Sunrise in Halong bay

Halong Bay is a stunning destination that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Situated in the Gulf of Tonkin, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its stunning limestone cliffs, clear emerald waters and rich cultural heritage. If you are planning a trip to Halong Bay, one of the most common questions you may have is :” How long to spend in Halong Bay?”. This post will go over various Halong Bay tour alternatives, ranging from day tours to multi-day cruises, to assist you in selecting the ideal option for your journey.

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How long should i stay in Halong bay?

Halong bay length of cruise

Normally, visitors will need to spend 2 to 3 days on a Halong bay cruise or at a land-based hotel. Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of each duration of stay. You can decide whether a day excursion or an overnight cruise in Halong Bay (one night or 2 nights) is ideal for you

A Day Trip to Halong Bay

A day trip to Halong Bay is a great option if you’re short on time. You can admire the breathtaking splendor of the bay, explore limestone caves and even try kayaking or swimming in the crystal clear waters. Since most day tours leave early in the morning and return to Hanoi in the late afternoon, you will have roughly 6 to 8 hours on the bay. A day trip to Halong Bay can be a great way to take in the bay’s beauty, but it may be rushed as the length of your trip is limited. For those who want to truly soak in its beauty, an overnight cruise may be a better choice.

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Halong Bay view from above


  • Suitable for tourists who have limited time but still want to visit Halong Bay
  • Day trips are available at reasonable prices
  • Offer panoramic views and brief but wonderful experiences of Halong Bay


  • You may feel rushed due to your traveling time, which may be around 5 hours
  • You will miss the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Halong Bay at night
  • There is not enough time to explore everything in Halong Bay
Kayaking in Halong Bay

Day Trip Itinerary for Halong Bay

Day tours depart from Hanoi and follow the itinerary below:

  • 8:30 am – 08:50 am: Leave Hanoi
  • 11:40 pm: Arrive in Halong Bay and board the cruise
  • 12:00 pm -2:00 pm: Visit Halong Bay, some famous caves and Titop Island
  • 5:40 pm: Return to Hanoi
  • 8:00 pm: Arrive in Hanoi

It’s advised to join one of the following excursions if you’d rather take things easy in order to save time and avoid any trouble. Through its extensive selection of well-liked tours, Hanoi Explore Travel enables visitors to easily discover a range of experiences. Let’s check it out, Some popular tours:

Overnight cruise (2-day cruise)

This is the option that tourists most commonly choose when visiting Halong Bay. You will have more than enough time to spend the night on board and visit one or two sights.

On the second day, return to the harbour at around ten a.m. When taking a month-long holiday in Asia, many people choose to go on an overnight cruise. By not spending too much time in one place, they can free up time for other travels.

Halong Bay overnight on cruise


  • This tour is suitable for travelers who want more time to explore Halong Bay.
  • You will have the opportunity to take less touristy routes such as Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • It is considered the best way to see and experience Halong Bay.
  • This cruise offers more activities to ensure that your time spent in Halong Bay is worth your money.


  • Costs for 2-day trips are higher than those of the day tours and may vary depending on the time of year.
  • The number of sights in Ha Long Bay is still somewhat restricted when compared to a 3-day, 2-night itinerary.

>>> Let’s visit our website for different types of cruises available for every budget, from backpackers to luxury. Check out for the best deals on Halong Bay’s 2-day cruise.


2 Days in Halong Bay on Cruise Itinerary

  • A 2-day itinerary is a terrific choice for a better experience.
  • You can take your time and see more of the bay more leisurely. I’ll go into detail about overnight cruises here since that’s what most people choose for.

Thus, your itinerary might resemble this:

Day 1

  • 8:00am-9:00am: Depart to Halong Bay from Hanoi
  • 12:00 pm: Arrive in Halong Bay and board the cruise
  • 12:30 pm: Have lunch on the cruise and admire the beauty of the bay
  • 1:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Spend your time relaxing, eating, sightseeing and joining some activities offered by the tour.

Day 2

  • 7:00 am: Wake up and practice Tai Chi
  • 7:30 am: Have breakfast
  • 8:30 am-12:00 pm: Explore and enjoy time on Halong Bay cruise
  • 12:30 pm: End of tour at Tuan Chau port. Get on the Limousine back to Hanoi
  • 03:00 pm: Arrive in Hanoi
Overnight on cruise is one of best choice to explore Halong Bay

Overnight cruise (3-day itinerary)

This is an option for tourists who want to experience Ha Long more deeply. An extra day in Ha Long Bay allows you to access to further areas. Every day, at a certain time, ships must return to the designated sleeping spot where the ship anchors and stays overnight. This is strictly regulated for safety reasons.

In addition, the 3-day itinerary offers visits to less touristy attractions and more interesting activities including cycling on a local island, visiting a pearl farm, spending time at a private beach..etc. Along with the longer itinerary, some on-board activities such as Tai Chi or squid fishing are repeated, which brings you a second chance to participate if you missed it on the first day.


  • This tour is ideal for those on an extended vacation and want the best experiences in Halong Bay.
  • Tourists have more time to relax and participate in various activities on and off the cruise.
  • Tourists will have more time to shop and witness local life in Ha Long and Quang Ninh.


  • 3-day, 2-night cruises are usually more expensive than the first two options.
  • Some visitors may feel bored practicing Tai Chi and squid fishing, as they’re repeated activities.

How many days should I stay in Halong?

Choosing how long to spend in Halong Bay is a difficult decision.

If you have more time, it’s advisable to extend your stay, as you will have the chance to visit neighboring areas like Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay. By that way, you’ll be able to enjoy all that the region has to offer to the fullest.

Hope you found these provided itineraries useful for your trip to Halong Bay!

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