Halong Bay – spectacular, mountainous karst scenery towering from the sea in Vietnam
Last Update: 24th October 2020
Located in the Northern Gulf of Vietnam, Halong Bay is composed of around 3,000 rocky islands and earth islands. The typical landscape there is the zigzag-shaped limestone columns extending into the sea. In 2011, Halong Bay was declared as “the New 7 Wonders of Nature” by the UNESCO.
Halong Bay Fast Facts
- Name: Halong Bay
- Area: 1,500 square kilometers
- Things to do there: Adventure, Photography, Boating, Cruise
- Who visits: Photographers, All tourists, Adventurers
- Time required: 4 – 5 x Hours – 2 Days!
Some 2,000 huge rocks stand in the quiet Halong Bay. Half of them have been already named according to their looks. Several of the famous rocks are Cockfight Rock (Two rocks with a shape of the cock stand face to face), Thumb Rock, Wood Hill, Burner Rock, and the like.
The only way to visit the bay is by boat. The lower deck on the boat works as a dining room while the upper deck is for sightseeing. When the boat cruises near the Cockfight Rock, it usually stops for a while to let passengers appreciate the charm of the rock. As it takes around 3 – 4 hours to Halong Bay by road from Hanoi, you’ll see the lunch served on the table by the staff on the lower deck. After finishing lunch, you can enjoy the one-of-a-kind karst scenery at sea.
Nowadays, the Vietnam’s government has made five scheduled routes for the boat tours to protect the local ecosystem. Each route stops at one of the listed caves on the boat tour tickets. One is Dong Tien Cung 4 kilometers from the pier. When the big boat arrives near the cave, you’d need to take a small boat to enter the cave for its stunning views. With an area of 3,000 square meters, the cave is comprised of 3 small caves. In the colorful lights, stalactites, stalagmites, stone curtains, stone flags become more attractive. The entrance ticket for the boat tour just allows tourists to visit one of the caves listed on the ticket. You could just take 2-seater boat – you’d need to row by yourselves. Alternatively, there is the 6-seater boat option for those who don’t want to row by themselves.
There is 2-days-1-night or 1-day luxury boat cruise and 1-day budget and midrange cruise to enjoy at Halong Bay. You could choose either of them to enjoy based on your schedule and preferences.
If you’d like to visit Halong Bay for photography purposes, the best time to visit is at sunrise or sunset.
The best months to visit is from November to February (the dry season).
Unfortunately, there is no direct bus to Halong Bay from Hanoi. But you could take a bus to Ha Long City first and then rent a vehicle to the pier at Halong Bay. Alternatively, just rent a vehicle to the pier at Halong Bay directly from Hanoi.
- Opening hours: 06:00 – 17:00
- As at 24th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the 1-day budget cruise (including the entrance ticket to the bay, Vietnamese lunch and tour-guide service on the boat )is from 60 USD per person; the entrance pricing to a 4-to-6-hour cruise (including the entrance ticket to the bay, Vietnamese lunch and tour-guide service on the boat ) is around 50 USD per person.
- The entrance pricing to a cabin on the luxury cruise (including the entrance ticket to the bay, Vietnamese lunch and tour-guide service on the boat ) is between 300 and 350 USD.
- For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- If you are planning to enjoy the cruise between November and April, please take enough clothes to keep warm.
- Storm may appear during the rainy season from June to September.
- Please wear the sunscreen cream.