Exploring Ha Long Bay

April 25, 2024

Nestled in the northern region of Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is renowned for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994, Ha Long Bay isn’t just a place to visit; it’s a marvel to experience. In this travel guide, I will take you through the best places to stay and dine in Ha Long Bay, ensuring your trip is as enchanting as the scenery.

Photo: Saraipara Ideal School & College

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long

Photo: Hotelbeds
Photo: 이지훈 (여누Gogo)

Perched on the private Reu Island, Vinpearl Resort & Spa offers a luxurious gateway with panoramic views of Ha Long Bay. The resort provides a blend of modern and traditional design, which resonates throughout its rooms and suites. Whether it's swimming in the infinity pool or relaxing at the spa, the resort ensures a top-notch experience. It's perfect for those looking for luxury amidst nature.

Vinpearl Resort & Spa Hạ Long
W2RF+2Q, Đỗ Sĩ Họa, Đảo Rều, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh 200000, Vietnam

Cat Ba Island Resorts

Photo: Catba Island Resort & Spa
Photo: Catba Island Resort & Spa

For a more secluded and intimate experience, consider staying on Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Ha Long Bay. Resorts like Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa provide a tranquil retreat with access to private beaches and lush green landscapes. It’s ideal for nature lovers and those who prefer a quiet spot away from the tourist throngs.

Catba Island Resort & Spa
Catba Island, TT. Cát Bà, Cát Hải, Hải Phòng, Vietnam

Where to Eat in Ha Long Bay

Nhà Hàng Cua Vàng Bãi cháy

Photo: Nga Nguyễn (bb)
Photo: thuha pham
Photo: Sơn Nguyễn văn

Located near the bay, Nhà Hàng Cua Vàng Bãi cháy is famed for its seafood. Try their steamed sea bass or tamarind crab for a taste of local flavors. The restaurant’s setting allows diners to enjoy their meal with a view of the bay, adding to the magical ambiance of Ha Long.

Nhà Hàng Cua Vàng Bãi cháy
32 Phan Chu Trinh, Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh, Vietnam
Opening Hour:
Thursday, 8 am–10 pm
Friday, 8 am–10 pm
Saturday, 8 am–10 pm
Sunday, 8 am–10 pm
Monday, 8 am–10 pm
Tuesday,8 am–10 pm
Wednesday, 8 am–10 pm

Linh Dan Restaurant

Photo: Linhdan Hotel & Restaurant
Photo: Linhdan Hotel & Restaurant

For authentic Vietnamese cuisine, Linh Dan Restaurant is a must-visit. Nestled in the heart of the city, this eatery offers dishes crafted from fresh, local ingredients. Don’t miss their Pho Bo, a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup, which is a comforting end to a day of exploration.

Linhdan Hotel & Restaurant
104 Bãi Cháy, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh 200000, Vietnam
Opening Hour:
Thursday, 9 am–9 pm
Friday, 9 am–9 pm
Saturday, 9 am–9 pm
Sunday, 9 am–9 pm
Monday, 9 am–9 pm
Tuesday, 9 am–9 pm
Wednesday, 9 am–9 pm

Activities and Experiences

Exploring the Limestone Karsts and Caves

Photo: Stefan Smuts

No visit to Ha Long Bay is complete without a cruise through the limestone karsts. These majestic formations are best explored via a traditional junk boat. Tours often include stops at various islands with caves like Sung Sot (Surprise Cave) and Thien Cung (Heavenly Palace Cave), each boasting impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Kayaking and Water Sports

Photo: Trang Sĩ Thái

For the adventurous, kayaking through the bay offers a close-up view of its natural beauty. Paddle through quiet coves and hidden caves. Most resorts and tour operators offer kayaking, paddleboarding, and even snorkeling to keep you engaged with the vibrant marine life.

Visit Floating Villages

Photo: Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman

The floating villages of Ha Long Bay, such as Cua Van and Vung Vieng, provide a glimpse into the traditional lifestyles of the fishing communities. Tours to these villages often include a rowboat ride handled by locals, giving you an authentic experience while supporting the community.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant with less rainfall and moderate temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities.


Ha Long Bay offers more than just a stunning natural spectacle; it's a place where luxury and adventure meet. With a variety of accommodation options ranging from high-end resorts to charming local hotels, and dining experiences that can cater to the palates of gourmands and casual diners alike, Ha Long Bay promises a memorable journey. Whether it’s the serene beauty of the limestone cliffs, the rich tapestry of culinary delights, or the warmth of Vietnamese hospitality, a trip to Ha Long Bay is sure to enchant and excite. Start planning your adventure today and prepare to be amazed!

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