Area: 271.5 sq. km
Population: 215,915 habitants (year 2009)
-Wards: Ha Khanh, Ha Lam, Ha Trung, Ha Phong, Ha Tu, Hong Hai, Cao Thang, Cao Xanh, Yet Kieu, Tran Hung Dao, Bach Dang, Hon Gai, Bai Chay, Hong Ha, Ha Khau, Gieng Day, Hung Thang, Tuan Chau, Viet Hung, Dai Yen.
Ethnic groups: Mainly the Viet (or Kinh)
Halong Bay Travel Guide
Ha Long City, formerly the Hon Gai Town, is the cultural, economic and political centre of Quang Ninh Province. It borders Cam Pha City to the east, the Quang Yen Town to the west, the Hoanh Bo District to the north and Ha Long Bay to the south with the coastline of 20km.
The city is divided into two parts: East Ha Long and West Ha Long. The eastern part is an industrial zone where most of the province's official buildings are also concentrated. The western part, also called Bai Chay, is the animated tourism zone.
Ha Long Bay is situated off the coast of Halong City (170km far from Hanoi) and owns more than 3,000 islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. In 1994, it was designated Vietnam's second World Heritage Site and attracts a steady stream of visitors year round for the magnificent views of the bay and the relaxing boat trips.
Ha Long's population are most having emigrated from other places to settle here. Ha Long Bay is famous internationally, and is recognized as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its thousands of natural islands. Also in the city, there are temples, pagodas and historical relics.In addition to the most active branch of tourism, there are other economic activities such as: trade, seaport, coal, marine products and the production of construction materials
What to do?
Besides the breathtaking vistas, visitors come to Halong Bay for the perfect time spent on the boat to visit floating villages and explore the caves. There also have interesting relaxing activities such as swimming, fishing and kayaking. Also, this trip can be combined with a trip to the largest island of Cat Ba, which offers beaches, hiking in the national park.
Nearby Ha Long City, Tuan Chau Island is a promising spot for relaxation. This island is being developed into a recreation complex with aquarium, circus, golf and resorts, and is becoming increasingly popular for Vietnamese tourists.
When to go?
It is possible for visits to Ha Long Bay year-round. And winter months (from October to April) are said to be the best time although in months of December, January and February, the weather is often cool, drizzly and overcast with low visibility. During summer months (May to September), tropical storms are frequent and tourist boats may have to alter the itineraries depending on weather condition.
There is different scale of prices for overnight tours to Ha Long Bay but beware that we just get what you pay for. Price differences are based on the quality of the boat, food, accommodation, transportation, crew as well as other invisible elements. Frequent questions to ask before making a booking are the group size on boat and on car, cabin type (with or without A/C), included and excluded services in the package so that you know what to expect in advance.