Known for its emerald waters and towering limescale islands, Ha Long Bay is a key place to explore on any Vietnam trip. An expedition through Ha Long Bay will take your breath away as this stunning location is full of beauty and wonder. Kayaking Halong Bay is the experience of a lifetime.
Ha Long Bay is a popular place for diving and hiking whilst also famous for being the location where Tomorrow Never Dies. Yes, that’s right, Ha Long Bay is the stunning destination featured in the 1997 James Bond movie! However, we’re not here to discuss that famous aspect of Ha Long Bay but the other one… KAYAKING!
It’s not hard to understand why Ha Long Bay is one of Asia’s top kayaking destinations. With calm waters and hidden caves, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay is an incredible place to kayak and with those scenic views, probably the most jaw-dropping.
How to get to Halong Bay
The picturesque destination is located to the North East of Vietnam and is best reached from the capital of Hanoi as several buses depart the city daily aswell as a train. Both bus and train take you to Halong City where you will catch a ferry from the pier. The ferry will take you to Cat Ba Island, the most visited island in Ha Long Bay, aswell as some smaller islands. It will take approximately three hours to get from Hanoi and the journey is worth it! For a stress free experience, the Halong-Lan Ha Bay Cruise with Lunch and Kayaking is a worthwhile excursion taking you on a day tour from Hanoi that is planned and organised for you.
When to Go
Ha Long Bay is popular for kayaking year round as even in the Winter, the waters remain relatively warm. You will enjoy a quieter pace in the Winter as less visitors arrive due to the drop in temperature but even during the busy Summer months, you will still have a beautiful and relaxed experience.
Kayaking in Halong Bay
There are total of eight hot spots where kayaking is allowed within Ha Long Bay and kayaking provides you with the opportunity to explore by yourself.
Tung Sao and Cong Do
The Tung Sau area is a beauty spot perfect for swimming and relaxing aswell as a great place to visit a pearl farm. You can also discover the Cong Do area which is a masterpiece created by Mother Nature with coral reefs, underwater caves and large beaches.
The floating fishing village of Ba Hang is a must-visit area of Ha Long Bay. Here you can experience unique interactions with locals who are incredibly friendly whilst appreciating the charm of the village. The people here lead a simple life and are happy to share their stories
There is also the colourful village of Cua Vin which is the largest in the area. This village is beautifully eye-catching and incredibly photo-worthy. Meanwhile, Vung Vieng, which is more off the beaten track is the least touristy and most authentic village as they have not yet been disturbed by modern life. Vung Vieng is perfect for the traveller wanting to experience the traditional culture of this region and its villages.
Outside of the Villages – Luon Cave, Trinh Nu Cave and Ho Dong Tien
Outside of the villages, there are also some incredible caves to explore. Luon Cave is a wonder to behold with its unique, mysterious appearance whilst Trinh Nu Cave is full of legend and an important archaeological site. However, the most beautiful cave in Ha Long Bay is Ho Dong Tien which means ‘fairy lake’. This mystical cave has charming beauty with its striking stalactites, stalagmites and the legend that it was once the bathing ground for fairies.
Booking an Excursion for Kayaking in Halong Bay
No matter which area you are exploring, Ha Long Bay is a must-see destination. For the ultimate experience, this Halong Bay Kayaking Experience is an incredible way see it all. Including a scenic cruise, a kayaking adventure and spot of lunch, you will relax in luxury and relish in a stress free day with transport from Hanoi included and the day planned for you.
There are plenty of other excellent Halong Bay experiences that you can book with Get Your Guide with or without Kayaking.
Ha Long Bay has it all with so much to discover whilst being exciting and relaxing at the same time. If you’re an avid kayaker or love to explore the beauty of the world at your own pace, Ha Long Bay is the spot for you.
Health and Safety
We have had reports of strong currents in the caves and poor health and safety or supervision with some tours (read this Kayaking in Halong Bay warning on Lonely Planet). Some companies do not have life jackets or ropes for rescues. There have been previous deaths by drowning reported and some tourists have described how the current pulled them deeper into the cave and the guides were not available to help, or equipped for a rescue. It is better to do this as a strong swimmer or an experienced kayaker, and when kayaking, stay in small groups of 3-4 or close to the guide. Be wary of guides who are not in the kayaks with you – some just sleep on the boat!
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