VietnamSurprise – Are you excited for Ha Long tours coming up? Felt crestfallen and interesting tour but you wonder what you should be prepared for the trip. Therefore, VietnamSurprise would like to share you the experiences when traveling in Ha Long – It has been recognized as a world natural heritage site.
1. When should travel to Ha Long?
Ha Long Bay is located in the north of Vietnam, the weather is 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Almost at any time throughout the year is also convenient to take a Ha Long Bay tour, however, the best would be around from April to October and from December to February. In winter, the weather is cold, fog and drizzling rain occasionally. Read more: The Hottest and Coldest months in Vietnam.
2. Luggage preparing
Before going to Ha Long travel, you should prepare things such as: sunscreen (with SPF 30 or higher), shower gel, shampoo, eye drops, sunglasses, towel bathing, swimming goggles, swimsuit, shorts, hats, sea foam sandals… If you go with children, you should bring swim buoys, pontoon seats for children and do not forget to bring some snacks and drinks.
There are many ways for you to choose depending on preference and conditions.
From Ho Chi Minh City, you can Travel by train to Hanoi and then take bus to Ha Long City or you can take a bus from Ho Chi Minh city to Hai Phong city, then continue to Ha Long by bus or high-speed boat. The best way to save you time (but more expensive than other ways) is taking a direct flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Ha Noi or Hai Phong, then get to Ha Long by bus or boat.
Travel by bus from Ha Noi to Ha Long will take you about 3-4 hours (the distance between Ha Noi and Ha Long is 170km). You can catch the Hoang Long express, book tickets you can call: (04) 3845 2846. Or you can catch other buses to Ha Long at bus stations as: My Dinh, Luong Yen and Gia Lam bus station. In addition, there are train Ha Noi – Ha Long starts at the Yen Vien railway station daily at 04:55′.
About the FARES:
Price of the trip from Ha Noi to Ha Long around VND 75,000 – 120,000 ($4.0-6.0).
Prices of “Xe ôm” from the bus station to Bai Chay tourism area average VND 30,000/person ($ 1.5).
To travel to Hon Gai, about VND 50,000/ person for “Xe ôm“, taxi – (you should go in groups from 3 or more and use big Taxi companies in Ha Long). The public bus from the bus station to Hon Gai or Bai Chay only VND 5,000/person.
Price for 3 star hotel is around VND 474,000 ($25.0) / day.
Tip: You should book hotel in early or mid of the week, the price will be cheaper!
Thereto, you can rent a motel room, the price is very cheap, only VND 150,000/ day ($8.0).
Here are some hotel reference:
– Ha Long Plaza: No 08 Ha Long street
– Ha Long Dream: No 10 Ha Long street
– Mithrin: Hung Thang street
– Ha Long Pearl: Bai Chay
– Ha Long Bay: Ha Long Street
– Bach Dang: No 02 Ha Long street
– Cong Doan Bai Chay: Ha Long street
– Moon Light: Hung Thang street
5. Eating and Drinking
There are many restaurants from budget to luxury to choose when traveling in Ha Long. Below are some you can consult:
– Mithrin Restaurant: Hung Thang street, Bai Chay
– Panorama Restaurant: No 168 Ha Long street, Bai Chay
– Son Ca Restaurant: No 98 Ben Tau street
– Blue Sea Restaurant: No 08 Le Thanh Tong street
– Hai Ninh Restaurant: zone number 3, Peach Garden
– Thien Ly Restaurant: Ly Thuong Kiet street, Cua Ong
If you want to enjoy Ha Long seafood specialties, you can go to:
Sea Food Restaurant: Ha Long street
Thu Huong Restaurants: Ha Long street
Noi Nho Restaurant: Tran Hung Dao street
Taxi: find the taxi number here: Taxi phone numbers in Ha Long
Ships for visiting Ha Long Bay: Price depends on the time and type of ship. You should rent a wooden ship if your group has 10-15 people. If alone, you should ask hotel staff for booking ticket, the price is VND 40,000/ person. If you travel 6 hours on the bay, the price will be VND 100,000/ people. To save money, you should opt excursion 3-4 hours.
Here are companies which you can order to rent cruise ship:
Bai Chay cruise ship port: Tel – 033.846.592
Ha Long cruise ship port: Tel – 033.847.481
Hai Duong company: Tel – 033.845.042
Ha Long tourism center: Tel – 033.844.631
Hai Au company: Tel – 033.824.779
– Take a cruise ship to visit Ha Long bay
– Catch “Xe om” or Taxi to visit Tuan Chau island. There is a beach in Tuan Chau island, so you can swim. In addition, there are also many performances such as: whales, water music…every morning and evening, the price VND 80,000 ($4.0).
– At night, catch a cyclo or carriage for walking around the Bai Chay area to enjoy the fresh sea air. Price range: VND 100,000/hour for cyclo and 200,000/hour for carriage.
– One more place should be to see that is the Bai Chay Bridge at night, standing and take a look around, you can use the elevator to go up the bridge. The price for elevator is VND 4.000/person.
– Go to the Bars
– Shopping at Night Market: You can buy souvenirs as a gift for relatives and friends here. Because there a lot of tourists visit market so prices are higher than normal. You should bargain before buying.
8. Other things to pay attention when traveling Ha Long Bay
– You should not swim or dive in autumn and winter because the weather was getting quite cold.
– Be careful before you decide to buy something on the bay, the prices are not cheap! The best is that you only buy tickets and bring your food and drink.