Ha Long Bay is in one word: magical. Located in the north of Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous touristic attractions in Vietnam. This comes as no surprise, as the beautiful scenery of beaches, caves and limestone pillars is even included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The best time to visit Ha Long Bay is from March till June, and there are several great things to do during your stay.
**Boat tour or cruise**
You can decide to hop on a boat and sail along the waters of the Gulf of Tolkin, admiring the nature surrounding you. **Visit the islands**
There are several islands to visit that are gorgeous and unspoiled by tourism. Visit for instance Ban Sen or Van Don. You can also decide to have a look at one of the more touristic islands such as Cat Ba, which houses a beautiful national park. **Caves**
The most famous caves include the Virgin Cave and Hung Sung Sot located on Bo Hon Island. The legend behind the ‘Virgin Cave’ is that a beautiful young woman committed suicide in this cave, as she did not want to marry and old Mandarin man.
The best way to reach Ha Long Bay is by departing from Hanoi.
Drive from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay takes around 4 hours and tickets are 90.000 VND. However, most busses don’t have airco, so in the summer months it can get very hot! **Train**
You can decide to take the train from Hanoi to Halong. The ride costs around 422.000 VND, and drops you off at the Halong Train Station, around 4 kilometres from the Bai Chay harbor. **Shuttle bus**
Takes around 4 hours to get to Ha Long Bay, Bai Chay harbor. The bus leaves daily around 8.00 A.M. and costs approximately 253.000 VND. **Plane**
You can also decide to take a plane and arrive on the Cat Bi International Airport in Haiphong. From there, you can take a taxi for around 850.000 VND. The journey from Haiphong to Ha Long Bay takes approximately 2.5 hours. **Food specialties**
If you want to try Vietnamese dishes special for this area, make sure to order Tu Hai and Gat Gu. Tu Hai is made out of shellfish and has a unique and delicious taste. You can even decide to eat steamed Tu Hai, combined with ingredients such as fish sauce, herbs and soup. Also make sure to try Gat Gu, which is a tasty cake made out of rice flower.
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