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Halong Bay 2-Day 1-Night Itinerary: Explore The Most Exotic Destinations

October 13, 2023 - 10803 views

A Halong Bay 2-day 1-night trip should be well-organized to optimize your scant time with all the must-sees and must-dos in the bay. Let’s take a look at our recommendations for the 2 days/1 night Halong Bay itinerary.

It is highly recommended to take a Halong Bay 2 days 1 night cruise to visit either well-known or off-the-beaten-path destinations. Also, you can join a wide range of things to do like fishing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, cycling, and other activities onboard.

The total length of the itinerary is around 24 hours which is suitable for most foreign travelers staying in Vietnam within one month.



Classic Halong Bay 2 Days 1 Night Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Sung Sot Cave

8:30 – 11:30 am: If you book a tour for 2 days, you’ll be picked up from your hotel to get to the ferry terminal via the new Hanoi – Hai Phong Expressway. All the tours arrive Halong Bay at around 8:30 am and arrive at the port at 11:30 am.

12:00 – 12:30 pm: Arriving at Halong Bay, you’ll be welcomed to embark on the boat. It’s time to learn about the itinerary briefing and safety instructions while sipping a welcome drink. After check-in, you can take a short rest after an excursion.

Stellar of the Sea - a typical cruise for 2 days itinerary in halong bay

Halong Bay 2-days/1-night

1:15 – 2:00 pm: While cruising through the karst rock formations into the world of natural heritage, you will have lunch at the restaurant on the boat. Fill your stomach with a great diversity of deluxe Vietnamese set menu and fresh seafood dishes. After lunch, there are exhilarating massage and spa services for you to let your hair down.

4:00 – 5:30 pm: The Halong Bay 2 days 1 night itinerary begins with a visit to Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave), one of the most magnificent and largest caves in Halong. To reach the mouth of Surprise Cave, you have to climb more than 50 steps and feast your eye on the mysterious natural vegetation of Halong Bay.

After the cave sightseeing, the boat departs and sails for about 30 minutes to anchor overnight.

Sung Sot Cave - typical destination for 2d1n tour in Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave, Halong Bay

6:30 – 7:00 pm: At twilight, almost all Halong Bay 1 night tours offer a cooking class or fruit and vegetable carving lesson. The head chef will show you how to make and decorate some traditional Vietnamese dishes. Here you can get a deep insight into Vietnamese cuisine.

Enjoy sunset view on a 2 day itinerary Halong Bay cruise

Enjoy a sunset view on the Halong Bay boat tour

8:45 – 11:00 pm: After dinner, you should not miss out on some nightlife activities such as board games, cards, Parcheesi, bars, Happy Hour – buy one drink, get one free, and night squid fishing.

End of the first day of Halong Bay 2 days 1-night itinerary, you will spend a night sleeping on board.


Day 2: Halong – Titov Island – Hanoi

6:30 - 7:00 am: Enjoy coffee, tea, and breakfast served in the dining room. You can wake up earlier to catch the sunset moment on the sundeck which gives more stunning views than on land.

After breakfast, join the Tai Chi lessons, the traditional Chinese material art, to refresh your second day on a 2d1n trip. This exercise is not only good for fitness and flexibility but also beneficial for the relief of pain and anxiety.

Tai Chi session on deck available for every 2 days itinerary

Tai Chi session on deck

7:45 – 9:00 am: The next destination of the 2-day tour classic route is Titov Island, a crescent-moon-shaped island known for its calmness and crystal clear water.

Spending around 1 – 2 hours on the island, you can climb to the peak of an expansive viewing deck to catch an awe-inspiring 360-degree view of Ha Long Bay. Then, take your time to have a swim and enjoy the beach relaxation.

titop island on halong bay 2 day cruise

Enjoy beach relaxation on Titov Island

9:30 am: It’s time to have a full breakfast on the boat. After that, you will have time to pack your luggage or chill out on the sundeck while the boat is heading for the pier.

11:30 am: The itinerary ends at Tuan Chau Port, where you sit back and relax in the waiting room for return transportation.

12:00 – 4:00 pm: Time for transfer from Halong to Hanoi. You will be dropped off at your hotel or meeting point.

This classic route of the Halong Bay 1 night tour includes popular and touristy attractions in Halong. If you want something more authentic, move on to our two other recommendations of the best Halong Bay 2 days 1 night itinerary.

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2 Day 1 Night Itinerary to Bai Tu Long Bay

Day 1: Hanoi – Bai Tu Long Bay – Thien Canh Son Cave

8:30 – 11:30 am: Like many other two-day itineraries, you will be picked up from Hanoi Old Quarter and transferred to the pier in Ha Long.

12:00 – 2:00 pm: After embarking on board, you will have lunch served a tasty Vietnamese set menu and seafood dishes. This Bai Tu Long Bay 2-day itinerary is highly recommended for those in search of the untouched beauty and off-the-beaten-path route.

3:00 – 6:00 pm: The afternoon is time for an excursion to Thien Canh Son Cave, the “pearl of Halong Bay” located in the protected area of Cong Do Island. As one of the most valuable natural assets in Halong, Thien Son Canh Cave is a hidden charm of a unique ecosystem.

After climbing almost 100 stairs to reach the cave, you should be amazed by the stalagmite system inside and the lush greenery towards the gate of heaven. In addition to mysterious cave discoveries, you can join kayaking or relax on the beach to explore deeper. 

thien canh son cave on halong bay cruise 2d1n

Go cave sightseeing to Thien Canh Son

7:00 – 11:30 pm: It’s time for a special dinner fraught with appetizing Western dishes and Vietnamese traditional food, depending on the set menu of each boat.

After dinner, every 2 days 1 night tour holds evening entertainments like playing board games or Vietnamese puzzle games, having a cocktail at the bar, and joining the Happy Hour game.


Day 2: Thien Son Canh Cave – Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Hanoi

6:00 – 7:00 am: Start the second day of the 2-day tour with a buffet breakfast and Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck. Most 2d1n itinerary offer Tai Chi sessions while some others give Yoga meditation in the atmospheric natural landscape.

7:45 – 9:00 am: The next destination is Vung Vieng Fishing Village, one of the most 4 worth-visiting floating villages in Halong. Remaining the most authentic community and ecological awareness, Vung Vieng is a perfect attraction for travelers seeking local experiences in Bai Tu Long Bay. 

Coming to Vung Vieng fishing village, you can meet up with the hospitable and rustic people, as well as get a glimpse of the local life and traditional cultures of the native people. The best way to explore Vung Vieng floating village is by bamboo boat or kayak tour.

vung vieng fishing village on halong bay cruise 2 days 1 night

Get an insight into the local life in Vung Vieng fishing village

9:30 – 11:00 am: Check out the cabin then join a cooking class to learn how to make spring roll, a delicious Vietnamese traditional dish. You will have lunch while cruising back to the pier.

12:00 – 4:30 pm: End of the second day of the Bai Tu Long Bay itinerary, you will be transferred by shuttle bus back to Hanoi.

In general, the majority of 2 days 1 night itinerary has the same activities on board but different routes to various attractions. Join this two-day itinerary to Bai Tu Long Bay, you can get the most brand new and authentic experiences.

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2 Days 1 Night Itinerary to Lan Ha Bay

Day 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Dark & Light Cave

9:00 - 11:30 am: The journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay via the new highway takes around 2 – 3 hours, depending on the traffic. If you book a two-day trip, you’ll be picked up from your hotel to get to the ferry terminal.

12:00 - 12:30 pm: Arriving at Halong Bay, you’ll be welcomed at your boat. It’s time to embark, check-in, and take a short rest after an excursion. You’ll have time to enjoy a welcome drink provided with a cold towel and receive itinerary briefing and safety instructions before checking into your cabin.

12: 40 pm: While cruising into the world of natural heritage, you will have lunch on the boat. Here you’ll fill your stomach with a diversity of Vietnamese and Western cuisine as well as fresh seafood dishes in Halong Bay.

2d1n itinerary to Lan Ha Bay gives you the chance to marvel at awe-inspiring scenery and impressive limestone karst formations rising on the sea, such as the over-100-year-old lighthouse built by the French in Da Chong Islet and the unspoiled area like the Gia Luan area, Coc Ngoi islet, and Thoi Quyt area.

3:00 - 4:30 pm: In the afternoon, the 2-day itinerary will continue with the exploration of limestone caves. Depending on each boat, tourists will have chances to visit different caves, mostly including Dark & Light Cave.

You will be surprised by breathtaking masterpieces of nature in dry caves, while cave water offers beautiful sites for kayaking or bamboo boat rowed by local people.

Dark and Light cave of halong bay two day cruise itinerary

Kayak at Dark and Light Cave in Lan Ha Bay

Some of the 2 days 1 night itineraries discover Tung Sau Pearl Farm, an area dedicated to growing pearls and practicing a handmade technique based on Vietnamese tradition and Japanese technology.

4:30 – 5:00 pm: After sightseeing and kayaking, you can immerse yourself in the green emerald and cool water by swimming.

The boat usually gets in the less populated area at Tra Bau, located in Lan Ha Bay. Hence, you can enjoy your own space and stay calm after the first day in Halong Bay.

5:30 pm: The boat will anchor overnight in Lan Ha Bay. The most expected thing to do should be to watch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin and enjoy a complimentary sunset party on board.

Also, you can take part in a traditional cooking class where you’ll be instructed in making traditional Vietnamese dishes and cooking demonstrations with the chef. Alternatively, you can join the Happy Hour Deal or the massage service onboard.

7:30 pm: A deluxe dinner awaits you with a great dining experience onboard. Enjoy the tasty local food prepared and served for you by excellent onboard catering staff.

Some of the one-night tours set the dinner in a traditional concept that gives you the opportunity to dine like a King or a Queen in traditional Bao Dai dress. What a delightful meal with a unique theme!

Dining onboard of a two-day Halong Bay cruise

Dining on the sundeck of the two-day itinerary

9:30 pm: At the end of the two-day itinerary in Halong Bay, it’s essential to find a restful moment at night. Don’t spend time at your cabin; it’s time for relaxation at leisure.

You can try some evening activities like savoring drinks at the bar, watching movies in the restaurant, or just putting your feet up and then enjoying the landscape at night on the top deck. Additionally, one of the most exciting activities on an overnight cruise is night squid fishing, so let’s try your luck.


Day 2: Cat Ba Island – Trung Trang Cave – Hanoi

6:00 am: The second day will be perfectly mesmerizing when you wake up in the sound of the sea and watch the stunning sunset on the top deck. You’d better join the invigorating Tai Chi session in the refreshing morning air.

Breakfast and coffee/tea are served after the Tai Chi session. Upon completing breakfast continue the journey and head out to explore the bay.

7:45 am: The next destination of the Halong Bay two-day trip depends on the different itinerary. Mostly the trip progress to Trung Trang Valley on Cat Ba Island, which is situated in the middle of Cat Ba National Park with Kim Giao forest.

Trung Trang Cave is the most beautiful natural and largest cave on Cat Ba Island, which covers an area of approximately 300 hectares with a depth of 10m to 30m.

trung trang cave on halong bay 1 night cruise tour

Visit Trung Trang Cave on Cat Ba Island

10:00 am: It’s time to return the boat for packing and check-out procedures. Simultaneously, the brunch is served whilst the boat back to the pier.

Let's join the Tea Ceremony to learn how to enjoy Vietnamese tea and culture with the crew team.

12:00 - 3:00 pm: The boat return to the quayside of southern Halong Bay, where tourists disembark. You will arrive in Hanoi at around 3:00 pm, and it’s the end of a two-day itinerary in Lan Ha Bay.

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For those who want a longer stay, let's see this 4-Day Hanoi and Halong Bay Itinerary for First-Time Tourists


After spending two days tour in Halong Bay, you definitely wish you’d had more time to get a deeper insight into the culture, cuisine, and people here. These best itinerary 2 days 1 night includes the most worth-visiting attractions and must-try activities in Halong Bay.

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Hong Nhung

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