Ha Long Bay:
One of The New 7 Wonders of the World
by Katie McCabe | @awelltraveledpair | March 12th, 2017
Ha Long Bay is a breathtaking natural wonder located in northern Vietnam. Known for its majestic limestone karsts and emerald green waters, Ha Long Bay is possibly the most beautiful bay in the world. Its ethereal atmosphere is so alluring that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Recently, it was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. If you're traveling to Vietnam and looking for an unforgettable experience, then a cruise through Ha Long Bay is definitely in order.
How To Get There
The best way to get to Ha Long Bay is by car or bus from Hanoi. The ride takes about three hours each way, and most tour companies include round-trip transportation when you purchase a tour.
What To Do
While there are other activities to do in Ha Long Bay, such as hiking, biking, and scuba diving, a cruise is a must-do. There are multiple tour companies that offer one to four day cruises.
A one day cruise is good for those on a time crunch. While you won't be able to see everything, you'll get a nice overview of this stunning area. It usually begins with an early morning pick-up in Hanoi, an afternoon cruise with a complimentary seafood lunch, sea cave kayaking, and a stop by a local floating fishing village. Most one day tours return to Hanoi around 7:00 pm.
If you're looking for more than a few hours in Ha Long Bay, then I recommend a two to four day cruise. Sleep aboard a traditional junk boat, and explore further destinations around the bay, such as Bai Tu Long Bay, Cap La Island, Cong Dam, and Yen Duc Village. The two to four day cruises offer a more complete, in-depth look at this magnificent place.
When To Go
Ha Long Bay has two main seasons: May through September is hot and rainy, and October through April is cool and dry.
The months of March, April, September, and October bring comfortable temperatures, dry weather, and are considered the best months to visit. The daytime highs sit around 78°F / 26°C and the evenings are a comfortable 70°F / 21°C.
The least desirable months of May, June, July, and August are often times consumed with storms, hurricanes, and cancelled cruises. I would try to avoid these months if possible, but you may get lucky with good, albeit hot, weather.
The in-between months of November, December, January, and February tend to be dry, but can get cool. It is not unlikely to see temperatures go as low as 50°F / 10°C during the night. It's a pleasant time to visit if you don't mind cooler days - around 67°F / 19°C.