A Must-Have Ha Long Bay Guide For First Time Travelers

If you are in need of a Ha long Bay guide for a trip to the world's natural heritage but feel confused and overwhelmed by all the blog posts and viral information about Halong Bay, then Paradise Vietnam will give you what you need to have the perfect trip, especially for first-time visitors, this “A Guide to Visiting Halong Bay” should not be missed.

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Halong Bay Overview

Halong Bay in northern Vietnam, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning destination renowned for its breathtaking beauty. Embark on a Halong Bay cruise and immerse yourself in the mesmerizing emerald waters. 

The bay was recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage in 1994 for its pure beauty, also for the second time in terms of geographical and geomorphological value since 2000 because of the wonderful landscapes that Ha Long Bay brings to Vietnam. 

Whether you opt for overnight cruises or day trips, it provides a great alternative for exploring the hidden caves and marveling at the tranquil surroundings. Enjoy the calm waters and favorable weather while engaging in day tours or a relaxing day cruise. With numerous options available, Paradise Cruise Vietnam is the most popular and highly recommended choice for travelers seeking an unforgettable adventure.

Where is Halong Bay

Halong Bay has twice been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage and is a very famous tourist destination in the Northeast of Vietnam, under the jurisdiction of two provinces of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong.

The entire Bay has an area of ​​about 1500 square kilometers and includes about 1969 islands, large and small, composed of limestone steps and caves. The highest value pinnacles here include a rich history and the greatest value. Limestone mountains are normally above ground, however, the limestone of the Gulf can rise out of the water.

Halong Bay map

Halong Bay map

What Halong Bay Famous

Ha Long means 'falling dragon'. Legend tells of a dragon that protected the Vietnamese from invasion using fire, emeralds, and jade. Gemstones fall into the ocean, creating limestone mountains and islands, preventing further invasions. The story of Ha Long Bay adds magic to an already surreal landscape. A scenic spot that has existed for thousands of years!

Halong Bay had a scenic spot that existed for thousands of years

Halong Bay had a scenic spot that existed for thousands of years

Read More: Exploring the Best Restaurant in Halong: A Food Lover's Guide

The Best Time To visit Halong Bay - A Guide to Visiting Halong Bay

If you're planning a trip to Halong Bay, it's important to have a reliable Halong Bay Guide that provides you with all the necessary information to make the most of your visit. One of the most critical pieces of information you'll need is the best time to visit Ha Long Bay. 

The most popular time of year for tourists and expats is from October to December and for some, it could be the best time as the weather won't be too hot and the water is flat quieter than ever. In the summer, the sky can still be clear.

The downside of this period is that there are many tourists from all over the world, especially in the Christmas to New Year season, people will go out more, so it is more crowded. Another disappointing factor is that it can be cloudy, gray, and quite cold due to the high humidity.

Again, the best way to avoid disappointment is to double-check all necessary information with a travel agent or tour operator before booking anything. It is best to be fully prepared before flying to your final destination.

The most popular time of year for tourists and expats is from October to December

The most popular time of year for tourists and expats is from October to December

Read More: Review Halong Bay Cruise - What to Know Before You Go

What to pack

A Halong Bay Guide is a valuable resource when it comes to packing for your trip to this stunning destination. By using a reliable Halong Bay Guide to pack for your trip, you'll be prepared for all the adventures and experiences that await you in this magnificent destination.

For the trip to Ha Long Bay, you should bring the necessary items and prepare fully. The first item you will need is your travel document (passport or ID card) as any cruise or hotel you stay in will need this to allow you to stay.

Depending on the season, you should pack weather-appropriate clothing and always carry a waterproof jacket in case of any unexpected downpours. Remember to bring some comfortable shoes or sandals as the schedule may include visiting the caves, as well as some swimwear when you're kayaking or heading to the beach. Sunscreen is also an absolute must, even when it's cloudy, the sun's UV rays in Vietnam can be quite harsh.

Don't bring large suitcases as boat cabins on excursions are usually quite small and usually don't hold too much. Also, it's a good idea to bring any snacks or drinks you want with you on your trip, as most cruises only provide meals and drinks.

The sun's UV rays in Vietnam can be quite harsh

The sun's UV rays in Vietnam can be quite harsh

What to eat

Stone Crab: Cu Ky, rock or thunder crab, has become a specialty of Ha Long Bay, delicious and cheaper than crabs. Once you have eaten rock crab, you will never forget the delicious taste of this dish, especially the taste of the large, meaty, and nutritious crabs.

Gat Gu: This is a cake made from rice flour and cold rice. Flexible, soft sticky rice served with a special dipping sauce made from fish sauce, fatty chicken, onions, and chili.

Austriella Corrugate: It may be coincidental that this is very popular in Ha Long Bay. It looks like a big clam, and it tastes great with wine and soup.

Sipunculus Nudus: Often sautéed with celery and chives, the sandworms are crispy and have an almost buttery taste.

Three-thorn stickleback: This pair of fish is often described as the tastiest fish found in Ha Long Bay. It can be prepared in many different ways and can be found in many restaurants. Don't miss your chance to try these local favorites.

Don't miss your chance to try some special local favorites food in Halong Bay

Don't miss your chance to try some special local favorites food in Halong Bay

Read More: Weather in HaLong Bay - Forecast Conditions and Climate

Things must-try Experiences - Halong Bay Travel Guide

This is our list of things you should do at least once when visiting Halong bay:

Cruise through Ha Long Bay

Cruise through Ha Long Bay with Paradise Vietnam Cruise and discover the enchanting beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Best choose from day cruises aboard traditional junk boats, indulging in a day trip filled with awe-inspiring sights. Experience the breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether you're traveling alone or with a group, cruising through Ha Long Bay is the most popular and highly recommended choice for a memorable journey. It's simply the best option and one of the best ways to explore this extraordinary destination.

Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Most tour operators include kayaking in the tour package. There is nothing more wonderful than enjoying boating, swimming in the cool turquoise water, and watching colorful fish. You'll also get the chance to get up close to admire the limestone cliffs towering above you. You will see how big it is because it is one of the most beautiful wonders of nature.

Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Read more: Capturing Memories on a Ha Long Bay Cruise Adventure

Explore the Natural Beauty of Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island, nestled in the captivating landscape of Halong Bay in Vietnam, offers a delightful escape for nature lovers. Known for its pristine beaches, lush forests, and diverse wildlife, Cat Ba Island is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're seeking adventurous hikes through its national park, relaxing beachside sunsets, or thrilling water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, Cat Ba Island has it all. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of its surroundings, explore hidden caves, and savor the fresh seafood delicacies that the island is famous for. With its breathtaking scenery and vibrant ecosystem, Cat Ba Island promises an unforgettable experience for those seeking a true tropical getaway.

Floating Villages of Ha Long Bay

A visit to one of the many rustic floating villages in Ha Long Bay is a must on any travel itinerary! Generations of fishermen have lived in these charming floating villages in harmony with each other and nature. You can see children playing, fishermen whistling on the calm water, and colorful houses swaying to the rhythm of the ocean. There is even a school for children.

Floating Villages of Ha Long Bay

Floating Villages of Ha Long Bay

Hiking Mountain at Titop Island

Hiking on Titop Island is an event you cannot miss. Going through 400 steep steps, you can conquer the top of the mountain, giving you the opportunity to experience the immensity and majesty of Ha Long Bay at an altitude of 100 meters. This way you can see different shapes of this scene depending on the time of day.

Taking a bamboo boat ride to visit Cua Van fishing villages

Cua Van fishing villages today has more than 200 households, mainly living by fishing. When Taking a bamboo boat ride to visit the Cua Van fishing villages, visitors will have the opportunity to witness and expand their knowledge about hundreds of artifacts, including ancient fishing tools and implements of Vietnam. Vietnam. In addition, visitors can also see many pictures, documentaries, and publications about folklore and daily life of local residents. All are reproduced according to the model, mainly revolving around 6 major themes: nature and people, the livelihood of fishermen, material life of fishermen, spiritual and spiritual life, ocean and life, today and in the future. Through attractive, practical, clear, and concise images, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of interesting traditional fishing methods collected here.

Taking a bamboo boat ride to visit Cua Van fishing village

Taking a bamboo boat ride to visit Cua Van fishing villages

Read more: Ha Long Bay Luxury Cruise - A Journey of Sophistication and Adventure

Unveiling the Serene Beauty of Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay

Nestled within the captivating Halong Bay region in Vietnam, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay exude an aura of tranquility and spellbinding natural beauty. These hidden gems offer a secluded escape from the bustling world, with their crystal-clear waters, majestic limestone formations, and pristine sandy beaches. Lan Ha Bay entices visitors with its emerald-colored waters and picturesque fishing villages, while Bai Tu Long Bay enchants with its unspoiled landscapes and enchanting caves. Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay promise a truly unforgettable and serene experience amidst the wonders of Halong Bay.

On-Board Activities

Depending on the cruise ship, they may offer the following activities/services on board:

  • Yoga/Tai Chi - You can start your day on the top deck of the yacht and watch the sunrise amid this magical landscape while learning the spiritual techniques of Tai Chi or Yoga.
  • Cooking Class – Learn to cook some classic Vietnamese dishes with skilled chefs on board, allowing you to sample local ingredients and learn techniques. Vietnamese food is some of the best in Asia, so it's a great way to learn a skill that you can take home.
  • Spa and Massage – Premium cruise ships offer spa and wellness services at the end of the day after you've had a full day exploring the Bay.
  • Stargazing - Stargazing from the deck, sparkling over the sparkling waters of the bay, is an unforgettable experience.
  • Sunbathing - Sunbathing on the open-air deck. Depending on the islands the cruise visits, there is also the option of relaxing and swimming on the beach.

Sunbathing on the open-air deck

Sunbathing on the open-air deck

Where to stay in Halong Bay?

On a cruise

Embarking on a cruise to Halong Bay is an incredible experience. Sleeping on board the Paradise Vietnam cruise allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the bay. Enjoy the breathtaking views, savor delectable cuisine, and relax in the luxurious cabins. Come and experience the magic of Halong Bay with Paradise Vietnam.

Tuan Chau Island

On Tuan Chau Island, discover the opulent Paradise Suite Hotel, where comfort and tranquility await. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay from the comfort of your private suite, and enjoy world-class amenities and impeccable hospitality. Embark on an extraordinary journey where paradise meets extravagance.

How to get Halong bay

To reach Halong Bay, you can choose various transportation options. From Hanoi to Halong Bay, you can take a bus, train, private car, or even a flight. Similarly, from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay, you can opt for these modes of transportation as well.

Paradise Vietnam - the best cruise for your trips

Paradise Vietnam is a renowned cruise company that offers unforgettable experiences in Halong Bay. Whether you're looking for an overnight cruise or a day trip, Paradise Vietnam has you covered. With private car transfers and expert guides, visiting Halong Bay and exploring Vietnam has never been easier. Our multi-day cruises cater to most people's preferences, allowing you to indulge in the most popular activities while enjoying the stunning scenery. For all the information you need and the best options for your visit to Halong Bay, Paradise Vietnam is the go-to choice.

An overnight cruise is the best way to experience Halong Bay. The most popular is the 2 days 1 night cruise, just enough time for visitors to capture the beauty of the bay in a series of fascinating excursions. The 3-day 2-night cruise allows visitors to go deep into the bay and visit many heritage "unknown" places. Cruise overnight through the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay aboard a sophisticated wooden boat or a sleek steel boat. Kayak past limestone islands in clear blue waters, explore breathtaking limestone caves, and participate in water activities. 

Here is the itinerary for 3 days 2 nights on the Paradise Vietnam cruise that you can refer to:


12:00: Arrival at Tuan Chau Island and check-in at Paradise Suites Hotel.

12:15: Transfer to Paradise Sails cruise by Electric cart.

12:30: You will be given a short briefing about your cruise itinerary and safety regulations while sipping your welcome drink aboard the Paradise Sails.

13:00 - 14:30: Time to enjoy your sumptuous lunch at the Restaurant while Paradise Sails passes by the beautiful islets of Halong Bay.

14:30 - 15:30: Visit Tung Sau pearl farm. You will have the chance to explore the process of pearl cultivation or experience kayaking.

15:45 – 16:45: Visit Titov Island – the island is named after the Russian cosmonaut Gherman Stepanovich Titov. You can either choose to hike the mountain to get an overview of Halong Bay or swim at the beach on the island.

17:15 – 19:00: At sunset, Paradise Sails will anchor overnight. It is the perfect time to enjoy Happy Hour (buy 1 get 1 free from 17:30 to 18:30) and a cooking class on the notable Vietnamese dish on Sundeck.

19:00 – 22:00: Savor your gourmet dinner, which is prepared by our talented chef, at the restaurant.

20:30 – 23:00: After dinner, indulge in drinks, join the squid fishing at the back of the cruise, and enjoy natural relaxing treatments at Le Parfum Spa.

Tung Sau pearl farm

Tung Sau pearl farm


06:30: Boost the energy for the new day with a Tai Chi session at Sundeck.

07:45: Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the Restaurant.

10:00 – 11:00: Enjoy splendid scenic views aboard Paradise Sails when the cruise passes by iconic sites of Halong Bay such as Ho Dong Tien cave, Trong cave, Trinh Nu cave, Hang Dau islet, Hang Than islet, etc.

11:00 – 12:00: Visit Tien Ong Cave - a magnificent cave with landscapes and a primitive charm like no other with a system of thousands of years old stalactites and

stalagmites. Archaeologists have also discovered human bones and artifacts dating back to 10,000 BC - 8,000 BC.

12:30: Savour your delightful lunch when Paradise Sails anchors at the lagoon Deu cave with beautiful scenery and rare tranquility in Halong Bay.

13:30: Visit Cua Van fishing village - the first floating cultural village model for fishers of the sea in Vietnam. Enjoy kayaking or bamboo boat here.

14:30 - 15:30: Enjoy afternoon tea onboard Paradise Sails whilst admiring spectacular scenic views of Halong Bay.

17:00: At sunset, Paradise Sails will anchor overnight.

17:15 - 19:00: Experience a cooking class on another renowned Vietnamese dish at Sundeck. It's the perfect time to enjoy Happy Hour (buy 1 get 1 free from 17:30 to 18:30).

19:00: Savour your scrumptious dinner featuring delightful dishes prepared by the talented chef.

20:30 – 23:00: After dinner, indulge in drinks, join the squid fishing at the back of the cruise, and enjoy natural relaxing treatments at Le Parfum Spa.

Restaurant on Paradise Cruise

Restaurant on Paradise Cruise


06:30: Boost the energy for the new day with a Tai Chi session at Sundeck.

07:00: Enjoy a light breakfast with some freshly baked pastries, coffee, and tea at the Restaurant.

07:45 – 08:45: Visit Sung Sot cave – The most beautiful and largest cave in Halong Bay. Let your imagination run wild with stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes. At the end of the way out, you can have an amazing panoramic view from the viewpoint.

08:50 – 09:50: Breakfast will be served at the Restaurant while the cruise passes by Thien Cung and Dau Go Cave and the Fighting Cock Islet.

09:40 – 10:15: After breakfast, you may settle your bills and return the room keys to the reception area. 

10:15 – 10:30: Then you may enjoy your remaining moments on the sundeck looking at the astonishing view of Halong Bay.

Thien Cung Cave

Thien Cung Cave

Read more: Ha Long Bay Day Cruise - Discovering Hidden Gems and Stunning Views

Notes for customers when choosing a cruise at Paradise Vietnam: Due to cruising conditions, itineraries may change without prior notice, so please note when booking.

Above is the Halong Bay guide for a unique trip. Paradise Vietnam will constantly strive to move forward, expanding the boundaries of luxury cruises, hotels, and cuisine with each trip. Paradise Vietnam has undergone a remarkable journey of growth and development, ultimately securing a leading position in the luxury yacht industry. Currently, Paradise Vietnam's cruises are among the most luxurious in the country. Contact Paradise Vietnam immediately for the best Halong Bay travel guide. See you soon!

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