With the VnExpress Marathon set to make its debut in Ha Lengthy Bay subsequent week, be at liberty to discover the manifold sights that the UNESCO heritage web site has in retailer.


Ha Lengthy Bay and Hanoi are birds of a feather in terms of the climate. They’ve 4 distinct seasons: spring, summer time, autumn and winter.

Which means that essentially the most supreme time to go to the pure surprise is between March and April and September to November. The climate is cool, there’s little or no rain and cruise situations are close to excellent.

That stated, the height summer time season between June and August can also be a superb time for a visit, with sunny situations and the mercury ranging between 28 to 32 levels Celsius. The occasional storm throughout this era could be a cruise dampener.

Subsequent week there’s a extra particular motive to go to the bay.

Greater than 10,000 runners, together with foreigners, will probably be on the town for the VnExpress Marathon, which is making its debut after being delayed a yr by the Covid-19 pandemic. If one just isn’t taking part within the race, will probably be a possibility to look at a particular occasion that has been organized in different places like Hanoi, Hue and Quy Nhon, gaining in reputation yearly.


The best method to uncover why Ha Lengthy Bay has been acknowledged as a world surprise twice is a cruise by 1000’s of small vegetation-covered islands and towering limestone cliffs that dot the bay.

The rising reputation of Ha Lengthy Bay has prompted journey companies to develop a variety of cruises – from funds to high-end and half-day to in a single day journeys.

For vacationers who desire a luxurious in a single day keep to look at the solar come up on Ha Lengthy Bay, Heritage Cruises, Indochine Cruise, Paradise Cruise and Stellar of the Seas are price contemplating.

All five-star cruise ships in Ha Lengthy are geared up with luxurious cabins and fashionable facilities like bars, swimming swimming pools, a golf membership, a health club and spas. Additionally they provide outside adventures like kayaking, cave exploring, onboard cooking lessons, squid fishing at evening and excursions to floating villages.

International vacationers sail kayaks on Ha Lengthy Bay. Picture courtesy of Lux Group

Costs for in a single day cruises vary from $116-228 per particular person.

For funds vacationers, cruises below $100 are provided by Phoenix Day Cruise, La Muse Day Cruise, Queen Luxurious Day Cruise and Vita Mia Luxurious Day Cruise.

“Through the excessive season for home tourism which lasts till the top of August, guests ought to e-book no less than 3-4 weeks prematurely for a weekend cruise. Reserving an in a single day cruise is simpler for Monday to Thursday,” stated a consultant of journey company BestPrice Journey.

Every cruise has its personal itinerary, however most take company to Ga Choi, Dinh Huong islets, Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung and Me Cung caves, Titop Island and Viet Hai fishing village.

Situated 25 meters above the ocean stage on Lom Bo Islet, Me Cung (Bewitching Grotto) is alleged to be one of many oldest caves in Ha Lengthy.

Stalagmites and stalactites inside Me Cung Collapse Ha Lengthy. Picture courtesy of Ha Lengthy Bay Administration Board

The doorway of the cave is kind of slender and guests should squeeze by. As soon as inside, the chamber opens up and guests can benefit from the sight of winding tunnels coated in attractive stalagmites and stalactites.

Thien Cung (Heaven Grotto) on Dau Go Island, round 4 kilometers from Bai Chay Port, is likely one of the greatest grottoes in Ha Lengthy.

Untouched for 1000’s of years, the cave was found by probability in 1993 by native fishermen searching for shelter throughout a storm.

Guests discover Thien Duong Cave. Picture courtesy of Ha Lengthy Bay Administration Board

The cave is reached by a pathway that winds by thick jungle.

Contained in the cave, there are 4 pillars the place time has carved distinctive shapes which can be eerily much like day by day life scenes of people, birds, flowers and leaves.

Sung Sot (Shock) Cave on Bon Hon Island can solely be reached after mountaineering up a steep path, however the views are properly definitely worth the bother.

Sung Sot Cave. Picture by Lam Linh

There are two totally different chambers within the cave, the inside one with stone formations that seem like sentries lined up with even a stone within the middle that appears like a common speaking to his troops.

Worldwide media together with the CNN and Lonely Planet have additionally really useful an aerial tour of Ha Lengthy Bay on a seaplane. The seaplane service resumed final April after a protracted suspension due to Covid-19.

A ten-minute tour over the bay prices round VND2.4 million (over $100) per particular person, whereas a 15-minute tour that prices VND3.6 million permits views of Thien Cung Cave, Trong Mai Islet, Sung Sot Cave, Ti Prime Island, Bai Chay Bridge and Rieu Island.

A 30-minute flight, the most well-liked one, prices VND7.35 million ($321).

New helicopter allows aerial enjoyment of Ha Long Bay (EDITED)

Vacationers watch the great thing about Ha Lengthy Bay from a seaplane. Video by hachi8

As the most important fishing village in Ha Lengthy Bay, Cua Van, about 20 kilometers from Tuan Chau vacationer pier, used to have 176 households dwelling in floating properties with tiled roofs and geared up with radios, tv units, tables and chairs.

Since 2014, native authorities have been implementing a venture to take away the floating properties and transfer all villagers to the mainland in order that their kids can go to highschool.

Floating rafts at Cua Van fishing village in Ha Lengthy Bay. Picture by Shutterstock

A majority of villagers have moved ashore, however a number of have chosen to keep up their livelihood within the floating village throughout daytime as a result of the boats are their lifeline.

Other than fishing, some locals additionally earn their dwelling from offering kayaking providers for vacationers for round VND100,000 an hour.

At this time, Cua Van hosts a floating tradition middle that shows and preserves conventional values of the long-standing fishing village. It organizes cultural alternate actions and has a group of lots of of archaeological antiques together with fishing instruments relationship again centuries.

The Ti Prime Islet has a crescent formed seaside and turquoise waters that by no means fails to catch the attention.

The islet is called after Russian cosmonaut Gherman Stepanovich Titov who, along with President Ho Chi Minh, visited it in 1962.

Ti Prime Islet is seen from above. Picture by Meo Gia

Bhaya Cruises, Indochina Sails and Paradise Cruises are among the many tour operators that cease on the islet for one to 2 hours.

Given the calm waters, the seaside is ideal for leisure actions like swimming, snorkeling and different water sports activities. There’s a small stall on the seaside which rents seaside chairs, snorkelling tools and different equipment.

The Quang Ninh Museum and Library, designed by Spanish architect Salvador Perez Arroyo, was constructed on an space of almost 24,000 sq. meters with a complete funding of over VND900 billion.

Quang Ninh Museum lies alongside the coastal highway in Ha Lengthy Bay. Picture by VnExpress/Minh Cuong

Along with many artefacts and an enormous e-book assortment, the museum additionally has a screening room, a theater, espresso store, and bookstore.

A number of international vacationers have remarked that Ha Lengthy’s nightlife scene is busier than different tourism hotspots equivalent to Da Nang and Hoi An in central Vietnam.

Probably the most well-known evening market within the city is situated contained in the Ha Lengthy Marine Plaza. It has 300 stalls that promote souvenirs, garments and different objects, to not point out a variety of native meals.

Ha Lengthy evening market is seen from above. Picture courtesy of Finest Value Journey

Most sellers listed below are in a position to talk with vacationers in English so international vacationers can’t solely discount when shopping for issues but in addition have fascinating conversations providing insights into native way of life and tradition.

The market is open from 6 p.m. till midnight.

Ha Lengthy City can also be identified for a on line casino, which is a uncommon enterprise in Vietnam, having been prohibited for a very long time. Even as we speak, Vietnamese residents should not allowed to gamble in casinos. The Royal Worldwide Gaming Membership is considered one of solely 5 casinos working in Vietnam.

Situated within the Royal Worldwide Gaming Membership, Resort & Spa Resort in Bai Chay, the on line casino has 70 slots and 18 desk video games. The primary flooring is a playing corridor that solely opens on weekends. Slot halls on different flooring are open 24 hours every single day. The on line casino provides well-known and in style video games like baccarat, blackjack, roulette and poker.

Some well-known bars and dance golf equipment in Ha Lengthy are the Moonlight Bar, Karaoke Diamond Membership on Huynh Thuc Khang Road, Ha Lengthy View Membership on Tran Thai Tong Road and La Plaza Bar and Lounge on Ha Lengthy Road.

Moonlight Skybar in Ha Lengthy. Picture courtesy of the bar

Bai Chay City, mimicking the traditional city of Hoi An and Hanoi’s Previous Quarter, hosts a variety of espresso retailers, pubs, beer golf equipment and eateries lit up by colourful lanterns.

Bai Chay Bridge is lit up at evening. Picture by Minh Cuong


Some homestay amenities with reasonably priced costs from VND300,000 to 1 million per particular person are The Bay, Halong Ginger, Orestay and Deja Vu Home.

Situated alongside the Bai Chay coastal highway, Ha Lengthy Essence Resort, D’Lecia Ha Lengthy Resort, Time Lotus Ha Lengthy Resort provide an evening’s keep for below VND1 million.

The FLC Grand Resort on Van Nghe hill with an infinity pool at an altitude of greater than 100m above sea stage and different resorts that provide breathtaking views of Ha Lengthy Bay embody the Muong Thanh, Royal Lotus and Novotel.


For Ha Lengthy residents, the commonest breakfast is bun be be, or noodles with mantis shrimp, which may be discovered at native markets, together with seafood markets close to the seaside and the Bai Chay tourism advanced. A bowl of mantis shrimp noodles prices VND30,000-40,000.

A bowl of bun be be served at a stall in Ha Lengthy. Picture by Ngoc Dinh

Noodle soup with cu ky, or thunder crab, is an effective dish to attempt in Ha Lengthy as a result of many of the edible thunder crabs are discovered right here. This crab has a small physique with quite a lot of crust and little flesh, so folks primarily use pincers stuffed with flesh to make the dish.

The broth of the noodle can also be cooked with the crab. Cooks at some eating places additionally add shrimp or mantis shrimp to a bowl, giving the dish added style and a extra appetizing look.

The dish is served at native markets on the Bai Chay seaside or Gieng Don areas. Every serving prices VND35,000-50,000.

A noodle soup with cu ky, or thunder crab. Picture by Ngoc Dinh

Squid fritters (cha muc) is a signature dish. Locals have this with banh cuon (steamed rice rolls), which is totally different from the southern model, the place the rolls are normally served with cha lua or Vietnamese pork bologna.

Some well-known eating places to do this dish are Ba Ngan, Ba Yen and Goc Bang. A serving prices VND30,000 – 55,000 relying on how a lot squid you order.

In Ha Lengthy seafood markets, contemporary oysters are caught day by day, washed and grilled over charcoal and seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon or grilled onions. Generally they’re served uncooked with a slice of lemon.

Banh gat gu (nodding cake), which originated in Tien Yen City, is made with rice flour. Chilly rice is added to the dough, in order that the cake is coated with a fluffy however clean texture. The cake is then steamed right into a thick layer, which is then rolled with out filling and sliced. It’s normally dipped in a particular sauce and served with a bit of caramelized pork.

Ha Lengthy can also be identified for an uncommon dessert – yoghurt with tapioca balls, or boba. The bobas are dipped in sweetened coconut milk and served with yoghurt, with all elements home made.

The dessert may be tried at Lien Tuan or Co Nghi restaurant for VND10,000-30,000.


From HCMC, there are day by day direct flights to Van Don Airport, round 50 kilometers from Ha Lengthy City, with one-way tickets beginning at VND3.5 million.

From Hanoi, a Limousine journey to Ha Lengthy prices VND180,000 – 220,000 per particular person for the two.5-hour journey.

These touring alone on a good funds can attain Ha Lengthy from Hanoi on a shuttle bus round $15 – 20 per spherical journey. An alternative choice that isn’t normally really useful is to drive a motorcycle alongside the Ha Noi-Hai Phong and Hai Phong-Ha Lengthy expressway. The journey will take round 4 hours and there are lovely sights alongside the best way. In Ha Lengthy City, a motorcycle may be rented for VND120,000 – 200,000 a day.

Vacationers touring in a bunch ought to ideally rent a taxi or a non-public automotive.

Ha Lengthy Bay at sundown. Picture by Pham Huy Trung


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