6 Things You Should Know About Halong Bay Culture

Ha Long Bay culture and surrounding areas have been passed down through generations, contributing to an important part of the special cultural heritage of Northern Vietnam.


Residents in Ha Long Bay are part of the majority ethnic group in Vietnam, the Kinh people. Vietnamese is the common language, however, basic English can also be used by those working in the tourism industry.

For many years, the lives of the people of Ha Long Bay have mainly revolved around unique floating fishing villages, where they make a living from fishing and seafood exploitation. Local fishermen use a variety of methods to catch fish, including cast nets, trawls and nets. At night, visitors also have the opportunity to participate in exciting squid fishing activities. Additionally, many locals also take advantage of the booming tourism industry in this area to make a living. Some people even make and sell handmade jewelry, while others operate convenience stores on small rowing boats.
Generations of families have been born and raised in these floating villages, and many have been here their entire lives. However, recently, the Quang Ninh provincial government has begun to relocate residents from emerging villages to settle on the mainland. The goal of this is to protect the unique natural landscape of Ha Long Bay and maintain the area's status as a precious natural heritage.
Halong Bay Culture


Like most other regions of Vietnam, people in the Ha Long Bay region often practice a religion based on classical folk beliefs and traditions, focusing on ancestor worship. Spirituality and supernatural beliefs play an important role in the lives of many Vietnamese people here. However, there are also Buddhists and Christians present. In the East of Ha Long city, you can find an active Roman Catholic church, holding Catholic ceremonies and Masses.

The people of Ha Long Bay participate in festivals and religious celebrations common throughout Vietnam, of which Tet is the most important day. During this time, Vietnamese people often focus on cleaning the house before welcoming the new year, organizing big parties for their families and giving lucky money to relatives and friends.


Thanks to its unique location, Ha Long Bay is known for its reputation for fresh seafood dishes. Local people as well as tourists coming here have the opportunity to enjoy delicious dishes typical of the Quang Ninh region. Cha squid (fried squid cake) is a famous dish, made locally and often combined with sticky rice or banh cuon (a type of pancake with meat filling). In addition, Ha Long Bay is also famous for seafood such as crabs, lobsters and oysters. In particular, there are many delicious dishes made from molluscs (extremely delicious and diverse) that you can easily find here. Ngan is a popular type of clam that can be processed into many different dishes and even used to produce unique wine. Shrimp is also another important specialty of Ha Long cuisine and is often enjoyed with lemon salt.
Halong Bay Culture


Music and songs play an important role in Vietnamese culture, like in many other countries. One of the famous traditional love songs called 'Hat Giao Duyen' is performed in a style similar to Quan Ho singing, originating from Bac Ninh province. Quan Ho songs often focus on deep human emotions, such as love and pain. This song is often performed popularly in one of the four famous fishing villages in Ha Long Bay, Cua Van village. Wedding ceremonies in Cua Van village are usually held on the 15th day of the lunar calendar. On this day, when the moon is at its brightest, the bay becomes especially beautiful with gentle moonlight, causing the fish to appear peaceful and stay away from the sea.


Art in Ha Long Bay represents a delicate combination of local culture and unique craftsmanship. One of the typical artistic symbols of Quang Ninh province is the handcrafted sculptures made from Anthracite coal. These works are not only a heritage of the land but also a unique souvenir. You can find many examples at Ha Long Market, in which the Fighting Cock statue is a special symbol, symbolizing the Fighting Cock Island located in Ha Long Bay and has a history of thousands of years.

Ha Long Bay's Pearl Farm is also an interesting destination, where you can see how pearls are cultured and turned into exquisite handmade jewelry. Pearl farming in Ha Long Bay and the surrounding area is inspired by Japanese methods, with initial development by Japanese innovators.
Halong Bay Culture

In addition, rice painting is also a popular artistic expression in Ha Long Bay and throughout Vietnam. To color the rice grains, artisans use frying techniques to varying degrees, creating unique brown tones, which they then arrange to recreate delicate landscapes. Creating a small rice painting can take several weeks to complete, while a larger painting can take even more time to create.
Thus, art in Ha Long Bay is not only a part of local heritage but also represents the creativity and diversity of this region's arts and crafts.

Ancient culture

You may be surprised to know that Ha Long Bay is considered by many people to be one of the origins of ancient civilizations on earth. Several ancient civilizations originated in this area, having existed since around 3000 BC.

Although Ha Long's culture has existed for thousands of years, it only became widely known to the world during the French colonial period in Vietnam. About 65 years ago, an expert group of Vietnamese and international scientists discovered the first signs of an ancient culture originating from Ha Long Bay. Together, they discovered 27 traces of this ancient culture, including complex primitive cave systems and many intricate stone tools.

Similar to many other ancient civilizations, Ha Long people used tools for farming, hunting and fishing. Among these tools, a specific hand ax played an important role in the lives of ancient people in Ha Long. To this day, this ax is still considered a symbol of the people of Ha Long.

Another special feature of Ha Long culture lies in ceramic products. Ha Long people have created diverse and unique ceramic products, mainly using spinning wheels and pottery. Ceramic products are often a source of pride for the local community, as they have contributed to the uniqueness of Ha Long culture compared to other cultures that exist in the same area.