Visiting Vietnam without Halong Bay it means you have not visited Vietnam and taking Halong Bay Cruises is the best way for you to experience and enjoy the trip to Halong Bay. Being one of the World Natural Heritage Site, Halong Bay is a must-seee destination for you when you visit Hanoi, Vietnam.
Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is a popular destination for tourists visiting Vietnam. Halong Bay belongs to Halong City, Quang Ninh Province – About 170kms from Hanoi. The bay covers an area of over 1,500 square km dotted with about 2000 small and large limestone islands. In Vietnamese Halong Bay means “ Descending Dragon Bay”.
According to the legend, a long time ago when the invaders from the North wanted to attack Vietnam so the God sent a family of dragons as protectors to this area ( Halong Bay now). When the ships of invaders came to Halong Bay area, the dragon family began spitting thousands of jades and those jades turn into the dotted islands in front of the ships moving to Vietnam. Those ships got stuck and crash to the rocks and islands and Vietnam got the victory. After the victory, the family of dragon love the beauty of the Earth and did not want to come back to the heaven and they decided to stay there in the bay. The place where the mother of dragon descending was named Halong Bay, the place where the children of dragon descending were named Bai Tu Long Bay and the place where the tails of dragons descending were named Bach Long Vi ( White dragon tails).
When we talk about Halong Bay Cruises it means we talk about the cruises in Halong Bay core, cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay – Northeast of Halong Bay center and Lan Ha Bay – the Southwest of Halong Bay center.
Halong Bay is a large area with thousands of islands and in the past, the cruises in Halong Bay could have a quite flexible itinerary where they could travel to Bai Tu Long Bay, Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. However, now the government control the cruises better to ensure the safety for tourists so the cruise companies for tourists could register with the government to have the itinerary for their cruises. There are 3 areas for the cruises to choose an itinerary. They are Halong Bay center, Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay.
Most of the cruises have their itinerary in Halong Bay (Halong Bay center) because it is the core of the bay and there are many beautiful tourist sites there. Some popular tourist sites are Thien Cung Cave, Sung Sot Cave, Luon Cave, Ti Top Island, and Fighting Cock Rock. While you take the cruises in Halong Bay center you will visit the beautiful area you should accept that it is crowded when you visit these tourist sites as there are some hundreds of cruises in Halong Bay.
If you do not have much for an overnight cruise in Halong Bay then a day trip to Halong Bay is a choice to visit Halong Bay.
The day tour to Halong Bay starting from Hanoi with the pick-up from your hotel lobby at around 8.00 AM. You will take the transfer to Halong City ( about 3.5 hours on the normal road and about 2.5 hours on the expressway).
Arriving at Tuan Chau Harbour, you will get on your boat and your boat will cruise around the bay. Enjoy the lunch on your cruise and you will visit Thien Cung Cave (Heaven Palace Cave). You will do hiking in the cave for about 45 minutes. That is amazing visiting the cave as our guide will show you the history and the legend of the cave. The tour guide will show you the stalactites and stalagmites with special shapes like the shape of a bear, the shape of a couple, the shape of a dolphin…etc. After visiting the cave, you will come back to your cruise and your cruise will continue to sail in the bay. You will visit the Flight Cock Rocks which is the symbol of Halong Bay. Have a rest on your boat and you will visit Ba Hang Fishing Village area where you will do kayaking there or you can choose a sampan boat if you do not wish to paddle the kayak on your own. Go back to the harbour then your bus will pick you up again to take the transfer to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi around 20.30. End of day trip in Halong Bay.
If you have time then an overnight cruise will be perfect for you to enjoy the trip in Halong Bay. There is 3 day 2 night Halong Bay cruise itinerary and there is 2 day 1 night Halong Bay cruise itinerary.
Popular Overnight Itinerary:
Day 1: About 8.00 AM, your guide and bus will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter for the transfer to Halong Bay. The transfer will last for about 3.5 hours on a normal road or about 2.5 hours on an expressway.
You will arrive at Tuan Chau Harbour or Sun Group Harbour around noon time. Your cruise team will welcome you on board with a welcome drink. Check in your cabin then you will enjoy the lunch on boat while your cruise sailing around the bay.
You will have free time enjoying the scenery of Halong Bay among hundreds of limestone islands. Then you will visit Sung Sot Cave ( Amazing Cave) where you will do hiking in the cave. That is a beautiful cave with many stalactites and stalagmites with different shapes and you will be amazed by the shapes of those stalactites and stalagmites. That is the reason why the cave has the name – Amazing Cave.
After visiting the cave, you will come back to your cruise and enjoy the cooking demonstration on the cruise and while the Happy Hour is set up with cakes, tea, and coffee. That will be a wonderful time to enjoy the Happy Hour and watch the sunset in Halong Bay. You will stay overnight on Halong Bay cruises.
Day 2: After having breakfast, you will be transferred to the day boat for one day to the remote area of Halong Bay for kayaking, swimming. Discover the remote area of Halong Bay and have lunch on your boat. You will go back to the big boat in the afternoon and stay another night on the cruise.
Day 3: After having breakfast, you will go to visit Luon Cave where you can do kayaking or you can take a sampan boat trip rowed by a local man. Discover the lagoon after going through the tunnel cave. You will continue to visit Ti Top Island where you can do hiking to the top of the mountain for the best view of Halong Bay. You also can do swimming in Ti Top Island Beach before going back to your cruise.
Have lunch then go back to your bus for the transfer to Hanoi. End of 3 day 2 night in Halong Bay.
Note: If you do 2 day 1 night cruise in Halong Bay the itinerary is the same to 3 day 2 night but you will cut off the Day 2.
Lan Ha Bay belongs to Hai Phong Province while Halong Bay belongs to Quang Ninh. However, when you are a tourist and when we talk about tourism then Lan Ha Bay is a part of Halong Bay because the scenery is similar to Halong Bay. Lan Ha Bay is a less touristy part of Halong Bay.
While Halong Bay become more and more popular then taking a cruise in Lan Ha Bay is a perfect alterative for Halong Bay cruise.
There are some popular tourist destinations in Lan Ha Bay like Tra Bau Area where you can do kayaking or swimming, Dark and Bright Cave area where you can do kayaking or take a sampan boat trip, Viet Hai Village on Cat Ba Island, Ba Trai Dao Beach where you can go swimming.
In Lan Ha Bay you can do a day tour or an overnight cruise.
07.30- 08.00 AM: Bus and guide of day cruise will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter. The transfer to Got Harbour will take about 2.5 hours on the expressway.
You will arrive at Got Harbour around 10.30 AM. Get on the cruise and we will start the trip to Lan Ha Bay. On the way, you will pass the oyster farm and the Light House built by French people in the past.
You will then have lunch before arriving at Dark and Bright Cave. You will have 2 options there. You may do kayaking on your own to discover this beautiful area or you can choose a sampan boat rowed by a local man. Dark and Bright Cave is a very beautiful area with quiet lagoon and emerald water.
You will also have time for swimming in this clean area.
Then you will take part in a cooking class to learn a traditional Vietnamese spring roll. Enjoy the sunset party then go back to the harbour for going back to Hanoi around 20.30. End of a day trip to Lan Ha Bay.
Day 1: Cruise bus will pick you up around 09.30 AM for the 2.5 hour drive to Got Harbour where you will welcome to the waiting lounge by cruise staff before transferring to the cruise.
You will check in your cabin before having lunch on cruise. After having lunch, you will relax while your cruise sails to Lan Ha Bay and to Dark and Bright Cave. Arriving at Dark and Bright Cave, you will discover this area with a sampan boat rowed by a local man.
Then you will go back to your cruise, relax and enjoy the sunset party with a Happy Hour on your cruise – By 2 get 1 free.
Have dinner and relax on your boat. In the evening you may enjoy some board games or you can go squid fishing. Stay overnight on cruise.
Day 2: After breakfast, you will be transferred to a day boat for 1 day to the remote area of Lan Ha Bay. You will visit Viet Hai Village on Cat Ba Island where you may cycle from the harbour to the village. If you do not wish to cycle you may use the electric car. Learn more about the local life and enjoy the fresh air of the national park of Cat Ba Island.
Go back to your day boat and have lunch on boat. Then you will visit some small beaches for kayaking and swimming in the clean water with fewer tourists.
You will go back to your big cruise in the afternoon. Have dinner and stay one more night on your cruise.
Day 3: After having breakfast, your cruise will go to Tra Bau Area where you can enjoy kayaking in this area, see the life of the local fishing area of Tra Bau.
Go back to your cruise and check out from your cabin. You will enjoy the cooking demonstration then have a buffet lunch before going back to your bus for the transfer to Hanoi around 2.30 PM. End of 3 day 2 night in Lan Ha Bay.
Note: If you do 2 day 1 night cruise in Lan Ha Bay the itinerary is the same to 3 day 2 night but you will cut off the Day 2.
While Halong Bay is more and more crowded, then Bai Tu Long Bay is a good option when you are thinking about taking a cruise in Halong Bay. Bai Tu Long Bay is in the Northeast of Halong Bay where there are fewer cruises than Halong Bay Center. There are some popular destinations you can visit in Bai Tu Long Bay such as Thien Canh Son Cave, Ban Chan Beach, the Monster Rock, Cap La Area, Cong Dam Area.
In Bai Tu Long Bay, there is no day cruise but overnight cruise only.
Day 1: Your bus will pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi around 8.00 AM for the transfer to Hon Hai Harbour. You will be welcome by cruise staffs then get on your cruise. Enjoy a welcome drink while listening to the safety briefing about the cruise then check in your cabin.
Have lunch on your cruise then your cruise will sail in Bai Tu Long to Cap La Area where you can do swimming or kayaking.
Enjoy the sunset party while watching the sunset in a quiet area of Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. That is a wonderful time.
You will enjoy the dinner on the cruise and stay overnight on the cruise.
Day 2: After having breakfast, a day cruise will pick you up for one day to visit the remote area of Bai Tu Long Bay. You will visit Cap La and Vung Ha areas with some activities like swimming, kayaking or sunbathing.
Have lunch on your boat, relax and kayaking or swimming in some small beaches.
You will return to your big cruise and meet the new travellers coming from Hanoi today. Enjoy the sunset party then enjoy the dinner on the cruise. You stay the 2nd night on Bai Tu Long Bay.
Day 3: You may get up early and enjoy the Tai Chi lesson, have breakfast and you will visit Thien Canh Son Cave. That is a beautiful cave where you can do hiking to the cave.
You will check out your cabin and have lunch before going back to your bus for the transfer to Hanoi. Arrive at your hotel around 15.30. End of 3 day 2 night in Bai Tu Long Bay.
Note: If you do 2 day 1 night cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay the itinerary is the same to 3 day 2 night but you will cut off the Day 2.
+ Halong Bay Cruises: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/halong-bay-cruise
+ 3 day 2 night in Halong Bay: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/tours/halong-bay-3-day-2-night.html
+ 2 day 1 night cruise in Halong Bay: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/tours/halong-bay-2-day-1-night.html
+ cruise in Lan Ha Bay: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/cruise/lan-ha-bay-cruises
+ 3 day 2 night in Lan Ha Bay: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/tours/lan-ha-bay-3-day-2-night.html
+ 3 day 2 night in Bai Tu Long Bay: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/tours/bai-tu-long-bay-3-day-2-night.html
+ 2 day 1 night cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay the itinerary: https://www.vietnamescapetours.com/tours/bai-tu-long-bay-2-day-1-night.html
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