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Travelling to Halong - Vietnam

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Overview
 
Ha Long Bay- UNESCO World National Heritage site is famous for its beautiful beaches, resorts, historic relic…. and it is increasingly renowned all around the world. Ha Long Bay- a part of Gulf of Tonkin is located in northeastern Vietnam including sea area of Ha Long city, Cam Pha district, and a part of Van Don district. The bay share border with Cat Ba island to the southwest, sea to the east, China to the North. It has a 120km long coastline and 1,553 square kilometers in size with 1969 islets including 980 unnamed islets. Most of them are limestone and schist – going through 250 – 280 million years of geological formation which concentrate mostly in southeastern part (Bai Tu Long bay), and southwestern part (Ha Long Bay) with high concentration of spectacular views and beautiful caves and grottoes. You can take a boat or walk around the bay under the nice weather and enjoy its food and entertaining activities. You can also swim in the sea and discover the beauties of this famous place.
 

Best time to visit HaLong:

Ha Long has 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. You can take a visit to Ha Long at any period of time, especially in the period from April to October with cool and comfortable climate.

 In winter months from December to following February, the weather is a little bit cold and cloudy, sometimes it rains. In summer, lots of visitors come to Ha Long making it more interesting. However, in summer time from May to October, the temperature is high and has heavy rain with storms.

 
Destinations of HaLong - Halong Tourist Attractions

 On a visit to Ha Long, visitors can take cruise or boat trip for sightseeing. You would see beautiful landscapes with dream-like mist, the images of islets reflecting on the crystal seawater… besides, floating houses of local people and ships busy running on the bay are also very attractive to the visitors.
 
 
Visitors on a boat trip viewing Ha Long’s landscape.
 

Bai Chay close to the coast of Ha Long bay is an ideal resort for relaxing and swimming with sea wind and cool temperature above 20 Degree Cencius. Bai Chay resort has low hills which stretch more than 2km surrounding old pines and small villas with unique architecture. Crossing the asphalt road is white sandy beach and small restaurants under luxuriant casuarinas. After swimming, visitors can rest on the beach, drink cold water enjoying wind from sea.

 

 Bai Chay beach.

 Visitors also can take a boat to Co To to bathe in the sea and dive to see beautiful coral ranges. Co To would be suitable with those who love the quietness and wildness.

 

 Co To

 Tuan Chau – the top famous destination in Vietnam and the most beautiful island in Ha Long Bay is a must visit place. It is the only inhibited island as well. Tuan Chau is famous for its biggest artificial beach in Vietnam. There are many impressive entertaining activities in here such as beach volleyball, football, surfing, high speed water gliding, canoeing. Visitors also have chance to enjoy various dishes in the Vietnamese Food Garden which is built with unique architecture of Vietnam imperial architecture of 17th and 18th century.

 

Tuan Chau island

 Visiting Quang Hanh which is more than 10km away from Ha Long, if you want to bathe in hot spring. This resort is invested by state with lots of services for visitors ‘relaxing.

 Ha Long has very big caves and grottoes system. Each cave has its own beauty and its legend. Luon Grotto which is situated on Bo Hon island, 14km away from Bai Chay beach has stalactite with various forms and sizes going through millions of years of formation. In the front of grotto is Con Rua islet and Sky Gate is on the right. The cliffs stretch vertically out of the blue pure and smooth water. At the water-level, there is an arch entrance on the foot of island. All create a magnificent landscape.

 Yen Tu is made of system of pagodas, temples, shrines towers and forests lying from Do slope to Yen Tu mount on higher altitude. Beauty of Yen Tu lies in harmonious combination of superb mountain with old and solemn traits of pagoda and tower system. Pine trees, old trees, and small bamboos growing in 2 sides of the path shadow on visitors, reduce their tiredness when climbing.

 

 Yen Tu mountain

 
In the evening, visitors can go shopping in night market in Bai Chay to buy some souvenirs or taste delicious food on other side of the street. At about 21.00 o’clock, the market is crowded with people going shopping or eating. If you want to have an overview of city, you can stand on Bai Chay bridge. Or you can see Bai Chay bridge from the old wharf, drinking coffee and seeing city at night.
 
Ha Long with system of big caves and grottoes, relic sites and other famous tourist sites are welcoming all visitors from all over the world. You will have unforgettable experiences and beautiful pictures when in Ha Long

 
Transportations

 Ha Long city is 170km away from Hanoi with 3-4 hours by car. Most visitors book tour in Hanoi that includes all transportation to Ha Long and accommodation (on boats or in hotels), tour guide and meals. Or visitors can take bus of Hoang Long Express from Hanoi (Kim Ma station, Nguyen Thai Hoc street) to Ha Long bay. There is one bus to Ha Long every 15 minutes. To book ticket in advance, visitors can phone number: (04) 8452846. Besides, you can take bus from Hai Phong which is 75km away from Ha Long bay. When arriving in Ha Long, visitors can hire boat cruising on the bay.

  There are trains running constantly every day from Hon Gai to Hai Phong. Trains depart at 6.30 a.m. , 1p.m., 4 p.m. from Hon Gai. Secretly, there is no hydrofoil from Ha Long to Hai Phong. The train ticket is more expensive than bus ticket.

 
Shopping and price

 In general, price in Ha Long is not too high as for famous destination. Cloths can be a little more expensive than other places. Eating in common restaurants is not expensive. However, visitors should consult price before deciding to buy or hire something.

 Ticket price from Hanoi to Ha Long is about 60,000vnd (by passenger car). On average, motorbike taxi from bus station to Ha Long has price of 15,000/person. If going to Hon Gai, it will take 40,000vnd/person. You should take taxi if there are three. The highest price for bus from bus station to Bai Chay or Hon Gai is 5000vnd.

 Average price for renting house is 150,000vnd/day. If possible, you should stay in hotels in Hon Gai with reasonable price.

You can contact with hotels so that they can arrange for you with suitable boat trip. Price of entrance ticket is 40,000vn/person. If you have 6 hour on boat, you have to pay 100.000vnd/person. To save money, you should choose 3-4 hour trip. Choose early morning trip or afternoon to be convenient in traveling and resting.


Travel tips Halong
  • You should check whether you will receive service and products that you have booked with travel agencies or not. Some questions you should ask before booking tour are: how many people will be on car to Ha Long, boats in Ha Long have air-conditioner or not, how are the meals, how much time for cruising so that you can have clearer picture about your trip.
  • If you are interested in canoeing, you should check time for canoeing to see whether the trip cater to your need or not.
  • You cannot swim or dive in winter or autumn because of the cold weather. Visiting these places, you should bring along swimsuit, shocks and T-shirts and other clothes.
  • You should visit Ha Long on early days in week or mid-week to have cheap rooms. From Friday to Sunday, most rooms are reserved and the room price is very expensive.
  • You had better be careful when buying anything. Normally, ships are not allowed to run more than 18 hours. However, if you take the afternoon trip and bargain with ship’s manager, you can have dinner on boat. Of course, price will be very high. It is better if you just buy ticket and avoid buying and eating on boats. You should only bring along bread, canned meat,…
  • Let’s come to this coastal region, In essence, coastal residents are very friendly, and straight. If you are honest and open, they will treat you as best as they can. You may not receive the convenience and sufficiency but you will have information, images and character of coastal residents.  
 

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