You want to make the most out of your trip to Halong Bay with the time you have, we understand. If you’re tight for time, a Halong Bay 1 day tour can be a great way to squeeze in some action amongst the incredible landscape of this World Heritage site. So, how can you tell if a Halong Bay 1 day tour is for you?
Why book a Halong Bay 1 day tour?
There are many good reasons:
- You are on a package tour to travel many places in Vietnam. Therefore, time is limited for you to relax and enjoy everything in Halong Bay.
- You are a solo traveler and traveling on a tight budget.
- You have sea sickness but still want to enjoy the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- You are with your kids but you are afraid that they might get bored for staying too long on a boat.
- Or you are wild and brave adventurers seeking the balance between islands, beaches, and mountainous areas of Quang Ninh province.
Is a Halong Bay 1 day tour enough to explore everything?
To be honest, saying it is enough is a big fat lie. You have to accept the truth that no matter how rich you are, time is limited to everyone. With only 6 hours on the boat, frankly speaking, it is totally impossible to witness Halong Bay with all of those islands and caves and people and beaches. Therefore, if you want to witness every magnificence of Halong Bay, it would be a wise choice to book a Halong Bay overnight cruise.
However, with 6 hours on a Halong Bay 1 day tour (a day trip varies from 4 to 6 hours, but I would strongly recommend a 6-hour tour), it is totally enough to explore all the major highlights of the Bay. Yes, only major destinations. If you want to visit off-beaten route of Halong Bay, overnight cruises are the only choices.
Consider the purpose of your trip to Halong Bay again, because it is very important to decide whether to choose a Halong Bay 1 day tour or overnight Halong Bay cruise. If you really want to fully discover some deeper, less traveled aspects of Halong Bay, overnight itineraries should be your main concern, not this post.
Have you made up your mind? Good. If you are not afraid of missing out on some of Halong Bay’s better-kept secrets, because you would like to keep Halong Bay as just a tiny part of your journey in Vietnam, then continue reading. I will not let your adventure plans down.
If not Halong Bay, what else is there to discover?
Let me be clear. The below destinations are only for wild and brave adventurers who dare to explore not only oceanic beauty but also the mountainous greatness of Vietnam. I would recommend a Halong Bay 1 day tour to any daredevil travelers out there. Quang Ninh province does not only have Halong Bay; there are so many more sights to see and experience out there!
Halong Bay may just be a small part of your journey, and geographically it is also a small part of Quang Ninh province. Quang Ninh is like a full package tour for travelers because it does not only have islands and beaches, but also mountainous areas. These areas are perfect to balance the beauty of oceanic Halong City. With five hours on a Halong Bay 1 day tour to see all the stunning and popular sights of Halong Bay, and the rest of the day to enjoy Halong beaches and gorge on fresh seafood or local cuisines. That’s usually enough for explorers on the go.
Instead of spending 2 or 3 days on board, it is time to take the rest of your time to explore all of the mountainous destinations of Quang Ninh province.
WARNING: all destinations below can only be enjoyed best by riding a motorbike to feel the wind, the heat, the dirt and the raw beauty!
Binh Lieu District
If a Halong Bay 1 day tour is enough and you want to explore other places, let’s take a look at Binh Kieu District. Not many people know about Binh Lieu, a mountainous district in the northern area of Quang Ninh and 108km away from Halong Bay. The district can be called another version of Sa Pa, the famous town in Lao Cai Province, with a similar climate, landscape, and cultural diversity.
It is hard to resist the charms of twisting roads, the rice terraces, the green mountains, the white waterfalls and the peaceful villages here. In the forests, flowers are almost always in bloom, all year long. March and April are the best times to visit Binh Lieu.
The culture is very rich because there are many local ethnic minorities living here such as Tay, Dao, San Chi, Kinh, Hoa.
Yen Tu Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Dong Trieu Mountains in the north-eastern area of Vietnam, located within the area of Uong Bi city, Quang Ninh Province. Besides being a famous natural landscape, Yen Tu preserves numerous historical relics and is also known as “The cradle of Buddhism in Vietnam”. Yen Tu is the perfect combination along with Halong Bay when visiting the coastal province, Quang Ninh.
On top of all, it is usually cloudy, so the mountain has been called “Bạch Vân Sơn” (White Cloud Mountain). You must walk 6000m to reach the peak of the mountain and it takes about six hours. On the way up before reaching the peak, you will walk past several attractions such as Giai Oan Spring (Justifying Spring) with a majestic green stone bridge connecting two sides. A pagoda is surrounded by six enormous towers, amongst which the biggest one is to worship King Tran Nhan Tong. These pagodas are Hoa Yen Pagoda, Van Tieu Pagoda and Dong Pagoda. However, if you are afraid of walking, cable cars are ready.
Standing on the highest peak of Yen Tu, you can do nothing but admire the beauty of extensive North-Eastern Vietnam, Bach Dang River, and especially the natural wonder of UNESCO world heritage site, Halong Bay.
Yen Tu festival occurs from January to March (moon calendar), and is a very popular festival that attracts many tourists.
Bai Tho (Poem) Mountain
The first and also the nearest attraction, Bai Tho Mountain, is located in the center of Halong City. You can easily visit this place right after your Halong Bay day cruise. The mountain has different shapes from different angles such as a lying tiger, a lion which is playing with its prey, or a dragon set to fly.
The mountain used to be called Truyen Dang Mountain (Light Projecting Mountain). According to the legend, the guards had to set fire at the top of the mountain to alarm the capitol about any aggressors they observed moving toward the city.
The name Poem Mountain originated from the many poems carved into rock of King Le Thanh Tong, Lord Trinh Cuong. Although it is not the highest mountain in the coastal city, the mountain is considered the most ideal place to view Halong Bay from above.
Ba Vang pagoda
The pagoda is located on Thanh Dang Mountain, West side on Uong Bi City and also has another name, Bao Quang Tu. From the pagoda, you can see the Bach Dang river right in front, a bit further away is Hai Phong city and Do Son beach, on your left is Thanh Long (Green Dragon) Mountain and on the other side is Bach Ho (White Tiger) Mountain.
It was built in 1706 under the dynasty of King Le Du Tong, and classified as historical monuments in the province of Quang Ninh.
This is the ultimate answer to any concern of whether to book Halong Bay 1 day tour or overnight ones. To me, I would still prefer to travel on an overnight cruise because when it comes to Halong Bay, relaxing is the only thing I want to do in this marvelous place of Vietnam.
I wish all of you adventurers about to visit Quang Ninh a wonderful time in Halong Bay as well as in great mountainous areas of Quang Ninh, Vietnam. Do not forget to share these beautiful experiences with your fellow adventurers! Safe travels.