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Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site’s outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest. Approximately a three-hour drive east of Hanoi, Halong Bay is a breathtaking landscape of 1,969 densely clustered limestone islands, arches and pinnacles rising right out of the emerald waters. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its surreal beauty, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s top destinations.

Region

Ha Long Bay

language

Vietnamese

capital

Hanoi

population

148,141

area

1,153 km²

currency

Vietnamese Dong

FIND YOUR

Inspiration

Decades of in-country expertise means our Destination Experience Designers can curate exceptional activities and experiences for you that are beyond the reach of the average traveller. Piece these together as a framework for your own bespoke adventure or find them in our featured journeys.

SPIRIT OF VIETNAM

Embrace the very best of Vietnam on this 12-day guided tour. See Ho Chi Minh’s glittering skyscrapers and green paddy fields from a speedboat as you race to the Cu Chi tunnels, where guerrilla fighters once hid during the Vietnam War; here, meet a Viet Cong veteran who will share with you what it was like to live in the tunnels. See the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel in Hue during a private tour before the palaces open to other tourists.

BEST OF VIETNAM: FROM NORTH TO SOUTH

Experience the best of Vietnam on an eight-day journey from north to south. Discover centuries of history and heritage in the old streets of Hanoi and immerse in the beauty of nature on an overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay. Then learn about agricultural traditions in Hoi An and explore vibrant markets and contemporary lifestyles in bustling Ho Chi Minh City.

SEE HA LONG BAY BY SEAPLANE

Make the most of your time in northern Vietnam with an exciting seaplane ride from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Soaring through the sky above the towering limestone islands, clear waters, shimmering beaches and green rainforests is easily one of the most exhilarating ways to experience the UNESCO-listed landscape.

SEAPLANE AND YATCH JOURNEY ON HALONG BAY

Embark on a join-in seaplane for a 60-minute scenic flight to Ha Long Bay. Afterwards, be welcomed with champagne and tropical fruits on a private yacht and cruise to the most beautiful middle core of Halong Bay.

SENSATIONAL VIETNAM & LAOS

Fall in love with Laos and Vietnam on this 2-week guided tour. Zip along the Saigon River in a speedboat, cruising past the city’s glittering skyscrapers to the Cu Chi tunnels. Here, walk through the tunnels dug during the Vietnam War and meet a Viet Cong veteran, who will share what it was like serving in the war. Board a private charter on the Mekong Delta and cruise to a coconut production plant, where you can taste the freshest-possible coconut juice.

EXPLORE THE ENCHANTING LANDSCAPES OF HA LONG BAY

Marked by towering limestone karsts, wave-eroded grottoes and over 3,000 forested islets, Vietnam’s hauntingly beautiful Ha Long Bay brims with hidden coves, secluded caves, captivating national parks and pristine beaches — all just waiting to be discovered.

PRIVATE LUXURY HANOI & HALONG BAY

Experience Hanoi highlights with choices of Jeep, Vespa, Vietnamese Pedicab as a mean of transportation to get around. Immerse the Hanoian local culture with typical food stalls on streetside, a must thing to do in Hanoi. Drive through the rice fields with scenic stop on the way to halong bay. Enjoy your private escape on the most luxurious overnight cruise on the bay.

INCREDIBLE INDOCHINA

Explore Southeast Asian cuisine during culinary experience at a Thai kitchen in Chiang Mai and glimpse Hanoi through the street foods and markets. Explore Chaing Mai, including an early morning visit to a monastery to offer alms to the Buddhist monks, and Chaing Rai, which features an exploration of the world of the Asia elephant. Engage with Cambodia’s astounding Angkor Wat temple complex near Siem Reap, and travel off track to less seen sites of Koh Ker, once capital for King Jayavarman IV, and Beng Mealea, a 12th-century temple the size of Angkor.

DISCOVER THE INSIDER’S HANOI

Head out for a cultural and culinary adventure in Hanoi. Discover the story of Ngoc Son temple which sits serenely in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Connected by a red bridge, the temple is dedicated to Tran Hung Dao who defeated Mongolian troops on three separate occasions in the 13th century. Taste some of the city’s most iconic street food, including the best pho noodles in town. Explore the colorful array of fruits and vegetables at Hang Be market and see a temple dedicated to merchants of silver.

When to go

Vietnam has a tropical climate with average annual temperatures ranging from 22°C to 34°C. Although temperatures are consistent year round, various parts of the country, at certain times of the year, can be affected by unpredictable storms which may cause flooding. From May to November, most of the country is affected by south-western monsoons. The rains, which tend to be concentrated in the late afternoons, provide welcome relief from the heat. The heaviest rainfall tends to occur between July and August in the north; June to October in the south; and October to December in Central Vietnam.

December to March is a pleasant time to visit the southern city of Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, although temperatures in Hanoi and northern regions tend to be cooler during those months. In the mountainous regions in the far north such as Sapa, the temperature can at times drop below zero. The best time to visit the north is between September and December when there’s a good chance of clear skies and low humidity, while March to September is an ideal time to enjoy the beaches and attractions of Central Vietnam. Beach destinations in the south such as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Con Dao Island are warm and sunny most of the year. However, the rainy season varies for each destination: Nha Trang (October to December); Phu Quoc (June to September) and Con Dao (November to January).

Destination Indochina DMC has been delivering rare opportunities to engage with beautiful Vietnam and her people. Our dedicated team of travel professionals have their finger on the pulse of what is new and trending in the region and our transformational journeys inspire travellers of all walks of life. Connect with specialists in culture, food, art, religion and history and get the best advice on where to eat, shop and unwind.

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