5 Reasons Why You Must Avoid Cruising In Halong Bay

Halong Bay is known as one of the New7Wonders of Nature and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Worldwide travelers visit Halong Bay to see its limestones and taking a cruise is one of the options to do that. But to be honest, I was not really impressed with my experience and here are the reasons why you must avoid cruising in Halong Bay. (Read:Β New7Wonders – Puerto Princesa Underground River)

1. They use weird looking boats

Living in this modern world, we are all aware about the arrival of numerous high technology vessels for ocean, sea and river cruises. Unfortunately, you cannot experience that kind of newfangled craft in Halong Bay as they still use this ancient and weird looking boats to carry the tourists around the Gulf of Tonkin.

Cruise in halong bay

Cruising in halong bay

2. The water in Halong Bay is not attractive at all

If you are going to visit a New7Wonders of Nature, you are surely expecting a majestic emerald green water around. But in the case of Halong Bay, its surrounding water is a total disappointment.

Automatic Bitcome

Cruise in halong bay


3. There is nothing extraordinary in the limestones

Some people might be dying to see the well-known limestone karsts of Halong Bay. Well I have to say that they are just like ordinary rocks and nothing much special about those limestones in different shapes and sizes. Definitely not worth a single photo.


Cruising in halong bay





4. You will be irritated by locals selling stuffs in the Fishing Village

In the usual route of the bay cruise, you will be passing by a Fishing Village where you will be definitely annoyed on how the locals approach the boats and sell their products.



5. There is nothing much to see aside from the limestones in the bay

Aside from the murky water and boring limestones that you can find in Halong Bay, there are actually not much to be seen around. The tour options are really limited and the dining choices are very typical.

Dinner inside the Cave Photo credit: Halong Bay Tourism

Dinner inside the Cave
Photo credit: Halong Bay Tourism



If you have been planning for a trip to Halong Bay and explore the said UNESCO World Heritage Site, taking a cruise must be your last option to wander around this destination as your cruising experience will surely ruin your entire trip in Vietnam.

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Cruising in halong bay

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  • Reply
    Alexander Popkov
    October 5, 2017 at 1:03 AM

    I love the photo with kids and fruits on the boat! Best shot from the whole blog.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    I was very concerned for a minute there! Great photos…Halong Bay is ok…

  • Reply
    December 24, 2016 at 3:47 AM

    Very interesting, great use of the title, completely got me.

  • Reply
    Sauumye Chauhan
    December 10, 2016 at 5:03 AM

    The photos are amazing!! I love the idea of dining in a cave!!

  • Reply
    Pospi O Otuson
    December 9, 2016 at 4:13 PM

    really great post. Seems like an awesome place to visit

  • Reply
    IndiaBckpckMotorbike (@IndiaBckpckMoto)
    December 8, 2016 at 8:54 PM

    I loved Ha Long Bay on my visit there last year. And you seemed to have gone there at the right time. All sunny and bright. Having lived in Hanoi for a couple of years, winters in north of Vietnam are not something I’m a fan of!

  • Reply
    Claus Heuer
    December 7, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    If you dont like it then dont go

  • Reply
    November 30, 2016 at 11:39 PM

    Hahaha was confused for the first few sentences .. then realized the sarcasm! hideous I say!

  • Reply
    November 30, 2016 at 3:27 AM

    I love your photos, and I think you are trying to scare away all the tourists so you can have Halong Bay all to yourself.

  • Reply
    November 29, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    I can’t wait to visit – I love riding in the junk boats and seeing the limestone. I did this similarly in the Philippines and it was amazing

  • Reply
    November 29, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Thanks for writing this post – I’ve not heard very complimentary things about Halong Bay lately – my main reason for not going would be the masses of tourism I’ve heard descend upon the bay πŸ™

  • Reply
    November 29, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Ha ha this article made me really smile! I love the part when you said we would be irritated by the locals selling stuff and then show a photo of the cutest looking kids!!! I still haven’t been to Vietnam but would definitely come to Halong Bay for a cruise πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM

    Dining in the caves has now been banned by the government.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2016 at 2:03 AM

    Oh I really want to do that dinner there, looks so pretty! I did the day trip to Halong Bay and to be honest, I have seen lots of pretty nature places in the world, I didn’t find Halong Bay that amazing. It’s so touristy πŸ™ I really hope that the whole of Vietnam doesn’t turn to touristy, it’s such an amazing country.

    Nadine Cathleen |

  • Reply
    November 17, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    I don’t see why anyone would travel here! Haha what a beautiful spot of the world. Those caves look amazing to dine in, I think this would make an amazing honeymoon spot

  • Reply
    November 15, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    I agree with everything you said. Spending the night on one of those boats isn’t all that appealing either. We were disappointed. However, I am happy that I can say I have seen it and experienced it.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2016 at 2:11 AM

    Love the approach here! Amazing pictures and vacation to visit!

  • Reply
    Sumti Bhadani
    November 13, 2016 at 1:11 AM

    Nice Photos. Loved reading it πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 5:31 AM

    Grey way to fool everybody!! The pics are fantastic and dinner in the cave at the end looks breathtakingly beautiful!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 12, 2016 at 11:48 PM

      Thank you. I did not fool the readers though. Just making reading more fun. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 4:16 AM

    Maybe it’s because I’m from the desert but that looked amazing and I LOVE the old boats. I found every picture to be magical πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 12, 2016 at 11:50 PM

      I was being funny here. Haling bay is really beautiful. This post is sarcastic. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 3:22 AM

    SUPER embarassed in myself for not picking up on the sarcasm till number…..4. I need sleep! Those boats look so beautiful and other worldly!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 12, 2016 at 11:50 PM

      Haha. Many readers actually do not get it until the end. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Ashley Voicu
    November 12, 2016 at 3:17 AM

    I think its still a nice place to visit but one think I just cant stand as well are annoying vendors going after you.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    Great way to attract readers…..the pictures are awesome

  • Reply
    TalesOfABackpacker (@clairesturz)
    November 11, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Urgh i’ll definitely cross this off my bucketlist – i mean, that water looks hideous & all those annoying locals?? πŸ˜€ well i suppose someone still has to visit, so i will go if i have to!!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 11, 2016 at 12:17 AM

      You are funny! Enjoy Halong Bay

  • Reply
    The Traveling Fool (@thetravelfool)
    November 7, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Great place to visit. Love your photos. I hope to make it there someday.

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 7, 2016 at 10:51 PM

      Thank you. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Vidya Kavitkar
    November 4, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    I don’t know why you did not like the place, but actually looks great place for small vacation. I liked dinner arrangement in the cave, something different & truly romantic. overall I liked the place.

  • Reply
    Eric || The Bucket List Project
    November 4, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Great post…Your pictures make me think of some horrible purgatory where I will be forced to go for all my sins! But I guess I will have to endure that torture!
    Did you get to ride on those “weird boats” or is it something you just see?

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 4, 2016 at 3:57 PM

      Yes i was able to ride those boats and it is quite fun in reality. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 3, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Haha you got me! I wasn’t sure before but you’ve convinced me that Halong Bay is definitely worth skipping. What have I been thinking all these years, taking this off my bucket list. Thanks for saving me the hassle & a bunch of money

  • Reply
    Vicki Winters (@MyBigFatMouth)
    November 2, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    I wonder what percentage of readers don’t actually “get” what you’re saying?

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 2, 2016 at 9:40 PM

      I do not really know. πŸ™‚ hope i get at least 70% of them

  • Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    I’ve been to Halong Bay. I know you’re being sarcastic in your post but, unfortunately, it is very overdeveloped with all those junk boats (there are hundreds at a time in the small bay). But it’s a beautiful place and I enjoyed kayaking through the floating fishing village. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 2, 2016 at 2:15 PM

      Well that is also true and i agree with you. πŸ™‚ they should limit it to maintain the beauty of nature

  • Reply
    Janine Good
    November 1, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    I love your writing style! I think to myself, why one earth would you say to avoid Halong Bay and then I see the breathtaking photos and the dinner set up in such a romantic setting. I love it. I think the locals selling stuff is actually very cultural and would definitely add to my time there. If they weren’t selling stuff, this would seem unauthentic.

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 2, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      Thanks and glad that you appreciated it. πŸ™‚

      • dallas
        November 5, 2016 at 5:09 PM

        should have thought about before you went right?

  • Reply
    Vyjay Rao
    November 1, 2016 at 8:56 PM

    Halong Bay always has intrigued me, reading so many posts about it. Your’s is a very frank post for which you need to be commended. The cave dinner does look inviting though πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nadine Smith (Scenes From Nadine)
    November 1, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    I’m going on a Halong Bay cruise this month! So excited! I’m only doing 2 days 1 night though. Which boat/cruise company did you use? How long did you cruise for? Too bad cave dinners are banned now πŸ™

  • Reply
    Cori Carl
    November 1, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    What a beautiful area! Those boats are really cool. Caves are really neat to visit; I haven’t heard of any other caves with restaurants in them.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 5:14 AM

    I loved Halong Bay, it’s been a few years since my visit and I remember jumping from the boat, doing some kayaking, karaoke till the early hours of the morning. Such a breathtaking place, I would love to visit again πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 1, 2016 at 8:56 AM

      Yes I agree with you. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 3:23 AM

    Haha too true, no reason to see such breathtaking views when I could sit at home on my perfectly good couch ? But for real, Halong was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I couldn’t get over the scenery and I loved the story behind the name. I was there in the winter but would love to go back in the summer someday and actually be able to swim!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 1, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      Yeah. Winter is time is too cold and foggy. Could not enjoy much of the sceneries.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 2:29 AM

    Definitely don’t want to go here. Looks hideous.

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 1, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      I know right?

  • Reply
    November 1, 2016 at 12:10 AM

    Haha, what a funny post. It is a beautiful part of Vietnam, though there are so many jelly fish!!!

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      November 1, 2016 at 12:16 AM

      It is fine. As long as you would not swim with them πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    I don’t know, it doesn’t seem so bad from the pictures. But I understand being underwhelmed at tourist destinations. Often people have different tastes in what they find interesting or enjoyable. Many people would find a cruise down this Bay to be wonderful. others (seasoned travelers used to getting off the beaten track and who have perhaps seen too much to be impressed by much anymore) might not love it as much.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    And therefore, I must go someday πŸ™‚ Such a beautiful place to enjoy and be with nature…
    Are there water currents also even if its a bay? πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      October 31, 2016 at 10:29 PM

      Almost nothing so no worries. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jillian Michelle
    October 31, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    These photos are breathtaking! I had no idea you could dine in one of the caves! The boats are cute, but the rock formations are my fav part! <3

    • Reply
      Wandering JM
      October 31, 2016 at 10:21 PM

      Thanks. Yes you can dine inside the cave and it is really an awesome experience

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