Halong Bay restaurants
Halong Bay is rich in seafood and offers tons of fish, shrimps and oysters. The catch served in most restaurants usually comes right out of fishing boats in the early hours of the morning.
There are many good restaurants located in Bai Chay Town (Halong Bay Town) and most are the beachfront type. These eateries offer mainly Vietnamese and Chinese dishes with a good selection of seafood, however lately there are more international options to be had.
Several floating restaurants adjacent to Cat Ba Island serve fresh seafood of all kinds. The cooks pick live seafood out of cages and plastic containers floating in the sea inside or next to the restaurants. They will then cook whatever you order on the spot. You simply can’t get fresher seafood than this. Ask the locals or your guide where to get a boat to the restaurants. You’ll love it. Location: near Cat Ba Island
Green Mango Restaurant is one of the top choices on Cat Ba Island when looking for a restaurant with both good food and service. Customers can sit outdoors enjoying the harbour view or relax in a trendy and hip indoor setting. The menu features fusion food along with tapas, mouth-watering main meals and delectable deserts. Prices are above average. Open seven days a week, from 06:30 till the last customer leaves. Location: The heart of Cat Ba Island Tel: +84 (031) 88 7151
Huu Dung Restaurant
This restaurant is famous for awesome seafood and a great view of the bay. The menu includes spring rolls, fried cuttlefish, battered shrimp and the house special is whole steamed fish with lashings of garlic and soy sauce. Location: opposite Lan Song Xanh Disco on Nui Ngoc St., Cat Ba Island Tel: +84 (031) 888407
Noble House Bar & Restaurant
Noble House Restaurant offers delicious Vietnamese/Western food in a lovely and cosy place owned by an Australian. Open from 06:00 to late. Credit cards not accepted. Location: Centre of Cat Ba Island, next to the post office, across from the pier. Tel: +84 (031) 888363
Halong Bay shopping
Though there are limited options for shopping in Halong Bay, what is actually available can be very interesting.
Try the night market at Bai Chay Town. It is set up with many small open-air stalls with good collections of Vietnamese products includes the famous traditional Vietnamese silk dress (ao dai), lacquerware, chopsticks, trinkets, ceramic tea sets, Vietnamese conical hats (nón lá) and dolls.
Experienced shoppers recommend bargaining hard to 30-50% of the original offered price. Most shops accept US Dollars as well as the local currency, Dong.
Another fun way of shopping is from small floating shops. Local people row boats filled with goods such as beer, vodka, cigarettes, potato chips, cookies and other snacks. Their small boats are usually laden with goods in a very organised way and even if you’re not buying anything these vessels are fascinating to see and photograph.
It is important for shoppers not to encourage vendors selling stalagmites and stalactites as they should stay where they belong – inside Halong’s caves and grottos