Ha Long Bay boasts turquoise bays, limestone karts, and jungle-covered islets. From a luxurious cruise at night to daytime snorkeling, Ha Long Bay is not shy of outdoor activities. This makes it a spectacular place to be for visitors who are looking for a perfect getaway. The majestic views, delicious foods, and floating villages make travelers flock to this destination all year round.But these 8 outstanding things will paint the picture as to why Vietnam's Ha Long Bay is famous.

8 Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island, sitting on the southeastern edge of Ha Long Bay, is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions. It is home to three clean beaches with a relaxed atmosphere for swimming on a lazy afternoon. Cat Ba is also a perfect place to quench your thirst for adventure, given its abundance of crisp turquoise waters for kayaking and high altitude lands for rock climbing. Alternatively, renting a bicycle to explore through the awe of the countryside’s heritage is also a great idea.

  • Location: Cat Ba 180000, Vietnam
  • Recommendations: Hospital Cave, Cat Ba National Park, and Two Cannons Fort

Related: Here's How To Relax On Vietnam's Tropical Island Paradise Phu Quoc

7 Hospital Cave

The name arouses the curiosity of many travelers. Hospital Cave’s mysterious and bombproof nature can be traced back to 1963 when it was built as a safe house and hospital for the wounded during the Vietnamese war between 1963 and 1965. Apart from the well-guided tour around the historical place, Hospital Caves’ unique architecture of its seventeen rooms provides ample space for a thrilling movie night at the cinema theater.

  • Location: Cat Ba
  • Recommendation: Indoor swimming, guided tour, and the movie theater

6 Bai Chay Market

Ha Long Bay is famous for its rich culture of healthy food, which is great news for visitors who are foodies. From fresh, indigenous fruits and vegetables to tantalizing seafood from the Gulf of Tokin, any tourist can do heavy shopping under one roof. The availability of local items like handcrafted carvings and clothes in this market makes it a hotbed of souvenirs that travelers can carry home.

  • Location: Quang Ninh 202400
  • Recommendation: Try seafood, nighttime shopping is best

5 Floating Villages

Buoyed up houses on a calm sea top many tourists’ sightseeing bucket lists when it comes to novelty. The villages have maintained an antique style since their establishment in the 19th century by local fishermen. To visitors’ delight, the floating villages are also open centers where people can participate in interactive boat rides, learn how to weave fishing nets, and also buy some indigenous artifacts. Visitors lucky enough to hang around till nighttime get a chance to fish some night squids.

  • Location: Cua Van, Vung Vieng, Ba Hang, and Cong Dam
  • Recommendation: Cao Cave, Devil Face Island, Thien Cung Cave, and nighttime squid fishing

4 Cat Ba National Park

For hiking enthusiasts, this is the ultimate place to start your expedition. The bio-diverse National Park covers over half of Cat Ba Island. The park is home to about 1,500 species of trees and 32 animal species (be keen to catch a glimpse of the endangered langur).

The 18-kilometer trail makes it easy for hikers to maneuver through the Karst Mountains and beautiful forests that get thicker as interior exploration intensifies. Visitors with a knack for history are encouraged to hire the hospitable guides available to educate them about the Cat Ba National Park.

  • Location: Hai Phong, Cat Ba Island
  • Recommendation: Woodstock Jungle Camp, Cat Ba Eco-Lodge, and Cat Ba Rustic Homestay

3 Fort Cannon

Fort Cannon is probably every photographer’s dream. Positioned at a panoramic vantage point, the view of the islands that dot the vast seas from a far distance is breathtaking. The beautiful sunset right beside the jungle-covered hills is also one of the mesmerizing sceneries worth a couple of snapshots.

Visitors can also get to explore the underground tunnels constructed by war troops during World War II and other tourist attractions such as bunkers and gun emplacements. The uniformed soldier mannequins placed “guarding” various points in Fort cannon are something to take a selfie with.

  • Location: Cat Ba Island
  • Recommendation: Cannon Fort Cat Ba Hotel and Cannon Fort Coffee

2 Quang Ning Museum

Quang Ning Museum is another must-visit location in Ha Long Bay. The destination is a fantastic way to explore the rich history of Vietnam and get to know the native people’s cultural identity. The museum has three floors, each dedicated to displaying specific categories of precious artifacts. Tourist attractions available in the museum include a whale skeleton, wooden sailboats, war relics, and traditional carvings.

  • Location: Bao Tang, Quang Ning
  • Recommendation: Museum Library and the magnificent view of the Ha Long Bay coastline

1 Monkey Island

While still being careful about the mischievous habits of monkeys, many tourists find the playful and entertaining nature of monkeys enjoyable. Their heavy presence on Monkey Island (Cat Dua in Vietnamese) is something nobody can ignore, especially in their wild environment. Monkey Island has become an instant gem for visitors looking to take a cruise. The luxurious private beaches provide an ambiance for sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling.

  • Location: Cat Dua, Cat Ba Island
  • Recommendation: Monkey Island Resort, Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa, Cat Ba Island Hotels