Rising in majestic fashion from the northern shore of Vietnam, the limestone formations of Halong Bay create a unique, spellbinding landscape. Around 2,000 islands, islets, outcrops and towering mountains, draped in thick vegetation and riddled with grottos, soar above the green-blue waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
A fleet of converted junks guide visitors around the finest viewpoints and beauty spots, the most popular of them grouped on the western side of the bay, which is best visited on an overnight excursion from Halong.
However, to experience the rich biodiversity of the rainforest-clad karsts and reach the lesser-frequented caverns, lagoons and beaches on the more distant and quieter shores, we recommend a longer two-night three-day cruise.
Halong Bay follows similar weather patterns as the rest of north Vietnam and is best visited October – November, and March-May. The water is too cold for swimming in the winter, and although summer can be an enjoyable time to swim, kayak, and go caving. The summer months experience extreme rainfall which can sometimes mean boats stop sailing.