Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay? Best Halong Bay Alternatives

Overview of Halong Bay Complex

Halong Bay is a large complex including Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, which also possesses the natural beauty created from the limestone island landscape, like the core area of Halong heritage. While the Halong Bay cruise remains a popular journey, the growing crowds have led adventurous travelers to seek hidden gems in its surrounding areas to discover the serene tranquillity of Bai Tu Long Bay or immerse in the enchanting landscapes of Lan Ha Bay.

Overview of Halong Bay Complex

Overview of Halong Bay Complex

If you are wondering where to go on vacation, let Halong Bay Cruise Deals guide you towards an unforgettable adventure in the awe-inspiring Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam's northeast corner.

Halong Bay - Colorful bustling beauty

How to get there: Navigating the path to Halong Bay's marvels

From Hanoi to Halong Bay is approximately 180km, with a travel time of 3-4 hours; tourists can choose to go by bus or drive private vehicles (cars or motorcycles) to get to the destination. 

For visitors from the southern provinces, it’s advised to take a plane to Noi Bai airport (Hanoi), where they should rent a private vehicle or sign up for a Halong trip that includes a pick-up location at the airport before traveling directly to Halong. Additionally, owing to the inauguration of Van Don International Airport, which is only 50 km from Halong Bay, getting there is increasingly straightforward.

Exquisite delights: Unveiling the enchanting attractions of Halong Bay

After arriving in Halong, travelers may head to Tuan Chau harbor to start their Halong Bay boat tours. Visitors can take a tour of Halong Bay on a variety of boats, ranging from comfortable and moderately sized vessels to majestic, opulent ships with vast and pleasant cabins. 

Therefore, tourists can choose a cruise trip depending on their expectations, such as if you want to visit every highlight, it is a great idea to select a 3-day-and-2-night tour at Catherine Cruise. Halong Bay luxury cruise will not disappoint tourists by offering a plethora of activities to suit every traveler's interests, such as exploring the stunning limestone karsts and caves, kayaking through emerald waters, going squid fishing, or simply relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship and soaking in the breathtaking views. Capella Cruise is another ideal cruise that will take you through all of the interesting activities on the boat tour. The cruise is famous for its luxurious resort space, first-rate service, and a wealth of sightseeing and entertainment options. 

Unveiling The Enchanting Attractions of Halong Bay

Unveiling The Enchanting Attractions of Halong Bay

On the other hand, for tourists who travel on a budget, there is also the Halong Bay cruise small boat which has many exciting activities such as the opportunity to visit numerous popular attractions on the way cruise passes by such as Sung Sot Cave, Thien Cung Cave, Ti Top Island, and so on.

Halong Bay: Who should embark on this magnificent journey?

Halong Bay is a destination for everyone, from nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers to those looking for a relaxing getaway. Whether you're traveling with family, friends, or as a couple, Halong Bay's natural beauty and diverse activities cater to all ages and interests. 

However, Halong Bay is also Vietnam’s most popular attraction for international and domestic tourists. Therefore, this location gets very crowded, especially in the high season. It is ideal for people who are not frightened of crowded locations, desires to witness the most visually spectacular of the three bays for themselves and experience the most convenient services. Otherwise, it’s worth considering a Halong Bay alternative, such as Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay instead.

Setting tour: Recommended Halong Bay tours for an unforgettable experience 

Various tour options are available, from day trips to Halong Bay overnight cruises. Therefore, travelers should consider booking a guided Halong Bay tour to make the most of the visit. A tip is to look for reputable tour operators that offer knowledgeable guides, comfortable accommodations, and well-curated itineraries. 

Some popular cruise trip options are available to improve your experience. The largest 5-star Ambassador trip in Halong Bay, for example, provides a wholly unique experience on your historical trip. Besides, Scarlet Pearl Cruise is also a one-of-a-kind boat with a dynamic Catamaran design, a lovely interior, and reasonable prices. 

Scarlet Pearl Cruise in Halong Bay & Lan Ha Bay

Scarlet Pearl Cruise in Halong Bay & Lan Ha Bay

Don't forget to contact us right away if you need assistance planning your cruise excursion!

Bai Tu Long Bay - Hidden beauty

Tranquil beauty unveiled: Journeying to Bai Tu Long Bay's serene seascapes

Bai Tu Long Bay is located in the northeast, adjacent to Halong Bay, offering a serene and less crowded alternative. To reach Bai Tu Long Bay, you can follow the same route as Halong Bay by traveling from Hanoi. However, the Bai Tu Long Bay cruise departs from Hon Gai passenger port, not Tuan Chau harbor. 

From there, you'll embark on a cruise that takes you to Bai Tu Long Bay. There are many cruises tourists can choose from, such as La Regina Classic Cruise. This exceptional cruise option offers the perfect way to immerse yourself in the wonders of Bai Tu Long Bay while enjoying luxurious amenities and impeccable service. 

Unspoiled wonders: Must-see attractions in Bai Tu Long Bay

In Bai Tu Long Bay, there is no shortage of captivating experiences to embark on. Begin your journey by exploring the charming Vung Vieng Fishing Village, where you can witness the daily life of local fishermen and navigate through the village on a bamboo boat. For a truly extraordinary adventure, set sail on the Scarlet Pearl, a floating masterpiece that combines modern luxury with traditional Vietnamese design. From its spacious suites and gourmet dining options to its exceptional onboard activities, the Scarlet Pearl is a testament to perfection.

One highlight not to be missed is the awe-inspiring Thien Canh Son Cave. Step into this mesmerizing limestone cave adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites as your guide reveals fascinating geological facts and stories. The cave's ethereal beauty will leave you spellbound. For those seeking relaxation, head to Ban Chan Beach, a secluded oasis of soft sand and crystal-clear waters. Take a refreshing dip or simply unwind while basking in the serenity of this pristine beach.

Relax in Ban Chan Beach, Bai Tu Long Bay

Relax in Ban Chan Beach, Bai Tu Long Bay

As night falls, visitors can engage in the thrill of squid fishing, a popular activity in the area. Learn from local fishermen who may teach you their traditional techniques, and you should try your hand at catching these elusive creatures under the starlit sky. 

Sailing the lesser-known path: Recommended Bai Tu Long Bay tours for adventurers

Bai Tu Long Bay appeals to those seeking a more secluded and off-the-beaten-path experience. If you prefer a quieter and less crowded environment compared to Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long is an excellent choice. Nature lovers, photographers, and those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst pristine natural beauty will find Bai Tu Long Bay particularly enchanting.

Embracing serenity: Why Bai Tu Long Bay is perfect for nature lovers

When planning your Bai Tu Long Bay adventure, tourists should consider booking a guided tour. Reputable tour operators offer various tour options, including day trips and multi-day cruises. Tourists, for example, can book a 3-day-and-2-night trip on Signature Royal Cruise or Huong Hai Sealife Cruise to explore Bai Tu Long Bay in style with renowned cruise services.

If you still wonder how to book cruises, do not hesitate to contact Halong Bay cruise deals which provide you with knowledgeable guides for comfortable accommodations and opportunities to explore the bay's hidden gems. 

Lan Ha Bay - Pristine but dynamic beauty

Paradise unleashed: Exploring the untouched beauty of Lan Ha Bay

To reach Lan Ha Bay, you can take a ferry or speedboat from Hai Phong or Cat Ba Island. If you're coming from Hanoi, you can take a bus or taxi to Hai Phong and then transfer to a ferry or speedboat that will take you to the bay. We recommend you choose the cruise services of  Elite Of The Seas Cruise, La Regina Grand Cruise, or Dragon Bay Cruise. These exceptional cruises provide the perfect combination of luxury, adventure, and exploration, allowing you to immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this magnificent destination.

Island escapes: Discovering the hidden gems of Lan Ha Bay

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, kayaking through the hidden lagoons of Lan Ha Bay is an absolute must. Glide through calm turquoise waters, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, and discover secluded coves and pristine beaches that can only be reached by water. For a boutique cruising experience, La Pandora Cruise is the perfect choice. Travelers can sail through the pristine waters of Lan Ha Bay aboard this charming cruise, enjoying personalized service, and breathtaking views at every turn.

Moreover, underneath the surface of the bay lies a vibrant marine ecosystem waiting to be explored. Tourists might consider taking the Orchid Trendy Cruise for snorkeling or scuba diving in the crystal-clear waters and witnessing the colorful coral reefs teeming with marine life. 

In addition, on the shores of Cat Ba Island, you'll find relaxation and natural beauty at its finest. Bask in the sun on the island's idyllic beaches, feeling the soft sand between your toes. Take strolls along the shoreline, soak in the stunning views, and let the gentle ocean breeze carry your worries away.

A Haven for water enthusiasts: Exciting Activities in Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha Bay appeals to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those looking for a tranquil escape. If you prefer a quieter and less crowded alternative to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is an excellent choice. Whether you're traveling with family, friends, or as a couple, Lan Ha Bay's untouched beauty and diverse activities cater to all ages and preferences.

Bamboo Boat Discover Dark and Bright Cave in Lan Ha Bay

Bamboo Boat Discover Dark and Bright Cave in Lan Ha Bay

Sailing the emerald waters: Recommended Lan Ha Bay tours for unforgettable adventures

Make the most of your visit to Lan Ha Bay by booking a guided tour! Many reputable tour operators offer various options, including day trips and overnight cruises. Therefore, travelers should look for tours that provide experienced guides, comfortable accommodations, and opportunities to explore the bay's highlights. It’s suggested to discover unparalleled luxury and sophistication with our recommended Lan Ha Bay tours, featuring Verdure Lotus Cruise, as its name suggests, is the most fragrant, shining lotus flower in the sunny and windy sea, ready to take visitors to explore the Bay.

So which one should you choose?

So, which one of these remarkable destinations should you choose for your unforgettable vacation? The decision ultimately depends on your personal preferences and interests. Halong Bay offers a well-established tourist infrastructure, a wide range of activities, and the iconic limestone karsts that have made it famous. Bai Tu Long Bay provides a more off-the-beaten-track experience with its tranquil atmosphere and pristine natural beauty. Lan Ha Bay offers a combination of stunning landscapes, secluded beaches, and a variety of water activities.

No matter which bay you choose, rest assured that each destination holds its unique charm and allure. So, pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and let the magic of Halong Bay and its alternatives unfold before your eyes! 

Don't forget to contact Halong Bay cruise deals if you have any questions regarding travel experiences or want to arrange a trip to Halong. We are always delighted to accompany you on all of your journeys!


  1. JohnfromUK JohnfromUK says:

    Great post. I gained some useful information from this blog. I'm going to Vietnam in Jan and considering Halong and or Ninh Binh for the first week. Should I combine the two places or just one place for 1 week?

    1. Vu Giang Vu Giang says:

      Hello John, I'm glad that you find the blog useful! Regarding your question about whether to choose Halong Bay or Ninh, we have another travel guide to tell you exactly what you need. Of course, you can visit both if your time budget allows!

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