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Discover Halong Bay in a Day: A ultimate guide for A Halong Bay Tour from Hanoi
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Discover Halong Bay in a Day: A ultimate guide for A Halong Bay Tour from Hanoi


This guide has all you need for your first trip to Halong Bay. It tells you where and when to visit, and how to explore the area in one day. It also includes tips for booking the best Halong Bay cruise.

Why should you choose a Halong Bay Tour?

Why should you choose a Halong Bay Tour?

Embarking on a day trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay is a fantastic idea that should be noticed during your visit to Hanoi. As one of the most enchanting destinations in Vietnam, Halong Bay is a top choice for tourists traveling from North to South. Recognized as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Halong Bay is a must-visit for foreign visitors to Vietnam. Featuring nearly 2000 islands and islets, as well as spectacular cave systems, Halong Bay offers stunning scenery and breathtaking views of the mountains and sea.

Located just 150 km from the city center, the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes only 2-3 hours. While it may seem challenging to experience all that Halong Bay in just one day, you can still have a fantastic day trip from Hanoi by following the tips and itineraries outlined below.

When to visit Halong Bay for the best experience

When to Visit Halong Bay for the Best Experience

Halong Bay has beautiful weather during the summer months, from April to August. The days are sunny and comfortable with very little rain, making it the ideal time for a visit. Autumn is also a pleasant season to explore the bay, with mostly sunny and warm weather from September to November. This time of year is particularly good for swimming, as there are fewer storms compared to the summer months. However, if you plan to visit Ha Long Bay in June or July, be aware that storms can hit the region and result in heavy rainfall. In such cases, tourism activities on the bay may be restricted and overnight stays may be affected. Before booking a tour, it’s necessary to check Halong Bay weather. 

What to do in Halong Bay on one day

What to Do in Halong Bay in One Day

1. Visit famous caves

Halong Bay has many stunning caves known for their unique geology, beauty, and history. These caves attract visitors from all over the world who come to explore and learn about them. There are top famous caves in Halong Bay: 

1.1 Thien Cung Cave (Heaven Cave)

Visit famous caves in halong bay one day tour

A top spot to visit in Halong Bay is Thien Cung Cave, also called Heaven Cave. It boasts a variety of stunning stalactites and stalagmites with unique shapes, like dragons, phoenixes, and four pillars, which evoke a heavenly atmosphere. The cave's name reflects these features.

1.2 Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave)

Sung Sot Cave, also known as Surprise Cave, is Halong Bay's most renowned cave, but it can be crowded. If crowds don't bother you, you'll be mesmerized by its natural beauty, including stunning stalactites and stalagmites. While it takes a short trek to reach the entrance, the cave's breathtaking structure is worth the effort.

Surprise Cave has two large chambers. The first is like a theatre with many stalactites hanging from the ceiling. A small passage leads to the second chamber, which is huge and filled with natural light. It's so spacious it could accommodate thousands of people.

1.3 Dau Go Cave

Dau Go Cave, also called Wooden Cave, is a must-see for those intrigued by the names of Halong Bay's caves. The cave's three chambers, which cover an area of approximately 5,000 square meters, are only 300 meters away from Thien Cung Cave, and visitors often explore both at the same time. 

Dau Go Cave on Dau Go Island is named after a significant battle in Vietnam's history that took place in 1288. During the conflict, Tran Hung Dao, a renowned military strategist, planted ironwood stakes/spikes in the Bach Dang River, hidden during high tide. The Mongol fleet was trapped and defeated in this treacherous self-made weapon bed. The cave has three chambers, each with an unspoiled natural landscape. It is also called the "Cave of Wonders," a fitting name given by the French.

2. Observe and listen to stories about beautiful islets in Ha Long Bay

In Halong Bay, tourists can enjoy breathtaking views of limestone formations and beaches. The islets are unique and have interesting shapes and colors. You might hear fascinating legends about them too. 

2.1 Titop Island

Observe and listen to stories about beautiful islets in Ha Long Bay

Titop Island, also known as Titov Island, is a popular destination for tourists in Halong Bay. It is located in the heart of the Bay and named after Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov, who visited the island with President Ho Chi Minh in 1962. The island boasts a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach that's perfect for swimming, relaxing, and various sports activities. Visitors can climb to the top of the mountain on Titop Island for a stunning panoramic view of Halong Bay. After the climb, visitors can cool off with a refreshing swim in the bay's waters. The island's beach is also well-organized for tourists, with amenities like deck chairs, drinks, souvenirs, and showers available. Visitors can sunbathe, swim, or relax in a deck chair with a coconut drink and enjoy a relaxing vacation. 

2.2 Soi Sim Island 

 Soi Sim Island

Soi Sim Island is a small island on the west side of Halong Bay with a wild beauty that attracts tourists. The island is named after the rose myrtle that grows there. Soi Sim is a primitive forest with unique and valuable tree species that are typical of Halong Bay's ecosystem. A conservation area has been built on the island to preserve its flora and fauna. The highlight of the project is a central display house and viewing platforms shaped like a 9-petal flower. In the future, this conservation area will be a new and attractive tourism product, contributing to the sustainable tourism development of the area.

2.3 Bo Hon Island

 Bo Hon Island

Bo Hon Island is a popular tourist spot in Halong Bay that offers visitors unforgettable experiences. Situated in the center of the bay, the island boasts tall limestone mountains and steep cliffs and is surrounded by many smaller islands. Bo Hon Island is particularly well-known for its stunning grottoes, such as Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave), Luon Cave, Trinh Nu Cave, and Trong Cave (Drum Cave). As a result, it has become a must-visit destination for those traveling to Halong Bay.

3. Swimming on the ocean 

Swimming on the ocean in halong bay tour


Swimming in Ha Long Bay is an unforgettable experience, offering a perfect blend of excitement and relaxation amidst nature's beauty. However, as with any water-based activity, there are inherent risks involved. To ensure a safe and enjoyable swim, follow the recommendations below:

  • Avoid swimming alone. It is best to swim in a group so that others can help you in case of an emergency.
  • Ha Long Bay's water temperature ranges from 19 to 25 degrees celsius throughout the year, making it suitable for winter swimming. However, it is important to stay warm after swimming in winter to prevent a bad cold.
  • Avoid swimming too early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Only jump into the water after receiving helpful information from the tour guide.
  • Avoid swimming in areas with known currents or where you are unsure of the water depth.
  • Never swim while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol impairs your reactions and increases the risk of accidents.

4.Visit fishing Village 

Visit fishing Village in Halong bay cruise tour

Four famous fishing villages in Ha Long Bay are Cua Van, Vung Vieng, Dam Cong, and Ba Hang. By visiting these villages, you can gain insight into the culture and lifestyle of Vietnamese fishermen. If you want to experience the serene and tranquil atmosphere of Ha Long Bay, Ba Hang fishing village is an excellent option. This peaceful village is inhabited by many families who have inherited traditional occupations from their ancestors.

You might read: Top 4 uncrowded places to visit in the North of Vietnam 2023

Current Halong Bay Cruise Routes

There are different cruise routes available to explore Halong Bay, depending on your preferences. You'll board a modern boat and start your cruise around the Bay. The boat trip usually lasts around 4-6 hours, giving you plenty of time to admire the stunning scenery of limestone cliffs, emerald waters, and lush green islands.

Current Halong Bay Cruise Routes

  • Route 1 (4 hours): Tourist Port – Thien Cung – Dau Go – Dinh Huong – Ga Choi – Ba Hang.
  • Route 2: (6 hours): Tourist Port  – Dinh Huong – Ga Choi – Sung Sot – Ti Top.
  • Route 3 (8 hours): Tourist Port – Thien Cung – Dau Go – Sung Sot – Ti Top – Hang Luon.
  • Route 4 (8 hours): Tourist Port – Sung Sot – Ti Top – Cua Van Fishing Village – Ba Trai Dao.
  • Route 5 (10 hours): Tourist Port – Sung Sot – Ti Top – Bai Tu Long Bay.


What you should notice for a Halong Bay boat tour 

What you should notice for a Halong Bay boat tour
Before booking a day cruise in Halong Bay, make sure you know all these guides:

  • Most tours depart from Hanoi Old Quarter early in the morning, between 7-8 am. Make sure to be on time as the drive to Halong Bay takes around 3.5 hours. After the boat trip and activities, you'll head back to Hanoi and arrive around 7-8 pm.
  • Most tours include a seafood lunch on board the cruise, giving you a chance to savor fresh seafood while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of Halong Bay. All food should be prepared in advance so if you are vegetarian or have allergies to some types of ingredients, tell them at least one day before your cruise tour. 
  • There are numerous Halong Bay cruise companies offering different routes, itineraries, and prices. Do your research to find the one that best suits your preferences and budget.
  • Halong Bay is a popular tourist destination, and cruise tours can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. Book your cruise in advance to ensure availability and better prices.
  • Pack comfortable clothes, swimwear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. If you are prone to seasickness, bring some medication as the waters can get choppy.
  • Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is important to preserve its beauty. Avoid littering, do not damage any natural resources, and follow the rules and regulations set by the cruise company.
  • Most Halong Bay cruises are all-inclusive, but it is a good idea to have some cash on hand for any extra expenses or tips.
Miễn phí Ảnh lưu trữ miễn phí về chụp ảnh thiên nhiên, danh lam thắng cảnh, điểm đến du lịch Ảnh lưu trữ

If you're planning a Halong Bay tour on a Halong Bay cruise and need more information, feel free to contact us. We're always ready to provide you with the best possible experience. You can also check out our Best Halong Bay Cruise packages. 

Our top Halong Bay Luxury Cruise

See our Ninh Binh Day Tour - Another Halong Bay on Land: One Day Tour to Ninh Binh 

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