The vast majority of tourists visit Halong Bay on a pre-purchased tour from Hanoi. Prices are extremely variable depending on the quality of the boat, crew, food and additional activities. The cheaper the tour, the more basic the amenities.
When boarding a cruise, you will touch an other life. Enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and visiting caves at day time. After noon participating in a cookery demonstration or relaxing on the sundeck. After dinner, taking a fishing rod and transferring to further of the bay to fish for squids. If not, you have free time to enjoy the bay at night. Or you can join some activities such as reading books, watching TV and joining a karaoke show with other member. Morning wake up to enjoy the sunrise on the bay and doing Tai Chi. They surely make your trip enjoyable than ever.
Beside an overnight cruise, a tour with hotel accommodation is also worth to do. In the evening, small boats with snacks, drinks, and knick-knacks are usually working the areas where the passenger junks moor. Feel free to negotiate, bearing in mind that they have a captive market. There are also many shops selling similar goods on the hill behind the beach.
There are many restaurants in Halong City (Bai Chay Town), opposite to the Bai Chay Beach, which offer mostly Vietnamese rice dishes and seafood. Local specialties include su fish, found only around Halong Bay, shrimp and mussels.
- Emeraude Café, tel. 033 849 266, on the Bai Chay coast near the post office. The only restaurant in the area that serves Western food.
- Co Ngu Restaurant, tel. (+84 33) 3511 363, Premium Villas, Halong road, Bai Chay, Halong city, Quang Ninh. A wide selection of Western cuisine and Asian delicacies is served at this premier local seafood restaurant.
Drinks can be found for the cheap price at the local drinks shops or restaurant around the city (cold drinks can also be bought from the boat on the cruise trip) while on the bay.
There are several new hotels on Cat Ba Island, most catering to overnight boat trip packages.