HALONG BAY VIETNAM – A STUNNING WORLD’S WONDER

Located in the Northeast Vietnam, Halong Bay is a part of Tonkin including the sea of Halong city, Cam Pha town and Van Don island district. Halong bay Vietnam is one of seven world’s natural wonders recognized by UNESCO and one of 29 most beautiful bays ranked by world’s bay clubs. Thanks to the combination of environment, climate, geography and geomorphology, Halong bay is the collection of biodiversity including rainforest ecology and marine ecology with 14 endemic plants and 60 endemic animals. Accordingly, Halong Bay has been twice recognized as World Heritage site by UNESCO. There are nearly 2000 big and small limestone islands jutting out the emerald sea with various shapes which make people comparing with anything, from dragons, cocks to human faces…

From the above, Halong looks like a vast lively picture. Traveling in Halong bay, we seem to be lost in the mystical fossilized land; some islands look like a man toward to the mainland (human head island), some look like a dragon flying on the sea (dragon island) or others look like an old man fishing (fishing man island) …all of which are lively.

On the islands, there are magnificent caves such as, Thien Cung (Heaven Palace), Dau Go (wooden head), Trong Mai (fighting cock), Sung Sot (surprising)…all of which are real natural palace in the earth. In Halong Bay Vietnam, all islands, beaches or caves seem to link with their own legend stories about human, loves, or glories.

Halong bay Vietnam map

The bay is located in Quang Ninh province in the Northeast Vietnam. The province borders China to the North, Hai Phong province to the South; Lang Son, Bac Giang and Hai Duong to the West; and Tonkin to the East. It is about 160km away from Hanoi. Almost all visitors to Halong Bay come on organized tours from Hanoi. We can travel either by road or flight. There are many public buses run from Hanoi (about 3.5 hours). Also, if you love flying and want to see beautiful lands in the Northeast, you can take a helicopter at Noi Bai airport. It only takes about 20 minutes for flight.

What to visit in Halong Bay and nearby?

Halong bay is an island area which has two distinctive seasons: dry and rainy. In the hot and humid summer, the temperature is from 27oC to 29oC and it is from 16oC to 18oC in the dry winter. Therefore, the best time to travel to Halong Bay Vietnam is from December to April.

There are some types of tours in Halong bay which people often look for such as, Halong Bay Vietnam tour of Halong Bay Vietnam boat tours. The former is often booked by domestic tourists, but it is a complete contrast for foreigner tourists who look for overnight cruises in Halong Bay.

Tourist places near Halong Bay

Halong Bay is located in Quang Ninh which is an ancient land and famous for temples and pagodas from Tran dynasty. Therefore, there are many traditional festivals which attract a lot of domestic tourists to this land every year such as, Cua Ong pagoda, Tien Cong pagoda, Ba Vang temple, Yen Tu, Long Tien temple,

 

Cua Ong pagoda

Cua Ong pagoda is one of relics from Tran dynasty which is quite popular in the Northeast region. The pagoda has 3 areas: the bottom, the middle and the top forming a three-legs-of-the-cauldron architecture facing marvelous Bai Tu Long Bay. The pagoda was constructed for worshiping the 3rd son of Tran Hung Dao (a brilliant military strategist under Tran dynasty and cultural hero of Vietnamese) and generals of Tran dynasty who defeated Mongol invasions…at the festival, there are a lot of tourists from all over the country visiting this pagoda.

Yen Tu mountain

Yen Tu mountainous land is located in Uong Bi city which is about 60 km from Halong Bay. This was the land of Buddhism under Dai Viet (the name of Vietnam from 1054 to 1400 from Ly to Nguyen dynasties). There are 11 temples and hundreds shrines and hermitages…it is said that every Buddhist needs to go to this temple at least once in the life.

 

Long Tien temple

Was built not too long ago (1941), but the temple is the biggest one in Halong. Long Tien is situated beneath Bai Tho mountain and is a famous vestige. The temple also attracts foreigner tourists who want to explore the culture of locals. Long Tien festival is not only for religious people but also for spiritual people. The temple is locally recognized as Trinh temple (“Trinh” means presenting yourself). Everyone often visit this temple before traveling to Yen Tu or Cua Ong…

Handicraft villages

As mentioned above, Quang Ninh is a long standing cultural and historical land. Over the time, from the generation to generation, many handicraft villages have still remained such as, pottery, pearl growing, coal...

  • Pottery handicraft villages

Almost pottery workshops are located in Dong Trieu and Mao Khe towns. The products at these towns are very rich and diversified including vases, pot, animal shapes, flower supports...which are very unique and chosen by many foreign markets such as, France, Italy, US, Hongkong...

  • Pearl growing villages

The first pearl growing village was formed in Van Don sea district which is about 60km from Halong. Van Don is the center of four precious pearls of Ma Thi, Canh Dai, Vo Day and Jamson.

What to do in Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong bay vietnam beach

There are many beautiful beaches in Halong Bay but most of them are on the islands such as Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Titov, Ba Trai Dao...Besides, if you cannot take overnight cruises to mentioned places, you can enjoy swimming on Bai Chay and Tuan Chau.

  • Quan Lan beach

The beach is located on Quan Lan island in Bai Tu Long Bay which is 55km offshore. This long sandy beach is very beautiful, tranquil and pristine with emerald water and strong wind. Here, you will enjoy a fresh environment or visit houses on stilts under green casuarina lines.

  • Minh Chau beach

Located in Van Don island district about 15 km from Quan Lan beach. The beach here is spotless with white sand. Minh Chau is known as the emerald rising pearl. The beauty is nearly untouched and attracts visitors who want to stay away from the noise of cities to enjoy the natural beauty.

  • Ba Trai Dao (Three peaches)

Is one of the most beautiful beaches in Halong Bay Vietnam, Ba Trai Dao is located about 22km from Bai Chay port to the Southeast, near Cat Ba island. This is a beautiful beach with pristine and fresh nature and stunning landscape. The name of beach is originated from the embrace of sandy beach with peach-shaped mountains.

Halong bay vietnam cruise

Almost tourists to Vietnam will visit Halong Bay which is very famous for overnight on the luxury cruise. So what are attractions for Halong Bay Vietnam cruise?

There are many reliable cruises in Halong Bay such as, Indochina Junk, Bhaya, Au Co, Signature, V’spirit…all of which are from 2 to 5-star standards. Some will go toward Bai Tu Long Bay; others to Lan Ha Bay. However, their activities are quite similar including, kayaking, visiting floating fishing villages, cooking classes and especially, exploring grottos which is the best activity during the cruise trip.

Tourists will have chance to explore grottos including, Thien Duong (Heaven Palace), Sung Sot (Surprising), Bo Nau (Pelican), Trinh Nu, Trong and Trinh Nu (Male and Virgin) …

  • Thien Duong

Is one of the most beautiful grottos in Halong Bay, Thien Duong is located on the southwest of the bay and only 4km from the harbor. Thien Duong is recognized as the heaven palace. The wonderful grotto is 130-meter-long with countless magnificent stalactites in many interesting shapes. In the central grotto, there are four large columns supporting the “heaven’s roof”. The wind blowing through the stone makes the sound of a beating drum.

  • Sung Sot

Is located in the center of World’s heritage – Halong Bay on Bo Hon island, the grotto covers an area of 10,000m2. Sung Sot grotto was named by French. This is one of the finest and widest grottoes in Halong Bay. The light system with charm styles make the Sung Sot more elegant. The path to the grotto is covered by trees and foliage on both sides. The stalactites on the high ceiling look marvelous with numerous shapes.

  • Virgin and male grottoes

These name has become famous for not only domestic tourists but also foreign tourists. The grottoes are not only attractive to their beauty but also their mythical stories. Trinh Nu (Virgin) is located in the island range of Bo Hon in the system consisting of Dong Tien lake, Luon Grotto and Surprise Grotto. For some fisherman, Virgin grotto is home. When arriving Virgin grotto, visitors can see a stone statue of a lying-girl with her long hair hanging down in the center of the grotto. Trong (male) Grotto is located opposite to the Virgin. There is a stone statue of a man who turns his fact to Virgin grotto.

Halong bay vietnam accommodation

Almost tourists chose to book overnight cruise when traveling to Halong. However, there are also some options for your stay in case you want to spend more time in Halong to visit sightseeing including hotels or resorts.

Halong bay Vietnam hotels 

There are many reliable, clean and well-located from 2 to 5 stars to choose such as, Halong Plaza, Novotel, Halong Paradise, Vinpearl Halong Bay, Saigon Halong or Halong Park…For the best Halong Bay Vietnam hotels, you are suggested to choose Novotel, Halong plaza or Vinpearl Halong Bay all of which are top ranked on the tripadvisor – the best forum for travelers in the world.

Halong bay Vietnam resorts 

Located on the Reu island, Vinpearl Halong Bay is the best choice for those who love to have private space, untouched beauty, comfort and convenience. The second resort is Tuan Chau island holiday which is located on Tuan Chau island with private beach area. Surrounded by palm trees and green lawns, the resort is designed in the mix of French and Vietnamese architecture. From here, it is easy to explore Tuan Chau and enjoy fascinating activities including, dolphin, sea lion and seal performance club, animal circus club, rural market…

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