Eco-tourism in Halong Bay; Lan Ha Bay and Catba Island

(Updated: 11/19/2019 4:37:47 PM)

Eco-tourism is a popular form of responsible tourism which aims to help travelers visit areas of great natural beauty and cultural significance in a more sustainable way. This means that tourists aim to leave very little physical evidence of their visit in the hope of sustaining our Earth’s natural beauty for generations to come.


Eco-tourism in and around Halong Bay is still in its infancy stages however, there are some internationally recognized eco-travel programs and partnerships that tourists can keep an eye out for, which indicates that a travel company commits to sustainable tourism. Three of the main organizations are:

  1. Travelife Sustainability System - Partners with Travelife are part of the Travelife Sustainability System. This initiative sets high standards for Tour Operators and travel agencies ensuring they play a role in contributing to sustainable development and environmental protection.
  2. The Responsible Travel Club of Vietnam (RTC) - RTC works in association with many travel agencies to build and develop sustainable growth in tourism in Vietnam and has been running since 2009.
  3. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - Members of this union are committed to helping economic progress along with environmental conservation.

If you spot a company operating with an association or partnership with one of these organizations then you can be sure that they are committed to eco-tourism in Halong Bay.

If you wish to contribute to a more eco-friendly form of tourism in Halong Bay you can do your bit by picking up all of your trash, using minimal plastic and eat locally produced food.

Community Based Sustainable Tourism in Halong Bay

As one of the tourism hotspots of Vietnam, Halong Bay is becoming more sensitive to the need for sustainable tourism.

The most important idea when it comes to sustainable tourism is to leave a positive impact on the environment that you visit. This involves the wildlife, landscape, and local people as well, and means using local transportation, buying from local shops, eating the local food and being mindful of parting with your waste.

Community-based tourism

One of the most effective ways that Halong Bay has implemented sustainable tourism is through community-based sustainable tourism.

Community-based sustainable tourism means that the local population invites tourists to come and visit their respective communities. The locals earn money by selling their products and offering their services to the people visiting their villages. This kind of community-based tourism allows tourists to go and explore more of the local environment and have a more intimate and authentic experience.

Community-based tourism enables visitors to see aspects of local life that they wouldn’t normally see, like customary rituals, wildlife, and the local traditional way of life. Because of these special experiences, the community becomes more aware of both the social and commercial value of their cultural heritage. Through this, the community can be preserved and locals can make a good living. Local government and tourist agents in Halong Bay are in the process of developing sustainable tourism.

Sustainable Activities

One Halong Bay’s most popular activities when it comes to sustainable tourism is a visit to the floating villages. Various tourist organizations offer trips to these villages where tourists are immersed in the local way of life. You will be able to experience what it’s like to be a fisherman in one of the floating villages in Halong Bay. It’s even possible to do everyday chores and share a meal with the locals at the end of the day. Hang Vem, Vung Vieng and Cua Van are the most popular destinations and a trip usually lasts a day.

Plan Your Own Sustainable Trip

These trips are completely customizable and don’t necessarily require a booking through a travel agent. When you decide to plan an entire trip yourself, just make sure to let the hotel or ship you’re staying at know about your plans so they can assist you where necessary. They can offer transportation and translation and make contact for you with one of the villages. Together with Sails of Indochina, we try to keep a cleean bay of Halong for future generation


Sails of Indochina - Traditional Sailing Junk

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