Tips for backpacking Halong
Hello everyone, I am a native of Halong so that today I would like to share some tips for backpacking Halong to you.
- Halong cuisine
It is quite expensive to have a meal along Bai Chay beach. Especially on holidays, it can cost an arm and a leg here. Thus, I want to suggest 2 ways for you to eat:
+ If you want to eat on the shore, you should take a taxi to Cai Dam area, where there are many restaurants (also known as Snail supermarkets because they mostly serve snails) such as Kim Quy restaurant, Ngoc Suong 2 restaurant. It will cost just about 300,000 VND/person. If you want somewhere more luxurious, Cua Vang restaurant and Thien Anh restaurant can be a good choice. The price will never be under 500,000 VND/person.
+ If you want to eat near the beach, you will have to take a taxi from Bai Chay to Cot 5 raft area (Hon Gai). It won’t cost more than 150,000 VND. I often eat in Hong Bang or Hong Dam rafts. The seafood here is really fresh, you can choose what you want to eat from the cages and then, they will cook for you. It’s such a wonderful experience to eat fresh seafood on the windy beach in summer. It always cost from 200,000 VND to 300,000 VND for the most delicious meals and drinks. I think it is quite cheap. In addition, if you want to eat near Bai Chay, you can go to Hai Sam raft in Cai Dam. The food there is quite good, although it can’t be as delicious as in Cot 5 area. And the price there is quite reasonable.
In short, eating in Ha Long is not cheap. The price is quite the same, even if you eat in the restaurant or on the floating raft. Anyway, the floating raft will bring a branch new experience for you.
One more tip about Halong cuisine, you should try to eat Ngan (roasted or steamed). Ngan, which is a kind of molluscs, is a specialty of Halong. Its name means boring but the taste is not “boring” at all. You can try Tiet Ngan wine which is the mixture of Ngan’s blood and vodka wine; or sake Ngan which is a kind of hotpot, making from Ngan and wine. The taste is good and really unique.
Hotel in Halong is not too expensive if you book through trustable website as Traveloka. There are various kind of hotels in Halong such as: homestay, 1 to 5-star hotel, etc. What I like about hotels in Halong is that with only 200,000 VND/night/person, you can live in a quite big and clean place (of course not count on holidays and occasions because rooms are all pre-booked before a month at those times)
I recommend you to stay at Halong Party Hostel, which has various rooms and good services. The place is quite convenient for you to visit attractions in Halong. The price is also reasonable, only from 150,000 VND/night/person.
- Other tips
- There is no airport in Halong. You can take flight to Haiphong and then go to Halong by road. It only takes 50 km and 2 hours to get there. For cheap airfare tickets, you can refer to the following links:
+You can rent a private boat or take a tour to visit the bay. Don’t ask taxi drivers for advices because they will try to take money from you by selling tickets with higher price. The best solution is buying tickets at the pier.
+ You should spend some time to drink coffee near Bai Chay beach. It will be an unforgettable experience to drink coffee while sitting on the beach. Everytime coming to hometown, I have to do it at Trung Nguyen cafe or Nam Phong cafe. For me, I prefer Trung Nguyen cafe. If you want to eat something, you can order Pizza from Emeraude restaurant while drinking coffee.
+If you want to buy presents for you relatives and friends, I recommend you to buy grilled cuttlefish at Halong 1 market. It cost 300,000 VND/kg. It is quite expensive but it worths.