Ha Long Bay

In Vietamese, the name ‘Ha Long’ means “Descending Dragon”.

In 1994, Ha Long Bay was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then in 2012, it was named as a New Seven Natural Wonders of the World, beating out places such as the Grand Canyon in the US, the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

There’s plenty of ways to visit Ha Long Bay. You can either book a bus and stay in Ha Long a few days (what we did), or book a tour and they will drive you from Hanoi to Ha Long. There are a number of tours//cruises that can pick you up from Hanoi, drive you to Ha Long, and take you back to Hanoi. For us, we took this private, super boujee, pimped out van (check out the website HERE — they also drive ALL around Vietnam). They pick you up from your hostel//hotel, and will drop you off at your next destinations accommodation.  

You can also book a bus HERE, they have day and night options. OR, book through the travel desks at your local hostel/hotel.

Quick Links

Where to stay in Ha Long Bay:

While staying in Ha Long, we got an AirBnb for a few nights (This is the one). It was super nice and the host was very accommodating and helpful. The only issue was location. Knowing what I know now, I would have rented a motorbike and got around the city that way. Instead, while we were there, we used ‘Grab’ (their name for Uber/Lyft).

Things To Do:

1) Bai Tho Mountain (Poem Mountain)

It’s the best view I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime… it’s also a great spot to get a pic for the Gram. Pack some snacks/drinks and chill for an hour or 2.

You’ll stumble across a fence that says “DO NOT ENTER” in like 7 languages, but there’s a gap in the fence up and to the right, you just have to climb some rocks.

Click HERE to read more about it!

2) Athena 1 day- 0 night cruise

The humans we met along the way during out travels who did a multiple day cruise didn’t enjoy it that much. We did a full day cruise and it was AMAZING!

You do a number of activities such as:

  • Eat a traditional Vietnamese lunch
  • Cruise around the iconic limestone islands and see some interesting looking rocks
  • Kayak through Ba Hang fishing village. (Old/abandoned floating village caused by rise in tourism)
  • Walk through Thien Cung Cave.
    • This cave was discovered only 20 or so years ago by a fisherman who got caught in a storm and followed monkeys to find the entrance on top of the mountain.
    • Learn how to make and roll fresh spring rolls and drink a glass of the special Lotus Tea.
    • Learn more HERE

3) Check-out Sun Wheel & Queen Cable Car

Take the cable car from the lower terminal (located @ Bai Chay District) up to Ba Deo Hill. From there, you can hop on the SunWheel, where you can truly see Ha Long Bay for all its beauty from the highest point in the area.


4) Drink some coffee @ Cafe Sao Bien (Sea Star Cafe)

Some of the best iced Vietnamese Coffee I’ve had. They also had really good smoothies and it all comes with not the worst view ever.

Directions: HERE

5) Take a walk down Bai Chay Beach

We didn’t go swimming, but a lot of local people were. A lot of construction going on in 2019, but will be beautiful very soon!

Also very funny thing happened, my friend and I are both 6’4 so we had a horde of people flocking to us wanting pictures. 

Ha Long Bay Gallery

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