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Is Ha Long Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Do not Drink :(

LAST UPDATED: 9:38 am, June 1, 2021

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Can You Drink Tap Water in Ha Long?

No, tap water is not drinkable.

Tap Safe includes data from many publicly available sources, including the WHO (World Health Organization), CDC (Center for Disease Control), and user submitted databases, but unfortunately there's not enough data about Ha Long.

To see user submitted ratings of the water quality for Vietnam, see the "User Submitted Ratings" box on this page.

It is not safe to drink tap water in Ha Long, Vietnam. Experts advised that you boil the water before drinking to avoid stomach problems for travelers or stick to bottled water. At least allow the water to boil for a few minutes to ensure your safety. Bottled water is widely available in the city.

Ha Long Tap Water

Just like other Asian countries, Vietnam has an underdeveloped water treatment plant. Contaminated water is a significant source of illness, so it’s essential to understand what you are getting eating and drinking. Bathing and brushing your teeth with tap water is fine, as long as you don’t swallow a certain amount.

Regarding ice, use your best judgment. Some stores may sell you ice that came from tap water that you should avoid. But for restaurants and popular convenience stores, mostly get their ice from a manufacturer which is safe.

Ha Long Tap Water

When we first heard of the Ha Long Bay in the southern region of Vietnam, we assumed that it was a water body with a name that rhymes with torture. It turns out that the Ha Long Bay is one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Asia and fact, receives over twenty million visitors a year. This was one of the main attractions for me when I was in Vietnam, there are tons of luxury hotels and resorts, but the one thing that I loved most about the place was the fantastic natural views you can get from the lake.

If you have ever asked yourself, “how pure is tap water” the answer will shock you to your senses. Suppose you measure the concentration of different contaminants present in our regular water sources like our municipal water treatment center and compare it to the water that comes from Ha Long Bay. In that case, you will find that it is incredibly pure. The water comes straight from the mountains and is naturally full of nutrients that help keep the lakes so healthy. The only problem that you will come across in Ha Long Bay is the time of year that you can safely take a dip in the water as this is mainly dependent on the weather conditions at that particular moment.

If it is sunny, you can easily spend a day or two in the water relaxing and enjoying the warm temperatures and gentle water. But if the skies fall with clouds, you would not be able to swim for long as the visibility is low and the turbulence is quite severe. There is no doubt that when the weather is at its worst, you would want to stay out of the water for the whole day as you will be more susceptible to various sicknesses once you step out into the mist. I am reasonably sure that many vacationers from America would never think of traveling to a foreign country to enjoy a long relaxing soak in a body of water, one that they have never seen. If you do not like to swim or at least do not mind being wet, you will not be able to appreciate the beauty of this type of water.

Ha Long Drinking Water

There is something very wrong with the Ha Long Bay drinking water, and one needs to be aware of it if they are a resident of the Mekong Delta. If you want to take care of the pollution that Ha Long Bay causes, you should know about the significant pollution sources in the region. The Ha Long Bay is located on the tip of the peninsula of the Mekong River. The Chinese used this bay for their vast network of canals that connected this region with the country’s other regions.

Today, when Ha Long Bay people are looking for ways to deal with the massive pollution caused by waterlogging and algae growth, they look at the canals. They need clean water to live, and they cannot live without it. But they still want to use the canals. It is a sad reality.

Many Ha Long Bay residents have absolutely no idea about the harmful effects caused by the excessive use of canals by the local government and local business people. Suppose you are one of those many people living in the Mekong Delta region and are concerned about the water and environment in general. In that case, you should take a step forward and support those trying to solve the environmental problem. One solution is to build more canals that will enable Ha Long Bay residents to have access to clean and safe water. Another solution is to turn the traditional way of farming into something valuable to the many people of the region. The fishing communities of the area need help as well.

Ha Long Water Safety

When you visit Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, one of the first things you’ll notice is how quiet it is. Unlike most of the other large cities in Vietnam, there aren’t any enormous crowds of people milling around the main tourist areas, and the pollution is minimal. The water itself is a calm and deep shade of blue from the many shallow lagoons. There are over 60 dive sites to explore in this beautiful bay if you like snorkeling or scuba diving. Since this is such a tranquil atmosphere, there’s not much shopping to be had or other activities to occupy your time.

If you want to shop, the main town is an hour’s drive away, so you can quickly get back to the city center without spending too much time on the road. Otherwise, all you have to do is walk a short way, and you’ll find some wonderful little shops that have some excellent antiques and other treasures to pick up. Many restaurants are serving delicious local food, so you won’t need to eat at a restaurant until you get home. Then again, if you’re staying at a guest house, you may wish to bring a lunch from home to eat at the guest house.

If you enjoy boating, then you’ll love this town. There are many boathouses in the bay area where you can board boats to go out for a day of relaxation or to enjoy the gorgeous weather and scenery. You can rent a boat for as long or as short a period as you wish, and you can even purchase one if you like. Hiking is also possible at certain times of the year, so check out the trails before you travel too far. There are many beautiful sights to see in and around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

Water in Ha Long

In Ha Long Bay, located on the west coast of Vietnam, a local market on the street known as “taong bao” or “bay’s stream,” is one of the primary freshwater sources. This market, located at the entrance to the bay, is part of the lake’s natural freshwater system. Water from the natural water system is filtered and then delivered via a private well, located not too far from the town. A further complication of this natural system is that the water does not flow out of the city. Instead, it trickles into the “bay” and then into the freshwater channels strategically planted along the edge of the bay. The fresh water in this particular part of the lake has been deemed low quality, and therefore, bottled water from the same source is required.

Water from Ha Long Bay may be considered low quality, but this low quality is transferred to the water from the freshwater channel and the water from the reservoir that supplies this town with its water supply. Bottled water from this particular water source is considered to be just as good as if one had purchased and consumed the same volume of water from a natural source at the same price. If one were to compare the cost of water from Ha Long Bay and bottled water from the same source, the apparent discrepancy would be readily apparent. Many Vietnamese people, who reside strictly on the diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and who rarely purchase bottled water, have found that the cost of bottled water is significantly higher than the cost of water obtained directly from the reservoir.

A relatively new bottled water industry has recently come into being. One of the main drivers of this industry is Vietnamese individuals’ desire to obtain pure water at home, anywhere they go. As Vietnam increasingly becomes a popular tourist destination, it will be interesting to watch as this bottled water industry takes hold and becomes a significant player in the Vietnamese economy. One can only imagine the growth that lies ahead for this particular industry. More people seek to find safe and pure water to quench their thirst, and the government encourages more people to move in this direction. With the aid of more efficient technology and a push by the Vietnamese government, there is no telling how far this bottled water market will reach and its impact on the Vietnamese economy.

Ha Long Water Pollution

Long-term pollution in the bay is a severe threat to the marine ecosystem and the people living nearby. Many stories describe how Ha Long Bay’s people have tried to clean it up but to no avail. A few kilometers away from the Ha Long Bay lies the largest coral reef in the world. At this reef, there are sea turtle species that are nesting and a wide variety of tropical fish. If these species were not protected, the extinction of the species could be possible.

In addition to the extensive coral reef, there is another protected area of deep water, known as Ha Long Bay Marine Park, where deep-water fish breeding has been going on for decades. Sadly, despite all the protection and care for the marine life in the bay, pollution has managed to wreck it. Industrial waste, especially plastic bottles and cans, has scarred the corals and other chemicals such as detergents and chlorine. These chemicals gradually break down over time and reach the water’s upper layers, where they start to poison the fish.

The problem is not likely to go away soon either. The waters of Ha Long Bay have an average depth of only 14 meters. This makes them prime candidates for toxic algae blooms. Some of the pollutants that reach the region include mercury, lead, aluminum, and other metals. In fact, over the past decade, Ha Long Bay had suffered from more than one thousand new cases of algal sicknesses.

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay, in southeast Vietnam, is well-known for its numerous emerald waters, high-walled limestone hills, and thousands of rugged limestone islands covered with rainforests. These waters are ideal for eco-tourism and fishing. Large numbers of fishers from Vietnam and China visit this beautiful bay to fish, sometimes bringing whole boats full of catch. There are also cruise boats that set sail from Ha Long Bay to Hanoi, and many visitors on a Ha Long Bay cruise stay in Hanoi until the end of their tour, fishing, shopping, taking part in activities such as diving and horseback riding, and even enjoying dinner on the beach before returning to their destinations. Sea Kayak and Junk ship tours also take visitors to islands named for their interesting shapes, such as Stone Dog and Teapot island.

The area around Ha Long bay is trendy for limestone cliffs, which are formed by earthquakes. The limestone cliffs are also stunning, and there are many activities in the water around Ha Long bay, such as snorkeling, where one can view many marine creatures. There is also an underwater sculpture garden in Ha Long bay. This garden was built as part of a large underwater sculpture project to create such underwater scenery. Besides, Ha Long Bay features many nature treks, each leading to a spectacular view of the bay.

Some of the islands in the area are also home to endangered coral reefs. However, the waters around Ha Long bay are safe for diving due to the presence of sharks. The caves here are some of the best in Vietnam. They contain sulfur dioxide, an excellent source of food for cormorants and other bird species.

Source of Water in Ha Long, Vietnam

Ha Long City, Vietnam’s primary source of drinking water is from the surface water. Along with other cites in the country, the water comes from rivers that flow through the catchment plants for treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

The water environment in Ha Long Bay has degenerated because of the absence of proper wastewater treatment for residential, commercial, and industrial areas. According to the water quality survey conducted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) in Quang Ninh Provincial Party’s Committee (QNPPC).

Other links:

Is Ha Long Tap Water Safe To Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$0.54 in USD (1.5-liter)


Ha Long tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 58% Moderate
  • Water Pollution 74% High
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 42% Moderate
  • Water Quality 26% Low

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Ha Long, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources

Current Weather in Ha Long


Some of the Convenience Stores in Ha Long

  • Circle K
  • Vinmart+
  • Family Mart
  • 7-eleven
  • BF Mart
  • Bimmart 24h
  • Chợ Hạ Long 3
  • Q Mart

Estimated Price of Bottled Water

1.5 liter$0.54€0.49£0.4312557.09
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