While Hanoi is clearly the most important city in the north of Vietnam, the appeal of the north goes far beyond the Country’s capital. Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on the east coast is one of the places that everyone arranging Vietnam tour packages should include. Certainly, a Vietnam travel agent will advise on the best way to enjoy the Bay. If you are on a Vietnam honeymoon vacation for example, you may decide that staying overnight on a boat in the Bay is the most romantic way to celebrate your union.
It may well be that you want to make Halong City your overall base. It is located on the norther shore of the Bay and is divided into two; the local districts of business and markets, Hon Gai and the one, Bai Chay, which has the hotels and restaurants for the many tourists coming to the area. The two parts are joined by the huge Bai Chay Bridge. As well as being the start of cruises in the Bay, the City acts as an important commercial port, and as a result suffered damage during the Vietnam War.
There are many good hotels in the City, and here are 10 of them to consider:
• Novotel Halong Bay Hotel is located on the beach, 225 rooms of 4-star quality, close to the local markets and of course the starting point for cruises into the Bay. The views are great; sit in the bar and look across the Ba
• Vinpearl Halong Bay Resort is on an island three minutes’ boat ride from the mainland. It is a lovely spot and with its lovely beach and pools is ideal for a Vietnam family tour.
• Halong Paradise Suites Hotel has 156 rooms, offering its guests great service and the facilities they would expect of a quality boutique hotel.
• Halong Palace
• Halong Plaza is another offering 4-star luxury right on the coast. There are 200 rooms in the hotel that has all the amenities expected of top quality accommodation.
• Halong DC Hotel near Bai Tho Mountain has 77 rooms, a great place to relax and enjoy the lovely setting. If you feel energetic enough to climb it there are more spectacular views to see.
• Muong Thanh Luxury Quang Ninh Hotel overlooks the Bay. It is the largest hotel in the City with over 500 rooms. It has beautiful landscaped gardens and great views across the Bay.
• City Bay Palace Hotel has just 60 rooms and offers 3-star accommodation. There is value for money and a great breakfast as well.
• Royal Lotus Halong Hotel is a great place to relax and just take in the great environment. In total, there are 147 rooms and a choice of restaurant serving local and international cuisine; Hana offers the best of Japan.
• Muong Thanh Grand Halong is the second of the Muong Thanh chain; it is much smaller with 180 rooms but maintains the standard the brand offers to its guests.