While international and domestic tourists have flocked to Ha Long Bay to admire the karst topography for many years, Ha Long City has lacked cultural events, modern entertainment and attractive beaches to prolong the duration of their visits. But that’s finally changing thanks to a major makeover that’s transformed the city’s image.
A natural wonder of the world
When Ha Long Bay was recognised as world nature heritage by UNESCO in 1994, people in Ha Long city and Quang Ninh Province imagined a bright future for their homeland’s tourism industry. Each year, the city started to see millions of tourists from all over the world, but very few actually stayed in Ha Long City. Both domestic and international tourists were coming to see Ha Long Bay, considered to be a ‘natural wonder of the world’, a place you ‘must see in your lifetime’.
The city of Ha Long was regarded as a pit-stop. Most tourists simply clambered off a bus before boarding a traditional junk and setting off across the bay for a sightseeing tour. When they returned to shore, there were not enough activities or attractions in Ha Long to keep people entertained for a few days. Besides enjoying dinner at a seafood restaurant, for more than two decades, most travellers rarely explored Ha Long city.
A new dawn
But now, several renovation projects - developed under the investment of Sun Group - have given Ha Long a facelift that’s transforming its image and encouraging visitors to stick around. When they first outlined their strategic vision for Ha Long City, one of the primary goals for Sun Group, working in collaboration with Quang Ninh authorities, was the clean-up and renewal of Bai Chay beach. For years, the beach had been suffering from pollution caused by industrial mining and urban expansion. Tourists had little interest in spending time there. But by treating domestic wastewater, replacing the sand and developing the gorgeous Bai Chay Bridge, which features colourful LED lights every night, a transformed Bai Chay beach with white sands and clear waters now attracts scores of visitors through the year, and many more during public holidays.
That was just the beginning of Sun Group’s plan to make Ha Long city a more attractive tourist destination. In June 2016, Sun World Halong Complex, a world-class entertainment complex, opened. Industry observers said that this was a huge moment for Ha Long, which means ‘Descending Dragon’ in Vietnamese.
You could say that Sun World Halong Complex reawakened this dragon land after a long slumber. Now families and groups of friends visiting Ha Long can enjoy wonderful panoramic views of Ha Long Bay and Ha Long City from on high, with the Queen Cable Car and Sun Wheel on Ba Deo Hill. Furthermore, Dragon Theme Park and Typhoon Water Park also have a lot to offer guests, like Asia’s longest and most fascinating rollercoaster and many more exciting games and rides.
Since the opening of Sun World Halong Complex, it’s no coincidence that hotels and resorts in the city centre are usually fully booked on holidays. If you want to stay near Bai Chay area, you need to book your hotel at least a week in advance. Even good restaurants in the city’s centre are often filled to capacity at during peak seasons.
A surge in tourism
A representative of Vietrantour Travel Company said: “The appearance of Sun World Halong Complex has contributed greatly to the attractiveness of Ha Long Bay. When Sun Group launched Sun World Halong Complex, Quang Ninh province and Ha Long City witnessed a major surge in tourism”.
In 2018, Quang Ninh welcomed 12.2 million visitors, an increase of 24 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, including 5.2 million international visitors, up 22 per cent compared to 2017, with a large number of tourists coming to Ha Long. Tourism revenue reached VND 24,000 billion, up 28.1 per cent over the same period last year. Meanwhile, Quang Ninh received about 7 million tourists in 2017. It’s expected that 2019 will see even stronger figures than 2018 as Ha Long City and Quang Ninh look to grow from strength to strength.
All boats rise with the tide
There’s no doubt that the development of Bai Chay Bridge, the clean-up of Bai Chay beach, and Sun World Halong Complex have energised the city centre of Ha Long, and there are more plans in the pipeline from Sun Group, which has set out to develop a whole tourism ecosystem around the Bai Chay area. As the old saying goes, all boats rise with the tide.
Located right next to the Sun World Halong Complex, Sun Premier Village Resort Ha Long Bay offers resort villas and shophouses for visitors. At Sun Plaza Grand World – Shophouse Europe, Sun Group recreates the architectural splendour of Vienna while also serving as a centre for entertainment, culture and art. The square was put into operation on the occasion of 2018 Ha Long Carnival festival, a new cultural attraction that will be held on an annual basis, attracting visitors and entertaining residents with a special festive atmosphere with light shows, musical performances, dances and much more at the Sun Carnival Ha Long Square.
A hotspot for festivals
Sun Group has been working closely with local authorities with the aim of making Ha Long a "hotspot of festival tourism”. A wide range of cultural events and festivals have already been held since the beginning of 2017, including a Flower Festival, Carnaval Halong 2018, Four Seasons Festival and Sunrise Festival 2018. Many more cultural and artistic activities will take place in Sun World Halong Complex through 2019 as the aim is to make Ha Long an even more exciting destination all year-round.
Nguyen Van Tuan, Former Director General of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said: “The new tourism products of Sun Group have contributed to positively changing Ha Long, especially around the Bai Chay area. We have not only seen an increase in the number of visitors, but also a ripple effect through the city. Hotels are often filled to capacity, and there has been an increase in the production and circulation of goods.”
Looking forward, major projects from investors will continue to help Quang Ninh, in general, and Ha Long City, in particular, achieve fast but sustainable socio-economic development. As Sun Group continues to develop a complete tourism ecosystem, and prepares to open a five-star resort beside Bai Chay, Ha Long is on its way to becoming one of Vietnam’s most popular destinations. Perhaps soon, Ha Long can even ‘lift the crown’ and be declared as the country’s leading destination.
Halong bay is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam, with its majestic natural beauty, this site is one of the tourist destinations that you should not miss in life. Come once here to discover the beauty of Halong bay – twice time to be recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage and one of the seven new natural wonders of the world. world. We would like to share with you some useful experiences when traveling Halong, to take top destinations Halong city.
Co To Island
To admire Co To Island with beautiful coral reefs, guests can sail to the island and bathe here. Cô Tô island still retains the rare wildness amidst the bustling atmosphere of Halong tourism.
Tuan Chau Island:
It is the most beautiful island among the 1,969 islands in Halong bay, which is also the only island inhabited by people. This is the largest artificial beach in Vietnam. Co Co beach with white sand is an ideal place to have fun and participate in exciting water sports.
Hang Luon (Luon tunnel):
Halong tourism is proud of the cave system is very large, each cave has its own beauty and the story attached to it. One of the typical caves is Luon Cave located on Bo Hon Island, 14 km from Bai Chay. Here you can see the stalactites were built for millions of years in a variety of shapes and sizes. In front of the cave is the island of Tortoise, on the right is Heaven Gate. It is famous for kayaking or bamboo activities, and it is like must-do activity when you join a cruise tour in Halong bay.
Yen Tu relic
HaLong tourism is not only the sea. If you want to go to worship the temple, visitors visit Yen Tu. This is a system of pagodas, am, towers and forests of ancient trees mixed with natural scenery, scattered from red slope to Yen Tu mountain gradually.
Cua Van fishing village
One of the bold destinations of Vietnam’s Halong tourism. At Cua Van fishing village, visitors not only enjoy a peaceful and peaceful environment but also learn about the cultural life of fishermen, learn how to sail, fishing
Historical vestiges in Halong city
Bai Tho mountain relics, Tran Quoc Nghia temple, Quang Ninh historical preservation … are the relics that visitors visit when coming to Halong city.
Halong tourism in particular and Quang Ninh in general not only owns beautiful natural landscapes but also many famous and savoury specialties from sea waves. Here are the lists of can-not-miss dishes that you should try when visiting Halong.
1. Sticky rice with grilled chopped squid (Xôi trắng chả mực)
Sticky rice with golden grilled chopped squid, eat with fish sauce and pepper, all make a super delicous dish for breakfast or lunch. The average price for a plate ranges from 15,000 to 20,000 VND, or you can buy only grilled chopped squid with the price from 250,000 VND.
2. Pancake with grilled chopped squid (Bánh cuốn chả mực)
“Banh cuon” with meat, mushrooms, fungus, shredded meat and onion-scented, served with famous grilled chopped squid, all create unforgetable taste. You can enjoy it near Bach Dang cinema, Halong city.
3. Ngán dish (Món ngán)
“Ngán” is a bivalve mollusk such as clams, can be processed in various ways: grilled, steamed, made soup, fried with noodles or vegetables. “Ngán” also can be used to make wine which owns sea scented. You can try it in all restaurants in Halong, if you want to buy wine, you can go to Cai Ram market and Vuon Dao area.
4. Sipunculus (Sá sùng)
Sipunculus is a kind of sand worm, a kind of seafood that only exists in Halong. Fresh sipunculus fried with garlic spikes make a delicious dish. You can dry sipunculus into dark brown then grilled or roasted it to use with a cold cup of beer or spices for noodle broth. Sipunculus are rare, if also very high price, one kg close to 4 million.
5. Horseshoe crab (Món sam biển)
Another attractive specialty of Halong is horseshoe crab, an arthropod crustacean. From this, people can process a lot of delicious and unusual dishes such as: blood pudding, salad, sweet and sour fried legs, sauteed with lemon grass, fried horseshoe crab’s eggs, steamed, baked cartilage, fried with vermicelli and so on. You want to enjoy it, let’s go to Gieng Don or Cao Xanh area.
6. Cà sáy Tiên Yên
“Cà sáy” is the hybrid of duck and cairina, through processing of Tien Yen people, the flavor becomes doublly delicious. Tien Yen people process “cà sáy” and make its specialized sauce which has the fragnant flavor of Cai Rong, Van Yen, Cat Hai fish sauce, the sweetness of Quang Tay “xá xị” and the mild pungency of Tien Yen ginger grown on home soil.
7. Hoanh Bo soaked wine rice (Rượu nếp ngâm Hoành Bồ ở Hạ Long)
Wine is made from local specialty – glutinous rice. No pounding sticky rice is cooked then incubated. When fermented and soaked to the point, people enter the ferment leaves that taken from Hoanh Bo forest, after long time it turns into alcohol which is put into the jars to drink slowly. Hoanh Bo soaked rice wine are sour, slightly sweet, which stimulates digestion that is very good, especially in the summer.
When you are in Halong Bay City after joining a tour to halong bay and you want to spent one night in the city. The choice of Halong Bay nightlife is limited but there are a few interesting places to visit. In such a gorgeous setting it’s really not hard to spend a night to remember for a long time. What should I do in Halong Bay other than a halong bay overnight cruise ?
Halong Bay Night market and Street Food
The night market in Halong Bay & food street of Halong is located on Ben Doan street, Hong Gai ward. Covering an area of total of 11,000 m2 with approximately 87 booths, this night market includes 60 outdoor stalls operating from 16:30 to 24:00 and 27 covered stalls that sell from 5:00 to 24:00. With various choices of food in booths, tourists are not limited to enjoy specialties of Halong, Quang Ninh province.
In addition to the advantage of the scenery, Halong tourism is concentrating on developing and introducing its unique specialties through building a large scale of night food streets. This is one of the unique tourism highlights of Halong nightlife that attracts tourists. Actually, this new night food street is designed to get over the inadequacies of the old food street at Gieng Don Street, including environmental problems, hygiene problem, parking place, food safety, and security.
Ba Hang Bar
If you are the one who likes the view as well as the cooling feel of Halong Bay nightlife, you will definitely enjoy such things in Ba Hang bar. Ba Hang Bar is situated in the center area of Halong Bay. It is a Halong Bay floating Bar, being an impressive site when it comes to Halong nightlife. There are foods, drinks, snacks, and music and light for you to enjoy till late night. With a wonderful view of the World Heritage site, spending your night time bar on Ba Hang floating bar will bring you to a unique experience about Halong Bay nightlife. It is the best site for tourists to have unforgettable time of your life upon visiting Vietnam.
Opening hours: 17:00 – 1:00 every day
Ha Long View Club
For anyone who loves to experience entertaining excitement of Halong Bay nightlife, Ha Long View Club is a great choice. The services here are prepared to entertain the customers to the fullest. Featuring with loud music from the professional sound system, this bar also has good light system giving it more impressions. Besides, there are beautiful dancers who excitedly keep dancing as long as the music is on. In regard to Halong nightlife, tt is really a lively place for tourists to deep themselves in.
Opening hours: 7:00 – 14:00
Karaoke Diamond Club
Regarding to Halong nightlife, bars are the ones that could show tourists how the nightlife goes around this coastal city. The Karaoke Diamond Club is one of the most famous destinations for tourists to enjoy at night. It is rather noisy at night and particularly keeps you busy with excitement. Dancers, music, and light are everywhere and give you a retreat from the hustle and bustle life. Guests could express themselves are much as they like here. Staffs here are professional and attentive.
Opening hours: 18:00 – 1:00 every day
One of the noisiest clubs in Ha Long city is the Captain club. The club itself is merry with music played loudly with great light and sound systems. Guests will never forget the experience of high vibe there. A lot of local people and tourists love to go there due to their delicious foods along with fresh drinks and high quality sound system. Indeed, this is deserved a great place to forget your busy life and enjoy your night time.
Opening hours: 20:00 – 1:00 every day
Not only do locals love spending their night time in Club 18, but backpackers, travelers, tourists from around the word also find this place a perfect Halong nightlife destination for relaxing. Even when you are foreigners, it is no need to worry. The staffs can speak English rather well and are very friendly. You could enjoy great time here while eating and drinking delicious foods and fresh drinks.
Opening hours: 19:00 – 12:00 every day
Le Pont Cat Ba Club Bar And Restaurant
For those who want to enjoy live music, there is no limited choice in Halong, but Le Pont Cat Ba Club Bar and Restaurant still brings an outstanding impression about Halong nightlife. This place is where you could listen to nice live music whilst tasting sunset cocktails, fresh drinks and western foods. Because it is located in the high area, so guests could get the good view of the city. Enjoy things here will make a good mood for you.
Opening hours: 8:00 – 23:00
Hotel Novotel’s Lobby Longue Bar
As its name, Lobby Lounge Bar could just be found in Hotel Novotel in Halong Bay. This hotel serves guests from breakfast to dinner, with 24-hour services with stylish and friendly background are what makes this place standing out from others. If you want to have a casual meeting with your friends, choose Lobby Lounge Bar because it has wonderful view of sunset over Halong Bay. Apart from the great view, you could also relax with live music here, which always begins from 18:00.
Opening hours: 19:00 – 12:00 every day
La Plaza Bar And Lounge
One of the most interesting music venues within a hotel which is well-worth visiting is La Plaza Bar and Lounge. Housed in Halong Plaza Hotel, this bar serves guests with extensive array of drinks and snacks. It is a good place for you to flow your soul with traditional Vietnamese music as well as modern due band. So, what you could ask for more from such an exciting place like this of Halong nightlife?
Opening hours: 15:00 – 23:00 every day
Halong Party Hostel And Hotel
Situated in Bai Chay, right at the heart area of Halong Bay tourist area, it just takes 5 minutes to walk to the white sand Halong Beach. With adequate shops, restaurants, and facilities, the Halong Party Hostel And Hotel offers you much more than just a simple bed. You can stay at a cool, new and funky property in the nice center area of Halong Bay. Interestingly, the property in Halong Party Hostel & Hotel has a welcoming feel of home with a party atmosphere, which makes your stay in Halong Bay a highlight of your journey throughout Vietnam.
Blue Note Bar
A well-known bar which also has Karaoke, they have a good list of drinks and stay open until very late.
Flightless Bird Cafe
Flightless Bird Cafe is another popular place among travelers. Open from 18:30 onward choose a seat on the second-floor balcony. It will be hard to take your eyes off the beautiful harbor view. This is a good place to get information about Halong Bay as well as to exchange books.
Noble House Noble
House is a hotel with an outstanding restaurant on the first floor. There is a very nice bar on the second floor which also has a pool table and board games.