9 Amazing Things to do in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Tourist junks in amazing Ha Long bay on a sunny day

Halong Bay consists of 1,600 limestone islands and can be found in northern Vietnam. A trip to Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the truly beautiful natural wonders of the world. The famed UNESCO World Heritage Site is well known for its incredible landscape, tranquillity and wildlife. Halong Bay is the top destination to go to for many travellers with the surreal scenery looking like something out of a movie.

Getting to Halong Bay

There are several ways to reach Halong Bay but the best option is to travel from Hanoi. At around 170km away, you can travel by bus, minibus or car from the capital. It takes roughly four hours to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi. One of the easiest options is to book a cruise or tour that includes transfers by the cruise’s minibus both ways. If budget is no problem, booking a private car is the most comfortable way to travel and is easy to arrange through a travel agent.

Halong Bay is a beautiful destination and one to tick off the bucket list. Before booking your travel arrangements, make sure you double check your visa requirements. It’s so important to arrange your Vietnam travel visa first. If you’re not sure whether to choose an e-visa or Visa on Arrival, Evisa-Vietnam.com can help you. The easy to use service helps you check your eligibility and requirements based on your citizenship. It then gives easy to follow instructions and fees to arrange your Vietnam visa smoothly.

Getting visa on arrival at the airport of Vietnam
Getting visa on arrival at the airport of Vietnam

Whether you’ve booked a tour or have come out to the island by yourself, there’s plenty to do in Halong Bay. A party cruise isn’t your only option and the renowned area has so much more to offer.

1. Kayaking

Kayaking in Halong Bay (photo from aucocruises.com)
Kayaking in Halong Bay

One of the top activities in Halong Bay is kayaking. Explore the area by yourself and at your own speed through emerald green waters. You can find many hidden tunnels and isolated lagoons in the picture-perfect area. Kayaking is included in most tours and is an unforgettable experience.

2. Cycling

Cycling on the beach of Halong Bay (photo from halongcruisevietnam.com)
Cycling on the beach of Halong Bay

Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Halong Bay and has some of the most exquisite natural beauty in the region. You can find the island on the south-eastern edge of the Bay and it can be reached by boat. The island is perfect for exploring by bicycle, bikes can easily be rented locally and cheaply for the day.

3. Climbing

Halong Rock Climbing Tour (photo from vietnam-travel.org)
Halong Rock Climbing Tour

Halong Bay is a haven for climbers. Rock climbing in such a beautiful area is a privilege so be sure to use reputable agencies and follow guidelines to leave no trace. Asia Outdoors offer daily tours including top rope climbing, deep water solo, stand up paddleboarding and trekking.

4. Cooking Classes

Cooking Classes in Halong Bay (Thanks for the photo from swancruiseshalong.com)
Cooking Classes in Halong Bay

Learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes and sample excellent food. Cooking classes also offer an insight into true Vietnamese culture. Perfect for those who love cooking and are looking for a relaxing and informative activity.

5. Swimming

Swimming in Halong Bay (Thanks for the photo from vietnam-travel.org)
Swimming in Halong Bay

An obvious one but something not to be missed. Taking a dip in the calm waters around the Bay are immediately cooling and relaxing. Spend the afternoon swimming in the refreshing waters to relieve any stress or tension. Three Peach Beach and Ti Top Island are popular spots for swimming.

6. Tai Chi

Tai Chi Exercises on a cruise in Halong Bay (photo from halongbaytours.com)
Tai Chi Exercises on a cruise in Halong Bay

Get off the beaten path with some early morning Tai Chi sessions. A perfect way to start your day in Halong Bay surrounded by beauty. A type of martial art, Tai Chi is very gentle and involves deep breathing and relaxation. Classes can be included in tours and are usually held early in the morning on the sundeck.

7. Helicopter tour

Helicopter tour in Halong Bay (We are thanks for the photo from vietnamhelitours.com)
Helicopter tour in Halong Bay

An expensive activity but an incredible opportunity to see the whole of Halong Bay. Take in panoramic views of the natural wonder from the comfort of your seat. This is a great option for those wanting to see the whole of the Bay in a short amount of time. There are 1-day and 2-day helicopter tours available.

8. Floating village

Floating village in Halong Bay (Thanks for the photo from huonghaihalong.com)
Floating village in Halong Bay

Find out how locals live in the famous Bay by visiting one of the floating fish villages. The charming villages are filled with friendly locals who have lived there for generations. Immerse yourself in authentic culture and Vietnamese life. The very friendly locals will even show you how to fish.

9. Snorkelling or scuba Diving

Snorkelling in Halong Bay (Thanks for the photo from vietnamtourist.vn)
Snorkelling in Halong Bay

Halong Bay is the perfect place for visitors that love the water. Snorkelling and scuba diving are available throughout the Bay. Due to the incredibly diverse ecosystem, the water is filled with an impressive range of wildlife and coral reef. Cong Do Island and Trai Cave are popular places to snorkel or dive in.