5 Reasons to Visit Halong Bay, Vietnam With Kids


Halong Bay, Vietnam is one of the more breathtaking places we have ever explored. Halong Bay is about 150 km from Hanoi and is one of nature’s most serene natural wonders. There are over 3,000 islands in the beautiful green/blue water, and over 1,000 have their own names. When you visit Halong Bay with kids you’ll be amazed that many caves and grottos of all sizes and shapes are filled with small waterfalls, stalactites, and stalagmites.

Visit Halong Bay with kids

1. Halong Bay is Iconic

Halong Bay is famous for the scenic rock formations and was featured in the James Bond film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies‘. It has been a popular destination for travelers in Vietnam for years.

This incredible UNESCO world heritage site was also named one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Visiting these unique islands is a must for any visitor to Vietnam.

kids can swim in Halong Bay
We found a calm spot for the boys to swim in Halong Bay

Travel with kids and visit halong bay Halong Bay Vietnam with kids is worth the visitThe whole area is surrounded by many small limestone islands and the water is typically calm.

Halong Bay - The hike to the top of an island was stunning
The hike to the top of an island was stunning

halong Bay in Vietnam is stunning

2. Over 3,000 Islands to Explore

Most of the islands and islets in Halong Bay are made of limestone that have spent  500 million years forming. The geological events over the last 1,000 years at Halong Bay include the advancing of the sea, strong erosion, and waterline in the area is rising. These factors contribute to the pure blue/green heavily salted water.

Halong bay is great for kids

As a result of this long process of geological evolution, there is a mystical and magical feeling when you visit Halong Bay.  Some islands are topped with thick green jungle growth, and some of the islands are hollow, creating stunning caves to explore.

family hike in Halong Bay Vietnam

3.  Kids Love The Grottos and Caves

Many islands have spectacular grottos to explore, and are home to thousands of stalactites, stalagmites and interesting rock formations.

family fun in the grottos at Halong Bay Vietnam exploring the grottos with kids in Halong Bay Vietnam kids can explore the grottos at Halong Bay explore the grottos at Halong Bay

family portrait with Halong Bay in the background
We hiked to the top of one of the islands

4. Halong Bay Seafood

Halong Bay is only approximately 33 feet deep, yet the marine life is plentiful. About 1,000 species of marine life live in Halong Bay, and there are many fishermen and fisherwomen selling the freshest fish you have ever tasted directly from their boats.

It doesn’t get much fresher than that!

Buy your fish from floating fish markets in Halong Bay Vietnam Halong Bay is filled with floating fish markets

There’s a floating restaurant at the pier to select your fresh seafood, which is cooked to your preference and served immediately. Almost 2000 people live in fishing villages, or on boats and floating houses, and they are sustained through fishing and marine resources.

fresh fish in Halong Bay family travel ideas - Halong Bay

5.  aka The Dragon Islands

According to legends, Halong Bay was created when the gods sent dragons to protect the Vietnamese from invaders. These dragons dropped jewels from their mouths into the bay, creating the islands and a barrier between the invading ships. Instead of returning to the heavens, the dragons allegedly dove into the bay to rest in the waters.  Halong Bay means “where the dragon descends into the sea.”

travel with family and visit Halong Bay
Halong Bay is particularly eerie early in the morning and later in the evening.

We stopped to visit Halong Bay as we travelled north from Ho Chi Minh city to Hanoi. We saw some amazing things along the way, but this boat trip stood out.

Halong Bay with Kids: Hidden Gems and Insider Secrets

Planning a family trip to Halong Bay, Vietnam is relatively straightforward, but you might have some questions when planning. Here are a few answers.

  • How do we get to Halong Bay from Hanoi? Getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi is direct. You can hop on a bus, book a private car, or join a tour. The journey takes about 3-4 hours, so make sure the kids have something to keep them busy. Most tours will pick you up right from your hotel in Hanoi, which is super convenient.
  • What kind of boats are we going to be on in Halong Bay? You’ll be cruising on what’s called a junk boat, a traditional Chinese sailing ship. These boats range from basic to luxury, but most are family-friendly. They come with sleeping cabins, dining areas, and sun decks to soak in the views.
  • Is Halong Bay safe for kids? Absolutely! The boat crews are experienced, and safety measures are in place. Always keep an eye on toddlers, especially when they’re near the water or railings. Life jackets are provided and should be worn during water activities.
  • What’s the best time of year to visit Halong Bay with kids? During spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). The weather is mild and pleasant, perfect for cruising and exploring. Summer is hot and can get rainy, which doesn’t sound ideal.
  • Are there any kid-friendly activities in Halong Bay? Apart from exploring caves and grottos, many boat tours offer kayaking, and swimming. Some islands have beaches where you can relax and build sandcastles.
  • Can we learn about the local culture? Some tours include visits to floating fishing villages where you can see how locals live and work on the water. It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn about different lifestyles and cultures.
  • What should we pack for our trip to Halong Bay? Pack light but don’t forget essentials like sunblock, hats, and insect repellent. Comfortable shoes for exploring, swimwear, and a good camera are must-haves.
  • Where can we stay overnight in Halong Bay? You can choose to stay overnight on the junk boats, which is an adventure in itself. We stayed in a basic hotel in Halong City, but there are some resorts and upscale hotels, too.
  • What kind of food will we find in Halong Bay? The food on boat tours is usually Vietnamese cuisine, with plenty of seafood options. Let your tour operator know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions.

Have you wanted to visit Halong Bay with kids?

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About The Author


I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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