Updated: Nov 11, 2019
In my pursuit of finding things for travellers to do on the days "off" from planned itineraries, I have come up with a few experiences with a difference in Ha Long.
Take a cycling tour
Halong Bay is well known for its laid back atmosphere and if you want to check this out for yourself then you need to rent yourself a bicycle
There are bicycle tours that you can take all over the region, or you can go it alone and explore at your leisure
There is no better way to tour Halong Bay than by cycling down to the various beaches on Cat Ba Island and the going for a refreshing swim at the end of a long bike ride.
Go spelunking at Hang Sung Sot Cave
Hike up a steep path and explore the wild cave systems of Hang Sung Sot Cave which is located at Bon Hon Island .
There are two different chambers in the cave which soar to a height of some 30 meters.
The inner chamber is known for having a number of stone formations that are said to look like sentries lining up and there is even a stone in the center of the cave that looks like a general talking to his troops.
As the light streams across the water and makes flickering patterns on the inside of the cave, it looks as if the formations are coming to life.
Diving is one of the top activities in Halong Bay and the islands are the perfect place to enjoy the underwater delights in this part of Vietnam.
The waters here offer excellent visibility and you can go diving and swim through scenic underwater caves grottoes.
There are a number of diving schools here, or if you prefer you can just take a boat to the islands and swim and snorkel around.
Travel to the shrine at Virgin Cave
Hang Trinh Nu and is one of the most famous grottoes in Halong Bay.
The story goes that a young women committed suicide here after she was trapped in an unhappy marriage and then her body turned to stone.
One alternative theory is that she chose to end her life here and was then buried by the local fisherman who found her.
Go night squid fishing
Anyone who is a night owl should consider a popular night time activity in Halong Bay which is night squid fishing.
When you sign up, you will be provided with a fishing rod and you will be able to take in large shoals of squid which swim around in these waters after darkness falls.
One you have caught the fish, you can also enjoy a barbecue as the staff will show you how to barbecue these delicious sea creatures in one of the self-barbecue fire pits.
Halong Bay is located by the sea, and so it stands to reason that there is plenty of seafood on offer here.
Many of the restaurants are located along the central beaches and you can dine with your feet in the sand and sample the freshest catch of the day.