To visit Halong Bay in Vietnam, travellers can make arrangements in advance by going to an online travel agency or just go to Hanoi, come to a travel desk and book a boat tour, here you have the choice between one, two or three day tours. Alternatively, you can direct to Haiphong and Halong city, about 3.5 hours driving, in order to organize a tour on your own.
If you would like to make a deeper impression of the atmosphere on site and would like to enjoy the bay’s beauty not only a flying visit, a 2 day trip is recommended, if you have time enough and would like to make a longer trip a three-day boat trip with an overnight stay on board and overnight on Cat Ba island is available.
The beauty of Halong bay is composed by thousands of limestone rock formation rising up from the sea, the limestone cliffs interspersed with islands, caves offering all imaginable sizes and shapes. Many of the caves are illuminated by special lighting effects and make your visit a very special experience. Especially recommended are the Hang Trong cave or the Hang Dau Go cave. The Hang Dau Go cave is the cave located closest to the mainland. It consists of three different layers that can be achieved through the ninety stairs carved in stone. Bizarre stalactites, which are illuminated by different light formations to admire here. Hang Trong, the so-called drum-cave is well worth a visit. Whenever the wind blows through the cave, the stalactites and stalagmites, it sounds like distant drums.
From Halong City you can safely leave on a trip to the bay. What were once the two idyllic fishing harbors Hon Gai and Bai Chay was, finally, after a connecting bridge was built between the two towns merged into the name of Halong City. The city is a living place of entertainment with a steadily growing skyline, with plenty of restaurants and hotels.
In the bay there are several floating villages of dilapidated houses, some of which are connected by wooden bridges with each other. The inhabitants of the so-called floating villages that specialize in fish farming. But the sale of snacks to tourists makes a significant portion of their monthly Zubrots. Some tour operators combine a trip to the caves and grottoes with a visit to the inhabitants of the floating villages.
Further up north is Bai Tu Long bay, less known than Halong Bay but Bai Tu Long is by no means less beautiful, as Halong is becoming touristy over recent years many travellers consider Bai Tu Long a better choice for their trip, and the boat companies are moving towards Bai Tu Long for their extended itineraries
To visit Bai Tu Long Bay travellers need to cross Halong city to Cam Pha, a new city close to Halong and arrive in Cua Ong town or Cai Rong town, here you can catch a public boat to the islands of Quan Lan, Ngoc Vung or Co To, in summertime a lot of younger local travellers go to Quan Lan island, at the moment there is a hydrofoil connecting Quan Lan and Halong city, shortening travel time to just 45 minutes.