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Halong Bay Itinerary: 1 Night or 2 Nights Is Better?

February 28, 2024 - 17670 views

An overnight cruise definitely offers tourists once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Halong Bay. If you’re wondering whether 1 night or 2 nights cruising is better, this article will guide you to choose the best Halong Bay itinerary ever.

The itinerary usually offers two different journeys: 2 days 1 night and 3 days 2 nights, which provide tourists with different stops and activities. If you have enough time, two nights must be the best choice. If not, one night is fine anyway. 

Apart from the classic route to Halong Bay, you can choose hidden gems like Bai Tu Long and Lan Ha Bay for fulfilling experiences.

Halong Bay Lan Ha Bay Bai Tu Long


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Halong Bay itinerary

Halong Bay itinerary maps


One-night Halong Bay Itinerary

A Halong Bay 2-day-1-night itinerary seems to be the most popular among those who want to get a glimpse of this wonderland. Actually, the total length of time you spend on board is around 24 hours. For more details, you will embark on a boat tour at 12:00 p.m. on the first day and disembark at 12:00 p.m. on the following day.

Generally, the one-night Halong itinerary will provide you with the most worthwhile sightseeing and activities to leave your anxiety behind and indulge in the emerald beaches, crystal clear sky, and alluring karst cliffs.

On a two-day trip, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the most highlighted beauty spots in the Bay, including Titov Island, Ba Trai Dao Islet, Bright and Dark Cave, Vung Vieng Fishing Village, etc. Some itineraries especially offer an excursion to unspoiled destinations such as Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay – two stunning brothers of Ha Long Bay.


1st Day of Itinerary

To start a two-day/one-night itinerary, most of the cruise proceeds to Lan Ha Bay, where you can enjoy the green emerald and cool water. Welcome drinks and lunch are served after you embark. When it comes to food and drink on board, you can enjoy a blend of Vietnamese and Western cuisine, some seafood dishes, as well as a special diet of Vegan and Halal food if needed. 

In the afternoon, you can be taken to visit some limestone caves like Dau Go Cave, Thien Cung Cave, and Sung Sot Cave. Here, you will be amazed by the awe-inspiring natural formations inside and the breathtaking panoramic view across the bay once you go outside.

Depending on each two-day itinerary in Halong Bay, you can choose the most preferred excursion as expected. Late afternoon is an ideal time to enjoy a spa treatment at your leisure onboard or behold the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. It’s such a should-never-miss moment for those staying only one night.

2d1n Halong Bay tour itinerary

Enjoy the breathtaking view of Halong Bay from a sundeck

You may have swimming or join a traditional cooking class where you will be instructed to make some Vietnamese dishes. Till the end of the first day, nothing is better than feasting your eye on the mesmerizing night of Halong Bay on the top deck. Before your sleep, relax with some drinks at the bar or try your hand at night squid fishing.

Following the Halong Bay itinerary's first day, you can participate in various amusing activities and beach relaxation. Hold on! There is much more entertainment to enjoy on the second day.


2nd Day of Itinerary

The second day usually begins with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Tai Chi is a physical meditation that can boost upper- and lower-body flexibility, strength, and balance. Each movement in the Tai Chi session brings about numerous health and mental benefits.

Alternatively, a yoga retreat and meditation also take you out of your daily comfort zone and refresh your mind, breath, and body. In the middle of the natural heritage site, you will feel free and exhilarated among the tranquility of thousands of karst and limestone.

Halong bay overnight cruise

Take a yoga retreat and meditation in the refreshing air of Halong Bay

After morning exercise and breakfast onboard, the rest of the two-day Halong Bay itinerary will let you enjoy your own peace of mind on board or join an excursion to local villages by cycling or floating villages by kayaking to discover the hidden routes.

The mentioned itinerary in Halong Bay can be flexible and different depending on each cruiseline. If you decide on planning a two-day overnight Halong Bay tour, make up your mind with each detailed itinerary to find the best option.


Two-night Halong Bay Itinerary

In comparison with a one-night voyage, the two-night Halong Bay itinerary gives you a chance to explore the most secluded and untouched destinations, not only in Ha Long Bay but also in Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay. Dedicating three days to the Halong Bay tour considerably extends what you can do while in the bay.

Apart from all the activities on the first day of the one-night itinerary, the two-night gives you more opportunities to swim in the unspoiled area, kayak to witness the rock formations, cycle or trek through rain forests, visit the local village, enjoy the stunning scenery of rice fields on the way, or explore the hidden charm of the bay.

Generally, you will be able to explore the entire area, cruising through corners of the bay, far from the busier routes plied by those on a three-day program.

Cycling is usually offer in 3d2n Halong Bay tour itinerary

Cycling is usually included in the Halong Bay itinerary

Nightlife on board is for a lazy time in bed and for interesting activities such as karaoke, squid fishing, playing games, holding a party, etc. What if you missed the chance to feast your eyes on sunset and sunrise moments?

Let’s think about what can be missed on your two-day trip to Halong Bay. Who doesn’t want to spend more chilling time away from the bustling city on land? Especially if you are traveling with children, a three-day cruise tour will be less hassle as you have more time to relax between the transfer back and forth from Hanoi.


Which Halong Bay Itinerary Is Best for You?

In fact, to find the most appropriate itinerary to explore Halong, you not only have to choose between the 1 night or 2 nights trip, but also must consider carefully among several different travel routes. Let’s find out the determining factors in the decision on the best Halong Bay itinerary for you.

halong bay itinerary comparison

A brief comparison of Halong Bay itinerary in two days and three days

Length of Tour

If you have plenty of time, you should go for a 3-day/2-night itinerary. Though the one-night option seems to be more popular, many people regret that they did not take the two-night itinerary.

By leaving after one night, they missed out on the chance to explore more of this extraordinary part of the world, not to mention more time relaxing onboard. Of course, with around 2,000 islands and islets spread around 1,553 km², it would take a longer time to be involved in the Halong Bay itinerary. Some tourists like to spend a full week discovering Halong Bay, including three days on the boat and the rest on land.

Another point is that many passengers commented that the 2-day/1-night cruise trip is actually one day and one night. After a night of sleeping onboard, the boat takes you to the rest of Halong Bay and goes back to the city. As a result, unless you lack time, opt for a three-day option.


Activities and Excursions

With an extended time of itinerary, a three-day tour offers extra time to explore the unspoiled attractions and faraway routes, not only in Ha Long Bay but also in Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. You will also have more time to relax and join more additional activities to deeply explore the majestic landscapes and interesting culture.

Compared to a 2-day trip, you will have more opportunities to swim, kayak, cycle, trek, visit a fishing village, join a cooking class, do Tai Chi sessions or yoga meditation, have BBQ dinner on the beach, and do other interesting activities on board if you missed out on the first day.

Halong bay itinerary

A three-day Halong Bay itinerary gives you more time to relax

In fact, most tourists are satisfied with their three-day itinerary and wish they could stay longer. Spending more time in the Bay, tourists will never regret their decision. After two nights, many people must realize that their money is not wasted at all. Additionally, three days are sufficient to avoid boredom with the shore's isolation. The three-day tour itinerary offers you a much more unforgettable experience than the two-day itinerary does.


Price Range

When it comes to the price difference, most travelers were afraid that they would waste their money and time. For first-time passengers, the one-night option is a safer choice. One night is ideal for those who want to experience the Bay within a limited time and budget. The price range of a 2-day/1-night varies from 120 USD - 550 USD or more, depending on the quality standard.

Normally, you will see a huge difference between a low-budget and a mid-range boat, while a luxury one (5-star) is an upgraded mid-range option (4-star). It is highly recommended that you should compare carefully between the choice of choosing a 5-star or 4-star boat trip as sometimes, they are not very different.

The price for a 3-day/2-night itinerary runs from 300 USD - 1,500 USD or more. As you can see, the three-day budget is twice and a half as high as a two-day budget. In consequence, you should consider your travel budget to choose the best itinerary option.

Halong Bay cruise cabin

It is worth trying to stay overnight on a luxury boat

All things considered, you have a great variety of choices to pick the best itinerary and the best cruiseline traveling Halong Bay. If you do not have a lot of time or are on a budget, one night is enough. In case you need more sightseeing and to participate in exciting activities, you should stay for at least two days. It’s all up to you, but you have to think that you’ll get what you pay for. It’s highly recommended for you to enjoy a two-night program.

You may also like: 3 Easy Steps to Choose The Best Halong Bay Cruise


Alternative option

In addition to the overnight trip, you still can go for a day tour with a duration of 4 – 8 hours cruising. The routes can be varied, and the one-day Halong Bay itinerary is limited by the number of activities. You can only enjoy lunch with traditional Vietnamese food on board, pass many amazing rock formations, and visit several limestone caves or local villages.

Furthermore, the day trip is not as well-equipped and modern as the overnight one. You can book a group tour with a private or charter boat, ranging from budget to expensive ones.

    According to a report by Halong Management, 70% of people stay for one night, while only 25% go for two nights, and the remaining 5% or so enjoy a three-night stay, not including those who go out for a day trip.

Whether you are on a 2-day/1-night or 3-day/1-night team, the important thing is that you really should see Halong Bay at least once in your life. If you have made up your mind, go discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site with our Halong tour itinerary recommendations.

Let's search and book your best itinerary in Halong Bay now!

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Questions & Answers (1)

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Does the Peony cruise offer 3-day 2-night itinerary for visitor? can you send me the detailed itinerary? Thank you


Yes, Peony cruise has 3d2n itinerary. Please check your email, we sent you the itinerary. Also, here is more information for Peony Cruise.

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