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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

How long do you recommend staying in Ha Long Bay?

How much time do you need to see and appreciate Ha Long Bay? And are the overnight cruises worth it?

15 Answers

top answer by
Son from Hanoi, Vietnam

Halong Bay is a best place when you come to Vietnam. In my opinion , I suggest you should prepare 3 - 4 days of your trip for staying in Ha Long Bay. The time will enough for you to explore a natural beauty of halong bay.

You can refer the services of They have many cruises with reasionable prices.

6 thanks

answered by
Diep from Thuy Anh, Thái Bình, Vietnam


You should stay in Halong 2 nights or more if you have free time. Important thing, you have to remmember that when travelling in Hạ Long Bay you should overnight in Halong Bay cruise to enjoy the natural beauty of Halong and join interesting activity in cruise such as cooking class, Tai Chi in morning and fresh seafoods buffet. You can refer Emotion cruise, Paradise cruise with US$40-60/pax.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hạ Long Bay (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
Teddy from New City, New York

I suggest you stay Halong for 2 days/1 night . Because it easy to book cruises in Halong . I recommend you book cruise via . I booked and have a great service.Thanks.

5 thanks

answered first by

You should either take an overnight cruise or stay overnight on Cat Ba Island

That way you get to see the place properly and also at dawn and at dusk, when it's really nice.

The one day trips to Hạ Long Bay are in my opinion a complete waste of time, as you only go to the places where you have hundreds of other tourists fighting to see the same 2-3 things.I have written a piece about the subject on this link:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cat Ba Island (hotel)
  2. Hạ Long Bay (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Adam!  Jacey and I were there in February 2015.  It was busy, but not overwhelming.  The weather was a bit on the cool side, but we really enjoyed our time. We opted for a luxury boat with four cabins called the Paradise Privilege.  The first night was us, and a couple with their two kids.  They disembarked the next day and we had the boat to ourselves the next night.  One night is not enough.  We thought two was perfect for us.  I think the overnight cruises are a great experience and we have wonderful memories.  Hope that helps!

2 thanks

answered by
Teddy from New City, New York

2 days/1 night.

1 thanks

answered by

Maybe 2 nights 1 day are enough for Halong Bay Vietnam. In my opinion, Halong is very beautiful and it's great to take a overnight cruise here. You shouldn't take a cruise with too cheap price because it may be not really safe for you.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Halong Bay Vietnam (attraction)

answered by
Sarah from Philadelphia

I went for only one night, but I recommend 2 or more if you have the time. Since it's at least a few hours drive from Hanoi, staying two nights gives you more time to enjoy the area, and it also gives you a better chance for great weather. While it's gorgeous even when it's overcast, you can't beat a sunny day in Halong Bay. 

As others have stated, an overnight cruise is the only way to go. Some of the ships there are gorgeous, not too large, offering beautiful staterooms, excellent dining and other amenities. Don't be deceived by the name "Junk boat," many of these could be 5 star accommodations.

Once you're on a cruise ship or private boat tour there are many destinations: small islands with beautiful views and swim areas, activities like kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and also floating markets/homes to visit and photograph. The cruises themselves are very relaxing and enjoyable with a mix of activity and downtime. Even those not looking for active outdoor adventures can enjoy morning Tai Chi, music, cooking demonstrations, or simply cocktails and dining with great views. 

Travel Vietnam (part of Asia Travel & Leisure) is a company I highly recommend for anyone interested in booking private trips:

answered by
Duyen from Hội An

If you want to see Hạ Long bat at its full, you definitely book an overnight tour. Otherwise, you just feel it's so hectic, rushed in 6 hours around the Bay. 

There are tons of cruises and tours in Ha Long which you can barely choose a good one. 

This one will give you all needed information about Ha Long bay and cruises to Ha Long.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hạ Long (attraction)

answered by
Jarrett from Seoul

I just did the one-day trip, would definitely recommend the overnight option instead. The 8 hr round trip to Hanoi is rough for one day.

answered by
Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam

It depends on how much time do you have? I prefer one night on boat and one night at resort, It was very interesting, I got best price from

answered by
Evanne from Chiang Mai, Thailand

I was there in March 2015 and did a two night cruise with Glory Legend Cruise. The bay itself is gorgeous, but we were underwhelmed with the cruise. Great food, but the kayaking "excursion" was kind of a joke and the one beach you go to is packed with a bunch of drunk tourists buying overpriced beer at a little hut.

It seems like the smaller and more "luxury" the boat the better. You get what you pay for - cheaper boats are filled with rowdy backpackers (we heard lots of horror stories about cruises that turned into insane party boats). You need to pick the right trip! 

We really wanted to stay on Cat Ba Island, but were unable to that trip. I'd recommend no more than 2 days! If you can, wait to plan this part of your trip based on the weather. It was foggy and drizzling the whole time, so we didn't get the picturesque views and that's kind of the point isn't it? If you get the chance, fish for squid! It's very entertaining. In my opinion, the rest of Vietnam was way more interesting!

I wrote a review of the cruise here:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cat Ba Island (hotel)

answered by

3-4 days

answered by
Greg from Brighton (England)

I would go for one of the over night cruises where you sleep on the ship. Its probably the more expensive option but is definitely the most comfortable, with the best food.  

answered by
Alana from Hoi An

I was there with my family in September 2015, weather was nice. If you’re planning to go there, should not go in from January to February, since that’s peak time in Vietnam , there are touristy and winter time is a bit cod and foggy, you cannot see landscape clearly, so that would be boring.
I spent 2 days 1 night on cruise to explore this gorgeous place, what an amazing place! We walked on islands, kayaking around, especially, joining in Tai Chi class on cruise in the early morning brought us really good feeling. Like a real paradise, we love this place best in the whole trip in Vietnam.
I would like to recommend you the tour we booked, really good service.


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