What do Brad Pitt, Anthony Bourdain, Mark Zuckerburg and his better half Priscilla Chan, and Gordon Ramsay have in common? It is their love for Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.
Ha Long (or Halong Bay), located in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, welcomes more than four million visitors every year. From country heads and political leaders to film stars, social media influencers, and celebrities, everyone loves these stunning limestone archipelagos.
Ha Long is spread over an area of more than 1,500 sq. km (about 580 square miles). The entire landscape is dotted with almost 2,000 islands and limestone tower karst islets created over the passage of millions of years. One of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is also home to intriguing caverns and caves, floating villages, pearl farms, and fantastic marine life.
Before you leave for Ha Long, remember to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
as protection against unexpected accidents, illnesses, injuries, or travel mishaps.
Things to Do For Travelers in Ha Long
Ha Long Bay offers much more than stunning sunsets, lazy beach life, and breathtakingly panoramic views. Here’s the perfect way to fall in love with these spectacular islands:
Enjoy a cruise experience
One of the most popular ways to experience the magic of Ha Long Bay is to take a luxury cruise ride. These cruise rides are the epitome of opulent leisure and offer visitors an experience of a lifetime. If you are interested in a more traditional experience, you may take a cruise ride on a conventional Vietnamese junk boat. Either way, you are guaranteed the most amazing views of Ha Long Bay’s natural wonders.
Explore the caverns
Unknown to many, the limestone karst formations of Ha Long Bay are home to some of the world's largest and most spectacular caves and caverns. Meandering pathways, narrow tunnels, amazing stalactites and stalagmites, and outstanding rock formations make these caves an absolutely “must-do” while you are in Ha Long. Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave, Thien Cung (Heaven) Cave, and Tien Ong Cave are some of the most popular choices.
Learn about pearl farming
Ha Long Bay is a thriving center for pearl farming. Board a local bamboo boat to visit a pearl farm in the Vung Vieng fishing village located a short distance from Ha Long. During this visit, tourists get to learn all the details about pearl farming and the intricacies of pearl harvesting. At the end of the tour, you have the option of buying gorgeous pearls or pearl jewelry to take home.
Live the jungle life
Cat Ba Island near Ha Long is a national park with exotic flora and fauna. The national park boasts of more than 120 different species of local trees and wonderful mangroves. It is also home to a wide variety of langurs, wild deer, squirrels, civets, and macaques. The birdlife at Cat Ba includes colourful hornbills, sea eagles, hawks, and cuckoos.
Adrenaline Action Adventure
Ha Long offers several aquatic adventure activities like snorkelling, deep-sea diving, paddleboarding, drift boating, parasailing, flyboarding, catamaran riding, and more. It also offers non-aquatic adventure activities like cycling, rock-climbing, seaplane tours, and cable-car rides.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Ha Long
Water sports are very popular among the vast majority of tourists visiting Ha Long. International tourists should carefully assess the condition of the equipment before trying these fun activities. Always wear necessary safety equipment like life-jackets to avoid any untoward incidents.
You may likely rent a motorbike or a scooter to explore Ha Long, as well as the delightful beaches around it. Be aware of local driving rules and conditions to ensure your safety. Also, keep in mind that sometimes bike rental agencies may not be authorized by the government. Driving rental vehicles from such agencies on public roads may not be legal and may cause legal problems to you.
The best way to explore Ha Long and its surrounding islands is by boat. Kayaks, canoes, junk boats, bamboo boats, and inflatable dinghies are a common mode of sea transport in Ha Long. Tourists should be careful of strong currents and aquatic creatures like jellyfish that may cause potential trouble to you. Overcrowded local junk boats are known to have capsized in rough weather. Travelers are advised to take suitable precautions while venturing out into unknown waters.
Rice wine is a very popular drink amongst tourists visiting Ha Long and Vietnam. Tourists should avoid drinking this local delicacy from unrecognized sources, as it is known to sometimes have fatal levels of methanol. International visitors should also take adequate precautions to avoid mosquito bites that cause diseases like dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis.
Like the rest of Vietnam, Ha Long is not spared from tropical cyclones during the rainy season. Strong winds and torrential rain may cause flash flooding and landslides. Cyclones may interrupt not only local sea or road travel, but may also disrupt international flight schedules.
Ha Long Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
A Ha Long travel medical insurance plan provides a wide range of medical benefits. It helps you secure yourself from unexpected medical expenses in a foreign country. Since most domestic health insurance companies doesn’t protect you from health expenses abroad, travel medical insurance is unquestionably a must-buy for visitors to Ha Long Bay.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Ha Long?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, international medical insurance has become a requirement for all visitors to Vietnam. Visitors must purchase an appropriate insurance plan that lasts their full duration of stay, or they must sign a form assuming financial responsibility for any coronavirus-related expenses incurred in the country. However, legal requirement or not, visitors from all over the world traveling to Ha Long still choose to buy travel medical insurance. One of the most important benefits of travel medical insurance is protection against the cost of medical aid and hospitalization charges in Ha Long. Apart from this, travel medical insurance for tourists also provides you a much-needed safeguard against exorbitant costs of medical evacuation or medical repatriation to other cities.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Ha Long?
Travel medical insurance for Ha Long provides several health insurance benefits. Here’s why you should buy a travel medical insurance plan. Be sure to review the coverage of your plan before purchase to make sure it can provide everything you need:
Provides cashless hospitalization benefits in the finest hospitals abroad
Provides the choice of buying additional hazardous sports travel insurance for extending coverage to adventure activities
Coverage for emergency medical expenses and repatriation
Ability to extend or cancel coverage
Ha Long Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
If you are considering why you should buy travel insurance, think about Anthony Bourdain’s profound observation on travel. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts; it even breaks your heart.”
When travel plans start to come undone, you may end up missing your flight connection, losing your checked-in baggage, and even having to cancel your trip altogether. Yes, travel can break your heart.
While travel insurance can’t protect you against heartbreak, it can protect you against the financial loss arising due to travel plans going awry.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Ha Long?
Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for the full amount of your non-refundable, prepaid expenses if you have to cancel your trip for a reason explicitly listed in your policy’s certificate wording. Be sure to review this fine print before purchase for a full understanding of what scenarios would and wouldn’t be covered. The covered reasons vary by plan, but the most common of them—including getting sick before your trip, the illness or death of a loved one, or weather-related flight delays or cancellations—are included under most standard plans.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Ha Long?
There’s more to travel insurance than just trip cancellation benefits, though. A solid travel insurance plan can also offer coverage for situations like:
Before You Travel to Ha Long - Do This
We recommend that you pack all your essentials for your trip to Ha Long. You may not have easy access to buying essential items. So ensure that you carry essential items like bug spray, sunblock, and cash. We also recommend packing an extra pair of swimsuits, shoes, and a bathing towel.
If you are prone to seasickness don’t forget to pack medication that you may take while exploring Ha Long by boat.
Finally, be sure to buy a
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
plan as a financial safety net. Enter some basic information about your trip and travelers, compare a wide variety of options, and select the plan that best meets the needs of your trip. Then, get ready to say Xin chào (Hello) to Ha Long!