Halong Bay

11 Steps to Plan A Tour from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous tourism destinations in Viet Nam that you definitely put on the must-visit list when you come to Vietnam. Especially, if you have the opportunity to Hanoi, making a trip to Ha Long Bay from this city will be much easier. Today, Hanoi Explore Travel will guide you 11 Simple Steps to Plan Your Halong Bay Trip from Hanoi. Let start!

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Step 1: Researching on Ha Long Bay

  • Before starting a trip to any place, researching is one of the important steps to understanding where you will go. Therefore, you can search key word about tours from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay on search engines or read some articles about Ha Long Bay from famous travel bloggers. This will give you an overview of Ha Long Bay and gain experience to plan your trip to Ha Long Bay.
  • Besides, you should read some articles and books about Ha Long Bay to get inspiration and understand more about culture and local people in Ha Long Bay.

Step 2: When are you going to start the tour ?

  • The travel time is essential because it will affects the activities which you can do in Ha Long Bay as well as your budget. Of course, this depends a lots on your schedule but don’t worry! Ha Long Bay is a year-round tourism destination so travelling at different times, you can enjoy the different charms of Ha Long Bay.

Spring – Enjoying the festive atmosphere (from January to March)

  • Spring is the rainy season of Ha Long Bay with drizzle and misty sky. However, if you come to Ha Long Bay this season, you can see colorful paintings of nature. In addition, from late January to early February is Tet holiday – the biggest holiday of year in Vietnam and March is the best time for traditional festivals. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to see Vietnamese culture as well as participate in interesting activities with local people.

Summer – High season for domestic tourists (from April to August)

  • Visiting Ha Long in the summer, you will enjoy swimming, participate in funny activities on the Bay such as kayaking, windsurfing, skydiving…. However, there are many storms and tropical depressions in July and August, so activities on the Bay will be banned. Therefore, coming in April, May and June is the most suitable for you.

Fall – Enjoying the romantic autumn of Ha Long (from September to October)

  • In the fall of Ha Long Bay, there is always sunshine and clear sky, the weather is not too cold, you can still swim. At this time, the storm is less, the number of visitors also decreases, so it will avoid crowded.

Winter – Discovering the quiet charm of Ha Long (November to early January)

  • Winter in Ha Long is usually in the temperature range of 16-18oC. Coming to Ha Long in winter, visitors have the opportunity to admire the image, sound of fishermen’s daily life in the early morning. In addition, you can save money if traveling to Ha Long Bay this season because the price of the service will be lower than other periods.

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Step 3: How long will you stay in Ha Long Bay?

  • Ha Long Bay is not a large area but extremely diverse with many interesting places to explore from enchanting limestone mountains and natural caves to fishing villages or beautiful beaches. Depending on your schedule, you can actively choose the time for a trip to Ha Long Bay to suit for each person’s condition. Here are some suggestions for you:

>>> Read more: Halong Bay on a Day Trip or Overnight Cruise?: Which One is Suitable?

Day tour – Reasonable choice for busy people

  • If you do not have much time to Hanoi and want to combine a short trip to Halong Bay, a day tour is definitely right for you. Of course, you can make the trip yourself to Ha Long Bay but it is better to book a package tour of Hanoi to Ha Long Bay.
  • In this type of tour, you can visit some of the famous destinations in Ha Long Bay with a tour guide helping you to discover more about the Bay in a short time. More important, travel companies always have their own transportation from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay and vice versa, so you can return to Hanoi on time.

>>> Read more: How to Make a Perfect Halong Bay Day Trip from Hanoi?

2 Day 1  Night Tour – The popular choice in Ha Long Bay

  • A favorite choice for most travelers to Ha Long Bay is a 2 days-1-night cruise. With this tour, you can visit most famous destinations in Ha Long Bay, perform some typical activities such as kayaking, diving, exploring fishing villages, sampling food, night squid fishing,… and have a romantic night on board.

>>> See more: Halong Bay Luxury Cruise – How To Choose The BEST one !

3 Days – 2 Nights tour or longer – Exploring deeply Ha Long Bay

  • If you like discovering new things, the longer time in Ha Long Bay will allow you to explore the hidden beauty in here . You may have the opportunity to reach more remote areas that are rarely mentioned in articles about Ha Long Bay.
  • In addition, you can participate in other interesting activities such as visiting pearl farm or squid fishing. Besides, you can consider the 2 days-1-night and one-night itinerary at the hotel in Ha Long city to enjoy the city’s nightlife.


2Days 1 Night on Halong Bay Cruise

Step 4: Deciding on budget for your Hanoi tour to Ha Long Bay

  • Are you a traveler looking for a money-saving trip? Or are you planning a luxurious honeymoon with a romantic atmosphere in Ha Long Bay? Or maybe, you just want a simple trip to Ha Long Bay to relax after busy work? Do not worry! There are many optional services at Ha Long at any price you want. You can easily calculate the budget for a trip by considering 3 factors.
  • First of all, you have to set the maximum budget spending on your trip. Secondly, you should research on the cost of accommodation in Ha Long Bay such as accommodation, meals and transportation costs,… In addition, you can ask the experience in travel forums about the average cost of a tour to Ha Long. Finally, depending on your research and your expectation, you can know pretty much exactly how much you will spend on your trip.

Step 5: Choosing a route from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

  • There are many different modes of transport from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Depending on your requirements and budget, you can choose the appropriate way to get to Ha Long Bay among the transportation options below:

By Local coach

  • Because of its convenience and cheap price, local coach is a popular means of getting to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi. However, local coaches are not the ideal means of transportation to get to Ha Long Bay, it also has some disadvantages: The coach is mainly transportation for locals, so the driver can hardly speak English. Also, it is not suitable for a day trip because you have to depart and leave the bay early. This will make you rush and run out of energy for traveling.

By Shuttle bus

  • Shuttle bus is a kind of high quality minibus mainly used by foreigners. It usually runs straight to Ha Long Bay without stopping midway to catch more passengers, so it only takes 3-3.5 hours to reach Ha Long Bay. In addition, the shuttle bus includes some advanced services such as wifi, water on the bus and staffs can speak English fluently, so the price will be higher.

By Private car

  • If you want to be proactive in time, private car is a great option for you. It is suitable for flexible travelers not like following any fixed schedule or like travelling with a small group. You can choose a private car with a driver at the tour counter where you are staying or at reputable travel agents in Hanoi.

Step 6: Selecting a room in Ha Long Bay

  • There are many options for you to choose a suitable accommodation in Ha Long. Here are some common accommodation types in Ha Long Bay:

Cruises – Enjoying the breathtaking views of Ha Long Bay

  • In addition, you can have a great experience to spend a night in the starry sky, listen to the sound of the wind and the waves, breathe fresh air and receive the first sunshine to begin a new day.
  • There are two types of cruise on Ha Long Bay: luxury and casual travel, all include 3 main meals, scenic tickets, guides and other activities on the schedule.

Hotel and Residences – A reasonable choice for a budget trip

  • To save money, a lot of tourists stay at hotels and residences when visiting Ha Long Bay. In addition, you can get closer to the locals and explore their daily lifestyle and interesting culture of Ha Long city. Moreover, many hotels and residences in Ha Long city have a unique and diverse architecture that is really suitable for those who love new experiences.
  • If you stay in Ha Long Bay for 2 days 1 night, cruises are high recommended to fully enjoy the majestic beauty of Ha Long Bay. However, if you stay longer, you can consider a combination of cruises and other types of accommodation to explore both the Bay and culture as well as cusine in Ha Long city.

Resort – Experience first-class vacation in Ha Long Bay

It is also a great option to experience the most modern facilities with professional services. Most resorts are near the beach, so you can easily enjoy underwater activities as well as explore Ha Long city. Some famous resorts such as: La Paz Resort, Royal Resort and Villa, Tuan Chau International Resort, etc.

Best Ideal for Halong Bay Day Trip from Hanoi

Step 7: Determining the location you will arrive in Ha Long Bay

  • Ha Long Bay is a complex of thousands of islands and limestone mountains located on the sea. It is not a large area but there are countless things waiting for you to explore. Here is a list of destinations you definitely visit when visiting Ha Long Bay :

Dau Go Cave – the largest cave in Ha Long Bay

  • Coming to Dau Go Cave, you will be overwhelmed by the beauty of stalagmites and stalactites like rock waterfall varing according to color, the intensity and angle of light. This is one of the most majestic caves of Ha Long.

Thien Cung Cave – A gift of nature in Ha Long Bay

  • Thien Cung cave is located in the north of Dau Go cave. It is famous for its marvelous and magnificent stalactite system that makes the cave look like a heavenly palace (meaning Thien Cung in Vietnamese).

Sung Sot Cave – A wonderful cave in Ha Long Bay

  • Sung Sot is one of the most beautiful and widest caves of Ha Long Bay located on Bo Hon Island. It is famous for its richly shaped fossils that might surprise you with its beauty.

Ti Top Island – Bright pearl of Ha Long Bay

  • The island is a popular tourist attraction in Ha Long Bay with quiet and airy atmosphere as well as natural landscapes. Ti Top beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ha Long with pristine white sand, clear water and light waves. This is an ideal place for swimming and other marine sports.

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Dragon Eye Island – A newly discovered wild beauty

  • This island has the eye shape of a legendary dragon. While most of the islands in Ha Long Bay are exploited for tourism purposes, Mat Rong Island can still retain its pristine beauty with great scenery and clear water.
  • In addition, if you have a lot of time, you have more chances to explore the hidden beauty of Ha Long Bay. In case you have more than 2 days in Ha Long Bay, you should spend time on visiting Cat Ba Island, Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay which are also famous tourist destinations and quite close to Ha Long Bay. If you want to explore remote areas, you can take an adventure trip to the new caves and islands.

>>> Read more: Top-Rated Things to Do in Halong Bay – Activities, Map, Route, Tips

Halong Bay Overview

Step 8: Which activities will you do in the Ha Long Bay ?

  • Besides visiting the tourist destinations, there are many interesting activities waiting for you in Ha Long Bay to make your Ha Long Bay tours more perfect and full of wonderful experiences, you should learn these activities. Here are some activities that you should not miss in Ha Long Bay tours:

Joining in Ha Long Bay Tour

Kayaking in Halong Bay
  • When talking about activities at the Bay, kayaking is an indispensable activity. This is one of the best ways to admire the breathtaking beauty and immerse yourself in the clear waters of Ha Long Bay . The kayak is quite easy to use and a safety guide will accompany you. In addition, this activity is included in most tours on Ha Long Bay, so don’t hesitate to try kayaking.
  • In addition, visiting floating fishing villages is a great activity that you should not ignore. You can experience the daily life of locals and enjoy the rustic charm of Ha Long Bay. Moreover, you can try night squid fishing on the yacht. It was definitely a superb experience. You can see the shimmering and mysterious scenery of Ha Long Bay at night also enjoy the fresh squid for the next day’s meal.

>>> See more: Kayaking in Halong Bay – The Completed Guide to Explore Amazing Bay

Exploring Ha Long city

Which activity do you explore in Ha Long city ?

  • If you have the opportunity to explore Ha Long city, enjoy Ha Long cuisine is a great choice. Because of the comfortable weather and rich cultural identity, Ha Long city has many unique specialties. Futhermore, experiencing the nightlife of Ha Long city and participating in local festivals are recommended activities for tourists.

Step 9: Booking a tour or self-sufficient travel is better?

  • There is no exact answer to this question, it depends on your conditions and requirements. For example, if you want to make a day trip to Ha Long Bay, it is better to book a Hanoi tour to Ha Long Bay because you do not have to worry about transportation … and especially, you have a travel guide to help you explore here.
  • For a 2 days – 1 night trip, an overnight tour in Ha Long Bay is the best choice to fully enjoy the beauty of the bay. In addition, most cruises will provide you with transportation from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Also, if you are traveling with a large group of friends and family over 10 people, booking a tour is highly recommended.
  • Of course, self travel is also an fascinating experience to enjoy the beauty of Ha Long Bay in your own way. And it is chosen by many young people when coming to Ha Long Bay.

Step 10: Making reservation

  • After deciding to book a tour or travel on your own, the next step is making reservation!
  • If you want to book a tour from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay for your vacation, make sure you research carefully to choose a reputable travel company. After that, you should tell them all of your special needs, the type of accommodation or transportation you prefer and the destinations you want to go.
  • If you self travel ,remember to book your transportation, accommodation. Especially, in the peak season of travel, you should book about 2 weeks before arrival. Additionly, you always need to check what included in your reservation and book at the official channels to avoid fraud.

Through the Booking Site

  • Obviously this method of booking has huge advantages. First of all, there are thousands of Ha Long Bay tours available on booking websites so you can have a wide selection from budget tours to luxury tours. Booking tours ‘s another advantage of booking through booking websites is transparency. All information such as price, amenities, itinerary, including and exclusions are clearly displayed.
  • However, booking tours through the booking site also has some disadvantages. As you know, prices and transactions on these sites change daily, sometimes the price of tours on websites can be higher than the actual price of the tour. To choose a good price tour, you must take the time to hunt for special offers and discounts. Beside that the number of phishing sites is on the rise today so research, read carefully about the site and its policies before booking.

Through Travel Agencies

  • Travel agencies are where they will listen and fulfill most of your requests. Therefore, booking tours through travel companies is the favorite method of many tourists. In particular, if you travel with a group of more than 10 people, you definitely choose this booking method because travel companies will give you lots of additional discounts and benefits.
  • We recommend that you visit the travel agency offices directly if possible. Because you can get direct advice from travel experts, especially when you want to design a custom tour or have special requirements like traveling with young children, the elderly or problems about health, etc. In addition, you can pay directly at the office with more transparent and reliable documents.

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Through Cruise Operators

  • There are a number of cruise operators with offices in Hanoi but most cruise operators only have offices in Ha Long city. Therefore, if you want to book a tour through cruise operators, you have to come and book in Ha Long Bay yourself. While you book through booking websites or travel agencies, transportation from Hanoi to Ha Long is included in your ticket price.
  • However, you have to face the problem that all train tickets are sold out. So this booking method is not recommended, especially during the peak season of travel in Ha Long Bay.

Step 11: Checking the weather forecast and pack your luggage before traveling

  • When all the above steps are done, the only thing you should do is preparing your luggage to be ready for a trip to Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. However, remember to check the weather forecast to bring the right clothes. Perhaps, in the worst case of a storm in Ha Long Bay, you should cancel the trip for your safety. Therefore, checking the weather forecast is extremely necessary.

There are 11 steps to plan a Hanoi tour to Ha Long Bay. It’s quite simple to follow, right?

After completing all the above steps, are you ready to explore Ha Long Bay? We hope that you said yes, or at least your visit to Ha Long Bay could become easier after reading this article. Have a nice trip.


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