Photo: Out on the bay.

Things to see and do



Ha Long Bay DIY

While all the talk is of visiting Ha Long Bay on an organised tour, it is sort of possible to visit it independently. Sure you’ll still end up on a tourist boat, but you won’t be a part of the group onboard. Is that close enough? We thought it was and here is how we did ... Read more about Ha Long Bay DIY .

Ha Long Bay for backpackers

Vietnam Tourism have outdone themselves in making sure that Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is regularly cited by travellers as their must visit destination whilst visiting Hanoi. And it is, but for most backpackers on a budget, the most relevant question is How cheaply can I do it and what do I get for my hard earned (and more easily spent on booze) money. Well, read ... Read more about Ha Long Bay for backpackers .

Ha Long Bay for flashpackers

For those who are put off by the tales of woe from the cheapest of the Ha Long Bay cruises, but don’t want to pay top dollar for a luxurious boat, there is a selection of mid-range vessels to choose from. For our flashpacker tour of Ha Long Bay we went with Dugong Sails, the most commonly recommended boat offering tours in the price range of around US$75 to $85 -- we paid $75 for our two-day, ... Read more about Ha Long Bay for flashpackers .

Ha Long Bay midrange budget

If you’re travelling independently through Vietnam but you’ve a bit more cash to flash than the norm, you still want to know when it’s worth spending that bit extra or not. When it comes to Ha Long Bay, tours are priced from very cheap through to reasonable, then there’s the splurge ... Read more about Ha Long Bay midrange budget .

Ha Long Bay: Which tour is right for you?

If you ask a travel agent or your hotel tour desk what the differences are between the various cruises to Ha Long Bay, they will all tell you the same: the more expensive it is, the better the boat and the better the food. But how different are they and what’s going to suit you and your ... Read more about Ha Long Bay: Which tour is right for you? .

Boat trips around the bay

We like Ha Long City, but there’s really very little reason to stay here unless you’re going to get on a boat to explore Ha Long Bay at some point. A day trip is only going to get you into the first part of Ha Long Bay, but that’s as far as the one-night boat trips go anyway, so you aren’t missing much – apart from a night on a boat. Tours can be booked at agents in the city for around $25 ... Read more about Boat trips around the bay .

The beach and promenade

On a not-really-hot day, the promenade along Ha Long Road is a very pleasant place for a stroll. It runs from the Hon Gai Bridge (near the Plaza Hotel) along to the pier and as well as being a wide, mercifully motorbike free path, it’s surrounded by some well-manicured gardens with views across the bay. In the centre of Bay Chay, near the end of Vuon Dao Street, the promenade runs past Ha Long ... Read more about The beach and promenade .

Marine Plaza

A new addition to Ha Long City, Marine Plaza is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex located a few kilometres past the pier as you head out of town. As of August 2014, it is sorely under-populated: most of the shops are empty shells and only a few dining options are on offer, none inspiring. It does have an amusement arcade, CGV cinema and TiniWorld (a play area for younger children) ... Read more about Marine Plaza .





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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ha Long Bay? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.


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