What to do in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Story by: Awele Ugboko     Date: 12 October 2020    Image by: Unsplash | Valeriy Ryasnyanskiy

5 minutes reading time Vietnam

Halong Bay is one of the most popular tourist spots in Vietnam, seeing thousands of visitors every year. Home to about 2,000 islands, you can find a lot of interesting places within this UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are a returning tourist or first-time visitor, figuring out what to do in Halong Bay might prove to be a difficult task. Below is a well-detailed list of things you can do in Halong Bay.

Halong Bay, Boat cruise

Go On a Boat Cruise

Going on a boat cruise in Halong Bay is a no-brainer, as there is so much to see. Taking everything in from atop a boat affords you a wholesome experience. Known as “Junk Boats”, you enjoy different boat cruise offers, as well as different destinations and breathtaking sights along the 2,000 islands in Halong Bay. Take beautiful pictures of the landscape, as well as some of yourself for your Instagram feed. Go on an overnight cruise with your loved ones or significant other for an unforgettable experience.

Monkey Island, Cat Dua, Vietnam

Visit Cat Dua

Known in English as Monkey Island, Cat Dua is one of the most visited spots in Halong Bay, and one that you should definitely stop by on your visit there. Endeavor to buy nuts and other snacks for the monkeys on your way to the island. There, you can spend time playing with the monkeys, as well as take pictures of them and the scenery. Asides seeing the monkeys, there are other fun activities to engage in Cat Dua. You can decide to go sea kayaking, snorkeling, or unwind on the private beach there.

Shop at Cat Ba Island Market

A visit to a new destination is not complete without a stop at the market. The best market to stop by when you are in Halong Bay is the Cat Ba Island market, here you can find a wide variety of Vietnamese food and artifacts. Try out the local seafood including crabs and jump shrimp, along with the wide variety of fruits on display. You can also Vietnamese clothing, decorations, and unique household items to take home as souvenirs.

Hospital Cave

Stop At Hospital Cave

Learn a bit of Vietnamese history by stopping at the Hospital Cave. This cave got its unique name from its use during the Vietnam war of the ’90s. Built between 1963 and 1965, Hospital Cave was a secret clinic during the war as it was impossible to bomb. Still standing today, the cave holds great historical importance and is one of the first calls of every tourist. Inside the cave, a guide will take you through its history, show you all seventeen rooms within the cave, take you to the operating theater, explain how it was used by the Viet Cong leaders, its role in the war, and what made it durable. Now modernized, the Hospital Cave now has a swimming pool and cinema.

Ride On a Seaplane

What is better than seeing Halong Bay on water? Looking down on it from a seaplane. Go for a lifetime experience and view the karst formation of Halong Bay from a height of 300 meters above the water. Viewing the bay from the seaplane makes for beautiful scenery as you get to see lovely sights such as Tuan Chau Island, Cat Ba Island, and Tuan Chau Island. Take a seaplane tour and behold the stunning beauty of Halong Bay.

Ho Chi Minh Monument

See The Ho Chi Minh Monument

For more history, take a trip down to see the Ho Chi Minh monument. Located in Cat Ba Town, this monument is one of many such monuments built in tribute to the father of Modern Vietnam. Take the opportunity to see a bit of Cat Ba Town. A quiet area, this town is the perfect location for an evening walk in Halong Bay.

Try Out The Seafood Barbecue

Trying out new food is one of the best parts of every visit. In Halong Bay, seafood barbecue is the go-to dish for most tourists, and for good reasons, as it is absolutely delicious. The seafood barbecue is rich in variety, as Halong Bay is home to bodies of water, which houses different sea creatures including lobsters, crabs, squids, and king prawns. Enjoy seafood barbecue made from the freshest catch, while your feet are comfortably buried in the beach sand. You can find restaurants situated along the beaches, while you can also make your meal by yourself using the self-barbecue fire pits located around. You best not miss out on this world-famous dish.

Hon Ga Choi

Visit Hon Ga Choi

Also known as the Fighting Cocks Island, Hon Ga Choi is one of the best sights that Halong Bay has to offer. The island got its name from the appearance of the two huge rocks, that stand on the sea. These rocks resemble two cockerels involved in a fierce duel, hence the name. Go down to Hon Ga Choi at sunset, and watch these two cocks battle in great light.

Vietnam Squid Fishing

Go Squid Fishing With The Locals

One of the best activities to engage in, with the locals of Halong Bay, is to go squid fishing at night. The squids come alive in the night time, and they make fair game if you feel up to it. You do not need to bother about fishing, as you are provided with them once you sign up for night squid fishing. What is more? You also get to enjoy your catch, as you can barbecue them on the fire pits around.

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