A trip to Ha Long Bay offers gastronomical delight, with an array of seafood dishes that reflect the bay's plentiful marine life. From fresh squid sautéed with pineapple to prawns served with noodles, the food here is a heavenly experience. The renowned 'cha muc,' a grilled chopped squid, is a must-try. For a unique experience, join a cooking class on a cruise and learn to make Vietnam's traditional spring rolls.


The culture of Ha Long Bay is intricately tied to its coastal nature. Fishing has shaped the lives and customs of the locals, evident in floating villages like Cua Van and Vung Vieng. Visiting these settlements provides an insight into the resilient and simple lifestyle of the villagers. Local festivals like the Cua Ong Festival and Tra Co Festival annually offer vibrant showcases of traditional music, dance, and rituals.

Travel Tips

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is during spring (February to April) and autumn (October and November), when the weather is temperate, and the scenery is at its best. Remember to carry your passport for hotel and cruise check-ins.

Although the Vietnamese Dong is the official currency, many places accept US dollars. Credit cards are also accepted at hotels, but cash is preferable in local markets and smaller establishments.

To explore the bay and its islands, consider booking a cruise, which often includes kayaking, cave exploration, and cooking classes.

Interesting Facts

The name "Ha Long" translates to "descending dragon," reflecting a local legend that dragons created the bay.

Inside many islands are fascinating caves and caverns, each with unique formations and tales. Hang Sung Sot (Surprise Cave) and Hang Dau Go (Wooden Stakes Cave) are among the most remarkable.

Top Places

  1. Ti Top Island: Known for its sandy beach and the panoramic view from its peak, a 400-step climb rewards visitors with a stunning view of the bay.
  2. Cat Ba Island: The largest island in Ha Long Bay, offering a variety of activities such as hiking in Cat Ba National Park, exploring Hospital Cave, and relaxing on its beaches.

  1. Bai Tu Long Bay: Less crowded than Ha Long Bay but equally stunning, a cruise to this bay offers tranquility and untouched natural beauty.
  2. Sung Sot Cave: One of Ha Long Bay's largest and most magnificent caves, featuring fascinating stalactites and stalagmites.
  3. Pearl Farms: Visit a pearl farm to see the process of cultivating pearls and, perhaps, to purchase a beautiful souvenir.

Ha Long Bay, with its mystical landscape, rich culture, and exquisite cuisine, is more than just a destination; it's an experience that captivates and creates memories that last a lifetime.