Bai Tu Long Bay Halong Bay
Occupying three-quarters of Halong Bay World Heritage Site, Bai Tu Long Bay remains an extensive unexplored area that promises to give many unique experiences, far from a heavily tourist sites.
Located immediately east of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay stretches all the way to the Chinese border, encompassing a massive area, which includes a long string of islands and a national park. Every bit as beautiful as its more famous neighbor, Bai Tu Long Bay is the right choice for any visitor who wants to experience the magic landscape of Halong Bay but is keen to avoid crowds.
Bai Tu Long Bay from above
A glimpse of Bai Tu Long Bay
The less-traveled Bai Tu Long Bay is located in the East of Halong Bay and stretches all the way to China-Vietnam’s border. Covering a total area of 15,000 ha, Bai Tu Long Bay is a fantasy-like archipelago that is defined by thousands of islands formed by nature over time. There’re numerous pristine natural landscapes and a massive area including a long string of islands. Beyond the natural splendor, there’s a national park considered a priceless national treasure in Bai Tu Long Bay. The biodiversity in Bai Tu Long remains untouched by typical eco-systems like mangrove forests, coral reefs, and tropical forest ecosystems.
Bai Tu Long Bay
The primitive charm of Bai Tu Long Bay lies in its limestone caves and historical sites such as Van Don Pier, Tinh Hai Pier, and a citadel from the Mac Dynasty on Ngoc Vung Island. Additionally, many visitors’ curiosity is triggered by beautiful off-the-beaten-track attractions like Quan Lan, Ngoc Vung, Ang Du Area, Thay Cave, Vung Vieng Fishing Village, Thien Canh Son Cave, Ban Chan Beach, and many other stunning beaches.
Bai Tu Long is an ideal choice for visitors who want to experience similar landscapes in Halong Bay but are less touristy. Located further east of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long is more tranquil and takes a longer itinerary to discover the hidden beauty. Despite the longer stay toward Bai Tu Long, it is worth spending at least 3 days admiring the outstanding beauty of limestone karsts and mountains rising from waters as well as mystical caves.
Off-the-beaten-track Bai Tu Long
History of Bai Tu Long Bay
Legend said that when Vietnam was attacked by foreign invaders million years ago, Emperor Jade sent Mother Dragon and her children to help the Vietnamese. The dragon army blew out myriads of pearls and gems which turned into plenty of mountains on the sea as stone walls shielding Vietnam. After the invaders were defeated, the dragons decided to settle in the bay. The land where Mother Dragon descended is now called Halong Bay, while Bai Tu Long Bay is where the baby dragons landed.
Many years ago, adventurers usually flocked to Bai Tho Mountain, where you can witness the panoramic view of Bai Tu Long from the top. However, the flush of tourists made it incapable to preserve the natural landscape and environment. Hence, Bai Tho Mountain has been banned by tourism operations since 2017. Nowadays, without the access to Bai Tho Mountain, Bai Tu Long Bay still attracts lots of attention from international travelers and offers plenty of amusing activities.
Floating village in Bai Tu Long Bay
Things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay
- Join a Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise: Taking a minimum 3-day Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise, you will experience pleasant services and unique packages of the Bai Tu Long itinerary. You’ll have an opportunity to behold the UNESCO protected geological formations, learn about the biodiversity, try night squid fishing, do Tai Chi exercises, get a deeper insight into the local life, dine in a candlelit cave, feast on a BBQ lunch on the beach or cycle around floating villages.
Book a cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay
- Kayak in Vung Vieng fishing village: Situated in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay, Vung Vieng village is a peaceful location where the unspoiled landscape and the local culture of fishermen have drawn lots of tourists' attention. Thanks to the off-the-beaten-track area, kayaking in Vung Vieng is much more transformative than anywhere else. You can touch the crystal water and immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere of Vung Vieng fishing village.
Kayaking in Bai Tu Long
- Swim/snorkel in Ban Chan Beach: It’s perfect to swim or snorkel among the hidden paradise concealed from the masses and still widely unknown. Let’s enjoy the sandy beach, put your feet up, and even set up your own BBQ party in Bai Tu Long Bay.
- Explore Thien Canh Son Cave: The route leading to Thien Canh Son Cave is already unique and a little adventurous since it is set below a forest canopy and a stone cliff. The discovery at Thien Canh Son Cave offers an adventure to a mini-ancient civilization revived through the stalagmites and stalactites. You will not only listen to many legends and stories about the cave but also capture mesmerizing moments of Bai Tu Long Bay.
Best time to visit Bai Tu Long Bay
The dry season in Bai Tu Long Bay is between October and March, while the wet season occurs from April to September. The weather in Bai Tu Long Bay is similar to Halong Bay weather, you can check here for an overview of the climate in Bai Tu Long.
Generally, Bai Tu Long Bay welcomes visitors throughout the year. However, the summertime from July to September is not recommended due to the rainy seasons, which can lead to fierce storms and unstable weather. The high season of the Bai Tu Long ranges is between November and April. It’s time to do outdoor activities in cool and stable weather.
Sunset in Bai Tu Long Bay
How to get to Bai Tu Long Bay
As being far away from Halong City, the locals usually travel by bus or car to Cai Rong Port, Van Don District, and board a high-speed boat at the harbor. It takes from 45 to 90 minutes to reach Bai Tu Long Bay.
For tourists coming to Halong Bay, there’s a great diversity of both day tours and overnight cruises towards Bai Tu Long Bay. Tourists often choose a one-night or two-night itinerary to uncover the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay. Check this out for the best deals on the Bai Tu Long Bay tour.