Halong Bay has always been an irresistible attraction in Northern Vietnam thanks to its exquisite natural settings of limestone islets and blue sea water. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage for two times. Tourism has been rapidly developed, resulting in the increasing number of tours provided.
1. Best time to travel to Halong
Halong Bay – new Wonder of the World (Source: Internet)
There are two distinct seasons in the north: a cold season from November to March and a hot wet season from April to October. It might be extremely cold and frosty in December and January. There might be also dense mists, which can reduce visibility in Halong Bay. However, from November to March is still considered the better time to have Halong Bay tours. It is dry and suitable for sightseeing journeys.
From April to October, it is very hot and humid. The north experiences the highest rainfall in this period, too. However, if you want to explore the beauty of Halong Bay but cannot stand the huge flocks of tourists at peak seasons, coming in summer might be a great choice.
2. Types of tours to Halong Bay
The best way to explore the majestic beauty of Halong Bay is by cruise, and surprisingly, most of Vietnam Travel Agencies have tours to sell. It is great that there are choices to consider, yet the huge number of tours might be overwhelming. Followings are some main types of Halong Tuan Chau Tours.
Some travel agencies offer sumptuous tours which are basically luxury hotels on the ocean. You will have chances to experience 5-star services here. If you want to lie on a swanky sun-lounger and watch the sunset over a vista of limestone islands, the luxury ship is definitely the perfect choice.
Luxury cruise provides 5-star services (Source: Internet)
The luxury cruise is exceptionally suitable for Halong Bay overnight tours. Travelers might have chances to spend their nights on the sea, watch the night sky full of blazing stars and enjoy the fresh air there. The romantic scenery of Halong Bay by night is extraordinarily perfect for couples.
Tourists might need to pay an average amount of $220 for an overnight voyage. So if your wallets are full, luxury cruise is never a wrong choice.
Budget and mid-range cruises
Mid-range cruise (Source: Internet)
It is the most popular option of Halong Bay cruises. However, there is a wide range when it comes to price, which later decides the services you might get. Some midrange cruises offer excellent services with cozy hotel-like cabins, enthusiastic on-board tour guides, and also kayaking service while some with bargain-based price do not consider on-board safety as a priority.
Kayaking is an interesting activity that mid-range tours provide. You will be able to paddle through karst caves and see the limestone islands from different angles. Totally a perfect way to escape from the crowds!
Kayaking on the Bay (Source: Internet)
Budget cruises may cost you at least $70 per person for a day tour. Regarding worthwhile cruises, travelers may need to spend about $120 per person. If you care much about comfort and safety, it is better to choose a day cruise with guaranteed services rather than a cheap Halong Tuan Chau tour.
It is the most popular option that many locals select. These tourist boats enable travelers to have a four to six-hour excursion on Halong Bay. If you do not mind sharing space with strangers and want to get a cheap journey on the sea, tourist boat is what you should choose.
Marvelous Sung Sot Cave (Source: Internet)
On Bai Chay port, there are several tourist boats from different agencies to choose. You can easily buy a ticket from the entrance gate and get on the boat right afterward. The boat will take you through some highlight spots on Halong Bay, especially the mysterious caves such as Thien Cung Cave and Dau Go Cave. The majestic beauty of the perfect model of Karst Cave Landscape will amaze you.
Entrance fee to Halong Bay is about VND 120,000 (about $6), and if you want to visit the caves, you need to buy additional ticket, which is only $2 – $3 per person. Tourist boat tickets are far cheaper than other tours, so you should not expect to get served with best services. However, for those with the limited budget, it is not bad a choice.
Going aboard the cruises to Halong Bay, tourists will experience the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the turquoise water and limestone islands. Also, visiting some islands on the Bay such as Tuan Chau and Cat Ba is also fascinating. The beauty of Halong is really worth a visit!