Travel Guide

How long to spend in Halong Bay? One or Two Days?

Last updated on
November 12, 2019

Halong Bay has been received many noble awards and titles: World Heritage Site by UNESCO, World new 7 wonders of Nature, Asia’s top five tropical island paradises by CNN …etc.

For those who got this beautiful bay in their bucket list, how many days you need in Halong Bay is a common question.

There is more than one answer depending on what you look for in your vacation. 

How Long Should I Stay in Halong Bay?

Normally, people will need to stay in Halong Bay for 2 days to 3 days either on cruise or a hotel on land.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each length of stay. It will help you to choose which itineraries in Halong Bay is better: one or two nights? Or just a day tour is enough?

Halong length of cruise.png

  1. Day tour: a day tour means you will need to come back the port within the day. It is the favorite choice of domestic tourist because of the affordable price. They book a hotel room in Halong city where you will stay overnight after visiting the bay during the day.

    This way is not recommended especially for international tourist. It is not worth your journey all the way 4 hours from Hanoi to Halong Bay to stay just a few hours on the bay. In case you just have one day here and don’t want to miss this famous bay, Daytour is a reasonable choice.

  1. 2 days 1night (2D1N): It is the most popular choice of tourist coming here. With 2-day cruises in Halong Bay, you will have enough time to visit one or two attractions and you will have an overnight onboard.

    Around 10 a.m the second day you will disembark. Travelers who are gonna have a one-month holiday in Asia often choose this option. They’d rather save the time for other destinations than spending too much time at one.


  1. 3 day 2 nights (3D2N): this is the option for tourists seeking a more in-depth Halong experience. One more day in Halong Bay allows you to reach further and remote areas. Every day, at a certain time the ships need to come back assigned sleeping point where the ship anchored and stay over the night. This is strictly regulated for safety reason.

    Therefore, a 3-day itinerary offers further and less touristy sites including biking on a local island, visiting a pearl farm, time at a private beach..etc. Along with longer itinerary, some onboard activities such as Tai Chi or squid fishing are repeated. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It’s the second chance to join if you missed it on the first day.

Halong length of Cruise

  1. Combo: 1 night in hotel and 2D1N or 3D2N cruise: If you prefer one more day to discover Hanoi or Halong city, this combo is just right for you. The hotel option is flexible. You can choose to stay in a hotel either before or after the cruise. It can be a hotel in Hanoi or in Halong city depending on the particular package.

    2D1N cruise and 1 night in Hanoi hotel is the most reasonable option for international tourist who will be going on a Halong cruise. The typical schedule for a traveler is catching a flight to Hanoi, staying there for one night and going to Halong in the early morning the next day so that you’ll be on time for embarking the cruise. 

    Take a look at Bhaya’s Halong Bay cruise offeror our highlight packages below!
2 Days 1 Night Halong Bay Cruise on Bhaya Classic

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3 Days 2 Nights Luxury Cruise with The Au Co

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Unique Cruise Program

Overnight Premium Cruise plus Seaplane flight

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All Transfer Included