4 Cool Things to do in Halong City, Vietnam

Featured, Amazing Things to do in Halong, Vietnam, Survive Travel

Discover 4 cool things to do in Halong City. The minibus from Nanning dropped me close to the beach front in Halong City. There aren’t too many things to do in Halong City but you can use it as a base to tour Halong Bay. Also, you can check out Tuan Chau and Cat Ba islands.

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4 Cool Things to do in Halong City

So it seems I’m going Halong – Catba – Halong – Sapa – Hanoi. If I were to do it again, I’d go from Nanning to Haiphong, then to Cat Ba from Haiphong. It seems much easier and reliable. Haiphong is also a more interesting place than Halong City, or so I’ve read.

1. Beachfront Markets

The first thing on my list of cool things to do in Halong City is to go to the beachfront markets.

There is a friendly guy that will change your money. He’ll match what you got at the border. Look for his sign.

Things to do in Halong City, Vietnam, Markets

By Davutru (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Check out Tuan Chau

I set out to get to Cat Ba in the morning and took a moto from Bai Chay to Tuan Chau wharf. He wanted 100 000, I haggled to 70 000 but ended up giving 90000 as the journey was quite far. About 10 minutes

I missed the 0900 ferry by about 20 minutes so I went for a walk to kill time until 11:30. There is not much to see in Tuan Chau, although there’s a lot of construction. Maybe in 5 years, it will be a big tourist destination.

Things to do in Halong City, Vietnam, Tuần Châu

By Takeshi aka. Momotaro from Tokyo, Japan (Tuan Chau) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Catch a Ferry to Cat Ba Island

From Tuan Chau Wharf you can catch the ferry to Cat Ba Island.

Timetable and Prices of Ferries From Tuan Chau Wharf
Note that the ferries are less frequent during the offseason. They need at least 30 passengers or will not leave.

Things to do in Halong City, Vietnam, Cat Ba Island Ferry Schedule

Timetable of Ferries From Tuan Chau Wharf Timetable of Ferries From Tuan Chau Wharf

4. Go on a Boat Cruise of Halong Bay

Going on a boat cruise of Halong Bay is the most popular thing to do in Halong City.

My 11:30 ferry to Catba didn’t leave because I was the only customer. Instead, a young Vietnamese man (mid-20’s) offered to take me on his boat. But he wanted 1,000,000 Baht. I declined and he said that I could have lunch on his boat and take a nap until the 15:00 ferry.

It was a simple Vietnamese lunch. Very nice. Fish, chicken, cabbage, and rice. Chased with a cup of Happy Water (rice wine). I took a quick nap then remembered how much I hated boats, so decided not to bother with CatBa. After my nap, I left for the bus station and gave him 30,000 for lunch, although he didn’t ask for it. I hope I didn’t offend him.

Cheap Accommodation in Halong City

There is a lot of cheap accommodation in Halong City. I paid 14,000VND for a private room at the Nga Trang Hotel. I’m sure you could haggle down to 12,000.

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  • SarahReply January 11, 2018 at 00:05

    My sister went to Vietnam just over twelve months ago, when she got back she showed us all her photos and videos, vietnam was beautiful especially Halong Bay, Its a shame you never got the boat cruise. But i can understand i am not a huge fan of boats either.

  • UtMinhReply January 11, 2018 at 00:17

    Thank you for coming to our country. You really have a great experience in Ha Long Bay. This is a place where I travel the most and have unforgettable memories. I hope you will come to more places in Vietnam. Thanks for sharing!

  • Star harfordReply January 11, 2018 at 09:26

    I like the sound of going on a boat cruise off Halong Bay And can see why its popular. Your story about it did make me laugh though!

  • LaurenceReply January 11, 2018 at 10:42

    I’d like to try that cruise in halong bay. the view is really relaxing. good to know there are cheap accommodation too.

  • RoseReply January 11, 2018 at 18:13

    I have never been here. Your day seemed to be very busy even though you didnt take the boat. I like that you were offered lunch and a place to stay. It’s kind of a pain to have not been able to take the boat due to the 30 people limit.

  • jhilmilReply January 12, 2018 at 00:15

    I would love cruising the halong bay, but I think i really need to be on time so that i don’t miss the other activities.

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