Halong Bay’s activities are diverse, including swimming, diving, kayaking, caving, trekking, and cycling.
Swimming is more suitable for families or groups of friends to do together. Diving is for tourists who love discovery and adventure.
Both are great ways to explore the wonderful underwater world. You can relax in cool jade-green water and appreciate diverse marine life, such as the coral reef.
Time for Diving and Swimming
When to Dive
The ideal time for diving is from May to November.
During this period, the water temperature is between 25°C (77°F) and 29°C (84°F), which is warm and comfortable. In winter, the water will be too cold to dive in. The visibility is also good for exploring marine life.
When to Swim
The best time to swim is undoubtedly in the summertime, from May to September. The weather is sunny and hot, with temperatures rising from 25°C (77°F). It’s awesome to swim in the cool water. However, rains and storms should be expected, especially in June and July.
When the cruise ship prepares for overnight anchoring, the crew will notify you that you have free time. That’s when you can go swimming. The anchorage area is covered with calm tides and clean water so it is tranquil and safe.
Places for Diving and Swimming
Where to Dive
Long Chau Island is a great dive site, about 30 kilometers from Cat Ba Island town. It takes you about 2 hours to get there by boat. Chim Island and Vung Ha Island are also popular diving sites.
Diving has become a new trend in Halong Bay and lots of islands have been discovered for diving purposes. But it’s still an immature trend and any diving activity should be strictly arranged by a professional diver.
Where to Swim
Halong Bay has countless charming beaches for swimming, such as Tra Gioi Beach, Ba Cua Beach, Tuan Chau Beach, Ti Top Beach, and Minh Chau Beach.
Most beaches there are covered with white sand and clear water. The atmosphere is quiet and airy, and the landscape is alluring. There are also bars on some beaches, providing swimming costumes, floats, and lukewarm showers.
How to Dive
Diving involves the physical condition of the diver, various types of equipment, professional diving skills, and water visibility and temperature. Here are some skills to dive longer and deeper in safety:
- Technical diving: diving deeper than 40 meters (130 feet) using mixed gases, or entering overhead environments (caves or wrecks)
- Surface supplied diving: use of an umbilical gas supply and diving helmet
- Saturation diving: long-term use of underwater habitats under pressure and a gradual release of pressure over several days in a decompression chamber at the end of a dive
What to Expect
Swimming to experience the wild nature of Halong Bay is awesome. Dipping in the cool jade-green water, you will feel free and relaxed. After that, you can enjoy sunbathing under the dazzling sun on board or on the beach.
Having a picnic surrounded by the stunning natural scenery is also a great choice.
By diving in deep water, you will explore the wonderful underwater world. Thousands of splendid corals and fish, such as the sergeant major fish and Clark’s anemone fish, will surprise you. You can see and even touch them; it's an unforgettable experience.
- Choose a good time: during summer.
- Do a few exercises to warm-up before swimming or diving.
- All facilities are regularly checked and match safety standards, such as masks, fins, snorkels, cylinders, wet suits, and life vests.
- Be aware of jellyfish. First aid steps should be taken when you are stung by a jellyfish.
- Don’t overestimate your swimming ability. Remember your swimming ability is severely decreased in cold water.
- Don’t swim or dive while intoxicated.
- Don’t dive into shallow water, or water of unknown depths.
- Don’t swim for too long when it's very sunny as you can easily get sunstroke.
- Don’t swim or dive alone.
- Don’t go near the propeller of the cruise ship.
- Follow instructions about where and when to swim or dive.
- Children and elderly people should wear life vests or swim rings. There should be a lifeguard standing by.
- Special note: according to newly-published local laws, kayaking is no longer allowed in Halong Bay in order to protect the ocean and caves.
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