How Many Days In Halong Bay Is Enough? Here Are Travelers’ In-depth Reviews

It’s absolutely no coincidence that Halong Bay was granted its title “One of The 7 Natural Wonders Of The World”. The famous Vietnamese attraction amazes visitors not only because of its heavenly natural beauty, but also of its geological, historical, archeological values.

One of the most asked questions by our customers is: “How many days in Halong Bay do you actually need?”

However, we can’t tell if there is a right or wrong answer for such question, as personal preferences like budget, time and circumstances can wildly alter between people.

To give you a more objective and deeper look,  we have taken multiple advice from different travel bloggers on this topic. Take notes on any factor that matters to you, from then you can decide what type of cruise trip that fits you the most!

We asked them these questions in order to find the best solution for most scenarios, while identifying the pros and cons of each cruise trip type:

  • Do you think that it is enough to go on a ‘2 Days 1 Night’ cruise?
  • If not, how does ‘3 Days 2 Nights’ ones make any difference? Is the third day worth the extra budget?

Now, let’s see what they have to share:

How many days in Halong Bay is enough? – “I chose 3!”, shared Bruno from Geeky Explorer

Bruno from Geeky Explorer said it’s a mere rush of time if you spend only 2 days in Halong Bay

Cruising in Halong Bay twice, and having tried both 2D1N and 3D2N options, here what’s Bruno concluded:

“A 3 Days 2 Nights option, technically a total of 48 hours in Halong Bay, usually takes you to less touristy bays, islands, and coves, with less cruise traffic and tourists. Having done this option, I feel the additional day allows to truly unwind and relax in the scenery of Halong.”

To reinforce his third-extra-day preference, he added:

“The first part of the trip was too rushed and quite frankly, felt like being herded from point A to point B all the time. If you have the budget, I’d definitely recommend going for that extra day!”

Jessica and Laurence from IndependentTravelCats

This lovely couple from the U.S also shared their thoughts on the best cruise type to pick:

“I do think that 2 days and 1 night is enough for most visitors to Vietnam and is certainly better than a day cruise. But we chose to do the 3 Day/2night cruise as we had the time and really wanted to see more of the area, and we were glad we had done so. ”

Adam from TravelsOfAdam

“Halong Bay is an especially beautiful place in Vietnam, and while you may want to spend as much time there as possible, a 2 day 1 night cruise would probably suffice for most tourists. That experience will still provide you with some beautiful moments and relaxation.

“For those that have more time, more money, and more willingness to disconnect and enjoy nature, a third day is nice—but probably not necessary.”

Mei from MeiMeiChu

“It’s hard to advise on whether it is better to go on a 2-day or 3-day cruise as it really depends on the amount of time you have in the country, the people you are traveling with, and the cruise company.”

She continued on with her say on 2 days cruise trip:

“A 2-day trip is enough if you just want to see what Halong Bay is about. It gives a taster into Halong Bay and its famed undulating limestone karst that is truly mesmerizing. It also stops at approximately three scenic highlights that almost every boat also stops at – a cave, beach, hills – these places are beautiful but can also get quite crowded, which unfortunately takes away the quiet serenity that makes that places truly amazing.”

“You are also mostly on the boat, except for the hour or two at each spot. The night time was something special though, as the surrounding falls silent and you chill at the sundeck dwarfed by the looming shadows of the limestone karsts.”

However, she also suggested going for the third day with the following benefits:

“The 2-day itinerary may not be enough for the adventurous nature junkie who wants to explore more of Halong Bay and its surroundings. The 3-day itinerary provides a deeper experience of Halong Bay as it stops at Cat Ba Island where you can get off the boat and do some fun nature activities like hiking, biking and swimming. This allows you to get off the beaten path a little as most tourists will opt for the 2-day tour. As the 2-day itinerary is quite packed with a long drive on the first and second day, the 3-day itinerary allows more time to relax and really immerse yourself in Halong Bay. If you have the time, extra cash, and a love for nature, the 3-day itinerary would be more suitable.”

Flo Shih From YogaWineTravel

And here’s what Flo Shih shared with us:

“When you’re deciding how much time to spend on an overnight Halong Bay cruise, there are a few factors to bear in mind. In my opinion, a 3D2N cruise is the perfect amount of time sailing through the towering karst islets scattered around Halong Bay, and gives you the opportunity to not only make the most of your time relaxing on the ship, but also visit some of the highlights in Halong Bay. These include Ti Top Island, Cua Van Floating Fishing Village, Sung Sot Cave and more.”

travel blogger answer how many days in halong bay
Flo on her 3D2N trip to Halong Bay

“When you take a closer look at the itineraries for Halong cruise trips, a 2D1N trip typically boards at noon, and disembarks at 10 or 11 AM the next morning; this means, you really only get 1 full day and 1 night. The same goes for a 3D2N cruise – the length of the trip is closer to 2 full days and 2 nights. Cruising through Halong Bay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! My advice? Savor the journey and spend 3D2N exploring one of the “7 new natural wonders of the world”.

Sunset and sunrise in Halong Bay
Sunset and sunrise in Halong Bay. Source: Flo Shih
how many days in halong bay to watch pristine beauty of boats on water
The pristine beauty of Halong is definitely worth an additional day. A life-time experience, for sure! Source: Flo Shih

Key Takeaway: To explore the beauty of Halong, 2 days cruise is fairly necessary, but 3 days is the sufficient amount for the ultimate experience. 2 days in Halong Bay can only bring you to near and too-often-crowded attractions. So, if your time and budget permits, an additional day will get you to further and of course, untouched destinations with more activities and more time to spare!

Again, the decision of going on a 2 or 3 days cruise trip totally relies on your personal preference. If you are boasting with hefty budget and time, then why not go for a fully spectacular 3 days trip? On the other hand, you can always find 2 days trip available at your service whenever you find your time and money are somewhat limited.

Wanna see how 2D1N differs from 3D2N itinerary? Check out our article here: Detailed itinerary comparison – 3 days 2 nights Vs 2 days 1 night

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