If you are going to spend any significant time in Halong Bay then in all likelihood you will have at least one night on a Halong cruise on a junk in the Bay. However, within the City itself, tourist numbers suggest that there will be demand for things to do at night. The number of quality hotels that now ring the Bay ensures that there are guests keen to see the City as well as the Bay. Halong tour packages provide the best of the City and the Bay. If you are on a Vietnam family tour then your plans are likely to be different from if you are on a Vietnam honeymoon vacation but in either case, you will want a nice restaurant and a friendly bar.
There are several waterfront venues to enjoy but you should not expect a huge number of music bars and nightclubs. It is not likely that it is a priority if you have identified experiencing Halong Bay as one of the top things you want to do in your Vietnam holiday.
Each of the hotels in Bai Chay has its own restaurant and bar as well as leisure facilities but if you want to get out and about at night there are some places where you might like to dine:
• Emeraude Café on the coast near the Post Office serves western food if that is your wish but such is the quality of Vietnamese cuisine that you should certainly be trying it. It is one of the real pleasures of a Vietnam holiday.
• Co Ngu Restaurant in Halong Road offers a wide variety of western and Asian cuisine with particular emphasis on the local fresh seafood; the shrimps, mussels and squid are all very good.
• Four Seasons’ Restaurant within the Halong Plaza Hotel welcomes non-residents. There are few places that can match the seafood buffet on offer there.
One of the night time attractions in Halong City is the local Night Market where you are expected to barter with the traders. On the night when you visit the Market you can also buy fresh street food rather than dine in a restaurant. There are many things that make great souvenirs of your time in Vietnam; presents for family and friends? There are chopsticks (lacquer plated), ceramics, conical hats and of course silk used to make a number of different items. The Market stays open until midnight while nearby there is an amusement park.
All Vietnam packages try to combine time in the beautiful natural environment with time absorbing the history and culture of the Country. Nightlife is a feature of places like Hanoi but it is not the priority when you go to Halong City. There is far too much for the eyes and the mind to take in to worry about a light night in a club. That’s for another day. Go to sleep early if the next day is your cruise on the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay.