Ha Long is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Vietnam, attracting millions of domestic and foreign visitors each year. With the majestic beauty of the sea bay, the islands, and mysterious caves, Ha Long has been recognized by UNESCO as a world natural heritage. In addition, Ha Long also has many interesting things about location, climate, weather, people, history, culture, cuisine, and tourist activities.
Ha Long is a coastal city in Quang Ninh province, located in the northeastern part of Vietnam. Ha Long has an area of about 271 km2 and a population of about 227,000 people. Ha Long is famous for Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO-recognized world natural heritage site, with thousands of limestone islands and caves formed millions of years ago. Ha Long is also an important tourism, cultural, and economic center of the region.
The climate in Ha Long is a tropical monsoon climate, with two distinct seasons: hot and humid summer and cold dry winter. The average annual temperature is about 23°C, ranging from 15°C to 38°C. The average annual rainfall is about 2000 mm, concentrated in the summer. The weather in Ha Long often changes quickly, there can be rain, sun, fog, wind in the same day. This creates beautiful and mystical landscapes for Ha Long Bay.
2. Best time to visit Ha Long
Ha Long can be visited all year round, depending on the preferences and purposes of tourists. However, some times are more popular than others, which are:
April – June: This is a time when the climate in Ha Long is stable, not too hot and not too cold, suitable for outdoor activities such as swimming, cave exploration, kayaking, sightseeing. This is also a time of less rain, less storm, less fog, so the visibility is clearer and safer. In addition, this is also the time when many unique festivals in Ha Long take place, such as Carnaval festival, food festival, cherry blossom festival, gong culture festival, etc.
October – December: This is the beginning of winter, the climate in Ha Long is cold, fog and drizzle may appear. However, this is also the time when Ha Long Bay has a mysterious and romantic beauty, when the islands, caves, constellations are covered by a layer of misty fog. This is also a time of fewer tourists, so traveling to Ha Long will be quieter and more comfortable. If you like exploring and taking photos, this is an ideal time for you.
3. People, history and culture of Ha Long
Ha Long is a crossroads of many different ethnicities and cultures, such as Kinh, Tay, Dao, San Chi, Hoa, etc. People in Ha Long are gentle, friendly, hospitable, know how to cherish and protect nature. They mainly live by fishing and aquaculture, tourism, handicrafts, coal mining, etc.
Ha Long has a long history, recognized as one of the earliest places of human appearance in Vietnam. Archaeological relics in Ha Long show the development of stone, bronze, iron cultures, with many tools, weapons, pottery, jewelry, etc. Ha Long is also a place witnessing many resistance wars against foreign aggression of the Vietnamese nation, such as the resistance war against Yuan Mongol, Ming, French, Japanese, American, etc. Ha Long is also a birthplace associated with famous heroes, cultural figures, scientists, artists, such as Tran Quoc Nghien, Nguyen Trai, Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Quyen, Nguyen Van Cu, Nguyen Tuan, etc.
Ha Long culture is the crystallization of many historical, geographical, ethnic, religious, etc. factors. Ha Long has many traditional festivals, such as Cua Ong festival, Yen Tu festival, Tra Co festival, Long Tien festival, etc. Ha Long also has many unique cultural features, such as ca tru, cheo, quan ho, hat then, water puppetry, etc. Ha Long is also a place with many cultural relics, such as Bai Dinh pagoda, Cua Ong temple, Bach Dang temple, Tran Quoc Nghien temple, etc.
4. How to get to Ha Long
Ha Long has many means of transportation for tourists to choose from, such as:
Airplane:Ha Long has Van Don International Airport, about 50 km from the city center. This airport has many domestic and international flights, such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Hue, Bangkok, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, etc. From the airport, tourists can take a bus, taxi, or rent a private car to get to Ha Long.
Coach:Ha Long has many bus stations, such as Bai Chay bus station, Hon Gai bus station, Mong Cai bus station, etc. Tourists can take a coach from other provinces to Ha Long, such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Lang Son, etc. The coach fare ranges from 100,000 to 300,000 VND, depending on the distance and quality of the coach.
Private car: This is a convenient and comfortable means for tourists who want to go to Ha Long by road. Tourists can drive their own private car, or rent a car with a driver at travel companies, etc. The private car rental price ranges from 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 VND/day, depending on the type of car and rental time. Tourists need to bring their ID and valid driver’s license when renting a private car.
Motorcycle: This is a popular and economical means for tourists who want to freely explore Ha Long. Tourists can rent a motorcycle at tourist spots, hotels, guesthouses, etc. The motorcycle rental price ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 VND/day, depending on the type of motorcycle and rental time. Tourists need to bring their ID and valid driver’s license when renting a motorcycle.
5. Accommodations in Ha Long
Ha Long offers a variety of accommodations to suit the needs and budget of tourists, such as:
Hotels:Ha Long has many 1 to 5-star hotels, with many amenities and quality services. Hotels in Ha Long are usually conveniently located, close to tourist spots, shopping areas, restaurants, etc. The room rates in Ha Long hotels range from 200,000 to 5,000,000 VND/night, depending on the type of room and tourist season. Some famous hotels in Ha Long include Novotel, Wyndham Legend, Vinpearl, Royal Lotus, etc.
Resorts:Ha Long also has many 5-star resorts in Ha Long for a dreamy vacation. Resorts in Ha Long usually have beautiful locations, near the sea or on an island, with many luxurious amenities and services, such as swimming pools, private beaches, spas, gyms, etc. The room rates in Ha Long resorts range from 2,000,000 to 15,000,000 VND/night, depending on the type of room and tourist season. Some famous resorts in Ha Long include Vinpearl Resort, Premier Village Resort, Royal Lotus Resort, Wyndham Legend Resort, etc.
Guesthouses:Ha Long also has many cheap, clean, comfortable guesthouses for tourists to choose from. Guesthouses in Ha Long usually have single, double, dormitory rooms, with basic amenities, such as air conditioning, TV, wifi, hot water, etc. The room rates in Ha Long guesthouses range from 100,000 to 500,000 VND/night, depending on the type of room and tourist season. Some reputable guesthouses in Ha Long include Hoang Gia Guesthouse, Ha Long Bay Guesthouse, Thanh Huong Guesthouse, etc.
Overnight cruises: This is a unique and ideal experience for tourists who want to enjoy Ha Long Bay at night. Overnight cruises in Ha Long usually have many types of rooms, from standard to luxurious rooms, with many high-end amenities and services, such as restaurants, bars, spas, karaoke, etc. The room rates on overnight cruises in Ha Long range from 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 VND/night, depending on the type of cruise and type of room. Some famous overnight cruises in Ha Long include Bhaya Cruise, Paradise Cruise, Au Co Cruise, Emeraude Cruise, etc.
6. Cuisine and specialties in Ha Long
When you come to Ha Long, you can find many delicious and unique dishes that suit your taste. You can enjoy these dishes and specialties at hotels, restaurants, on the streets, on tourist boats, or in fishing villages… Here are some suggestions for you:
If you love seafood, you can’t miss dishes made from squid, lobster, scallop, sea crab, sea mantis, clam, jellyfish, oyster… Each dish is prepared in its own way, preserving the fresh and rich taste of the sea. You can enjoy these dishes at restaurants, eateries, or on cruise ships on Ha Long Bay…
If you like light meals, you can try simple but attractive street foods, such as sticky rice with squid sausage, rolled rice cake with squid sausage, oyster porridge, pearl milk tea… These dishes have a sweet, cool taste, very suitable for hot weather days. You can easily find these eateries in the old quarters, night markets, or piers…
If you want to explore local culinary culture, you should try traditional dishes of Ha Long, such as Loi Am chicken, hand-pounded squid cake, jellyfish noodle, gat gu cake… These dishes all originate from the local people, bearing the characteristic features of the coastal region. You can also learn more about how to make and the meaning of these dishes through the seller or tour guide…
7. Attractions and things to do in Ha Long
Ha Long is a famous tourist destination with many attractive, diverse, and unique sightseeing spots and tourist activities, suitable for various preferences of tourists, such as:
If you like exploring nature, you can:
Visit Ha Long Bay, a world natural heritage site, with thousands of limestone islands and caves formed millions of years ago. You can visit Ha Long Bay in many ways, such as by tourist boat, overnight boat, cruise ship, canoe, kayak, etc.
Visit beautiful sea islands in Ha Long, such as Co To Island, Tuan Chau Island, Quan Lan Island, Minh Chau Island, Ngoc Vung Island, etc. You can go to these sea islands by high-speed boat or hydrofoil from Cai Rong port or Bai Chay wharf.
Visit national parks and nature reserves in Ha Long, such as Bai Tu Long National Park, Cat Ba Nature Reserve, Van Don Nature Reserve, etc.
If you like swimming, you can:
Visit beautiful, clean, safe beaches in Ha Long, such as Bai Chay, Tien Ong, Tuan Chau, Tra Co, etc. You can swim, sunbathe, play sand, take photos, etc.
Participate in underwater activities, such as scuba diving, fishing, rowing, etc.
Enjoy fresh seafood at restaurants, eateries, night markets, etc.
If you like history and culture, you can:
Visit museums, libraries, and historical and cultural relics in Ha Long, such as Quang Ninh Museum, Quang Ninh Library, Cua Ong Temple, Bach Dang Temple, Tran Quoc Nghien Temple, etc.
Watch traditional and modern festivals in Ha Long, such as Cua Ong Festival, Yen Tu Festival, Tra Co Festival, Long Tien Festival, Carnaval Festival, Food Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival, Gong Culture Festival, etc.
Enjoy unique cultural features in Ha Long, such as ca tru, cheo, quan ho, hat then, water puppetry, etc.
If you like entertainment, you can:
Visit eco-tourism and entertainment areas in Ha Long, such as Tuan Chau Tourist Area, Sun World Ha Long Park, Van Don Tourist Area, etc.
Participate in interesting activities, such as watching dolphins, seals, sea lions, watching circus, watching fireworks, playing golf, etc.
Visit shopping areas, restaurants, hotels, spas, casinos, etc. in Ha Long.
Ha Long is an ideal destination for those who love nature, culture, and cuisine. You can enjoy unique and unforgettable experiences when coming here, such as cruising on the bay, kayaking, visiting caves, enjoying specialties, participating in festivals and events… Ha Long will surely satisfy you and make you want to come back many times. I hope this article has provided you with useful information and suggestions for your Ha Long trip. Wish you have happy and meaningful moments in Ha Long!