Things To Know Before Visiting Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is a beautiful natural wonder, Its calm waters covered with over 1600 limestone islands. Today it attracts thousands of visitors visiting its inlets, caves and other activities such as kayaking. Awarded as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994. Here’s what you need to know before visiting Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

Visiting Ha Long Bay. Halong Bay
Halong Bay ©MDHarding

Your Essential Guide For Visiting Ha Long Bay

Cruising At Ha Long Bay

There are lots of options available when it comes to cruising Ha Long Bay. We had a one night/ two-day cruise booked as part of our tour package. It turned out to be of great value and included most of the options included in longer cruises but with a shorter duration time for the activities. When visiting Ha Long Bay it is advised to travel with only a small carry on rucksack, as there is limited storage on both the bus and small boat transfer (you can leave the large backpack/suitcase securely at the hotel and collect upon return).

Majestic Cruise, Ha Long Bay. Visiting Ha Long Bay
Majestic Cruise, Ha Long Bay ©MDHarding

What to Wear

Before you start on your truly memorable adventure of a lifetime don’t be tempted to pack too much, as you might like to do a little shopping.  The weather can sometimes be changeable, pack clothing for comfort and versatility.  I love the range of Craghoppers Clothing. We visited in November when the weather was calm and temperature in the mid 20’s. Inside the boat was a comfortable temperature with it being a little windy and cooler on the top deck.

Visiting Ha Long Bay. Craghoppers Cooking Class Halong Bay
Craghoppers Cooking Class Halong Bay ©MDHarding


There is a great variety of freshly prepared dishes served during lunch, breakfast and dinner. Refreshments can be purchased at an additional cost onboard with everything from tea and coffee to alcoholic beverages. Don’t miss trying the local beer – Ha Long Beer.

Freshly Prepared Squid Salad. Visiting Ha Long Bay
Freshly Prepared Squid Salad ©MDHarding

Ti Top Island

Located in the centre of Ha Long Bay is Ti Top Island, named by President Ho Chi Minh. One of the most beautiful islands in Ha Long Bay visited by thousands of both international and local visitors each year. Climb the hundreds of steps to the top of the island for panoramic views of Ha Long Bay. There are restrooms and gift shops on the island with some time to enjoy both the views and sandy beach.

Visiting Ha Long Bay. Ti Top Island
Ti Top Island ©MDHarding

Oyster Farm – Halong Pearl

Halong Pearl is a must visit! There is lots of information on pearls, demonstrations and the largest oysters you have ever seen. You can also purchase an array of beautiful hand cultured pearls in every form, from earrings to necklaces and everything in between.

Oyster Farm Halong Bay, Vietnam. Visiting Ha Long Bay
Oyster Farm Halong Bay, Vietnam ©MDHarding


Ha Long Bay is tranquil, which makes it a great place to enjoy kayaking. You don’t need to take or wear anything specific, upon arrival you are fitted with a life jacket then assisted with a kayak.

Hang Sung Sot – Surprise Cave

Hang Sung Sot or also known as Surprise Cave/Grotto is located on Bo Hon Island. The cave was first explored by French tourists, who were amazed by the beauty and said it to be “Grotte des surprises”. There are a number of rock formations in shapes not to be found in any other cave at Ha Long Bay. Don’t forget your camera!

Surprise Cave. Visiting Ha Long Bay
Surprise Cave ©MDHarding

Cooking Class

Enjoy a fun and authentic Vietnamese cooking class. On this occasion, we got to enjoy making Vietnamese spring rolls. After cooking we got to eat them as part of lunch before getting ready to debark the boat. Delicious!

I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to visit Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.  Happy Travels:) x

About MichelleDeansHarding


 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via:

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