With the VnExpress Marathon set to make its debut in Ha Lengthy Bay subsequent week, be happy to discover the manifold points of interest that the UNESCO heritage website has in retailer.


Ha Lengthy Bay and Hanoi are birds of a feather with regards to the climate. They’ve 4 distinct seasons: spring, summer season, autumn and winter.

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

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

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

Greater than 10,000 runners, together with foreigners, will likely be on the town for the VnExpress Marathon, which is making its debut after being delayed a 12 months by the Covid-19 pandemic. If one will not be collaborating within the race, it is going to be a chance to observe a particular occasion that has been organized somewhere else like Hanoi, Hue and Quy Nhon, gaining in reputation yearly.


The perfect technique to uncover why Ha Lengthy Bay has been acknowledged as a world surprise twice is a cruise by way of 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 finances to high-end and half-day to in a single day journeys.

For vacationers who need a luxurious in a single day keep to observe 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 trendy facilities like bars, swimming swimming pools, a golf membership, a gymnasium and spas. In addition they supply outside adventures like kayaking, cave exploring, onboard cooking courses, squid fishing at night time and excursions to floating villages.

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

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

For finances vacationers, cruises below $100 are supplied 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 not less than 3-4 weeks upfront for a weekend cruise. Reserving an in a single day cruise is simpler for Monday to Thursday,” mentioned a consultant of journey company BestPrice Journey.

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

Positioned 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 sort of slender and guests should squeeze by way of. As soon as inside, the chamber opens up and guests can benefit from the sight of winding tunnels lined in beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.

Thien Cung (Heaven Grotto) on Dau Go Island, round 4 kilometers from Bai Chay Port, is without doubt one of the largest grottoes in Ha Lengthy.

Untouched for 1000’s of years, the cave was found by probability in 1993 by native fishermen on the lookout 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 way of thick jungle.

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

Sung Sot (Shock) Cave on Bon Hon Island can solely be reached after mountain climbing up a steep path, however the views are effectively well worth the hassle.

Sung Sot Cave. Picture by Lam Linh

There are two completely different chambers within the cave, the inside one with stone formations that appear 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 beneficial an aerial tour of Ha Lengthy Bay on a seaplane. The seaplane service resumed final April after a chronic suspension due to Covid-19.

A ten-minute tour over the bay prices round VND2.4 million (over $100) per individual, whereas a 15-minute tour that prices VND3.6 million permits views of Thien Cung Cave, Trong Mai Islet, Sung Sot Cave, Ti High 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 houses with tiled roofs and geared up with radios, tv units, tables and chairs.

Since 2014, native authorities have been implementing a undertaking to take away the floating houses and transfer all villagers to the mainland in order that their youngsters 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 take care of their livelihood within the floating village throughout daytime as a result of the boats are their lifeline.

Aside from fishing, some locals additionally earn their dwelling from offering kayaking companies for vacationers for round VND100,000 an hour.

Right this moment, 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 set of lots of of archaeological antiques together with fishing instruments courting again centuries.

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

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

Ti High 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 gear and different equipment.

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

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

Along with many artefacts and a large 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 akin to Da Nang and Hoi An in central Vietnam.

Probably the most well-known night time market within the city is positioned 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 night time market is seen from above. Picture courtesy of Finest Worth Journey

Most sellers listed here 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 at present, Vietnamese residents are usually not allowed to gamble in casinos. The Royal Worldwide Gaming Membership is one in all solely 5 casinos working in Vietnam.

Positioned 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 ground is a playing corridor that solely opens on weekends. Slot halls on different flooring are open 24 hours day-after-day. The on line casino presents well-known and standard 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 spread of espresso outlets, pubs, beer golf equipment and eateries lit up by colourful lanterns.

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


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

Positioned alongside the Bai Chay coastal street, Ha Lengthy Essence Resort, D’Lecia Ha Lengthy Resort, Time Lotus Ha Lengthy Resort supply 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 accommodations that provide breathtaking views of Ha Lengthy Bay embody the Muong Thanh, Royal Lotus and Novotel.


For Ha Lengthy residents, the most typical 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 a lot of the edible thunder crabs are discovered right here. This crab has a small physique with a whole lot of crust and little flesh, so folks primarily use pincers full of 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 completely 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 that 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, recent oysters are caught every 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 easy 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 substances home made.

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


From HCMC, there are every 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 experience to Ha Lengthy prices VND180,000 – 220,000 per individual for the two.5-hour journey.

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

Vacationers touring in a gaggle ought to ideally rent a taxi or a personal automotive.

Ha Lengthy Bay at sundown. Picture by Pham Huy Trung

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