Halong Bay has so much to offer when you come for a visit that you’ll want to know all the best places to check out for all the activities that you want to enjoy.
Let’s go over several of the fun activities you can take part in during your stay and the best places to do them. Don’t miss out on anything during your trip. This easy to follow guide is just all Halong Bay places for you to do your trip planning.
- 1 TOP SPOTS FOR SWIMMING AND WATER ACTIVITIES
- 2 TOP SPOTS FOR LOCAL CULTURE
- 3 TOP SPOTS FOR ENTERTAINMENT
- 4 TOP SPOTS FOR SIGHTSEEING FROM HANOI TO HALONG BAY
- 5 TOP SPOTS FOR CAVING
- 6 TOP SPOTS FOR HIKING AND ADVENTURES
- 7 TOP SPOTS FOR NIGHTLIFE
- 8 TOP SPOTS FOR SHOPPING
TOP SPOTS FOR SWIMMING AND WATER ACTIVITIES
Cat Ong Island
There are numerous spots around Halong Bay that are perfect for swimming and other water activities. One of the beaches that are off the beaten path is on Cat Ong which is a smaller island by Cat Ba.
It’s a bit more secluded as it features only the Ocean Tours resort. On this sandy beach, you’ll find plenty of seashells and the ability to get back to nature. The water is the perfect temperature and just right for swimming. Plus, the resort offers kayaks to explore the area.
Ti Top Island is another beach available in the bay where you can enjoy swimming and other water activities. This small beach offers a nice place to get in the water along with all the other great activities available in the area, but you may find that this area can be rather crowded as many of the tours stop here. Titop Island is often included in 2D1N cruise tour.
Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay is another spot with beautiful beaches that you’ll want to spend all day at playing in the calm and emerald clear waters. This is a great place to go swimming or play under the waves while scuba diving with rented equipment.
No matter if you decide to sunbathe or relax in the water, this is one of the best places to do that in Halong Bay. However, to visit Lan Ha Bay, you have to arrange the transport and accommodation on your own because tours to Lan Ha are not so popular.
Cat Ba Island
You can’t go wrong in visiting Cat Ba Island for swimming and other water activities. There are several beaches on the island where you can get your water adventures started.
Imagine being able to sunbathe on a beautiful white sandy beach while getting to see an exquisite backdrop of mountain cliffs rising out of the water. Cat Ba Island is also famous for adventurous activities such as: climbing to Hon Nghieng, trekking in the national park, deep water solo (DWS),…
TOP SPOTS FOR LOCAL CULTURE
If you’re looking to experience local culture, there are a few areas you can check out during your trip to Halong Bay. One of the first spots that you should consider visiting is one of the floating villages that dot Halong Bay.
You can take a trip out to several of these villages to see how the villagers go about their daily lives and experience what this type of lifestyle is like. Many of these villages earn a living by fishing and by having visitors come to see what life is like on a floating city.
Another aspect of local culture that can help to connect you to the spirit of Vietnam is visiting one of the many historic Buddhist temples around Halong Bay. One excellent choice is Cua Ong Temple.
This can be a very popular tourist destination as it offers a majestic temple with a natural backdrop that is completely breathtaking. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the spring, you may even get to experience a festival where you can witness many culturally significant events.
TOP SPOTS FOR ENTERTAINMENT
Sun World Halong Park
One of the top spots for entertainment while visiting Halong Bay is Sun World Ha Long Park. This amusement park is sure to attract visitors seeking entertainment from children to those that are young-at-heart.
There is a rollercoaster, arcade filled with games, Zen garden, and more to be explored. This top spot is so wonderful that it just so happens to be featured in the sightseeing section, as well.
The entrance fee is 300.000VNĐ/ adult.
Quang Ninh Museum
If you’re looking for more educational entertainment in Halong Bay, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Quang Ninh Museum. Visitors to this museum rave about the modern displays that thoroughly discuss their chosen topic, and most can’t get over how amazingly fun the whole museum happens to be.
You can find information on natural history, Vietnam, and so many more topics. Just be sure that you check the time before visiting as they do close during the middle of the day for lunch.
Opening time: 8:00- 11:30 am; 1:30 – 5:00 pm (from Tuesday to Sunday)
Price: 10.000 – 30.000 VNĐ/person
Depending on the time of your trip, you’re going to want to include time for the local carnival. Carnaval Halong is a huge draw for many visitors from around the area to around the world.
You won’t want to miss the opening ceremony and the different performances that can be seen around you on the street and the stage. The whole Carnaval Halong wouldn’t be complete without some eye-popping fireworks to view in the night sky. Be ready to be immersed in fun.
The Carnaval is usually held in April – May each year.
TOP SPOTS FOR SIGHTSEEING FROM HANOI TO HALONG BAY
Ti Top Island is not only on the list for swimming, but it also offers a splendid 360-degree view of the bay thanks to the lookout platform. Keep in mind that this platform is reached by climbing 400 stairs, so be ready for a workout to earn that view.
Plus, the path is a bit narrow and steep, so be sure that you take your time as you climb. Once you arrive at the top of the platform and can look around, you’ll be glad that you persevered through all of those steps.
This is one stop that you’ll want to use your camera, and if it has panoramic picture taking features, you’re going to have one amazing picture to show off to your friends and family.
Queen Cable Car
Sun World Ha Long Park is another great destination when you’re looking for sightseeing in Halong Bay.
The cable car and Ferris wheel available at this amusement park is another excellent way to get a bird’s eye view of the area, and this is perfect for those members of your group that probably won’t be able to make it up the 400 or so stairs at Ti Top Island. This is a great experience during the day or at night.
The opening hour is 3:00 – 8:00 p.m on weekdays and 10:00 – 8:00 pm on weekend.
Sightseeing by Seaplane
A final idea when it comes to the top spots for sightseeing in Halong Bay is by taking a tour that will really give you the bird’s eye experience of your lifetime. Experiencing a seaplane tour will give you an amazing day.
You’ll be able to ride in a seaplane which earns you instant bragging rights all on its own, but you’ll also get a chance to see all over the bay area from the seat of the plane.
This provides yet another perfect picture taking the opportunity during your stay. You might even run out of room on your SD card with all of the gorgeous pictures you will take.
The price is $99/ person for scenic flight and from $175/ person for one-way flight.
TOP SPOTS FOR CAVING
There are a huge number of caves in Halong Bay that deserve your attention during your vacation to the area. One of the top caves is the Virgin Cave, where legend has it that a beautiful and young, but very poor fisherman’s daughter fled to this cave to escape being made to marry a man greatly her senior that held debts over the family’s head.
This legend has it that she turned to stone during her exile to his cave. Some say that you can still hear her screaming when the wind blows around the cliffs.
Sung Sot cave is another great spot to visit during your stay. This cave earned its name as it’s rather amazing to come across such huge spaces after being in very narrow paths to get to it. The area around this grotto is gorgeous. It is lush with native trees and foliage and will provide shade on your way into the cave.
No matter which cave you visit, you’re going to want to try to experience cave dining. Many of the tour groups will offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you’re able to sit inside of one of the beautiful caves along Halong Bay and enjoy a nice meal. It’s the perfect way to relax after a day of exploring.
TOP SPOTS FOR HIKING AND ADVENTURES
Cat Ba Island
Halong Bay isn’t with its own hiking and adventures ready for those that are a little more into extreme sports than sitting on the beach sunbathing all day long. One of the best places to hike in this area is on Cat Ba Island.
Not only does this island offer great beaches, but the hiking here is perfect. You can explore all of the natural beauty, and may even spot some of the resident wildlife that calls this area home. Better make sure that you’ve brought your hiking boots along for your journey.
Lan Ha Bay
You can even go rock climbing at Lan Ha Bay. Not only does it offer a picture-perfect beach setting for your time visiting the area, but you can practice your rock climbing skills in the area, as well. This is sure to give you a lovely view of the area while helping you get some adventure in your life.
Bai Tho Mountain
Mountain climbing is another adventure experience that you won’t want to miss while visiting the area. Bai Tho Mountain is 200m height.
You’ll be able to climb up to the top of the mountain to see some of the best natural views available of the area, it takes about 30 minutes. Bai Tho Mountain is a perfect spot for watching sunrise and sunset.
To get to Bai Tho Mountain, you could follow Hang Noi street until reaching the Nam Phong cafe. From here, you will need to ask local for the direction because it will be a little complex. Don’t worry, they are all very friendly and willing to help.
Ban Sen Island
One final area to hike while visiting the Halong Bay area is Ban Sen Island which takes about an hour to get there by cano.
This island is very thickly forested, and easy to feel as though you’ve stepped back in time when the world was still more natural than human-made.
This is a slice of paradise for hikers with the very peaceful experience it provides. You can even hire a guide that can tell you all about this area. This is one thing to do if you’re looking to get away from it all.
TOP SPOTS FOR NIGHTLIFE
In Halong Bay itself, there are two different bars that you can enjoy the nightlife at during your vacation. There’s the Whisky Gallery Bar where you can find plenty of entertainment with a singer or two on staff, attentive staff and great food and drinks.
You can also visit Funky Bar, and soak up the fun ambiance. You can expect to get some great food at decent prices and dance the night away with the great music.
Not your typical nightlife, but if you find that you’re looking for something to do at night, try to take one of the cruises that offer night squid fishing. This is a fun experience that you’ll never get anywhere else.
Depending on when you travel to the area, you may be just in time for squid season where you can see many squids surrounding the boats. Your tour will typically offer you the fishing gear you need, and then, you can catch some squid. Often, the squids you catch will then be prepared into meals.
TOP SPOTS FOR SHOPPING
There are a few great places to go shopping while in Halong Bay. One of the most unique experiences you can have in this area is when you visit a pearl farm. These farms help to cultivate the pearls that are found in the oysters by painstakingly seeding them and allowing the pearls to grow.
This fascinating process is one that you’re able to view by visiting a pearl farm at a floating village. You can even purchase pearls to take home with you. There are many luxury jewelries for you to take home as souvenirs.
Bai Chay Commercial Central and Halong Night Market
You’ll also want to visit the Bai Chay Commercial Center and the Halong Night Market which offers a lot of vendors for finding all of your trinkets and souvenirs to take home with you.
Most of goods selling here are from China with cheap price and you will need to bargain if you really want to buy anything.
These Halong Bay places to visit should be on the top of your list. You’ll have so much to do on your itinerary that it can be hard to decide which you want to do first!
Make a list of all of the things you and your family and friends want to experience while on your vacation to Halong Bay to make sure that everyone gets a chance to do what he or she has been dreaming about doing.