Be well-known by a huge number of 1600 limestones islands and islets as well as a wide range of biodiversities like tiny lakes, freshwater swamp forests, color reefs grottos and profound caves with hidden ponds,…

Halong Bay deserves to be the best option for tourists from over the world. Here is also an ideal place where visitors can freely choose the forms of tourism and exploration. Among them, kayaking 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.

This is an outdoor activity has appeared in Halong Bay since the early 90s of the last century. Originally, kayaking is focused on foreign tourists who loved adventure and challenge. However, nowadays, this interesting activity becomes more popular with domestic tourists especially young people.

Kayaking on Halong Bay

Promising to bring visitors brand-new experience when exploring the system of caves and limestones or local life in Halong and observing picturesque scenery here in the most authentic way, it’s exactly the reasons for the popularity of kayaking in Halong Bay. If you are on your vacation in Halong Bay and want all of the information about kayaking to enjoy a full trip, we hope this article will not make you disappointed!

Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay

For travelers who are in Hanoi, the first step for you to experience kayaking in Halong Bay is that you must have instructions to come there. Belongs to Quang Ninh Province, Halong Bay is at about 200km from Hanoi. Most the travelers will spend a day to explore Hanoi and then travel to Halong Bay. And before, it can take you 4 hours to get from Hanoi to Halong.

However, the traveling time from the capital to Halong reduces from 4 hours to 2-2.5 hours by car because of the new highway came into operation at the end of 2018, beginning of 2019 and the distance between Hanoi and Halong is shortened from 175km to 125km. This is why travelers who have limited time still can visit Halong Bay from Hanoi and back on the same day.

Shuttle Bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Shuttle Bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

There are countless options for you to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay. However, each type of vehicle has different advantages and disadvantages. It’s important that you should know which one fits your schedule. Here we list several types of vehicles that you can hire to travel from Hanoi to Halong like local bus, shuttle bus, motorbike, train, seaplane, private car or simply booking a tour. And if you want to get more details, our “How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay” will help you.

The best time for kayaking in Halong Bay

Halong Bay has the typical weather of Northern Vietnam with four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. From March to December is the best time for many outdoor activities such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. For entertainment and sports purposes, warm weather will provide excellent conditions for exploring the bay or to bring excitement along challenging or complex routes.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking in Halong Bay

In the summer, kayaking allows you to enjoy the sun and the beautiful scenery as well as clear blue water of World Natural Heritage. However, if you want to kayak in the winter this is also a good opportunity because you can avoid the crowds. But we think the water's temperature will greatly affect your trip. Some winter kayaks require a guide to ensure safety and security.

In summary, you can kayak in Halong Bay all year rounds. No matter what time you choose, Halong is always ready for visitors to experience the most wonderful things.

Halong Bay Kayak Banned

Although kayaking is one of the most popular tourist activities in Halong Bay, but in the recent time, the administration of the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh has slapped a ban on kayak tours at the World Natural Heritage Site, citing its damage to the local tourism environment and many of kayak tours which operate without approved business plans. This ban also protect tourists from kayak tour operators that either charge tourists more than their quoted rates or fail to list their service prices, adversely affecting the reputation of Halong’s tourism environment. And the ban took effect on 1 April 2017.

However from 1 May 2017, after a month of investigation and hundreds of complaints and requests from travel agents, operators, and visitors, the Halong Bay authorities have finally lifted the ban on the kayak. Accordingly, kayaks are permitted in Halong By, but - according to the official letter released by the People’s Committee - in only eight designated areas: Ba Hang, Luon Cave, Tung Sau Pearl Farm, Cua Van Floating Village, Vung Vieng Floating Village, Hang Trinh Nu, Cong Do Area, and Hang Co.

The best place for kayaking

Belongs to Halong Bay,Co Island , Luon Cave, Trinh Nu Cave,… are considered as one of the best places for kayaking. To know why let’s go with us!

Luon Cave

Be well-known for its green complex and in-mountain waters and islands, Luon Cave is a popular destination for most kayaking tours in Halong Bay. This cave is situated in the northeast of Bo Hon island, about 14 kilometers to the south of Bai Chay beach, near the Turtle islet and the Surprise cave.

With a length of 60m, a height of the ceiling ranges from 2.5 to 4 meters up on the tidal level, Luon Cave just allows visitors access by small boat or kayak. Inside, there is a lake which seems like a stadium surrounded by the high podium. You can see much magnificent scenery with ferns, benjamin’s fig trees shading the landscape, cycads, ferns, and many orchids hang their sweet-scented flowers, fossilized freshwater snail shells on the cliffs.

Luon Cave is also an ideal place for sightseeing and researching with high values of geology and paleontology. If you like kayaking, I hope that you will not miss out Luon Cave because it will bring to you one of the most relaxed and memorable experiences of your lifetime.

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 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. Besides, 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.

Cua Van Fishing Village

With the ancient and charming beauty, a unique traditional culture, Cua Van was listed on tourism website listing 16 of the most beautiful ancient villages in the world (2012). Towards the ones who have been here, the most familiar image is ramshackle houses which are connected by a network of small bridges.

Especially, every living takes place on the sea and goes with the sea. Once visiting Cua Van Fishing Village, tourists will also have the chance to experience the aquatic life of residents and explore diverse seafood. And the most interesting thing is the performance of traditional music called “hat gheo” and “hat cheo duong” which is organized at the occasion of wedding or celebration are a special form of oratorio with many endemic folk songs of Halong.

How to choose the Most Suitable Kayak in Halong Bay

In facts, depending on your purpose and favor, there are many types of kayaks with different materials like composite plastic, molded rubber or inflatable kayaks. And below, we give you some reviews of the most popular kayaks you should know before deciding to hire the right one.

Recreational kayak

This type of kayak is suitable for first-time players, photographers, fishing villagers or ordinary boatmen due to its stability. But you are advised not to ride recreational kayak on open waters, windy areas or sea currents.

Day touring kayak

Be especially designed to increase the lifting capacity when encountering waters and increase safety for tourists, day tour kayaking also has storage for a day trip.

Sit-on-top kayak

Be attractive for children, beginners or swimmers with its closed body and empty holds to sit so that it is easy to step on or off. Compare with traditional ones, sit-on-top kayaks are larger and difficult to overturn. Moreover, this type of kayak is very suitable for the warm climate and it is the most popular type found in Halong Bay.

Halong Bay Kayak Rental

  • With only 150k/ 1hour for renting a kayak at the pier and island.
  • Or you will not pay any extra if you book our 2-days-1-night cruise tour of your choice, our cruise covers all fees. And here, allow us to have a brief introduction about some of our outstanding cruises.

V’Spirit Premier Cruise

A vacation aboard V'Spirit Premier Cruise, one of the deluxe cruises in Lan Ha Bay is a seamless choice for you to discover a part of the Halong Bay area that features an indistinguishable limestone duplicate of its more famous neighbor but still maintains its primitive natural beauty. Here, the roar of the engine is transgressed by the voice of the wild, where statuesque mountains, evocative caverns, and jungle-covered islands comprise nature's silent masterpiece.

Cruising with V'Spirit Premier, you will take part in many stimulating activities such as swimming, kayaking, cave exploring on a bamboo boat, all while sailing through less traveled waters in the poetically gorgeous southern part of Halong Bay.

V'Spirit Premium Cruise

V'Spirit Premier Cruise

The V'Spirit Premier has 4 decks with 25 Suite Balcony cabins which are inspired by the original traditional styles with solid wood. Our goal is to offer our passengers not only a luxury experience with safety standards but also a traditional Vietnamese cruise with exciting activities and delicious food.

Environmental protection plays a crucial and growing role in sustainable tourism development. It is the reason why responsible tourism is a distinct passion for the V'Spirit Team. We carry in our mind the essence of Green Spirit; through proper recycling, energy efficiency, and regular clean-up events, our team fights for the future of a healthy Halong Bay.

Perla Dawn Sails

Being a leader 5-starship bringing customers to discover the new Lan Ha bay, with the enthusiasm of the owners to give the best natural and cultural experience to customers, Perla Dawn Sails has gradually designated the primitive beauty of Lan Ha Bay on the traveling maps for tourists.

Perla Dawn Sails

Perla Dawn Sails

Moreover, understanding the preciousness of your vacation, all the suites of Perla Dawn are endowed private balcony so that you can touch every inch of nature in every single second wherever you go, all service on board is served by well-trained, friendly and professional staff and all activities during the trip are designed meticulously in order to give you unforgettable memory with your partners, friends or families.

Halong Bay Kayak Tour

Here we provide you with a brief example of our cruise itinerary that provides kayak services for all travelers:

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise (L/D)

We will welcome you on board with a complimentary drink. Our professional and friendly crew will introduce a compulsory safety procedure session and then you are free to check into your cabin and freshen up. You can explore our luxuriously-appointed ship then watch the magical landscape cruise past.

When we pass the first of Ha Long Bay’s stunning karst towers, a delicious a la carte lunch will be laid out in the Lily Restaurant. And guests staying on the Concierge Level can request tailored meals from their chefs at whatever time on the cruise.

After getting acquainted with your new Halong Bay luxury cruise, we have a choice of two options:

  • Take a bamboo boat rowed by a local or kayak around the beautiful Cua Van Fishing Village.
  • Discover the dramatic rock formations found in Tien Ong Cave.

Turn to the main boat and indulge yourself in a range of artisanal small dishes from our Afternoon Tea Set.

Go to the Iris which is our stunning outdoor restaurant will be the location for an informative cooking display from one of our wonderful chefs.

Enjoy whatever you please. We will hold a movie night with a selection of films available and have a selection of board games for your entertainment. Don’t miss our bar which is always open and is an ideal place to meet new people and share stories about your adventures. Travelers with energy to burn before bed might want to consider our gym, with its wide window overlooking the sparkling waters of Ha Long Bay at night.

Day 2: Halong Bay Cruising (B/L/D)

The morning is the magic time of the day on Lan Ha Bay. Perhaps you like to head to the upper deck to participate in our daily Tai Chi sessions or relax with an early morning cup of tea, coffee or juice to watch the stunning scenery unfold before you.

You can enjoy a Western breakfast buffet which is laid out in one of our restaurants, after which we will embark on the nimble day boat to head to the remote Cap La area.

At Cap La, travelers can take a chance to experience swimming in the pellucid waters and look out for monkeys and birds in the forested mountains around as we soak up the serenity of Ha Long Bay at its absolute finest.

Upon returning to the ship, we will have a full barbecue seafood lunch, cruising to Trong Cave for our next stop. Here you will have an insight into the local mythology surrounding this ancient and mysterious place.

Return to the main boat in the afternoon and have many hours on board to settle into our spa, workout at the gym, relax in your cabin or unwind on the gorgeous wooden sundeck.

An extremely interesting experience for all guests on the boat: Take part in a Vietnamese cooking class with the chef on board to learn how to prepare delicious appetizers.

Let’s immerse yourself in the splendid scenery of the bay at night up on the top deck with drinks from our bar. Travelers can get varieties of interesting activities on the boat. Don’t miss Massage service which serves you 24/24 and free to use. Overnight on board.

Day 3: Halong Bay Cruising – Hanoi (B/L)

One more session of Tai Chi will be available on the sundeck for you to work out in the new morning light of Halong Bay.

Go to the indoor Lily Restaurant or outdoor Iris Restaurant to enjoy an organic breakfast with our range of freshly squeezed detox juices.

After breakfast, we provide with you some choices of activities are available:

  • A walk around Sung Sot Cave. Here you can admire a various number of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and columns forming throughout millions of years.
  • Visit the famous Titop Beach with a quiet atmosphere, white sand, and cool water and a quiet atmosphere. Set your foot on the top of the mountain on Ti Top Island, tourists can take a panoramic view to magnificent setting on Halong Bay.
  • Take a bamboo boat or kayak through Luon Cave- the paradise of spectacular nature and dreaming landscapes and has been one of the most appealing attractions for international tourists for years when participating in Halong Bay travel.

Back to your Ha long Bay luxury cruise, you will check out and sit down for brunch, served in the theme of bustling Vietnamese markets.

Travelers can take the last of your photos and disembark your cruise, waving goodbye to your friendly staff as you do so as we sail languidly back to the harbor past your last views of Halong Bay’s gorgeous maze of limestone peaks.

Another interesting outdoor activity in Halong Bay

Halong Bay diving

With tourists who love discovery, scuba-diving will be a favorite activity on Halong Bay. There are countless coral reefs and numerous marine life along Cong Do Island and Van Don Island. Imagine that you can see various kinds of fish as well as pristine coral reefs at the bottom of Halong Bay by their all eyes and even touch them. Dancing with octopus or swimming with sea bass is no longer the only sight on animation. We believe that the underwater adventure is the heart, the soul of Halong Bay that visitors should not miss.

Halong Bay cycling

There are many different types of vehicles for travelers exploring the famous attractions in Halong. 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. 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.

Halong Bay swimming

This is an awesome activity for families or groups of friends to do together while spending time enjoying Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. Travelers will feel free and relaxing. Both in Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, there is a variety of famous beach for tourists choosing: Vung Ha, Ban Chan,…

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,…

Some safety precautions when kayaking

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 Halong's weather information in this article. For more details, you can access our article “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.

Lastly, we hope that after reading this article, visitors will get the most useful information for their trip!


  1. David David says:

    I really like kayaking and I want to know we spend how many time on this activity?

    1. Halong Bay Cruise Team Halong Bay Cruise Team says:

      Hi DAVID,

      You have at least 1 hour of kayaking if you go on our 1 day itinerary and you have more kayaking time on the 2 day and 3 day itineraries.

  2. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    Amazing! I had a very interesting experience here. Especially, I had the best time for kayaking in Lan Ha bay. All the services are very good, thanks HALONG BAY CRUISE Deals.

    1. Halong Bay Cruise Team Halong Bay Cruise Team says:


      Thank you for trust using our service. We hope we will have other opportunities to serve you and your family.

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