Swimming and sunbathing in Halong
Halong in the clouds
How to get to Halong Bay?
About 170km away from Hanoi capital with 3 – 4 hours go by car, Halong Bay is easily accessible by different means of transportation.
This type of transfer is available for departing from Hanoi center only. The shuttle bus can be understood as “tourist bus”, leaving Hanoi around 08:00 and return at 12:00 from Halong Bay every day. If your hotel is located in Hanoi Old Quarter, you will be picked up from the hotel. Otherwise, you have to take a taxi to the meeting point. Shuttle bus costs from USD10 to USD30/person/one way.
If you arrive to Noi Bai Airport and want to travel to Halong city, rent a car with a driver. Several companies offer this service at a little less than USD 100/one way for private car from Noi Bai to Ha Long.
You can choose service of Halong Express train departs from Gia Lam Railway Station to Ha Long, USD20/single ticket.
From Danang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, you can fly either to Hanoi or Hai Phong Airport and get a car transfer to Halong Bay. From other Southeast Asia countries, you also need to fly into one of these two airports to get access to Halong Bay.
You can also travel to Halong Bay on helicopter which takes about 1.5 hour and it is only possible from Hanoi. This service is exclusively run by Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company and it is quite a costly option to reach Halong Bay.
In addition to the usual transportation, tourists from Hanoi also have a new choice for modern and luxury seaplane for travelling Halong Bay. The seaplane with 2 pilot seats, 12 passenger seats and spacious windows, not only saves travel time, but also help you comfortably see the beauty from plane, as well as record memorable moments of Halong Bay from a height of between 150 and 3,000 meters above sea level.
Visiting Halong Bay on seaplane
Shopping and price in Halong
Ha Long market, located on Bach Dang Street, in the Ha Long city center, is the largest market in Quang Ninh province. Built in 2003, Ha Long market has become a popular shopping place for locals and tourists alike. There are a variety of goods sold here.
Night market is near Bai Chay Beach, open every day from 6.00 pm until late night. The market is a group of more than a hundred stalls which sell diverse types of products, such as handicrafts, handmade accessories, clothes, and other dispensable items such as swimwear, lotion, or hat. Tourists tend to come to this place for purchasing unique products of the beach city like necklaces made from seashells, snails, wooden small boats, or T-shirt with images of Ha Long Bay. Price range is higher than other markets in the city.
Halong night market
¨Must to try¨ food
One of the memorable experiences is enjoy the local food. Halong is famous for variety cuisines with seafood that tourist not to be missed when travelling here.
Firstly, we cannot fail to mention Squid Sausages. This famous specialty is processed with fresh squid. What made special flavor to fried squid is the hands pounding technique, instead of grinding as many other places. After tasting spices, the patties are fried on a pan with boiling oil. It makes the squid sausage more crunchy and charming. Despite the relatively high price, 300.000 – 450.000 VND per kg, but tourists are still looking to buy in the market when they come here.
You also should to try ¨Ngán¨. You will be surprised with its name that means ¨boring¨ in Vietnamese. However it is considered as the most delicious dish in Halong. ¨Ngán¨ is a mollusk with bivalve like clams, it can be processed in various ways: grilled, steamed, cooked soup, fried with noodles or vegetables. ¨Ngán¨ can also be used to make wine. The wine which is processed by ¨Ngán¨ has its own scent from the sea. If you would like to buy fresh ¨Ngán¨ or wine, you can go to Cai Ram market, Vuon Dao market.
It is very strange when you are heard about Sa Sung – a kind of sea worn. It lives deeply in the sand and only in Quan Lan island (Quang Ninh Province). So this is a quite expensive dish in Halong Bay. Fresh ¨Sa Sung¨ can be stir-fried with garlic or dried, grilled, roasted to eat with drinking alcohol. In addition, it is also used to make spices for noodle soup.
Another famous seafood dish in Halong is Snail. Halong has a variety of snail so that if you hear about it, you have to ask to repeat or need a pen and paper to record because it is hard for you to remember: hương snail (Flavor), đĩa snail (plate), vặn snail (twisted), Gai snail (prickle), … Served with snail is the special sauces to make that dish more tasty.
It is a pity when you travel to Halong without enjoying Tu Hai. If you have once enjoyed, surely that you will not forget the typical taste of this seafood. Tu Hai can be steamed, make salad, cooked soup, grilled….. The appetizer with steamed Tu Hai has cool and sweet taste and it can be said that this is the most delicious, nutritious dish.
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