Where is Halong Bay Located?

Halong Bay is situated in northeastern Vietnam and about 150 kilometers to the east of Hanoi. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and is one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in Southeast Asia.

The bay consists of thousands of limestone karsts, islands, and caves that emerge from the stunning emerald-green waters. It's a well-liked tourist spot for people worldwide, and there are various fantastic ways to explore and experience this picturesque natural beauty.

halong bay map - halong travel guide

Halong Bay Map

The bay has been divided into five sections for sightseeing purposes: the Outer Region, Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island, and the Northwest Area.

How to Get to Halong Bay

Reaching the beautiful Halong Bay from Hanoi is quite convenient, as it is a popular route for tourists. Here are some transportation options available for your journey:

1. Shuttle Bus/Limousine 

  • Cost: $10-$20/person (one way)

  • Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

  • Frequency: Multiple departures daily, usually between 6 AM and 5 PM

Hanoi to Halong limousine

Hanoi to Halong limousine 

Affordable and well-liked ways to go from Hanoi to Halong Bay include shuttle buses and minivans. With pick-up and drop-off locations often in Hanoi's Old Quarter, several tour companies and hotels provide this service. With a brief rest stop, the trip lasts around 2.5 to 3 hours.

Our Picks:

  • Luxury Trans Vietnam: (+84) 981 413 413

  • Halong Travel: (+84) 964 202 094

  • Trung Thanh: (+84) 978 914 895

  • Duy Khanh: 1900 9442

  • Phuc Xuyen: 1900 6799

  • Doan Xuan: (+84) 981 413 413

  • Hoang Cong: (+84) 964 202 094

2. Private Car

  • Cost: $70-$120/person (one way)

  • Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

Hanoi to Halong private car

Hanoi to Halong private car

A private car offers more flexibility and comfort for your journey to Halong Bay. You can book a private car through your hotel or a local travel agency. The cost depends on the type of vehicle and can be split among passengers if you're traveling in a group. The trip duration is shorter compared to a shuttle bus, taking around 2.5 to 3 hours.

What to Do in Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is a haven of natural beauty and adventure. Whether you’re looking for leisurely activities or thrilling adventures, there’s something for everyone in Halong Bay. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Halong Bay:

1. Cruise the Emerald Waters

halong bay travel guide

Cruise the Emerald Waters of Halong Bay

Exploring Halong Bay's majesty and magnificence aboard a boat is the ideal way to do so. There are several choices available, ranging from pricey overnight cruises to affordable day vacations. Starting at about $20 for a day excursion and rising to $200 or more for an all-inclusive overnight stay, prices vary based on the length and level of luxury.

2. Explore Sung Sot Cave

Sung Sot Cave halong bay

Explore Sung Sot Cave

One of the biggest and most stunning caverns in Halong Bay is Sung Sot Cave, popularly referred to as the Surprise Cave. You will be given a guided tour of the littoral chambers with stalactites and stalagmites. Each participant must pay around $10 to enter.

3. Kayak Through the Floating Villages

halong bay cave kayak

Kayaking through villages and caves in Halong Bay

Paddle your way through the serene waters of Halong Bay and get up close and personal with the floating villages. Kayaking tours typically cost around $15 per person and last for about 2 hours.

4. Visit the Pearl Farms

Pearl Farms in halong bay

Visit the Pearl Farms

Learn about the fascinating process of pearl cultivation at one of Halong Bay's many pearl farms. Guided tours are usually free, but you might be tempted to purchase some of the exquisite pearl jewelry available for sale.

5. Hike on Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island hiking - halong bay travel guide

Hike on Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Halong Bay and offers lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and a national park perfect for hiking adventures. The entrance fee to Cat Ba National Park is around $2 per person.

6. Indulge in Local Cuisine

what to eat in halong bay

Nem cua be (crab spring rolls)

Savor the flavors of Vietnamese cuisine by trying local dishes such as cha muc (squid sausage), banh da cua (rice noodle soup with crab), and nem cua be (crab spring rolls). Prices for meals can range from $2 to $10, depending on the restaurant.

7. Take a Bamboo Boat Ride

Bamboo Boat Ride

Take a Bamboo Boat Ride

Experience a traditional bamboo boat ride through the calm waters of Halong Bay. These small boats, expertly navigated by local rowers, allow you to explore hidden caves and secluded lagoons. A 1-hour ride typically costs around $5 per person.

8. Visit the Quang Ninh Museum and Library

  • Address: Tran Quoc Nghien, Hong Gai, Halong city, Quang Ninh

The Quang Ninh Museum and Library is a great way to learn about the history, culture, and people of Halong Bay. Located in the heart of Halong city, it is one of the oldest museums in the region and exhibits artifacts, documents, and photographs that chronicle the area’s rich history. The museum also features a library with books on Halong Bay’s culture and history. Admission is approximately $3 per person.

quang ninh museum - halong bay travel guide

Visit the Quang Ninh Museum and Library

9. Climb Bai Tho Mountain

Bai Tho Mountain - halong travel guide

Climb Bai Tho Mountain

For stunning panoramic views of Halong Bay, hike to the top of Bai Tho Mountain. The climb takes about 30 minutes and is best done early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds.

10. Discover Lan Ha Bay

halong bay travel guide

Discover Lan Ha Bay

Located south of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay offers equally stunning landscapes but with fewer tourists. Explore its hidden beaches, caves, and fishing villages by booking a day trip or overnight cruise. Prices start at around $20 for a day trip.

Want to explore further? Check out our post about travel guide to Vietnam!

Where to Stay in Halong Bay?

Your experience in Halong Bay may be greatly impacted by selecting the proper lodging. Whether you're looking for luxury hotels, affordable accommodations, hostels, Airbnbs, or homestays, our thorough directory will assist you in finding the ideal location to stay.

Luxury Hotels

The best services, features, and views can be found in luxury hotels in Halong Bay. These upscale lodgings frequently have swimming pools, spas, fitness facilities, and excellent dining options, offering a relaxing and enjoyable visit.

where to stay in halong

A Halong Bay Luxury Hotel


  • Exceptional service and amenities

  • Stunning views of the bay

  • Conveniently located near popular attractions


  • Expensive

  • May lack the authentic local experience

Location: Luxury hotels are primarily located in Bai Chay and Tuan Chau Island, offering easy access to popular attractions and activities.

Our Picks:

  1. Vinpearl Resort & Spa Halong: 

  2. Price: From $150/night

  3. Address: Reu Island, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  4. Contact: (+84) 203 385 7858

  5. Premier Village Halong Bay Resort: 

  6. Price: From $190/night

  7. Address: No 9, Halong Street Bai Chay Ward, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  8. Contact: (+84) 203 2239 999

  9. Paradise Suites Hotel: 

  10. Price: From $47/night

  11. Address: Ngoc Chau, Paradise Town, Halong Bay, Tuan Chau Island

  12. Contact: (+84) 203 384 2368

  13. Wyndham Legend Halong: 

  14. Price: From $60/night

  15. Address: No.12 Halong Street Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  16. Contact: (+84) 203 3 636 555

  17. Muong Thanh Luxury Halong Centre Hotel: 

  18. Price: From $86/night

  19. Address: Area 2, Halong Road Halong Bay, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  20. Contact: (+84) 203 3738 999

Budget Hotels

Budget hotels are an excellent option for travelers looking for affordable yet comfortable accommodations in Halong Bay. These hotels typically offer essential amenities like air conditioning, private bathrooms, and Wi-Fi.


  • Affordable

  • Comfortable rooms with basic amenities

  • Proximity to local attractions and activities


  • Limited services and facilities

  • Rooms may be smaller compared to luxury hotels

Location: Budget hotels can be found throughout Halong City, particularly in the Hon Gai area.

Our Picks:

  1. The Light Hotel: 

  2. Price: From $20/night

  3. Address: 108A Vuon Dao, Halong Bay

  4. Contact: (+84) 919 691 000 

  5. The Postcard Hotel: 

  6. Price: From $30/night

  7. Address: O So 1, Halong Bay, Tuan Chau Island

  8. Contact: (+84) 366 220 226

  9. Victory Halong Hotel: 

  10. Price: From $23/night

  11. Address: No.LV1-25 Loc Vung Land, Bai Chay, Halong

  12. Contact: (+84) 787 333 558

  13. Samatha Hotel Bai Chay: 

  14. Price: From $30/night

  15. Address: M2-30 Shophouse Sun Plaza, Halong Bay

  16. Contact: (+84) 91 594 58 41


Hostels are a great choice for backpackers and solo travelers seeking budget-friendly accommodations and opportunities to socialize with other travelers. They typically offer dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities.

hostel in Halong Bay

A popular hostel in Halong Bay


  • Budget-friendly

  • Opportunities to meet fellow travelers

  • Basic amenities available


  • Shared rooms and facilities

  • Limited privacy

  • May not be suitable for families or couples

Location: Hostels are mainly located in Bai Chay and Cat Ba Island, close to popular attractions and nightlife.

Our Picks:

  1. Halong Fancy Hostel: 

  2. Price: $From $12/night

  3. Address: No. 27, Alley 1, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  4. Contact: (+84) 382 529 298

  5. Dang Quang Guesthouse: 

  6. Price: From $ 14/night

  7. Address: 06 Halong Street, Group 7B, Area 9B, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  8. Contact: (+84) 96 967 12 24

  9. Aroma Halong Hostel: 

  10. Price: From $18/night

  11. Address: Shophouse LV1-19, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  12. Contact: (+84) 888 090 388


Homestays offer travelers the chance to immerse themselves in local culture by staying with a Vietnamese family. These accommodations often include home-cooked meals and opportunities to learn about local customs and traditions.

homestay in halong

A cozy and affordable Halong Bay homestay


  • Cultural immersion

  • Authentic local experiences

  • Home-cooked meals


  • Limited privacy

  • Basic amenities

  • May not be suitable for all types of travelers

Location: Homestays can be found in various locations around Halong Bay, including Cat Ba Island and floating villages.

Our Picks

  1. The Bay - Halong Homestay: 

  2. Price: From $14/night

  3. Address: 02 Mac Dinh Chi St., Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  4. Contact: (+84) 345 109 109

  5. Halo Bay Homestay: 

  6. Price: From $14/night

  7. Address: 73 Kenh Liem, Halong Bay

  8. Contact: (+84) 90 409 91 89

  9. Halong Ginger Homestay: 

  10. Price: From $18/night

  11. Address: 33, Group 2, Hung Thang Ward, Halong Bay

  12. Contact: (+84) 96 930 99 98

  13. Orestay Homestay HaLong: 

  14. Price: From $18/night

  15. Address: 37 Suoi Mo Hau Can, Bai Chay, Halong Bay

  16. Contact: (+84) 888 894 488

Best Locations to Stay in Halong Bay

Staying on Bai Chay or Tuan Chau Island is highly advised for first-time tourists since these places provide simple access to a multitude of sites and activities. Many different lodging alternatives are available in both cities, from opulent hotels to affordable hostels.

For travelers seeking a more authentic Vietnamese experience, consider staying in a homestay in one of the floating villages or on Cat Ba Island. These accommodations provide unique cultural insights and opportunities to interact with locals.

Top 4 Best Halong Bay Cruise Itineraries 

One of the most remarkable ways to view this breathtaking natural beauty is on a cruise across Halong Bay. There is an itinerary to meet any traveler's needs, whether they are searching for a day trip, a night cruise, or a multi-day vacation. Four of the top cruise choices in Halong Bay are listed below:

Halong Bay Cruise

Halong Bay Day Cruise

1. Halong Bay Day Cruise: Family-Friendly Adventure

  • Activities: Cave exploration, bamboo boat ride, cooking demonstration

  • Number of Days: 1 day

  • Cost: Starting at $45 per person

  • Food Options: Buffet lunch with Vietnamese and international cuisine

The Halong Bay Day Cruise is an excellent option for families or travelers with limited time. This 6-hour cruise takes you through the beautiful limestone formations, making stops at Thien Cung Cave and Dau Go Cave for exploration. You'll also have the opportunity to take a bamboo boat ride through the tranquil waters. The cruise includes a buffet lunch and a cooking demonstration of traditional Vietnamese dishes.

2. Halong Bay Night Cruise: Romantic Escape

  • Activities: Cave exploration, squid fishing, Tai Chi, cooking class

  • Number of Days: 1 night

  • Cost: Starting at $150 per person

  • Food Options: Set menus featuring Vietnamese and international cuisine

Ideal for couples seeking a romantic getaway, the Halong Bay Cruise Overnight offers a 1-night itinerary that includes a visit to Sung Sot Cave, one of the most impressive caves in the area. Guests can partake in squid fishing, Tai Chi classes, and a cooking class on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. The cruise features luxurious cabins with private balconies, offering stunning views of the bay.

3. Halong Bay Cruise 2 Days 1 Night: Cultural Immersion

  • Activities: Kayaking, cave exploration, floating village visit, cooking class, Tai Chi

  • Number of Days: 2 days, 1 night

  • Cost: Starting at $120 per person

  • Food Options: Buffet meals with Vietnamese and international cuisine

The Halong Bay Cruise 2 Days 1 Night itinerary provides a cultural immersion experience, combining adventure and relaxation. Guests will explore the captivating Sung Sot Cave, kayak through the calm waters, and visit the Cua Van Floating Village. The cruise also offers a traditional Vietnamese cooking class and morning Tai Chi sessions on the sundeck. This itinerary is perfect for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of the local culture and natural beauty of Halong Bay.

4. Halong Bay Cruise 3 Days 2 Nights: Off the Beaten Path Exploration

  • Activities: Kayaking, cave exploration, fishing village visit, pearl farm visit, beach relaxation, cooking class, Tai Chi

  • Number of Days: 3 days, 2 nights

  • Cost: Starting at $250 per person

  • Food Options: Set menus featuring Vietnamese and international cuisine

For those looking to explore beyond the main tourist areas, the Halong Bay Cruise 3 Days 2 Nights itinerary takes you off the beaten path to less-visited locations like Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. The cruise includes kayaking in hidden lagoons, exploring the Me Cung Cave, visiting the Vung Vieng Fishing Village, and learning about pearl cultivation at a pearl farm. Guests can also relax on pristine beaches, participate in a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, and practice Tai Chi on the sundeck.

Each of these four Halong Bay cruise itineraries offers a unique experience, catering to different traveler preferences. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly adventure, a romantic escape, cultural immersion, or off-the-beaten-path exploration, there is a cruise itinerary perfect for you.


Q: What is the best time to visit Halong Bay?

A: The best time to visit Halong Bay is from April to October. During this period, the weather is usually sunny and pleasant and the water is relatively calm.

Q: Is a Halong Bay cruise suitable for families?

A: Yes, Halong Bay cruises are suitable for families with children of all ages. There are a variety of activities suitable for all ages, from kayaking to fishing and sightseeing.

Q: Are there any safety precautions I should take when visiting Halong Bay?

A: Yes, it's vital to be informed of any dangers that might arise when on a cruise in Halong Bay. When kayaking or swimming, always use a life jacket and stay away from coral and other sharp items since they could contain poisons. Additionally, keep an eye out for any dangerously powerful currents or waves. Finally, always pay attention to your guide's recommendations and obey them. 

Q: What should I wear on a Halong Bay cruise?

A: Make sure to dress correctly if you're going to Halong Bay. Bring a light jacket or sweater for the nights if it gets chilly. Wear airy, cotton or linen-based clothing that is breathable. To shield yourself from the sun, pack a hat, sunglasses, and lots of sunscreen. The last thing to remember is to bring comfy shoes for wandering around the boat and sightseeing ashore. 

Q: How long will it take to fully explore Halong Bay?

A: Depending on how long your trip is, you can tour Halong Bay in a certain amount of time. While a 2-day or 3-day itinerary will give you more time to visit the distant areas and islands, a 1-day cruise will normally just take you to the most well-known destinations. Kayaking and fishing may also be included on longer tours. 

Q: How much should I expect for a trip to Halong Bay?

A:  The total cost of your trip to Halong Bay depends on the type and length of the cruise, as well as the level of luxury you're looking for. A mid-range 2D/1N trip with meals and activities may cost around $200-$400 per person, while a luxury 3D/2N cruise may range from $400-$800 per person. Check out different cruises and hotels to compare prices and find the one that best suits your budget.  

Halong Bay is one of the most spectacular sights in Southeast Asia and a must-see destination for any traveler. With its majestic limestone islands, hidden caves, and pristine beaches, it’s easy to see why it is so popular. Whether you’re looking for luxury or affordability, there are plenty of cruises that will suit your needs. From day cruises to multi-day itineraries, you’re sure to find the perfect cruise for a memorable journey through Halong Bay tour at New Asia Tours. Or you want to immerse full experience of Vietnam package tour, feel free to contact us!