When it comes to eating in Ha Long Bay, most people feel that for the full-on experience they should dine at one of the many floating restaurants in either Ha Long City or Cat Ba Island. Unfortunately in nine cases out of ten this turns out to be an extremely bad idea.
It’s not that the food is terrible, it’s just that prices are not made clear when guests select their dinner from a display of seafood, so when the bill comes, customers end up paying much more than they expected. It seems there is little concern with customer satisfaction when owners know they will not be back and tomorrow will bring a different tour group. One notable exception is Bien Xanh.
Ha Long Bay Restaurants on Cat Ba Island
Bien Xanh: Probably the only floating restaurant that can be recommended, this place offers a fantastic variety of seafood prepared any way you like. Just be clear about prices before confirming your order.
Green Mango: A classy place serving up intriguing fusion dishes such as salmon with wasabi mashed potato, as well as simple pasta dishes. Good range of cocktails on offer, too.
Noble House Bar & Restaurant: As well as some of the best-value rooms in town, this place features an excellent restaurant and top-floor bar. The menu includes lots of comfort food (think burgers and sandwiches) and it’s a good place for drinks and travel info too.
Ha Long Bay Restaurants in Ha Long City
Toan Huong: One of the best spots in Ha Long City for a choice of local or international dishes. They do good Western breakfasts and salads, and there’s a good range of drinks.
Ha Long Bay Bars and Nightlife
As with food, so with drink in Ha Long Bay. There are hardly any bars that would appeal to foreign visitors in Ha Long City, while Cat Ba Island has quite a few cozy places to enjoy an after-dinner drink.
Blue Note: Named after the legendary jazz record label, this place features music, although you’ll as likely hear pop or blues as jazz here. Still, it’s a welcoming place for a drink and a chat with a decent selection of drinks including top shelf spirits plus local and imported beer.
Flightless Bird Café: No prizes for correctly guessing that the owner of this place is a proud Kiwi. Besides a good selection of beers and wines, there’s a dart board and book exchange.