Scenic view of limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam Scenic view of limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

The Halong Bay in Vietnam: Where Beauty Meets Adventure!

I got to know about an ethereal and mesmerizing wonder that occupies the Northern region of Vietnam. This place of unimaginable beauty with emerald waters, lofty karst limestone pillars, and little islets of distinct shapes- The Halong Bay! This place was affirmed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. 

The bay has attracted many tourists, with thousands of islands scattered over the crystal blue waters on the West coast of the Gulf of Tonkin. Guys, if you have a dream destination, this could be the one once you get the taste of it! So, sail into the landscape through this article that will leave you awe-struck about its unique surreal beauty. 

And don’t worry, I will also equip you to take a trip and enjoy some mind-blowing activities that will indeed knit your soul to the place forever!

The bay lies within the Quang Ninh Province in the Gulf of Tonkin, northeast of Vietnam. It is 165 km away from Ha Noi, the capital of Vietnam. You can check the map below-

Spanning a 500 sq km area, the Halong Bay in Vietnam is the ultimate place to glide into the depths of nature’s beauty. Garnished by thousands of jagged limestone pillars that appear to be rocky and earthen islands over the blue waters, this place is blessed with an extraordinary seascape. To top it up, there are numerous caves and grottoes, which blend together to add to the magnificence of the seascape.

Nevertheless, it’s also home to unique fauna both on land and water, and you get a package of surprises when you are there in Vietnam. You will feel that the place is right out of a movie for its karst limestone pillars, blanketed rainforests, surrealistic scenery, and magical backdrop. 

Indeed, you can call this a dazzling attraction in Vietnam and even the world’s prettiest place. If you are an adventurer, this is the best place for cave explorations, boat trips, and much more water and land activities. And no trip would be considered complete without seeing the Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Halong Bay in Vietnam is known for its divine mythical legend, natural phenomenon, and historical value. It is actually astonishing to know that what you see today is an effect of millions of years of evolution. Now it’s a renowned destination and a critical Vietnam tourism symbol. According to Quang Ninh Newspaper, 928,900 visitors visited Halong Bay in Vietnam. 

If you are confused about the best time to visit there. I recommend you enjoy the bay amidst cool weather. Spring (March, April) and fall (September, October) are the best time.

  • Summer (from May to early September) makes the bay sunny and warm, and you can swim across the bright sky in the blue waters.
  • However, some days have light showers, even an unexpected typhoon, that can cancel your cruise. So, plan and book your tour. 
  • Winter (November to March) keeps the weather cold, especially in January and February, not making it a good time to swim. 

This is also a season that makes the place foggy with strong monsoons. Accommodations for all kinds of travelers at Halong Bay are available here!

Want to book a tour for cruising? The type of cruise you choose can make or break your trip to the bay. Inspect the cruise itinerary, what is included, and what activities you can do. Try booking through Incredible Asia Journeys on their official website and check out the options you need! For budget travelers, here’s the best way to visit Halong Bay!

I’ll Tell You Some Interesting Facts About Halong Bay

Drenched with the fascinating history of Halong? Now it’s time to get to know why is Halong Bay in Vietnam so famous through some amazing facts below;

1. Halong Bay Etymology

From its name, “Ha Long,” the Sino-Vietnamese language translates it as “descending (Ha) dragon (Long).” There is a legend to support why the bay was named so.

It is said that once upon a time, a family of dragons descended from the gods to help defend the Vietnamese and their country. The place where the mommy dragon descended was called Ha Long. And the area where her children were gathered was called Bai Tu Long Bay (Bai: attend upon, Tu: children, Long: dragon).

Interestingly, the place where the long winding tails of the children wiggled was named Bach Long Vy Island (Bach: white foam made when the tails wriggled, Long: dragon, Vy: tail). Additionally, you can find islands named after unique shapes. 

Some of them are;

  • Voi (elephant) Islet 
  • Ga Choi (fighting cock) Islet
  • Khi (monkey) Islet
  • Mai Nha (roof) Islet, among many others.

Even today, these legends about the dragons are believed, stating that they have not yet returned to heaven.  They continue to protect the place residing underwater at Ha Long Bay.

2. Halong Bay Geography

Boasting thousands of islands, the bay spans an area of 1,553 km2 approx. Also, it is known for its exquisite natural wonders. For instance, King Kong or Kong–Skull Island is known for its exceptional beauty that you cannot find elsewhere!

The core area of Halong Bay is highly visited by cruises to showcase the densely clustered 775 islets for visitors. Interestingly, there is a triangle-shaped formation in this region, and its corners are defined by Ba Ham Lake, Dau Go Island, and Cong Tay Island. And there are high chances of getting lost inside this triangular matrix filled with grandeur and beauty. But it’s a worthwhile adventure for you!

3. Halong Climate

I noticed there is some misinterpreted information on many websites stating that Halong experiences four seasons. In reality, there are just two: a hot and sweltering summer and a cool and arid winter.

Average temperatures in the region range between 15°C and 25°C, with rainfall between 2 and 2.2 meters. Also, there is a daily tide system with amplitudes between 3.5 and 4 meters. So, it’s best to take your trip in March as this month marks the end of winter. Pack simple and light to enjoy!

4. Halong Biodiversity

The bay doesn’t have waters and isles; there is a world of unique flora and fauna. Featuring a tropical evergreen system, there are over 1,000 plant species. Even the marine life is rich and diverse. 

Also, the islands are inhabited by different animals, including amphibians, magnolias, birds, and mammals. The mind-blowing fact is that the Halong Bay region has around ten distinct types of ecosystems!

5. Floating Villages Exist Even Today on the Bay

Just as fascinating as the islands are its native inhabitants. Many of the islands on the bay are uninhabited and untouched for various reasons, including their steepness. So, people simply live on boats. You can find the entire village thriving on the water for generations now!

6. Halong Bay Hospital Cave

Cat Ba Hospital cave, one of Vietnam's most mysterious attractions

Wondering what this is? These are caves actually that Vietnam leaders used during the American Vietnam War. These massive caves served as a home, refuge, and even a bomb-proof hospital for wounded people and soldiers!

More than 17 rooms were inside the cave, and it was used till 1975. Today it is open to visitors.

And Now Check Out the Things to do at Halong Bay

For both adventurers and nature lovers, here’s a list of activities you can indulge in at the bay;

  • Cruise the bay
  • Explore a floating village
  • Paddle out in a kayak
  • Clamber into a cave
  • Try your hand at rock climbing
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Enjoy the local cuisine

As you venture sailing through the bay, don’t forget to stop by these places;

  • Sung Sot Cave
  • Cat Ba Island
  • Virgin Cave
  • Dau Be Island
  • Dong Thien Cung Cave
  • Ti Top Island
  • Hon Trong Mai
  • Bai Tu Long Bay

If you have time, try exploring these places too!

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Now that you know everything about Halong Bay, doesn’t it sound impressive? I have heard visitors say pictures do not do justice to the bay’s beauty. If you wish to affirm this all by yourself, pack your bags, reserve your cruises this minute, and explore the world from its unknown here in Vietnam!

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Pragya


  1. OMG! This is just amazing. This place feels like heaven. After reading this article I really want to visit this place so bad. This is heaven in earth.

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