Halong Bay is one of those magical and mysterious places on earth that looks like’s it’s been lifted straight out of a fantasy film or a fiction novel. This collection of tiny islands surrounded by glimmering waters is a must-see for anyone who is planning a tailor-made holiday to Vietnam.
What to see and do in Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a unique spot, which will captivate your senses from the moment you arrive. Located in the north east of the country, this area is characterised by hidden coves and large limestone stacks, which penetrate the calm waters and provide refuge for rainforest animals. The scattered tree-covered rock pillars make for stunning landscapes, and the varied geography affords you all kinds of different adventures.
Halong Bay’s diverse landscapes lend themselves to activities on both land and water. You can enjoy a leisurely kayak tour around the islands, or get your pulse racing on a mountain bike. You can while away the hours fishing for the catch of the day or plunge into the waters with your mask and snorkel. On dry land, step into some comfy walking shoes and take on some of the infamous hiking routes.
Where to go
Most visitors arrive at Halong City. If you’ve been counting down the days until you set eyes on the incredible vistas, don’t be disappointed when you see the city. This is a lively hub, which is much busier and more commercial than the islands. You can explore the city for a day or two, but many people choose to head straight out to the more tranquil areas. Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay are worlds away from the teaming streets of the city, and they won’t fail to deliver those picture-postcard views. When you reach Cat Ba Island, be prepared for a walk on the wild side. The sprawling national park is home to excellent hiking routes, which offer the perfect spots to catch a glimpse of animals such as deer, macaques, and giant black squirrels. It’s well worth joining a guided tour so that you don’t miss any highlights and you can learn all about the park and its residents. Once you’re all hiked out, head to Lan Ha Bay where you can recline on the powdery sands, soak up the sun, and chill out in peace. To get here, you can book sailing or kayak trips in Cat Ba Town.