Halong Bay is the famous destination you should definitely visit at least once in a lifetime. The Bay is located in the western coast of the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam. With thousands of spectacular islands and limestones, Halong Bay was repeatedly recognized by UNESCO as a natural heritage site of the world. In fact, Halong attracts not only local visitors but also foreign tourists all over the word every single year.
2. Best time to visit Halong Bay
Halong Bay has two distinct seasons with tropical coastal climate. From April to September, the weather is hot and there is a great chance that there would be storms and hurricanes during this time of the year. In contrast, the weather in the bay from October to February is cool and nice which makes it the best time of the year to travel to Halong Bay. However, it will be getting colder in January and February, so it is not really an ideal time for swimming or kayaking. Therefore, it depends on your own preference to decide when you should go visit this wonderful natural landscape.
Halong Bay is just that popular which makes it so easy to access from anywhere in the whole country.
By car / bus
It is one of the easiest and most popular ways to get to Halong Bay. It will take you 3 hours and a half riding along highway 18 passing Tuan Chau, Bai Chay and Hon Gai to come there. Traveling to Halong Bay from Hanoi, tourists can be transferred by shuttle bus which is arranged by any Halong cruise. If you have a higher budget, you can hire a private car with a travel guide from any tour operator in Hanoi.
To be honest, this transport is not recommended due to some delays and cancellations without any prior notice. If you still would like to get to Halong Bay by train, you can take one from Hanoi to Yen Vien and then to Quang Ninh.
By helicopter (seaplane)
If you want to travel to Halong in a faster and more luxury way, you can consider going there by a helicopter. It will take you only 45 minutes and you will have a chance to witness the scenery over the bay from the sky before landing at Tuan Chau Island. By all means, the price would have to be higher compared to the other options, which is around US$ 300 per person.
When traveling to Halong Bay, most visitors decide to book a cruise package which will get you around seeing islands and limestone and stay overnight on board. It is without a doubt the best way to discover the bay. Therefore, hiring a car or even self-drivintg is absolutely not necessary.
3. Attractions in Halong Bay
Tuan Chau Island
Being the most beautiful island out of 1,969 islands in the bay, Tuan Chau Island is also the only one which is inhabited by local people. Greater still, the island owns the largest artificial coast in Vietnam. With white sand beaches stretching along and clear blue water surrounding the green hill, Tuan Chau Island is an ideal destination for relaxing. Tourists can participate in so many kinds of water sport activities: motor waterskiing, canoeing, parachuting, windsurfing, fishing, rowing, balloon sightseeing hiking and camping, watching dolphin shows, martial arts served 3 consecutive days per week.
Bai Chay is a nice artificial beach with white sand and green casuarina which is located near the coast of Halong Bay. Currently, international companies have invested more great services at this beach area. Bai Chay resort has been planned to become the most beautiful one with restaurants, water puppet and traditional music theater, Hoang Gia International Park and water activities service. Regardless of being an artificial beach, tourists still can feel the natural beauty there. It is one of the best places that cannot be missed when traveling to Halong Bay.
Titop Island is located in Halong Bay, Quang Ninh, around 7 – 8 kilometers far from Bai Chay Wharf to the southeast. At the end of the 19th century, the island was called Cat Nang. On 22 November 1962, President Ho Chi Minh and the Russian astronaut Ghermann Titov visited the island. To mark this anniversary, Uncle Ho renamed the island Titop. The Titop Island has steep slopes with a tilt and a bank of white sand. At the foot of the island, there is a moon-shaped beach embracing around Titop. The sand dune is small but very spacious, the water is blue all year round. This island has attracted a lot of both local and foreign visitors.