Halong Bay

Halong Bay


 

 

Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonking is one of Asia's greatest natural wonders. At the same time, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam. Exactly 1.969 karst islands of different sizes and heights give the bay its special charm. UNESCO added parts of the region to its World Heritage List in 1994 because of its unparalleled beauty.

Bizarre rock formations of Halong Bay

Bizarre rock formations of Halong Bay


Halong Bay – one of Vietnam’s most important tourist attractions

Halong Bay is exquisitely beautiful even in cloudy weather and limited visibility. Limestone and slate rocks of varying sizes and heights rise out of the sea over an area of ​​1.553 square kilometers. The UNESCO World Heritage protected area includes 434 islands in an area of ​​775 square kilometers. Geologists estimate the age of the islands to be between 250 and 280 million years old. Some of the islands have remarkable and well-developed caves.

Thien Cung cave

Thien Cung cave


James Bond didn't save the world in Halong Bay

Connoisseurs of James Bond films may remember the actions of the British MI6 secret agent in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. The film purports to take place among the karst rocks of Halong Bay. In fact, the landscape scenes were filmed in Thailand.

Halong City – provincial capital and economic center

Cruise ships do not dock in Halong City. Instead, guests are brought ashore in tender boats. Halong City was created in 1993 from the merger of two cities opposite each other on the bay. Halong is the capital of Quang Ninh Province. The population is currently given as around 250.000. From the original center of Vietnamese coal mining, Halong City transformed into a tourism-driven city with a variety of tourist facilities. Halong City is also a major economic center in Vietnam. The city has one of the most important commercial ports in the country with the associated infrastructure. In addition, a highway leads from Halong to southern China.

Ferris wheel over Halong City

Ferris wheel over Halong City


The first thing that visitors arriving by cruise ship notice is that Halong City is made up of two districts. Hòn Gai, the eastern part of the city, stands for industrial and commercial settlements, traditional business districts and small businesses. Hòn Gai is home to public facilities and an important regional museum.

Ha Long City - Ha Long Market

Ha Long City - Ha Long Market


The western district of Bãi Cháy is more of a test-tube city. Various tourist facilities have been built there over the last two decades. An impressive cable-stayed suspension bridge, more than 1.100 meters long, and a gondola lift connect both parts of the city. Bãi Cháy is primarily a holiday resort for Vietnamese and Chinese families.

At the Sun World amusement park

At the Sun World amusement park


Halong - Activities for Cruise Tourists

International cruise ships regularly visit Halong Bay. Halong City is the capital of Quang Ninh Province and the starting point for visits to the Vietnamese metropolis of Hanoi and for boat tours to Halong Bay

Cruise ship Oceania Nautica in front of Halong City


Cruise ship Oceania Nautica in front of Halong City


Excursion boat in Halong Bay


Excursion boat in Halong Bay 


Both are the primary destinations of cruise tourists. Hanoi and Halong are 165 kilometers apart; A visit to Halong Bay, on the other hand, only requires switching to a tour boat.

In our article, we describe what cruise ship guests should do during their one- or two-day stays in Halong: Halong sightseeing.

Update March 2024


My shore excursions Halong Bay