Top 15 Best Things To Do in Halong Bay: Make Your Trip Memorable

With 2000 islands of varying sizes and breathtaking limestone peaks, Halong Bay is a non-skip destination in any classy touring itinerary. 

Visiting magnificent grottoes and caverns to take hundreds of beautiful pictures is undoubtedly one of the first things to do once you land in Halong city. 

Still, there are also tons of other equally awe-inspiring activities to participate in; this list will detail what to do in Halong Bay that will leave a long-lasting impact on your overall touring experience. 

What To Do in Halong Bay? Top 15 Recommendations

1. Take Halong Bay Cruise Boats

You can discover a lot of things to do in Halong Bay

You can discover a lot of things to do in Halong Bay

Luxury, decades-old Halong Bay cruises like Paradise Vietnam are among the best touring options if you truly wish to experience the striking glow of Halong Bay to the fullest within significant time constraints.

Paradise Grand

As one of the seven natural wonders in the world, its wild charm is nothing to be dismissed. Cruising across this majestic bay offers ample opportunities to get blown away by the grandeur of karst formations, serene waters, and lush greenery. 

Paradise Suites Hotel

Paradise Suites Hotel

The genius changing play between shadow and light during sunset and sunset on the deck also adds numerous layers to the scenery's breathtaking enchantment. Furthermore, these cruises often stop at Halong city's most iconic spots - such as Tung Sau pearl farm, Titov Island  or Sung Sot (Surprise Cave) - allowing you to admire the impressive stalagmites and stalactites in all their glory.

Paradise Peak

Paradise Peak

To add to the delight, Halong Bay cruise trip also offers diverse local cuisine that makes the land famous. Aside from classic Cha Muc (grilled chop seafood), Ngan, Oyster, and Sam, you may also get your hands on exotic plates like Sa Sung, nodding cake, or yogurt. 

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

2. Go Kayaking and Explore Halong Bay

Kayaking is a quintessential activity

Kayaking is a quintessential activity

Kayaking is always present on any tourist's bucket list during their stay in Halong Bay, lauded as one of the greatest ways to admire this beautiful land at closer distances without much effort.

Together with your friends and partners, you may row the kayak around well-known kayaking spots such as Ao Ech, Ba Trai Dao, Cong Do, Tung Sau farm, and more. (all the more reason to take cruises - since kayaking is often included in their itinerary). Another viable option is to sit leisurely on bamboo boats and let locals row you around for a full Halong Bay view. 

The best timing for rowing/kayaking in Halong Bay is in October-December and March-June, when Halong city enjoys predictable, delightful weather without intrusions from heavy rains and storms. 

Read More: Halong Bay Day Cruise: A Journey of a Lifetime

3. Visit The Tung Sau Pearl Farm

If you want to learn more about the pearl-making process while still enjoying the tranquil, idyllic scenery, there is no better place to do so than the famous Tung Sau Pearl Farm - the most reputed Halong Bay pearl farm to date.

Here, you can join other tourists to witness the whole process of creating valuable pearl products, ranging from the very first growing steps until the moment these pearls are properly harvested. Better yet, the farm is surrounded by a mystic mountain complex, while giving you the best sights of growing oyster cages amidst the bay's crystal blue waters.

Of course, as a recognized pearl farm, Tung Sau also sells a lot of gorgeous jewelry for Halong Bay visitors. Delicate earrings or striking pearl pendants will be quite a lovely gift for your family and friends at home. 

4. Tai Chi on The Sundeck

Tai Chi on the sundeck

Tai Chi on the sundeck

Originating from the 13th century in China, this martial art is now spread to every corner of the world, lauded as one of the best methods to reduce stress, improve balance/concentration, and keep fit. Aided by the wonderful, tranquil nature of Halong Bay, practicing Tai Chi on the deck brings a true sense of mind-lift and peace that keeps stress at bay!

Most luxury cruises to Halong Bay, such as Paradise Vietnam, offer yoga/tai chi sessions before breakfast. If you are a fresh beginner, we strongly suggest learning some basic Tai Chi moves with a professional instructor. 

Read More: Discovering Ha Long Bay Guide: Tips for Exploring Vietnam's Natural

5. Visit Sung Sot Cave on Bo Hon Island

Sung Sot Cave

Sung Sot Cave

The legends of Sung Sot beauty have spread so far that the cave itself is considered a distinct heritage within the heart of Halong Bay.

You must climb about 50+ stairs from the underneath dock until reaching the cave mouth (about 25m above the sea). But once the initial exhaustion is over, the rest is classic. Sung Sot's first chamber (also referred to as its "Waiting Room" is a huge space adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, aided by well-placed multicolored lights that further complement its structure.

Walk through a narrower passageway, and you will enter the second chamber (called "Serene Castle"), a grand enclosure with extremely high ceilings. Here, feel free to take photos of the thousands of intriguing rock shapes, which many Halong Bay locals liken to the form of wild animals. 

6. Visit Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island

Besides the common island tours such as cruise ship or cave visits, Cat Ba Island offers tons of other fun for Halong Bay tourists to partake in. For instance, tourists of Cat Ba Island may visit the famous Monkey Island and Cat Ba hospital cave to see the long-tail monkeys wander all over the roads.

Further down the north of Cat Ba (about 2 kilometers) is the Cannon Fort. Cannon Fort used to be a defense set-up in 1942 and now repurposes itself as a great place to admire the sunset in Cat Ba Island. 

Paradise Grand - Cat Ba Island

Paradise Grand - Cat Ba Island

Being the largest island close to the sea, Cat Ba Island is also praised for its delectable seafood. A few recommended restaurants you can drop by are Lang Chai, Phuong Phuong, Phuong Nhung, Buddha Belly (specifically for vegetarians), and food trucks in Cat Ba National Park.Coming to Paradise Grand 5-star cruise, you are treated to both Western and Asian gastronomy, as well as vegetarian dishes for those in need.

Read More: Discover True Opulence on a Halong Bay Cruise Luxury

7. Visit Tuan Chau Island

Tuan Chau Island, the jewel of Quang Ninh province

Tuan Chau Island, the jewel of Quang Ninh province

Another famous spot to mark on your journey map to Halong Bay is the Tuan Chau Island, whose coverage extends to 220 hectares (about 2,2 square kilometers) with numerous sloping hills. History fans will also fall in love with Tuan Chau Island for its rich archaeological history and multifarious remains of ancient occupants that resided here about 3500 years ago; it would be even better to have a local guide assist you during your learning trip.

Furthermore, Tuan Chau island has two beaches (both artificial) stretching two kilometers next to smooth, white sand under yellow sunshine for the entire summer. You may relax, catch a few rays, or engage in daring water sports to your heart's content.

8. Visit Lan Ha Bay

With 400 square km in total, Lan Ha Bay is much smaller than the all-famous Halong Bay we all know.

Still, the stunning natural sceneries of crystal waters, secluded beaches, and towering cliffs have more than made up for the moderate size of Lan Ha Bay. Better yet, marine lovers will have a blast exploring numerous endangered species in Lan Ha Bay, along with thousands of fauna and flora that create a distinct, unique ecosystem.

And since Lan Ha Bay rarely gets crowded (unlike Halong Bay), it is a perfect place to escape your hectic daily schedule and find some quiet time for yourself. To seal the deal, Lan Ha Bay is also recognized for its rich night squid fishing culture; you may drop by the Viet Hai Village to witness how local fishing boats work here. 

Lan Ha Bay 

Lan Ha Bay 

9. Visit Tien Ong Cave

Tien Ong cave

Tien Ong cave

Hiring a boat trip or jumping on luxury cruises could take you straight to Tien Ong Cave from Cat Ba Island or Halong Bay.

From here, you will be invited to explore the interior chambers, filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and rocks of distinctive colors and shapes. Plus, despite its relatively small size, this cave is home to numerous ancient artifacts (such as stone tools and ceramic pieces), offering quite an insightful look into Halong's culture and rich history.

Kayaking, trekking, and swimming are also some of the most exciting activities for Tien Ong visitors - thanks to the hospital cave being surrounded by perfect outdoor conditions and towering limestone cliffs. There is no shortage of neighboring sandy beaches and small island areas, either, allowing you to relax and bathe completely under the sunlight.

Exploring Halong Bay Cave: 9 Incredible Caves to Discover

10. Sunbathe in Ti Top Beach

One of the things to do in Halong Bay and on Ti Top Island is to climb to the top

One of the things to do in Halong Bay and on Ti Top Island is to climb to the top

Regarded as one of the most beautiful, pristine white sand beaches, Titop is situated 14 km away from Bai Chay and 7 km from the Tuan Chau harbor. 

Thanks to all-time available overnight cruises, you can visit Titop at any season or month. Still, summertime is the best option if domestic crowds do not bother you, as the calm water and perfect white sand make it a great place to sunbathe. Other water-based activities such as water sports and swimming are also available; better yet, since all gears and services are fully offered, you can enjoy them for as long as you want at zero cost. 

11. Visit Cua Van Floating Village

The Cua Van floating village is the largest and oldest floating village in Halong Bay

The Cua Van floating village is the largest and oldest floating village in Halong Bay

Similar to Vung Vieng Floating Village from Bai Tu Long Bay, Cua Van entails 300 households on closely-attached houseboats; their combined strength easily protects the floating villages against strong wind. You will also find an entire host of little rafts and boats anchored before every house door, which embodies the spirits of fishermen in the hope of a better future for the family members and children.

With the incredible hospitality and friendliness of Cua Van's native residents, you will have quite a memorable experience enjoying special Halong Bay cuisines, exploring local life, or joining various cultural activities like boat sailing or song-singing. 

And if you are a history fan, do not forget to drop by the Cua Van culture center, which preserves the village's important documents (tracing back to the Vietnam War) and antique collections from hundreds of years ago. 

12. Explore Titop Island

Titop Island stands out with one inclined slope for one side and one steep slope for the other. Its coast enjoys a moon-shaped form with smooth, crystal sand and clear water that makes pebbles almost 100% visible; just geographical features alone are enough to make your trip to Titop Island on Halong Bay a thousand times worth it. 

Hence, rock climbing onto Titop's peak is a non-skip activity for adventurous travelers and youngsters alike. After half an hour of rock climbing, the full panoramic sight of Halong Bay will show up in full force under your feet, allowing you to take beautiful photos and breathe in crisp, fresh air. 

13. Explore Sun World Halong Park

Sun Wheel Halong Park

Sun World Halong Park

A new addition since 2017, Sun World Halong Park already made itself known thanks to world-class entertainment hubs and coastal amusement complex. This 214-ha national park comprises three major areas:

  • Dragon Park: known for extreme games and roller coasters with the longest railways worldwide. Feed your adventurous souls here with famous titles such as Monster Spin, Rhino Sling, and Dragon's Run. 
  • Typhoon Water Park: open to all ages. If your family has a diverse age range, no worries: the park breaks further into three separate zones for children, teenagers, and large families. 
  • Queen Cable Car: As the first 2-story cable car in the world, it connects Sun station and Ocean station to offer you the most stunning overview of Halong Bay.

14. Take A Cycling Tour

A small island with white sand and clear water

A small island with white sand and clear water

Traveling through the Halong Bay on a bike is one of the best fun ways to truly appreciate its natural beauty. 

Numerous companies in Halong city offer full-fledged bike tours (both leisurely and challenging styles included) to cater to varied preferences. The most famous bike route is the Bai Chay coast, whose stunning sights of surrounding islands and caves will take your breath away.

Exploring Halong Bay by bike is a fun way to experience the natural beauty 

Exploring Halong Bay by bike is a fun way to experience the natural beauty 

15. Dive into The Crystal Clear Waters of Halong Bay

Divers can enjoy stunning views of colorful and diverse marine life

Divers can enjoy stunning views of colorful and diverse marine life.

The blue, clam water of Halong Bay deserves to become the grand final for both experienced and beginner scuba diving trips. 

With underwater visibility reaching 30 meters, you will come across diverse coral reefs and even more colorful sea creatures: sea turtles, lionfish, groupers, and barracudas are only some examples. Lucky divers can even spot manta rays or whale sharks lurking from afar! 

You'll get the chance to see and even touch oysters up close

You'll get the chance to see and even touch oysters up close

FAQs About Things to Do in Halong Bay

Paradise Elegance Cruise - Paradise Vietnam

Paradise Elegance Cruise - Paradise Vietnam

  • What Will You Do If You Visit Halong Bay?

Exploring Halong bay by overnight cruise or day cruise, Diving, swimming, sea kayaking, visiting Quang Ninh museum, exploring caves, rock climbing, mountain climbing (Bai Tho Mountain) and scuba diving are highly recommended if you visit Ha Long Bay.

  • Which Are The Must-Visit Sights in Halong Bay?

Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave, Cat Ba Island (Cat Ba Town), Quang Ninh museum, Bai Tho Mountain (Poem Mountain), and Sun Wheel Halong.

  • What Are The Finest Outdoor Pursuits Available in Halong Bay?

Swimming, kayaking, and cruise boats to Halong Bay (both overnight and daily).

  • How Many Days Should I Spend At Halong Bay?

At least two days if you want to visit all the most memorable sites in Halong Bay with significant historical/geological values. 

  • Is Halong Bay Worth Going To?

Yes. It is the stunning landscapes, caverns, and pristine beaches that make Halong Bay one of the world's seven wonders. 

  • What Is Halong Bay Best Known For?

Many people know Halong Bay as a UNESCO World Heritage despite never visiting Halong Bay/ Halong city before.

  • What Is Special in Halong Bay?

Halong Bay shines thanks to the picturesque limestone mountains peeking from crystal emerald waters. Amazing caves with rock stones of varied forms are another highlight.

  • Which Day Trips from Halong Bay Are Highly Recommended?

In daily trips around Halong Bay, you should visit nearby fishing villages (ex: Vung Vieng floating village), explore caves, or learn more about the local life - since it is difficult to do so when night comes.

  • What Are Some Of The Favored Activities for Children in The Halong Bay Area?

Playing light beach volleyball, exploring the parks (ex: Sun World, Cat Ba National Park, Ba Deo Hill Park) and caves, and swimming. 

Read More: Halong Bay Cruise: Unraveling the Beauty of Nature

Conclusion

You never have to worry about what to do in Halong Bay once getting there; Halong Bay boasts diverse services and activities to fulfill your quenching thirst for sightseeing and historical knowledge. 

For an even better experience, you may contact Paradise Vietnam, whose five-star cruise package to Halong Bay handles all touring demands and accommodations with class-leading professionalism. 

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