Halong bay itinerary is extremely attractive to anyone. Like unique and mysterious attractions of several wonders recognized in this world, Halong bay located in Vietnam is inclusive of exceptional landscapes with amazing rock formation, the emerald water, the scenic beauty from unspoilt nature, beautiful limestone islands...You can call it a paradise on the earth.
Without a doubt, it’s tourist’s first and main concern on their holiday in Vietnam. Many of them said that “I come to Vietnam just to see Halong bay”. To each one Halong bay itineraries are different in term of choosing a cruise, decide what to see, what to do, how to book to avoid scams...so they need to understand Halong bay itinerary in details, so you do! I’m going to introduce you all the useful information for a Halong itinerary now.
Itinerary for other destinations near Halong Bay
You have to know before you go
Never make a question that Why is Halong bay because it is an undeniably amazing creation from unspoiled nature in Vietnam. These 5 things are more than your expectation when you are on the step of collecting necessary information to plan a Halong bay itinerary.
How much of stunning sceneries and interesting activities do Halong bay give you? What do you get from the bay? Should be your questions now. The questions are definitely revealed as below
1. Admire the beauty of such a big number of islands and islets rising from emerald water with diverse shapes, the distinctiveness of each cave, the quietness of fishing village...on the bay
What they are, a few well-known attractions of this bay:
This destination also offers you many services such as fresh water bathing, swimming, life jacket renting, kayaking…
Sung Sot cave - the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay
Boating throught caves
The most impressive way to explore the village is rowing bamboo boat or kayaking through karst islands. Especially you will experience some interesting activities such as trying netting fish, watching pearl farm. This is absolutely a great chance for local residents to be uncovered economic by bringing tourists activities of a typical fishing village.
Halong Kissing Chicken Rock - Glory Lively Nature Symbol which printed on VND 200.000 banknote
Trong Mai islet has been selected as the symbol of Ha Long Bay tourism and was chosen as the symbol of Vietnam’s tourism in 2000. Those visiting Ha Long bay never seem to miss the chance to take beautiful pictures here.
2. Coming to Halong, here are some outstanding services and activities are offered:
A breath taking view from the seaplane
When the night falls, that the atmosphere seems to be colder, the volume of sounds decreased, opening the window it will be your relaxing time to observe majestic mountains from away, sky, nightly scenery of the bay.
3. Seafood is very important key in your Halong bay itinerary
Shrimps, crabs, snails, oysters, cockles, squids… are all the best dishes to try in Halong. Here it’s always enough seafood with reasonable price to welcome you.
"Mu ni" crabs in Halong Bay
Steamed "Claw shirmp" with green chili sauce
Grilled fresh from the ocecan squid
How about Vietnamese weather? The climate differentiates according to 2 main seasons (winter and summer) specifically in Northern Vietnam. It is rainy, and hot, cool in the summer and little autumn from April to Oct. While in the winter, it’s cold with little rain from Nov or Dec to March. You can’t make sure 100% about the weather, it’s more exact when your tour date nearly comes.
Halong bay still looks awesome regardless of cold or sunny weather year round. In fact the nicer time is from April to Oct or Nov when it’s warm. But this point of time the typhoon may occur to run your trip. All the cruises are canceled to secure everyone’s safety. From Nov to Feb or March temperature is between 15-20 degrees celsius but this is tourist season.
See more in Best Time To Go To Halong Bay
Firstly, you need to remember that you will start from Tuần Châu port, the busiest one which is Halong bay’s embarkation point. Known as its neighbor the Bai Tu Long bay has its own Hòn Gai port.
Here are your guidelines:
1. The first option: private transportation from Hanoi or Ninh Binh to Halong
If you don’t mind spending a larger amount of money which is higher than usual prices in practical, taking a private transportation service to get the best convenient is highly recommended.
From Hanoi to Halong or Ninh Binh to Halong and vice versa you can book a private car with 4, 7, 9, 16, 29...seats. Price is from 2.300.000 VND/way from Hanoi to Halong, driving on a highway only takes about 2.5 hours to get to Halong. With this kind of service you are guaranteed to be picked-up on time, transferred faster than other tourist shuttle bus
How to book: Since you are hard to contact drivers or transport company it’s better to book it through travel agency, hotel staffs, sales person from a cruise company
2. The second choice: Shuttle Bus from Hanoi
From Hanoi to Halong with the cruise company you booked with. It is one of the best way to experience Halong bay with well-designed itinerary for 1 day, 2 days, 3 days or 4 days cruises.
They usually organize to pick up in the Old quarter of Hanoi centre on a shuttle bus with big size, 29 seats for example. Price is from 10- 15 USD/way and depending on each company it is included or excluded in tour price. A tour guide will follow you.
How to book: So just inform your cruise supplier about your requirement on pick-up service, normally they ask you actively. Or book it through travel agency
3. The third option: Public transportation from Hanoi to Halong
To save your cost, sometime you are willing to use any service as long as it’s cheaper. Well from Hanoi starting from Gia Lâm Terminal, Lương Yên Terminal, or Mỹ Đình station you can catch a local bus. Price is just 120.000- 150.000 VND/way but they will stop you near Bai Chay bridge from there you have to take cab to get to Tuần Châu port.
This way is not convenient and not anytime the service is good since they will stop on the way to pick other guests up. It takes from 3- 4 hours transferring.
How to come:
How to book:
4. The fourth option: By train, it takes time but safe
From Hanoi to Halong by train takes you 6 hours, price is about US $5/ticket. When you come to Halong train station you then have to take a taxi to get to Halong bay.
5. The fifth option: Getting to Tuan Chau from Cat Ba island
Find the Gia Luan station from Cat Ba to buy your ticket for a ferry from 80.000 VND
Duration: about 45 mins
Daily departure time: 09:00, 11:30, 15:00, 16:00
Visiting Ha Long, it would be great if you sleep overnight in the Bay. The overnight cruises depart from the ports of Halong city, there are many types of cruise ships ranging from budget to expensive ones, you can book a group tour with private or a charter cruise. The boats are all provided by private businesses with qualified serves for tourists.
Here are 3 best itineraries in Halong bay
1. One Day Cruise
One day cruise in Halong bay has from 4 to 8 hours with many tour routes.
If you join in a huge cruise ship going around the world such as Celebrity Millennium or Costa Victoria they will dock in Quang Ninh Province at Cai Lan Harbor, Tuan Chau or Hon Gai. From there, taking a day cruise to explore Halong is your best choice within a short time
1 day itinerary is mostly organized as below:
Part 1: Pick you up from Hanoi, heading to Halong bay at about 11:30 am. Check in at cruise office, wait to embark
Part 2: Enjoying your lunch with traditional Vietnamese food while the ship passing many beautiful rocks, limestone islands.
On the main parts, you are offered to visit Thiên Cung cave or Sửng Sốt cave, Vung Viêng village, Luồn cave, kayaking,..you’ll see 2 to 3 destinations in the bay.
Part 3: You may end your trip earliest from 05:30 pm
2. Two Days 1 night Cruise
To fully experience Halong bay, 2 days 1 night is the first choice and suited for many tourists. Cruise into the heart of Halong Bay, enjoy fishing and kayaking at Trong Cave, and head to Titov island for hiking and swimming. Head back to Hanoi the following day.
This is a typical 2 days 1 night cruise in Halong bay
Day 1: From Hanoi to Halong
Pick up at your hotel from 08:00. Arrive in Halong at 11:30 am then embark at 12:00. After that, you will check in your cabin, enjoy welcome drink with Vietnamese food, seafood…Visit pearl farm village then do kayaking, come back to main ship to have a sunset tea time. In the evening, you can play games, try squid fishing, karaoke...
Day 2: Halong bay
Beginning a new day with doing Tai Chi on the top deck, feel the fresh air. Have a breakfast with served coffee or tea.
Then starting to visit Sửng Sốt cave, one of the best cave in Halong.
Join in cooking demonstration with cruise’s chef. Prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes and then enjoy lunch on board before heading back to the harbor. Depart for Hanoi.
Price for 2 days 2 night cruise on 3 star boat is from US $130/pax
3. Three Days Cruise
To explore more places of Halong bay, 3 days 2 nights itinerary will offer you day 1 and day 2 as in the 2 days 1 night itinerary. On the third day depending on each cruise, you have chance to see Titop island, Drum cave, Cua Van floating village…
I suggest you should choose one of the itineraries if it includes Sửng Sốt cave, Titop island, Luồn cave, or Pearl farm fishing village
Price for a 3 star cruise in Halong 3 days 2 nights from US $230/pax
Before you go, you should check the weather because when the storm is about to start, all ships cannot go to the sea. When boarding, you should bring light luggage
Guests can choose to stay overnight on the bay from 2 days 1 night, 3 days 2 nights. The longer you use the service, the more preferential prices you will get. Vessels often have incentive programs for children.
There are many cruise lines from 1 *, 2 *, 3 * to 5 *. A 3 * standard ship is reasonable, because it is suitable for money with beautiful furniture, comfortable and cozy, visitors should book in advance to match with prior plan.
From Halong bay, you can catch a ferry at Tuần Châu harbor to head to Cát Bà island which is a large island in the neighboring Lan Ha Bay. Cát Bà island is very famous for its beautiful sandy beach, also many attractions around.