Hạ Long Bay, in northeast Vietnam, is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Junk boat tours and sea kayak expeditions take visitors past islands named for their shapes, including Stone Dog and Teapot islets. The region is popular for scuba diving, rock climbing and hiking, particularly in mountainous Cát Bà National Park.

Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site’s outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest.

Top things to do in Ha Long Bay
Cruise the bay

Nothing beats spending watching the sun set over the calm waters of Ha Long Bay, and waking up to a serene morning surrounded by karsts. Relaxing on a sun deck surrounded by magnificent panoramas is the highlight of many a trip.

Explore a floating village

Ha Long Bay is not just a UNESCO-listed site, it’s also home to a number of fishing communities who have lived on the water for centuries. Take a boat tour around a floating village for a glimpse of this rare and beautiful way of life.

Paddle out in a kayak

Even if you’re not an experienced kayaker, you can’t miss the chance to navigate your way around Ha Long’s gorgeous seascape. Just before sunset is an ideal time to kayak to see quiet lagoons and fishing boats up close.

Clamber into a cave

Beneath their rocks and jungled exteriors, many of Ha Long’s ancient karsts have been carved out by rain and water currents. Take a look inside these geological wonders on foot — some are a squeeze while others are enormous.

Try your hand at rock climbing

There are countless routes in the bay to keep climbing junkies entertained. Deep water soloing is becoming increasingly popular in beautiful Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay, especially on Butterfly Island.

Ha Long Weather
Ha Long Bay’s climate can be cool with clear skies from September to November. Mist drifts in from December to March making the bay look all the more mysterious. April and May offer sunshine and a refreshing breeze, while the monsoon season can make visits unpredictable from June to August.

Ha Long Transport
Most visitors to Ha Long Bay opt for a packaged cruise, including transport to and from Hanoi. Independent travellers can take a bus to Ha Long City or Hai Phong and a taxi to the port. It’s also possible to charter a seaplane for a 45-minute ride direct from Noi Bai International Airport. Travelling Ha Long Bay is best by boat. Those looking for a bird’s-eye view can book a 15-minute seaplane ride over the bay. In Ha Long City you can hire a taxi to get around town.

From November 2021, Ha Long will open to an unlimited number of vaccinated tourists, who will be able to travel without quarantine requirements. Please check the current travel advisory for updates and application details.

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