Halong Bay, Vietnam is a treasure trove of excitement and amazing experience. As a Unesco World Heritage site, this beautiful bay is a must-see when planning a trip to Southeast Asia.
From seaplane flights to fishing villages to parachute-pulled canoes, the list of adventures in Halong Bay is never-ending.
CONVIVIAL CRUISES HALONG BAY – Highlight in your itinerary to discover the Bay
The number of calm and casual cruises running through Halong Bay is astounding. From overnight to week long trips, each cruise has its own special way of providing comfort and class to their clients.
The benefit of a cruise is that you can enjoy a luxurious jaunt through the bay while having immediate access to delicious food and many Halong Bay activities both on and off board the ship. Combining a seaplane connection from Hanoi to Halong Bay with a cruise package deal is one of the very best ways to enjoy all aspects of your trip. Nothing is better than flying through the sky in an elegant seaplane en route to a charming cruise sailing upon the sea.
Lounge on the deck with an afternoon tea while gazing at the beautiful shore. Take an evening stroll on the deck as you drink in the reflection of the mountains glimmering off the bay. From cooking classes and evening entertainment on the boat to swimming and sunbathing offshore, a cruise is an exquisite antidote to finding housing, food and fun in separate spots.
Take a minute to look at 10 best Halong Bay cruise in 2017 and The memories you can take away from a cruise in Halong Bay last a lifetime.
KEEN ON KAYKAKING – An adventure to explore the hidden lagoons of the Bay
Another amazing way of exploring the bay is to take advantage of the many kayaking excursions available. You can either rent a kayak on your own or book a tour, both offering enchanting experiences in the bay.
Kayaks are a wonderful way of staying in the water while getting an up close and personal view of of the caves and caverns sprinkled throughout the sea. Not only will you swiftly sail through surf, weaving in and out of the geographic wonders, but you can spend some time investigating the world of plants and animals below.
Look down past your oar and stare into the stories told by the creatures of the deep. Just beware the karsts and secretive sink holes. While most of the bay is covered by serene watery ways, every once and awhile, an unexpected thrill may come your way.
JOURNEYING ON A JUNK BOAT – A “Travel back in time” adventure in Halong Bay
Junk boats are an ancient Asian-style boat, originally created by the Chinese for extensive seafaring. Nowadays, the name generally refers to a specific, very historic looking ship most recognizable by its distinctive triangular sails.
Swimming amidst the kayaks and cruise ships are these notable boats ready to tell the tales of the past as modern travelers tour around Halong Bay. Junk tours are available in the daytime or in the evening, offering anything from all-inclusive food and drink to BYO-All of the above.
The daytime may offer better deals and more access to the usual Halong Bay haunts. The evening, however, takes on a whole new set of enchantments. Imagine the romantic views from a junk ship as the sun sets over the mountains beyond the bay. Night time squid fishing is another leap back into the past as you manage a bamboo rod and toss it into the deep to see what wonders may be brought back up from the sea.
From the mysterious past to the modernized present, a junk boat will ferry you around the bay with magical nostalgia breathing in the ocean air.
FAMILY FRIENDLY FLOATING VILLAGE – Best cultural and historical adventure
No true adventure is complete without a step into the local life and culture of the scene. The fishing villages of Halong Bay are a haven of Vietnamese quotidian. Specializing in fishing and aquaculture, these floating cities are filled with friends and family native to Halong Bay.
They are not only homes, but also transportation and business enterprises. They are the lifeblood of the bay and encompass the traditional lifestyle of the area. Visually, the villages are a sight to be seen as you take a kayak, a cruise or a junk boat through the hovering households and witness the colorful exteriors of the local dwellings.
Taking the time to navigate through these villages and meet some of the people who live there allows a real opportunity for escaping the touristic view and seeing Halong Bay through the eyes of its true inhabitants. Not all adventures are filled with death-defying feats; some involve the pure simplicity of daily living.
LIGHT UPON THE LIMESTONE CAVES – Adventure to the Magnificent masterpieces of the Creator
Geographical anomalies are one of the most sought after and most recommended activities in Halong Bay. The limestone caves, caverns and grottos carving their way through the bay are what make up its most tantalizing topography.
If you’ve ever fancied yourself a true explorer, spelunker or adventurer the likes of Indiana Jones, this is the hot spot for you. Wandering through the islands and caves provides a deep look into the secret passages and places all around the bay. Stalagmites and stalactites line the walls and secret lakes lurk within, harkening back to ancient stages of geological formation.
With eerie luminescence guiding you on your path around the caverns you can just picture yourself unearthing a treasure chest or a set of age-old fossils. Search and seek out the Sung Sot Cave. Dare to delve into the Dau Go Grotto. Perhaps a little mysterious or even mystical, a day spent probing the grottos leaves you in no doubt of the spellbinding attributes of Halong Bay.
MOVING UP BAI THO MOUNTAIN – An adventure for an overview of Halong City
Like a castle standing guard over its kingdom, Bai Tho Mountain (Poem Mountain) fortifies its surroundings with stunning beauty as well as one of the best views of Halong Bay below. The mountain is accessible by land or by sea and certainly demands a high level of activity.
Climbing the mountain and moving along its winding paths with stone steps engraved into the landscape is no easy feat, but a little fortitude yields a high reward when you reach the top and are gifted a magnificent view of the bay. Enjoy the company of a grazing goat or mischievous monkey as the sun sets upon the horizon.
Start or end your journey with a rejuvenating pause at Long Tien Pagoda, a Buddhist conclave and necessary stop on your Halong Bay activities list. Combine the some rigorous exercise with some well-deserved relaxation by taking advantage of all aspects of the mountain trail.
By the end of the day, you will have your own poem in honor of Poem Mountain, filled with the memories of your Bai Tho Mountain experience.
SNORKEL HIGH AND SCUBA LOW – Best adventure for underwater lovers
While there is an infinite amount of sea level and above activities to take advantage of in Halong Bay, there is a whole world of deep sea adventures waiting in the briny blue below.
There are coral reefs and forests along the islands of Cong Do or Van Gio, over flowing with sparkling sea life and colorful creatures. Crustaceans, mollusks and fish line the bay with an abundant supply of marine life to observe. Swim with the cuttlefish or dance with the octopus like cartoon fantasy come to life.
Spend an afternoon snorkeling around the corral forests and snapping selfies with your new waterproof Gopro. Envision the peaceful serenity of a day spent scuba diving tens of meters below the surface as you get acquainted with the natives of the mysterious aquatic realms. Underwater adventures are the heart and soul of Halong Bay and shouldn’t be missed.
CYCLING THROUGH THE SCENERY – An adventure for wanderers in Halong Bay
Walking, climbing, hiking and swimming are all amazing ways of venturing through the fascinating sights in Halong Bay. Cycling, however, adds just a bit more magic as you speed along the roads and paths, seeing more and more of the idyllic isles.
Racing fast down the lanes with the wind in your hair or trotting calmly along to take in the minutiae of the landscape, both styles of cycling have their merits and allow for endless new discoveries. Take a tour through the back roads and see the hidden tracks and forests the sailors rarely get to see. Park your bike for a few minutes while you cool off in the turquoise waters of the bay.
Cycling allows you the flexibility to move along quickly while still being able to stop and stare at the next unexpected ornaments dazzling all around Halong Bay.
TAKING A TERRIFIC TREK – An ideal adventure for witnessing the wild nature of Halong Bay
While cycling is a quick and spirited way to explore Halong Bay, trekking allows for a much more detailed experience into the winding paths and more complicated terrain.
Water sports and limestone caves may be the more obviously highlights of the bay, but the jungles and wildlife on each of the isles are incredibly worthy recipients of a well-planned day trek. Make sure to check your fitness levels and buy a pair of sturdy shoes before heading out into the dense botanical environment.
If you’re lucky, you may get to see a hawksbill turtle or a languor monkey. And with a relaxing bay so close at hand, nothing will stop you from taking a cooling plunge into the soothing sea when the afternoon sun blazes down. By the end of this intense but gratifying physical exertion, you will feel like an explorer discovering new lands.
PUMPING UP FOR PARASAILING – A thrilling adventure in the open air
From kayaks to junk boats to good old-fashioned cruise ships, there is a never ending amount of nautical ways to explore Halong Bay: a parachute-pulled canoe is by far one of the most interesting and unusual ways of doing so.
This Halong activity, for example, is not at all for the light-hearted. A true thrill-seeker will be right at home as the engine roars and the wind begins whipping around, pulling you up from the ground and further toward the clouds.
A high-speed canoe rushes forward as the parachute is pulled into the sky at a safe but seemingly alarming rate. From there, you are left to float above the sea while the canoe continues racing on and you are able to see the tranquil bay calmly keeping watch underneath.
Just like the seaplane flying higher in the clouds, the parachute makes it possible to see a captivating picture of the bay below. While seaplane may feel slightly more secure, this adventurous option will certainly satisfy the more adrenaline-inclined.
SPECTACULAR SOARING SEAPLANE – Best adventure for a panoramic view of Halong Bay
Halong Bay is home to an array of seafaring adventures, but none so spectacular as the Hai Au Aviation Seaplanes. Flights to and from Hanoi can be enjoyed as the perfect method of travel between the capital city hub and the secret lairs ensconced in the bountiful bay.
Not only can you enjoy the seaplane as a commuting connection, but you can also book these aerial wonders purely for the sake of scenic sightseeing. Instead of riding in a shuttle or car for hours, take a quick seaplane trek to your tropical destination. Better yet, book a scenic flight and enjoy an aerial view.
It is an ideal way of examining the overall map of the bay before exploring the detailed tapestry on land. This is truly one of the top activities in Halong Bay.
DISCOVER THE BAY IN YOUR OWN WAY
From the mesmerizing experience of a scenic seaplane to the local culture of the floating villages, the bewitching delights of climbing Bai Tho mountain to the riveting thrills of a parachute-pulled canoe, the activities in Halong Bay include some of the best adventures in Vietnam.