Not to be confused with the far more popular bay sharing the same name, Ha Long city's main claim to fame is as a quick stop for those about to depart on a tour of the bay. Located about 160 kilometres northeast of Hanoi on the northern side of Ha Long Bay, the city is also known as Hon Gai, which actually refers to one of the two towns that make up the city. The other is Bai Chay and this tends to be where most travellers find themselves, as the pier from which the Ha Long Bay tours leave is located here. The city has a population of about 225,000.
Ha Long has a warm (sub)tropical climate with mostly high temperatures and humidity year-round. It is colder in winter here than in the south though, though it's milder here than more inland towards Hanoi and into the mountains near Sapa. Still, pack some extra clothes from December to February just in case, as temperatures can drop to around 10 °C at night sometimes. Summers are hot, above 30 °C and humidity is higher. This is monsoon time with heavy downpours and the occasional typhoon.
You can connect from Ha Long to most cities in Vietnam.
Although theoretically you can travel independently to islands in the bay like Cat Ba Island most people come here by tour from Hanoi.
There is a ferry three times a day to Tuan Chau Island though, at 9:30am, 11:30am and 3:30pm.
|Asean Halong Hotel||Hau Can Road, Bay Chay Ward||Hotel||-|
|Tuan Chau Island Holiday Villa Halong Bay||Tuan Chau Island, Ha Long City Quang Ninh Province||Hotel||-|
|Duc Tuan Hotel Cat Ba Island||No.210,1/4 street, Cat Ba island Ha Long Bay||Hotel||-|
|Golden Lotus Cruise||26 LO SU, HOAN KIEM, HANOI, VIETNAM BAI CHAY, HALONG, QUANG NINH, VIETNAM||Hotel||-|
|Van Hai Hotel||No 08, Halong Road Halong City||Hotel||-|
|Thuy Duong Hotel||20 Ha Long st - Bai Chay||HOTEL||-|
|Halong Hidden Charm Hotel||No 22D Tuan Chau Ward Halong Bay 03||Hotel||-|
|Marguerite Junk||Bai Chay Wharf||Guesthouse||-|
|Aquarena Cruise||Halong Bay||Guesthouse||-|
|Oriental Dragon Cruise - Our Pick||Bai Chay Habour||Guesthouse||-|
|Halong Aurora Cruises||Halong Bay, Halong, Quang Ninh||Hotel||-|
|Halong Emotion Cruise||Bai Chay||Hotel||-|
|Royal Lotus Hotel Ha Long||A13, Block 1, East of Hung Thang 2 Bai Chay Ward||Hotel||-|
|Luxe Aurora Cruises||321 Bach Dang Hoan Kiem||Hostel||-|
See also International Telephone Calls
Vietnam's international dialing code is +84. To call to other countries from Vietnam, start with 00, followed by the international number, usually without the first 0. International and domestic phone calls are available in almost every hotel or internet café. International phone charges are high in Vietnam and hotels often add a mark up fee so it is smart to always check the rates before dialling. Public phones require phone cards, which are available at post offices.
Some common and useful phone codes are:
Vietnam Post is the government owned national postal service of Vietnam. Services are generally fairly reliable, cheap but not overly fast, except express services. Express Mail Service (EMS) ensures that letters and small parcels are delivered within 24-48 hours domestically. International EMS is associated with over 50 countries worldwide, with a delivery time ranging from 2 to 10 days. Regular services are cheaper but much slower. Most post offices keep much longer hours than most other official businesses, usually starting from 6:30am until 9:30pm and also open on Saturday and even Sunday. You can buy stamps here and they also offer other services like money transfers. You can also try other companies to send parcels, for example with DHL, TNT and UPS.
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