Kayaking In Halong Bay, Vietnam On Our Boat Cruise Adventure!

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Halong Bay was one of the destinations that I most wanted to visit in Southeast Asia, and I finally made it there last week!

Sam and I chose to take a 2 day tour of the harbour and one of the activities we got to enjoy on our first day at sea was kayaking!

I was really looking forward to going for a dip in the water, but since it was jellyfish season (we could see them bobbing near the surface!) that was out of the question. Instead, we hopped on a boat that took us out to a floating village, and from there we slipped into our kayaks and set off to explore the jagged karsts and limestone cliffs.

I am happy to say that we did not tip over the kayak – phew!

Here are a few photos from our afternoon at sea:

Kayaking In Halong Bay, Vietnam On Our Boat Cruise Adventure! Our kayaking faces - ready to go kayaking in Halong Bay
Kayaking In Halong Bay, Vietnam On Our Boat Cruise Adventure! Our kayaking faces – ready to go kayaking in Halong Bay

{Our kayaking faces – ready to go kayaking in Halong Bay}

Bright orange life jackets to go kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Bright orange life jackets to go kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam

{Taking the boat to a nearby floating village}

Kayak paddles for our adventure travel in Vietnam
Kayak paddles for our adventure travel in Vietnam

{Paddles stacked on the dock}

Kayaks in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Kayaks in Halong Bay, Vietnam

{Bright kayaks on the green waters}

Kayaking in Halong Bay and enjoying the scenery along the way including Karst Mountains
Kayaking in Halong Bay and enjoying the scenery along the way including Karst Mountains

{We are kayaking in Halong Bay!}

A floating village in Halong Bay, Vietnam
A floating village in Halong Bay, Vietnam

{One of the floating villages in the bay}

There you have her, beautiful Halong Bay – another reason why you should visit Vietnam.

Have you been kayaking in Halong Bay?


Join the Conversation


  1. Audrey,

    Such amazing pictures. Who is the photographer between the two of you? 🙂

    Halong bay looks so nice and Savi and I have always wanted to go for kayaking but have always been afraid of the waters (gulp!) – we are headed to Vietnam in December and will definitely include Halong Bay in our itinerary.

    1. says: Audrey

      Halong Bay is a must when you make it to Vietnam. It was my first time kayaking so I was a bit nervous whenever the boats going past us would create waves, but it was also lots of fun. 🙂

    1. says: Audrey

      Thanks Rika! We post videos several times a week on our YouTube channel. I’m going to start sharing more of them here on the blog. 😉

  2. says: Camille

    those are really cute photos of the two of you together. now I really want to go kayaking too! so glad you could take me there through the video, since my trip to Halong Bay wasn’t quite as beautiful and sunny as yours! looking forward to seeing more of your adventures!



    1. says: Audrey

      Thanks Camille! I was prepared for foggy weather (I figured if anything it would add a little mystery), but fortunately we did get blue skies in the end.

  3. says: Thomas Dembie

    Amazing photos! The floating villages are quite cool. I was there a few years ago and loved it. Didn’t get in a kayak though! Did you try and fresh seafood? I remember someone coming up to our boat with the catch of the day, but nobody wanted to give it a try.

    1. says: Audrey

      I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but they did serve it on the boat every night. I didn’t see any people selling the catch of the day, though there were a few smaller vessels that would come up and try to sell us drinks. Bottled water is a good business out at sea. 😉

  4. says: David

    That looks so awesome! But man my wife would be freaked out kayaking during jellyfish season. I can hardly get her to go knee deep in the water.

    1. says: Audrey

      Nice! How did you guys like it? It would have been fun to go kayaking more than once, but if was a pretty packed schedule with the hiking, visiting caves, beach time…

  5. says: Tim

    Kayaking the bay looks like the best way to enjoy it. It looks like all the kayaks are doubles, did they have one-person kayaks too?

    Were you two able to see any fish in the water or spot wildlife?

    1. says: Audrey

      Most of them were doubles, so people just teamed up. And in terms of wildlife, the only thing I spotted were the jellyfish bobbing near the surface – that and a lone eagle on our last day there.

  6. says: angelatravels

    I saw pictures of Halong Bay, and it peaked my interest. I really hope to get there someday. And hopefully I will be able to kayak it as well.

    1. says: Audrey

      Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! It would be nice being able to spend about a week on a boat, just hanging out, swimming, and enjoying the scenery… 😉

  7. says: Megan

    Love it! I went kayaking in Halong Bay a few years ago and had a great time- though our weather was pretty cloudy! Did you get to check out the national park (or something like that) in the bay? It was gorgeous and untouched- especially compared with some of the debris and trash we came across in the more heavily trafficked areas. Regardless, though, it was an awesome experience.

    1. says: Audrey

      We did get to visit a cave network and a private beach while we were there, but we also had plenty of time to just hang out on the boat with other travellers. A few people have mentioned to me that there was a lot of garbage in the water when they visited, but they must be making an effort to clean the place up because it looked pristine when I was there.

  8. says: Marilyn

    Audrey you are a brave person to kayak for the first time while seeing those jellyfish..I have done some crazy things but would decline this offer..keep up the great videos and your blogs

  9. Kayaking is always fun – glad you haven’t tipped yet, especially because of the jelly fish (otherwise, tipping ain’t no thang)!
    And wow, girl! When did you get 34 thousand fb likes? Last time I checked it was 10K and the time before that you were soaring up around 7-800! Congrats? That’s unbelievable! You are amazing.
    Also, loved the Sapa trekking videos!!!

  10. This looks like so much fun. I’d be scared of rolling over into the water too though. I see that Sam took his DSLR into the kayak-very brave. Did you have some kind of water protection for your cameras just in case?

  11. says: Charli l Wanderlusters

    Thanks for adding another Asian adventure to my bucket list Audrey! Sam is rocking the beard shades combo!

  12. says: James

    How long did you get to do the kayak tour? When I went we had strict instructions to paddle around for half an hour then back to the boat. A heap of fun though.

  13. says: shannon

    Hi Audrey- what 2 day tour did you choose to do? I am finding that alot of the overnight tours are quite expensive.

    1. says: Audrey

      I went with ATP Travel (booked through the ET Pumpkin office in Hanoi). It was around $65 per person for the 2 days.

  14. says: Ceri

    Wow, you must see some pretty amazing things that way. Unfortunately I’m still super afraid of water so I always end up missing out on experiences like this. 😛

  15. says: Kayak Halong Bay - Bobby Nguyen

    Nice pics and kayaking holiday in Halong Bay. We have found some beautiful places in Halong Bay for kayaking such as Cong Do where you can experience a lot of incredible islets and caves as well as fishing villages. You can kayak Halong bay for 3 or 4 days to explore all Halong bay’s beauty.

  16. says: Robin S

    So, if if person is NOT a swimmer, do you still feel like it is okay to kayak? We are going in November and want to do the overnight tour, but am concerned about kayaking.

  17. says: Rick

    One of the best spots for kayaking is exactly like this, breathtakingly beautiful. I am glad to know you did not tip over 😉

      1. says: Audrey

        The kayaking outing was included in my 3 day – 2 night boat tour of Halong Bay. I didn’t have to pay extra for that, so I didn’t make note of the company name, unfortunately.

  18. says: Carol

    Hi Audrey!! Love your blog and stories! Im going to Vietnam in a couple of days. Im so excited. Im planning on going to Halong Bay too. Do you recommend any tour? There are so many to choose from. I want to stay there for two days. I will appreciate any advice. Should I book the tour before getting there or just when I get to Hanoi.

    1. says: Audrey

      Hi Carol, there are lots of companies out there so it really depends on what you’re looking for. I booked mine through ET Pumpkin (they have offices in the Old Quarter of Hanoi) and it was a mid-range tour: lots of great food, all the sightseeing activities were included, and it was more of a mature crowd (mid 20s-60s). I’m not really into the party scene, so this was the right choice for me. If you’re looking for the party boat, then book your tour through Hanoi Backpackers – they are renowned for their Castaway Tours. 😉

  19. says: Lynn lamb

    Hi Audrey. Heading to Vietnam with 19 and 20 year old children next year and trying to work out an itinerary to take in Halong Bay, Sapa mountains, caves and some watersports. Any tips on best time of year and tour companies? Also, is it fairly easy to book tours while out there? Booking here seems much more expensive but we don’t want to waste lots of time out there searching.

    1. says: Audrey

      Hi Lynn,

      That sounds like it’ll be a very fun trip! Here’s a link to an itinerary I wrote for travelling in Vietnam. It includes Halong Bay and Sapa so you might find it useful. When it comes to booking tours, it’s very easy to do so once you’re there. There are countless tour operators and travel agencies, so I would suggest shopping around and comparing prices before you commit to one. I booked both my trip to Halong Bay and the train journey to Sapa through “ET Pumpkin” in Hanoi. What I liked about their cruise is that it catered to a more mature crowd. Our group consisted of 25-60 year olds, so while we enjoyed a few drinks together over dinner, it wasn’t a complete boozefest like it is on other cruises… I hope that helps you out a bit.

      Wishing you safe travels!


  20. says: David @ Ume Tours

    Awesome pics! Love it! Kayaking is a must-do in Halong Bay. We had a great fun while kayaking with my partners. We want on 3 days trip on Halong Bay. On the second day, we had an amazing time while padding through lagoon and tunnels nearby Dark and Light cave. we had a awesome BBQ lunch on Three Peach Beach which is very unique to Halong Bay.

  21. says: Melvin

    How amazing it was. Such a great place for kayaking. I plan coming to Vietnam next summer. I will definitely go to Ha Long bay. Thanks for sharing great information and photos.

  22. says: Valeria

    Hello Audrey,
    How are you?? My name is Valeria from Argentina. In august I will travel for 2 months to Asia and I would like if you can tell me and recommend the hotels you stayed?
    Thanks… enjoy Isla de Pascua

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