mouth of the cave - which is sheltered by natural vegetation: a world that combines the cool mystery of Sung Sot Cave with soft, diffused light from the outside world.
Tien Ong Cave
Tien Ong Cave is known as Grotle du Vieau by the French, covers an area of almost 1,000 m2 on Cai Tai Island. Go inside this cave, visitors can admire the stalactites down from the ceiling and stalagmites up from the ground divide the cave into two compartments. In that, there is a block of stalactites, which looks like an old man with a gentle face, long hair, and beard. And this image resemblances a miraculous “fairy godfather” by the local people.
The name “Tien Ong” starts from there. Moreover, according to many archaeologists, ancient residents found shelter in the cave as it faces to the southeastern direction and helps avoid cold wind thanks to its stalactites inside this cave. So, tourists can visit the cave, enjoy its pristine charm and at the same time learn about history, culture and geological tectonics.
Drum Cave's legend is associated with Virgin Cave (Trinh Nu Cave), which is in the opposite direction. According to the locals, in Virgin Cave, the shape of rock lying horizontally is originally a beautiful girl dying while reaching towards the sea for her lovers. And as a fisherman, her lover, when he knew that his lover was exiled to a remote island, he was looking for her and came to this area. This boy saw his lover but could not approach her.
Then he used a piece of rock to knock into the wall of the cave so that she could be aware that he is around her still be exhausted and died there. Everyone said that whenever lightning strikes, the sound from the cave is like from a big drum, hence the name Drum Cave.
Drum Cave is famous for its associated origin story and its various beautiful stalactites. Recently, this cave is an ideal place to operate an amazing dinner for tourists. After a full day with a variety of activities such as swimming, kayaking, visiting floating village, tourists can go back to the boat and relax on the sundeck, or just enjoy some drinks.
In the evening, you will be transferred to Drum Cave where is decorated by the candlelight and the food is ready to be served the tourists. Everything is like a different world with a warm welcome, being private and romantic to enjoy. We will answer your wishes and quality expectations, ranging from menus to buffet style, combining Western and Asian with local Vietnamese delicacies.
Faire Lake Cave
Fairy Lake Cave is known as one of the most beautiful caves of this bay with not only stunning scenery but also magical values of geology, geomorphology and formation history of Halong Bay. Once visiting this cave, you can be advised to bring torches to discover the cave and watch beautiful stalagmites and stalactites which are everywhere and make the cave more special because this cave is very dark in the middle.
In addition, tourists can admire limestone lofts hanging on the wall, which are relics of the geological history of Halong Bay and have been formed for thousands of year. Perhaps, you even be surprised by the small animals living inside the cave where there is no sunlight and how they can survive.
If you have a chance to visit Halong Bay, we hope that you won’t miss out this awesome destination. You can connect us to have cruising itineraries to explore Dong Ho Tien!
Me Cung Cave
According to the explanation of many archaeologists, Me Cung Cave (also calls Maze Cave) is identified as one of the cultural archaeological digs of Ha Long in early time by the archaeologists (from 10,000-7000 years ago). As its name implies, with fanciful and appealing, Me Cung Cave is one of many famous attractions in Halong Bay created by the hands of the Mother Nature. While walking into the inside, visitors may get the feeling as if they are entering in a great palace of a Persian King.
With the combination of the sparkling stalactites in diverse shapes and sizes drooping like multi-colored curtains and the light shining from the outer make Me Cung Cave shimmering and fanciful like in paradise. In addition, with the interesting story which is related to the archeology and historical sediments, Maze Cave is a promised an attractive eco-tourism destination in the future.
To the tourists who have been Halong Bay, the caves and grottoes of Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are quickly becoming one of Vietnam’s most valuable natural assets in the eyes of the governing board, therein a cave has the strange name: Thay cave. Inside this cave, there are lots of books- sized and quill –sized stalactites, and a small stone like a table for reading. It’s the reason why this cave was named “Master Cave” or “Thay Hang” (in Vietnamese).
The entrance is adjacent to the water's edge so just need to hop a step down from a boat’s prow to cave’s floor is covered with a layer of fine flat sand Nu Beside the stalactites hang down all strange shapes, the light from the cave’s door reflected in the natural stalactites along with the gurgling of the streams gives a sense of the mysterious, strange charm.
Another highly unusual feature of a cave in this area is the floor of the cave which is covered in the sand instead of tending to have uneven, rocky floors that have eroded over time. Compared with the structures of stones in Thien Cung cave and Sung Sot Cave which have vertical direction, those in Thay Cave have horizontal direction. It’s hundreds of thousands of stone blocks which were heaped up together look like stacks of giant books.
Trinh Nu Cave
Trinh Nu Cave or Virgin Cave is known as the symbol of true love and is the romantic place for taking the oath of love. Besides its association with a fanciful love legend, Trinh Nu Cave also remains the site of important archaeological finds in Halong Bay. Many archaeologists discovered the remains of prehistoric inhabitants of Halong culture (about 4,000 years ago) with traces such as ash, bone fragments, and stone in 2000. In addition, in 2010, pieces of ancient ceramic wharves just in front of Trinh Nu cave, such as porcelain and crockery as well as jars with decorative patterns like ocean waves were discovered.
Once visiting Trinh Nu Cave, tourists will admire the poetic beauty of Halong Bay’s otherworldly landscape and mysterious caves filled with nature’s masterpieces, stalagmites, and stalactites before dipping into the jade-green waters for a swim. You are advised to take some time to sunbathe on the pristine private beach and soak up the atmosphere which can only be felt in Vietnam.
Dark and Bright Cave
Dark and Bright Cave (also known as Day and Night Cave) is not only known for the stunning limestone structure at every turn but also for the interesting natural habitat. Many people wonder about the name of this cave: What does Dark and Bright mean? First, Dark cave is quite long and dark requiring visitors to be equipped with flashlights so that they can enter and go through, although lacking in lighting, it makes up for its mysterious beauty.
Meanwhile, Bright Cave is short and is well lit up bay the sunlight, going through holes and gaps in the rock walls and ceiling, making up very beautiful to pass through as the water surface gently glitters under the sunlight. Discovering Dark and Bright cave, the best way is doing kayaking and swimming through the tunnel.
Dark and Bright Cave is regarded as “the Forgotten Paradise”- a poetic and stunning location that acts as an access way to a beautiful tranquil lake, surrounded by walls of stones in different scales and sizes. The combination of several factors such as the mountain's size and form, the color of the water and the clouds are the most valuable mark of Dark and Bright Cave.
Dau Go Cave
This cave was found on the same name island, about 6 kilometers from Bai Chay Wharf, Halong. Floating on the emerald water, this awesome cave is amongst the most famous tourist attractions in Halong Bay. We are truly proud to introduce Dau Go Cave which is listed in the world-famous tourism book Merveille de Monde published in France in 1938, is the most beautiful and worth visiting tourist attractions in the world, under the name “Grotte des Merveilles” (Cave of Wonders).
Once visiting this cave, you must go through 3 main compartments. From the space which is filled up by natural light to a narrow entrance with a little bit lack of light then to the last massive with a sacred fairy that is said to be used by beautiful fairies descending from the heavenly kingdom, all of those are promised that will bring you a great and unique experience.
Luon Cave is a circular mountainous arc with a blue lake in the middle and flows into the sea by a tunnel created by a spectacular and extremely mysterious cave. And it is the reason why the cave called Luon Cave is relatively iconic. With the shape of an arc with 60 meters in length and the limited height (2.5 – 4 in height depending on the tide), the only way to visit Luon Cave is by a kayak or a small boat. Particularly, when the tide rises, visitors have to stoop down to pass through the cave. Coming to this great cave, travelers will take a chance to admire cliffs; the water is clear blue year-round and as smooth as a mirror.
Besides, while sitting on the bamboo boat rowed by a local, visitors can see a variety of plants such as ferns, cycads, Benjamin’s fig trees, and many beautiful orchids even the image of monkeys jigging up and down around the cliffs. And if you have a great passion for kayaking, you should not miss Luon Cave.
Thien Canh Son Cave
Located in the protected area of Cong Do, which belongs to Bai Tu Long Bay, and with the rare natural beauty, pristine limestone stalactites and surrounding beautiful landscape, Thien Canh Son Cave attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. Coming to Thien Canh Son Cave, you will be overwhelmed by an almost surreal wonderland with natural images and incredible stalactites resembling and a baby elephant or a lotus.
In order to explore this cave, you would walk up about 100 stone steps, placed under the foliages and craggy cliffs which bring in a new feeling like climbing on the heaven gate’s side. After getting out of the freshwater with a windy atmosphere or join kayak riding to explore the island further.
Halong Bay Attractions
Halong is famous throughout the world for its staggering scenery and rich culture, travelers can experience this by exploring any number of the top Halong Bay attractions. And here are some suggestions:
Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay is considered as the second Halong Bay because it also has hundreds of islands like Halong Bay. However, it has about 400 islets covered with green trees and vegetation and a more isolated appeal which you cannot see in another place. Lan Ha Bay is home of 200 species of fish, 500 species of mollusk, 400 species of arthropod, and numerous hard and soft coral, while larger marine animals in the area include seals and three species of dolphin.
This bay reserves a more pristine scenery with an intense concentration of limestone mountains, which the sea surface has partitioned into smaller bays and gulfs. Moreover, it’s a good spot for swimming, organizing a private beach BBQ, or an overnight camp thanks to a hundred beautiful, small beaches lying at the feet of the mountains. Sitting in the small boat, tourists can visit the caves and relax on Cat Dua and Bai Cat beach with gentle waves and calm sea, colorful coral reefs areas and beautiful natural surroundings.
There are some famous places for kayaking here is Cai Beo floating village, Van Boi center area in the middle of the bay, Ba Trai Dao area or Monkey Island area... From Lan Ha Bay, you can come to visit Cai Beo floating village where people have to stay in floating houses, children go to school by boat or Viet Hai harbor. If you want to stay overnights, Lan Ha Bay offers many options of hotels, hostels, and bungalows or you can choose to spend your night on a cruise or junk boat, surrounded by rock and water.
Enjoying the tropical sunlight, wandering on the azure-blue beach and breathing in the ocean breeze, along with a kayaking trip and maybe even some fishing, your trip to Lan Ha Bay will surely be an unforgettable memory.
Bai Tu Long Bay
As well as many islands in Van Don, Cam Pha District, Bai Tu Long Bay promises to deliver many unique experiences, far from the heavily touristic sites. Lesser known than its sister (Ha Long Bay) which is a glamorous beauty queen surrounded by reporters and followers, Bai Tu Long is another secret haven with the original and charming beauty without much public attention.
Bai Tu Long is also associated with stories from ancient times when Vietnam was attacked by its invaders, Emperor Jade sent Mother Dragon and her children to help the Vietnamese. After the invaders were defeated, due to fell in love with the peaceful seascape, the dragons decided to make their home in the bay.
So the place where Mother Dragon descended is now called Halong Bay, while Bai Tu Long Bay is where the young dragons descended. Bai Tu Long is somehow more stunning and attractive than its neighbor thanks to its natural and primitive beauty.
From November to April when the weather is cooler, dry, and stable, so this is the ideal time to visit Bai Tu Long and you can take part in an ideal deal of energetic activities such as kayaking and swimming. In opposite, winter is a good time for ones who want to avoid the tourist crowds.
However, in both seasons, you can enjoy your best with the amazing and magnificent scenery of this wonderful Bay. Bai Tu Long is outstanding with a long-range of islands which was created when the whole limestone upland sunk below sea level.
Once coming Bai Tu Long, you will have the chance to visit a great many of amusing destinations such as Cong Do area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Cong Dam area, Thien Canh Son cave and much more. In that, we must mention its national park where is the home of many endangered species of birds and animals, as well as plants. It is because of its less rowdy and touristy, Bai Tu Long remains pristine, and residents are more local fishermen than tourism service workers.
In addition to travel by boats here, you can also enjoy an enjoyable bicycle ride watching insightful dense forests on the islands. So, don’t hesitate, together with us to have more experiences!
Cat Ba Island
Be the familiar name for most tourists who have been to Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Archipelago has an area of around 300 square kilometers and includes 367 small islands, in which, the main islands are Cat Ba Island or Pearl Island (260 km2).
Cat Ba is one of a kind landscapes which is created by the beauty of the forest and the sea blend. Once visiting this beautiful island, travelers not only enjoy refreshing swimming, scuba diving or bathed in cool blue beaches, but also can explore mysterious nature through primitive forests on the island. It is not exaggerating to say that Cat Ba Island is the giant green carpet contains many mysterious and attractive.
It deserves a UNESCO biosphere reserve in the world. If you are interested in nature or ecology, don’t skip Cat Ba National Park where is extensive 15,200 ha of tropical forests with system-wide 570 ha fauna, flora and the species is characteristic white head and Kim Giao trees. Besides that, the tourists can pay a visit to Monkey Island where they can enjoy a great time with lovely monkeys, explore amazing caves and much more,…
Most of the travelers who have been here won’t forget the charm bestowed by nature, biological diversity and the tremendous value of the nation's history of Cat Ba. Or simpler, just an island show up with the beauty of a private beach bungalow, the hundred-year floating village or the lakes, waterfalls, and grottoes which dot the spectacular limestone hills, the highest rising 331m above sea level, and so on.
Halong Bay symbols
Halong Bay is famous for not only the majestic cave system but also it thousands of islands and islets in diverse shapes and sizes. And then remind the most iconic islets in Halong Bay, locals often think about Fighting Cock Islet – a symbol of Halong Bay.
This iconic islet is the symbol is not only the Halong Bay logo but also Vietnam travel guidebooks with the unique values of aesthetics and its significance. Also known as Trong Mai Islet, Fighting Cocks Islet includes two limestone islets in which one looks like a rooster while another has the shape of a hen. By the different images, some say that these cocks are fighting, on the other hand, the others think they are kissing.
Coming here at dawn, because it is probably the most beautiful moment when the glow covers huge cocks together amid the vast sea. With the tourists who have been here, they won’t forget the image of two burly giant chickens with a height of more than ten meters spectacularly appear over vast waves. It is a masterpiece of nature in vast waters.
This famous islet becomes also the creative inspiration for photographers, painters, and artists or a symbol of love here as, which demonstrated the vitality and its significance. Also, if you want to buy the gifts or some souvenirs for your family, your friends, don’t skip the artworks which are created by the artisans of handicraft workshops in Vietnam also use the image of Fighting Cocks Islet.
In general, Fighting Cocks Islet in particular and other islets in Halong Bay can be considered as one of the marvels of creation given full sacred Halong Bay.
Halong Bay Nightlife
Known as a famous tourist destination of Vietnam which seldom goes to sleep, Halong Bay Nightlife has drawn locals as well as visitors to spend their vacation here. There are ample of options for night entertainment at this city, which are worth paying a visit like bars, pubs, nightclubs as well as casinos.
Mentioning the nightlife in Halong, we cannot miss out the bars and pubs where offers a relaxing ambiance to sip your liked drinks. Besides, nightlife in Halong also includes a casino. In that, Royal International Gaming Club-casino is the most mentioned name.
Or for those who want to get out and about at night there are some places where you might like to dine: Emeraude Café where is near the Post Office serves western food if that is your wish but such is the quality of Vietnamese cuisine that you should certainly be trying it, Co Ngu Restaurant with a wide variety of western and Asian cuisine with particular emphasis on the local fresh seafood,…
In addition, one of the night-time attractions in Halong City is the local Night Market where you are expected to barter with the traders. Here you can also buy fresh street food rather than dine in a restaurant or presents for family and friends.
In conclusion, the nightlife is a feature of places like Hanoi but it is not the priority when you go to Halong City. You should go to sleep early if the next day is your cruise on the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay.
Halong Bay bamboo boat
In addition to roaming around on luxury cruises, tourists are also finding much fun in taking a bamboo boat to explore Halong Bay. You can choose to learn how to drive the boat under the instruction of local people, or having a fisherman rowing boat for you. While rowing, tourists are free to immerse themselves in the fresh air of the sea or admire the caves, limestone mountains, gorgeous beach, take pictures and film, chat with the enthusiastic fishermen,…
Halong Bay Bamboo Boat
We hope our article will reinforce your decisions. Have a nice trip!