Your guide will collect you at your hotel at 8am – or as early as 5am if you've opted for a sunrise tour – for the short journey to Halong City's bustling seafood market. Watch fishermen and vendors in action as you marvel at the choice of seafood on offer.
Your next stop is Bai Tho Mountain, the 610-foot (186-meter) hill that dominates Halong Bay. From here, enjoy staggering views of the shimmering waters, endless sky, and dramatic karst islands of UNESCO-listed Halong Bay. Relax and take in the view, or capture images that will last a lifetime.
At the base of the mountain, you'll visit Long Tien Pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Halong City. Built in 1941 as a Buddhist temple, it also has altars dedicated to warriors of the medieval Tran Dynasty and the Holy Mothers goddesses: your guide will explain the meanings of these Vietnamese figures.
Your next stop is Hon Gai church, on a high hilltop with views across Halong City. Destroyed during the Vietnam War, this has been rebuilt and expanded and is now the largest church in Quang Ninh province.
Relax over an included lunch at a local restaurant, before you visit the Quang Ninh Museum, home to more than 10,000 artifacts: please note this is closed on weekends. Your guide will explain exhibits on the medieval cultures of the Ly and Tran dynasties, as well as the ethnographic displays on Quang Ninh's many minority groups. There are also fascinating displays on the Vietnam War.
Your guide will escort you back to your hotel around 4pm, or earlier if you've opted for a sunrise tour.