Ultimate Guide for Budget Traveler and Adventure Seeker

Halong Bay is the most popular and stunning destination in Vietnam. It is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and Natural Wo...

Halong Bay Tour in Vietnam : Top Things To Do, Budget Itinerary

Halong Bay is the most popular and stunning destination in Vietnam. It is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and Natural Wonders of the World. It is well known because of its majestic limestone mountains raising up from emerald waters that formed from thousand years ago. This lovely spot is located in the area of the Gulf of Tangkia with an area of 1,500 square kilometers and has a coastline about 120 kilometers away from Hanoi.

How to get to Halong Bay, Vietnam 

Cebu Pacific offers several flights to Hanoi, which may be reached via key hubs such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Seoul and Singapore, among others. It flies four (4) times weekly from Manila to Hanoi and vice versa. I took the earliest flight that leaves at 5:15AM. The travel time is over 3 hours. It's recommended to book the red-eye flight. That way you will arrive early at your destination and enjoy one full day at the beginning of the trip.

The fastest and easiest way to reach Halong Bay is by a private car or taxi from Noi Bai International Airport which is located 45 kilometers from central Hanoi.

Most tourists to Ha Long Bay opt for a packaged tour, including transport to and from Hanoi. If you want to do it a DIY ( Do It Yourself) way, you can take a bus to Ha Long City or Hai Phong and a taxi to the port. It's also possible to charter a seaplane for a 45-minute ride direct from Noi Bai International Airport.

Where to book Halong Bay Tour? 

If you are traveling to Hanoi, it's a must to book a Halong Bay tour. I booked the Halong Bay, Surprising Cave, and Titop Island Tour via  Klook. Book it HERE. The cost of the tour is Php1900 or 824133.15VND. It's recommended to book the tour via Klook since it's cheaper compared with the local travel agencies. They offer the Ha Long bay tour for 1200000VND to 1500000VND or Php2500 to Php3000.

Most tourists prefer to spend 2 or 3 days on an overnight cruise tour, whereas many decide on a day trip. If you have a busy schedule in Vietnam, a Halong Bay Day Tour must be an ideal choice. The day trip will last around 7-8 hours. It starts at 9AM and until 5PM. 

If you prefer to stay for an overnight cruise and have flexible time, you can take advantage of the 2-day and 1-night Halong cruise itinerary that will last for 24 hours to visit 2 – 3 attractions. On the other hand, the 3-day and 2-night Halong cruise itinerary will take 48 hours for you to discover all the must-sees and must-dos in Halong Bay. This kind of tour will give you more time to enjoy each destination.  The cost is around Php4500 or 2000000VND or Book it via Klook.

Tour Inclusions: 

  • Local Tour Guide
  • Shared Shuttle Service
  • Cruise Tour
  • Bottled Water
  • Buffet Lunch 
  • Entrance fees

What to expect

1. The vessel's crew will prepare and serve a buffet lunch plus host a sunset-viewing party. They also offer free wine.

2. There will be a lot of activities waiting for you on this voyage, so get ready to have a lot of fun!

2. Enjoy a relaxing day away from the bustling city streets on this memorable day tour of Halong Bay.

3. Enjoy the Surprising Cave by wandering around its majestic paths illuminated by bright lights.

Sung Sot Cave 

The Sung Sot cave is the largest and most popular cave in Hanoi. Located on Bo Hon Island, Sung Sot cave covers a staggering 10,000 square meters featuring thousands of amazing stalactites and stalagmites. Our local guide shared that this cave was allegedly first discovered by the French, who took it upon themselves to name it “Grotte des Surprises”, or Surprising Cave, because of its ‘surprising’ beauty. The cave is huge and can accommodate from 500 pax to 1000 pax.

Sung Sot Cave Travel Tips

1. You can leave your stuff on the boat while you visit the cave.

2. Stay close to your guide, some of the local guides provide information about the cave

3. Wear decent shoes or slippers and bring your water.

4. Don't forget to take pictures of Halong Bay at the mouth of the cave.

Tip Top Island

Part of the Halong Bay Tour is Tip Top Island. It's located about 14 kilometers east of Bai Chay tourist harbor featuring a white sand beach and blue waters. It has a summit height of 110 meters (360 ft) which can be reached by taking about 450 steps. Because of the immaculate white sand and the calm waters, the island is perfect for outdoor activities like beach volleyball,  swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. There is a bar on the island where you can rent all kinds of swim gear, and buy refreshing drinks and some snacks.

Tip Top Island Travel Tips

1. You can leave your stuff on the boat while you visit the island

2. Bring your own food and water since goodies on the island are expensive

3. Don't forget to bring  your swimming essentials 

4. It's recommended to hike up to the peak to see the breathtaking view of Halong Bay

Sunset in Halong Bay

The best sunsets (and sunrises) in Vietnam are waiting for you in Halong Bay. Yes, you read it right! You can find here the best Vietnam sunset and sunrise. For this very reason, I recommend never visiting Halong Bay without your phone and camera. You will surely enjoy the magical hour while cruising in Halong Bay. 

Make sure to include on your itinerary the Halong Bay tour. This fun tour will surely give you an unforgettable Vietnam Tour! 

Best Hanoi Attractions? Check Tour Rates HERE. 

Where to stay in Nihn Binh

1. Momali Hotel

2. Ninh Binh  Central Hotel

3. Ninh Binh Brother's Homestay

4. Binh An Nhien Hotel

5. Chau Son Garden Resort

Where to stay in Hanoi

1. Hanoi Buffalo Hostel

2. Hanoi Discovery Hotel 

3. Little Charm Hanoi Hostel 

4. Hanoi Central Backpackers Hostel

5. Hanoi Starlight Hotel

If you have a question, please comment below or you may contact me on Facebook, and Instagram. Enjoy traveling!