Ha Long Bay for the Year of the Dragon

Viet Nam - Into the Islands

The seascape of Ha Long Bay is synonymous with Vietnam. Cruises sail emerald green waters among thousands of rugged islands and islets, stopping at spectacular caves where visitors can wander, viewing impressive, centuries-old formations.

Before you travel, here is a fun fact, updated for the coming Lunar New Year: The word “Ha Long” can be understood as “Descending Dragon”, and it’s no coincidence that the dragon is the zodiac animal for 2024 in the Vietnamese lunar calendar. Now, let us introduce the beauty of this heavenly place.

From all the angles

Ha Long Bay looks great no matter where you choose to look from. For many travelers, spending 24 hours on the water in Ha Long Bay is still the quintessential Vietnam experience. There’s nothing like waking up and stepping outside to the fresh sea breeze and an inspiring panorama of turquoise water, tiny fishing boats, and rocky karsts. Choose a traditional wooden junk to tick off all the essential boxes: warm and elegant cabins, delicious Vietnamese food, and insightful excursions.


In recent years, another interesting choice to look at this place is from above. With seaplanes and helicopters, those who want to take things from a new perspective can swoop between limestone karsts and glide over shimmering beaches, while listening about the geographical features that make Ha Long Bay so wonderful.

Ha Long Bay – Small beaches

Explore for more

Ha Long Bay is not just about the nature. Here we provide every possible way to explore the sea life in northern Viet Nam. For starters, Ha Long Bay is best explored from a boat. Some companies offer half-day cruises on traditional junk boats that allow you to experience the bay with sails and slow speeds. Others offer faster yachts that can quickly shuttle passengers between different islands and back. It is possible to take a quick half-day or full-day cruise through Ha Long Bay, but a longer trip is ideal. Book for two or three days with a ship that can plan for food, beverages, cocktails, and sightseeing so that you can just relax and enjoy the trip.

You can also spelunk in dozens of caves of varying sizes, each one a unique archeological remnant of Ha Long’s millions of years in development. They are either massive in size, populated by strangely shaped stalactites and stalagmites, or shockingly old, with soft colored lights that cast strange shadows and lend dramatic believability to the mythical stories, while openings in the ceiling are pierced by heavenly beams of light.

Near Ha Long is Cat Ba Island, whose surface is almost entirely blanketed by rainforest. You can book a homestay there and spend your days visiting farming villages, hiking to the hilltop cannon fort, and cycling along pretty lanes. You can even go rock-climbing on the karsts, or sleep under the stars on a deserted beach on a multi-day tour.

The beauty of the bay and about two thousand islets and caves have earned many esteem recognitions for Ha Long Bay – a two-time UNESCO World Heritage, one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World, and so on. For mythical, dragon-related reasons, we believe this will be the year to come to Ha Long, sail the sea, see the islands, and fall in love with it.

— Images from Viet Nam Tourism Board

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