Bai Tu Long Bay has a good mix of islands and seas, making it one of the top five greatest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia as rated by Gecko Travel. Whether you are planning a mini-break or looking to take a big trip with your family in Quang Ninh - Vietnam, Bai Tu Long could be the spark that you need.
1. A glimpse of Bai Tu Long Bay in Vietnam
Bai Tu Long is a bay of Quang Ninh, consisting of hundreds of large and small islands in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is located on the Eastern side of the famous Halong Bay, barely 150 kilometers away from the Chinese border and 170 kilometers East of Hanoi.
1.2. Why is Bai Tu Long Bay worth a visit?
Bai Tu Long Bay in Vietnam surprises visitors with its amazing landscape sites: secluded and pristine beaches, impressive karst mountains, tranquil floating fishing villages, numerous limestone islands, and magnificent caves. The Bay also boasts a rich biodiversity with two ecosystems: a tropical, moist, evergreen rainforest ecosystem; and a marine and coastal one. Those who like to enjoy nice scenery like Halong Bay but less touristy will find this place well-fitted with their expectations.
In addition, it is home to many amusing destinations such as Bai Tu Long National Park, Cong Do area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Da Xep Park, Cong Dam area, Thien Canh Son cave, and Tra Gioi beach.
2. How to get to Bai Tu Long, Quang Ninh
Hon Gai Port is the departure point of cruises to Bai Tu Long. And it normally takes:
- From Hanoi city center to Hon Gai Port (Halong City): 3 hours and 15 minutes – by bus/car – for a distance of 136 kilometers
- From Noi Bai International Airport to Hon Gai Port (Halong City): 3 hours and 20 minutes – by bus/car – for 157 kilometers
- From Cat Bi International Airport to Hon Gai Port (Halong City): 2 hours – by car/taxi – for 79 kilometers
*** Note: All cruise companies have shuttle transfers either included in the price or at an additional charge (from US$20-30/person/trip). If you find this service more convenient, you should have a check in advance to choose a reputable service provider.
3. Things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay
3.1. Bai Tu Long Bay cruise trips
Bai Tu Long is a big area where visitors can find pristine natural landscapes. There are many cruises available to provide you with an assortment of breathtaking views. The cruises normally focus on the sailing route that goes through famous sites filled up with grandiose mountains and crystal clear seawater such as: Thien Canh Son cave, Vung Vieng village, Ban Chan Island, Cap La Island, and Cong Dam area.
You can also try tons of activities on cruise tours such as experiencing squid fishing, immersing yourself in the local life in floating villages, dining in a candlelit cave, feasting on a BBQ lunch on the beach, or kayaking close to limestone islands.
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3.2. Visit Vung Vieng and Cong Dam Fishing Villages
Vung Vieng floating village, located almost 20 kilometers off the mainland in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay, Quang Ninh, is a great spot to learn about the local lifestyle of sailing and fishing. The fishing boats with nets spread out to dry and the laughter of local families have given Vung Vieng an idyllic and traditional character. You could choose either to tour the village in a rowing boat with a local or rent a kayak and explore the community on your own.
Cong Dam is similar to Vung Vieng in appearance, but it is positioned far from the mainland and is home to a smaller floating village of around 120 people. Travelers may take a kayaking tour around the area to take in the views, or join the local fishermen and try their luck at fishing. There are various lagoons and sea caves around the village, as well as several lovely beaches such as Tra Gioi, Cay Bang, and Cat Oan that are worth exploring.
3.3. Swimming and snorkeling at Ban Chan beach
If kayaking is a must-try activity at Vung Vieng fishing village and Cong Dam area, then swimming and snorkeling are other things that should not be missed at Ban Chan Beach.
Ban Chan is best known for its clear water, white-sandy beach, and excellent visibility that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The rugged rocks and lush green forest surroundings add to its charm and make this beach majestic.
3.4. Explore Thien Canh Son cave
The cave of Thien Canh Son is a vast cavern made up of three major chambers. The cave's entry path is hidden under a dense forest canopy next to a cliff face. The formations inside the cave come in a variety of forms, resembling lotus blooms, newborn elephants, seals, and flowers. The cave's ceiling, in particular, is like a shining carpet with sparkling stalactites hanging down.
There’s a nice beach here named Thien Canh Son as well, making it an ideal place to have a break after a few hours of exploring.
3.5. Visit Bai Tu Long National Park
Bai Tu Long National Park has recently been recognized as an ASEAN Heritage Garden. Surrounded by gigantic rocky limestone mountains, the park covers 15,783 hectares and is home to nearly 500 species of plants, 37 species of birds, and hundreds of marine animals such as seagulls, mussels, and abalone. The core of Bai Tu Long National Park is the Ba Mun island group which has around 800 species of rare and diverse plants.
Aside from its biological diversity, the park boasts wonderful natural landscapes, unspoiled beaches, archeological sites of ancient Vietnam, and vestiges of Van Don's once-bustling trading port.
Coming to the park at any time of year, visitors have an opportunity to get close to nature and grasp knowledge about nature thanks to the park's wildlife enrichment programs.
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4. Top 5 local dishes you should try in Bai Tu Long Bay
Visitors to Bai Tu Long may enjoy not only the stunning scenery but also the considerable diversity of fresh seafood and unique specialties. Here are some of the foods that you should not miss out on:
- Grilled snout otter clam
- Blue king crab
- Horseshoe crab
- Grilled oyster with onion
- Squid sausage
- Clam soup with spinach
5. Tips for your trips to Bai Tu Long Bay in Quang Ninh
Tourists visiting Bai Tu Long should take notes of these things in order to have a stress-free trip:
- Always wear a hat and apply sunscreen;
- Bring necessary personal belongings, especially insect repellent, bandages, medicine for allergies, colds, etc. to prevent any incurring problems;
- Prepare a camera or smartphone to capture beautiful moments;
- Check the weather and traffic before your trip;
- Have accommodations booked in advance which is crucial for your wonderful trip to Bai Tu Long.
Travelers looking for a pleasant stay have plenty of options to choose from. Among them, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long is favored by many given its outstanding values:
- Excellent position in the heart of Reu Island;
- All rooms having big balconies with views of the bay;
- Numerous amenities including swimming pools, restaurants, bars, conference rooms, culinary lessons, gym, yoga, and so on.
>>> Book rooms now at Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long to get a fulfilling experience at Bai Tu Long Bay!
Bai Tu Long Bay, known for its long-range of islands, diverse ecosystem, and wonderfully friendly locals, is well worth the trip. It is packed with pristine natural scenery at every turn and should be on everyone's must-visit list. So, are you ready to get your adventure on?