Halong Bay sits on the northwest coast of the Gulf of Tonkin. As a result, this UNESCO World Heritage’s history has long been associated with earning a living from the sea. It, without doubt, gives Halong Bay’s local fishermen easy access to tons of awesome seafood specialties, many of which may be uncommon to mainlanders.

Let’s be honest, all of the brand new meals that you will be eating on your Halong tours could be mouthwatering. But are you having a hard time choosing just some types of seafood to taste while in Halong Bay? Then shall we check out the recommendations!?

Squid (Mực)

Steamed squid
Steamed squid

Halong Bay squid is an universal seafood that you will try on your luxury Asia tours.

While squid in some fancy Halong Bay restaurants tends to be served as eggy squids stuffed with minced meat, if a local is picking up squid for their meal, it is most likely to be chopped and made into squid sausage (chả mực). The grilled sausage with an incredibly crunchy and delicate texture is often served with sticky rice (xôi) or steamed rolled rice cakes (bánh cuốn). The crispiness and chewiness of chả mực combined with the softness of rolled rice cakes or the stickiness of xôi is nothing to beat. 

Can you imagine something better than chả mực crisp from the large pan, while the salty flavor of fish sauce over a large plate of bánh cuốn or the generous scoops of sticky rice?

Halong squid sausage
Halong squid sausage

If you think simple is the best, why not order steamed squids? Whichever restaurant you visit, squids are cooked so perfectly that they taste more like abalone than the other types of squid you have ever tried before. Naturally sweet, delicate, and nutty – it’s such a bloom of tantalizing flavors!

For those who are not fortunate enough to be in Halong, you can still get imported Halong Bay squid at a local market or other varieties for an unforgettable meal.

Tip: Make sure you don’t overcook it.

Horseshoe crab (Sam biển)

Eggy horseshoe crab in Halong
Eggy horseshoe crab in Halong

Entering any restaurant on your luxury travel in Vietnam – from swanky restaurants to spartan ones, your gaze tends to immediately go to horseshoe crab – a kind of arthropod crustacean with super creepy appearance. But there is so much more about this kind of seafood than what catches your eyes. Sam biển, which often lives and goes in pairs, is a prized delicacy in Halong Bay.  

Out of the two horseshoe crabs in a pair, the female one is believed to have much more delicious meat. Excellent local chefs can make it into a wide variety of exotic dishes such as horseshoe crab pudding, horseshoe crab salad, grilled horseshoe crab, fried horseshoe crab eggs, steamed horseshoe crab, horseshoe crab sauté with chili and lemongrass, and grilled horseshoe crab.

Mantis Shrimp (bề bề)

Mantis shrimp roasted with salt
Mantis shrimp roasted with salt

Shell-on mantis shrimps are caught freshly, thus promising the freshest plates. The roasted salt gives mantis shrimp crispy edges, and the inside of an excellent version is remarkably juicy, naturally sweet, and greasy. With hand-peeling as a slow nature, a party with these crispy yet tender, salty yet sweet crustaceans will be one-of-a-kind. Plucking mantis shrimp roasted with salt from the steaming plate in front of you lends itself well to having fun, flirting, chatting, talking, or joking in between bites.

Tip? Take some friends who are staying in a Vietnam luxury hotel with you along for this one. Moreover, there are other varieties of mantis shrimps to try such as Mantis shrimps roasted with tamarind, Mantis shrimps fried with butter and garlic, Mantis shrimps steamed with beer, or Mantis shrimp vermicelli soup. No matter what dishes you choose, the crowning jewel is always the freshest bề bề.

Because there is a whole heap of seafood that is best enjoyed freshly in Halong, our list, not surprisingly, includes only some of the most popular favorites. However, it might take a long time before you will sample the same dish twice on your Halong tours!