Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay: Which one would you choose?

“Halong Bay” has always been an impressive name mentioned by tourists even when they have never been in its country. Vietnamese people never stop being proud of the attraction of this bay. With tens of millions of tourists each year, Ha Long Bay is increasingly worthy of its title. Perhaps, this is the reason why when we mention Halong Bay, people think of its crowds. However, the dynamism and the animation are not nouns that 100% of tourists are looking for. Therefore, a question arises: In addition to Ha Long, do they have any other options? We answer that: absolutely yes. We’ll give visitors a name: Bai Tu Long Bay - a perfect copy of Ha Long for those who prefer quieter and less crowded. In this blog, we try our best to provide the best information for visitors making the final decisions. Okay! Let's Check it out!

A little bit about Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay

Halong Bay was declared by UNESCO as one of the World’s Natural Heritage. With 1600 limestone islands and islets and an area of over 150 square meters, Halong Bay deserves to be the best option for tourists from all over the world. For many travelers, Ha Long is like something right out of a movie. It seems to be full of fantasy and hence too good to be true. Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed been featured in endless movies.

Tiny lakes, freshwater swamp forests, color reefs as well as grottos and profound caves with hidden ponds contribute to the remarkable diversity of Halong Bay's ecosystem. Coming to Ha Long, travelers should allow a few days to explore this magical bay as its attractions are extremely numerous. The summer, from March to June, is the best to visit Halong Bay. With the beautiful weather, you can enjoy your trip with a variety of experiences. For example, one may swim and relax on the beach or do a kayaking program at the nearby Luon Cave and much more.

Halong Bay Overview

Overview Halong Bay

Among hundreds of limestone islands, you can visit the amazing Surprise Cave, and the floating fishing village, and see how the locals live. Ha Long is also rich in seafood and offers tons of oysters, fish, and shrimp. All of these are much more available and also fresher and more enjoyable for you to taste. Moreover, you can enjoy our services when we visit Halong Bay.

And lesser-known than its sister (Halong Bay) which is a glamorous beauty queen surrounded by reporters and followers, Bai Tu Long is another secret haven with the original and charming beauty without much public attention. Bai Tu Long is also associated with stories from ancient times when Vietnam was attacked by its invaders, Emperor Jade sent Mother Dragon and her children to help the Vietnamese. After the invaders were defeated, due to falling in love with the peaceful seascape, the dragons decided to make their home in the bay. So the place where Mother Dragon descended is now called Halong Bay, while Bai Tu Long Bay is where the young dragons descended.

Bai Tu Long Bay Overview

Overview Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long is somehow more stunning and attractive than its neighbor thanks to its natural and primitive beauty. From November to April when the weather is cooler, dry, and stable, so this is the ideal time to visit Bai Tu Long and you can take part in an ideal deal of energetic activities such as kayaking and swimming. In opposite, winter is a good time for those who want to avoid the tourist crowds. However, in both seasons, you can enjoy your best with the amazing and magnificent scenery of this wonderful Bay. Bai Tu Long is outstanding with a long range of islands that were created when the whole limestone upland sunk below sea level. Once coming Bai Tu Long, you will have the chance to visit a great many amusing destinations such as the Cong Do area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Cong Dam area, Thien Canh Son cave, and much more.

In that, we must mention its national park which is the home of many endangered species of birds and animals, as well as plants. It is because of its less rowdy and touristy, Bai Tu Long remains pristine, and residents are more local fishermen than tourism service workers. In addition to traveling by boat here, you can also enjoy an enjoyable bicycle ride watching insightful dense forests on the islands. So, don’t hesitate, together with us to have more experiences!

The best time to visit Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay

Here we provide your pros and cons for each season of weather in Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, and then you can easily choose the best time to visit that is most suitable to your budget, and schedule,…

Best time visit Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay

The best time to visit Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay

Spring (March-May): Spring weather is not hot yet an average of 24°C but it will be more likely to rain especially during March. With pleasant weather and sunlight, travelers absolutely can take part in many outdoor activities such as swimming and kayaking in the daytime.

Summer (June- September): In this season, the temperature and humidity will start to increase but the scenery here is very charming with crystal clear sky and emerald water. There will be more time for kayaking, swimming, and other water activities in this beautiful bay.

Fall (October- December): This is the peak season in Halong because of its pleasant weather. Travelers can enjoy more sunshine, which is not as harsh as in the summer. For this occasion, there will be more deals and special programs. Because in this season, Halong is expected to be more crowded, travelers can also consider it as an opportunity to choose the quieter and more peaceful Bai Tu Long Bay.

Winter (January- February): The temperature in both Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay is around 13-20°C which is very pleasant and perfect for relaxing. In the morning and late afternoon, you will mostly see fog and drizzle. But during this time you can see a completely different look of these bays.

Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay Attractions

Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave: There are thousands of visitors every year who flock to Halong Bay to wander through Sung Sot Cave. This cave was discovered by the French in 1901 and originally named "Grotte des Surprises". In addition, Sung Sot Cave related to the ancient legend that after defeating the An Enemy, Thanh Giong flew to Heaven, leaving his sword and horse to reassure local people and dislodge demons. So inside this cave, there are many natural images as the marks of that fierce battle and the trail of his horse became many little lakes and smashed rocks. With a size of 12.200 square meters, it has three compartments and a high ceiling with lots of stalactites in various shapes.

Sung Sot Cave - Halong Bay

Sung Sot Cave - Halong Bay

Cua Van Fishing Village: “If Ha Long is the garden of earthly castles, Cua Van Fishing Village is a unique wonder of fishermen”- everyone said. With its ancient and charming beauty, a unique traditional culture, Cua Van was listed on Journeyetc.com tourism website listing 16 of the most beautiful ancient villages in the world (2012). Including 176 households built houses along the edge of the island with a population of 733 people, Cua Van is formed by peaceful beauty and unique customs in daily life. At this ancient village, people not only earn their living by fishing but all daily life activities are closely associated with the sea. Towards the ones who have been here, the most familiar image is ramshackle houses which are connected by a network of small bridges. Especially, every living takes place on the sea and goes with the sea. For example, children from 4 to 5 years old know how to row and much more. But the people at Cua Van Fishing Village are very friendly and hospitable. You can listen to some inspiring life stories of the people who have never set foot on dry land in their idyllic village. Once visiting Cua Van Fishing Village, tourists will also have the chance to experience the aquatic life of residents and explore diverse seafood. If you care about the culture and history, this is an ideal place with hundreds of archaeological objects including fishing facilities of ancient Vietnamese people, and many documentary films or pictures about life on Halong Bay in the past and at the present.

Cua Van Fishing Village - Halong Bay

Cua Van Fishing Village - Halong Bay

Tuan Chau Marina: With an area of 2.2 square kilometers which consists of multiple sloping hills, Tuan Chau recently is the most attractive site of Ha Long with numerous constructions for the sake of pleasing tourists. Mention Tuan Chau Island, we cannot skip its extraordinarily rich historical background. This island in feudal times was used as a guard station so the Royal Army could defend and patrol the borderlands. In the late 1950s, President Ho Chi Minh used to vacation on Tuan Chau Island along with other political leaders. Nowadays, it boasts a myriad of recreational activities and markets itself as a relaxed beachy alternative to the bedlam of downtown Halong City. If you have a chance to visit this place, don’t miss out on Tuan Chau Beach which is known to have lovely soft sand, and clean cool waters- a welcome change from the heat and urban mania of the neighboring city.

Tuan Chau Marina - Halong Bay

Tuan Chau Marina - Halong Bay

Vung Ha Beach: If you want to enjoy the natural surroundings without the noisy and busy metropolis, don’t miss out on Vung Ha Beach which is quite secluded and uninhabited. Here the visitors can enjoy the surrounding environment without being bothered by the crowd. Besides, some local fishermen visit here for fishing. And seeing the local fishermen at work is one of the pleasures of visiting Vung Ha. You can be guided by locals to fish in traditional methods and experience a floating life. Vung Ha is famous for its fascinating natural world with biodiversity and indigenous plant and animal species. With the vast beaches remaining unspoiled and the lack of people, Vung Ha offers a perfect opportunity for those who do come here to get back to nature. Coming to Vung Ha Beach means to touch the magnificent beauty of the mountains and ocean which can make anyone fall in love.

Vung Ha Beach - Halong Bay

Vung Ha Beach - Halong Bay

Viet Hai village: A small village amid jungles, which belongs to the Cat Hai district of Hai Phong city, covered by the high mountains range of the Cat Ba National Park, Viet Hai village has become an ideal destination that has attracted an increasing number of both domestic and international tourists every year. Once visiting this place, travelers will get unforgettable experiences. A few years ago, Viet Hai was like an oasis kept separate from the outside world. Despite the rapid development of the modern world, Viet Hai people still retain the 'primitive' of the ancient. Due to this cultural practice, foreign visitors to this village increased gradually. Nowadays, this village is invested in tourism infrastructure including accommodations, farms, and production of local specialties thanks to The Viet Hai Community Tourism Project which is managed by the Hai Phong Border Security force.

Viet Hai Village

Viet Hai Village

Bai Tu Long Bay

Ban Chan Beach: This beach is considered a harmonious picture between the clouds and water like an exceptional masterpiece, bewitching any public thoughts. With the beach stretching for several kilometers, the powdery white sand, and jewel-colored waters, Ban Chan Beach is an ideal place for a waterside stroll as you take in the surrounding landscape. Ban Chan Beach is known as one of those rare places where you should go to do nothing, nothing but contemplate your surroundings- perhaps by taking a walk along the coastline or cooling off with a swim in the crystalline waters. No matter who you are, what you do, where you come from, and how old are you, you will be impressed by the airy space or the white sand for plenty of kilometers underneath the casuarina pines of Ban Chan Beach.

Ban Chan Beach - Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay

Ban Chan Beach - Bai Tu Long Bay

Cong Dam Area: Mention Cong Dam area talks about some of the most breathtaking views of Halong Bay, with majestic mountains and glorious beaches and also houses a fishing village with a population of 120. This area is well-known for the limestone karsts which are said to be nearly 340 million years old, which looks like the amazing arrangement of “mother nature”, making them an especially valuable part of Halong Bay’s natural history and ecosystem. With the deep-rooted tradition of fishing culture, Cong Dam is a great place for tourists to talk with local people, hear them tell tales of their memorable lives, or sit in bamboo boats paddled by local women who will take you to explore the magnificent mountains and beautiful small houses. Then we are sure that you cannot skip all thrilling experiences like kayaking, boat rowing, and fishing with fishermen.

Cong Dam area - Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay

Cong Dam area - Bai Tu Long Bay

Thien Canh Son Cave: Be regarded as “True heaven on Earth”, once visiting Thien Canh Son Cave, you will be surprised by an almost surreal wonderland with natural images and incredible stalactites resembling a baby elephant or a lotus. In order to explore this cave, you would walk up about 100 stone steps, placed under the foliage and craggy cliffs which bring in a new feeling like climbing on the heaven gate’s side. After getting out of the cave, tourists will be surprised by the stunning scenery of Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay from above. Travelers can wallow in the freshwater with a windy atmosphere or join kayak riding to explore the island further.

Thien Canh Son Cave - Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay

Thien Canh Son Cave - Bai Tu Long Bay

Vung Vieng Fishing Village: This village is the system of a floating village on the sea with all of the living activities that happen on the boat. Once visiting Vung Vieng, travelers will easily be attracted by the small boats, the bamboo nets on their doorstep, and dark-skinned babies with cheerful smiles and innocence. The best time to visit Vung Vieng village is the annual Halong Tourism Week. Because you will be welcome to take part in the fishing village festival and wide a range of exciting activities like the culinary competition or folk song singing contest,…

Vung Vieng Fishing Village - Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay

Vung Vieng Fishing Village - Bai Tu Long Bay

Pearl Farm village: Once you set foot on the pearl farm, you will take the opportunity to watch the whole process of making expensive jewelry from the pearls from Halong Bay. You can also go and see the local experts engaging in the exhaustive process of cultivating and farming the pearls from start to finish. More interestingly, visitors will have a chance to pick up some pearls of their own- fresh pears from Halong Bay make a great souvenir after touring the workshop.

Pearl Farm Village - Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay

Pearl Farm Village - Bai Tu Long Bay

Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay Activities

Cruising overnight Cruises

Halong Bay Luxury Cruises

Considered the jewel in Northern Vietnam’s crown, attracting millions of tourists per year, Halong Bay has carved its national and international acclaim from the dark green mountains that pierce reflective emerald waters, providing a scene of Jurassic qualities. Travelers come looking for the magic on its tranquil surface along its white-sand beaches, in its mysterious caves, and among the smiles of the villagers living in its floating villages. 

Moreover, our Halong Bay Cruises are different in class, mineralization, and sophistication in every line of carving and taking care of customers with enthusiasm from the depth of heart for every service. The vessels of the highest class of this cruise meet the needs for a perfect trip that cuts through the jade-green waters of a bay as magnificent as the legendary Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay. With over 20 years of experience in operating cruise services in Halong Bay, we promise to bring customers the highest level of service from their bedroom facilities to staff service. The prestigious ships of our Cruises have brought customers' holidays to a new height, and provide them with an unforgettable trip from the schedules which are designed so perfectly that visitors can maximize their experience and enjoy the vacation from all rooms are well furnished with modern amenities to ensure your enjoyable stay.

Bai Tu Long Bay Cruises

Whether you are on a family vacation or a couple visiting for a wedding anniversary, treat yourself to a holiday to experience the splendor of Bai Tu Long Bay with all the best services offered onboard. It’s unnecessary to limit yourself to seeing the usual tourist locations because you could easily book a cruise or tour to a lesser-known location on our website. And it becomes our goal: to create a streamlined service to help you get the most out of your traveling experience. Taking part in any of the luxury, deluxe, or budget Bai Tu Long Bay cruises listed below will be your gateway to enjoying the beauty of a UNESCO World Heritage site without crowds. Together with the Bai Tu Long Luxury Cruise, you can take a chance to admire the various colorful fishing villages, spectacular caves, untouched beaches, and towering, forested mountains of this beautiful and largely overlooked area. Bai Tu Long Bay Luxury Cruise stands out by its sophisticated boat designs, royal amenities, impeccable service, and gourmet cuisine. With diverse sizes from as small as 5 cabins (Valentine Cruise, Violet Cruise) to as large as over 30 (Au Co Cruise), our Luxury Cruises promise an unbeatable experience and are worth every penny. Coming to us, you can find the best amenities like a jacuzzi, spa service, comfortable bedding, exquisite food, safe box in the room. Each cabin with stylish décor has a private balcony and a floor-to-ceiling glass window offering a panoramic view of the bay even from bed. Inspired by traditional Vietnamese junk, Bai Tu Long Bay Luxury Cruise has a sun deck area with sunbeds and benches, with views of the paradise of Lan Ha Bay. Here travelers also can enjoy hundreds of wines, free to sunbathe, read books, listen to music,…

Halong Bay Kayaking

Both in Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, kayaking is the most selected activity by many travelers, especially foreign travelers. Sitting on a tiny kayak, paddling in the blue water, feeling all the grandeur of nature,… what’s more amazing? It’s no coincidence that in 2000, Halong Bay was voted by National Geographic Adventures magazine as 1 of the 25 world's best destinations for kayaking. However, with the high demand for this activity, sometimes it’s quite hard to rent one. But it won’t matter if you travel with our Halong Bay Cruise. We offer many types of kayaks such as kayaks made from composite plastic, molded rubber, or inflatable kayaks with oars which are for 2 people/1 kayak. While the kayak is going through Thien Canh Son Cave, Ba Trai Dao, Ba Ham, Dau, and Cong Dam Area,… you can get the opportunity to admire the beauty of coral reefs, the tiny fishes swimming and dancing around, and many other interesting sceneries.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Note: Ha Long is more suitable for kayaking.

Halong Bay Swimming

This is an awesome activity for families or groups of friends to do together while spending time enjoying Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. Travelers will feel free and relaxed. Both in Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, there is a variety of famous beaches for tourists to choose from: Vung Ha, Ban Chan,…

Swimming in Halong Bay

Swimming in Halong Bay

Halong Bay Diving

With tourists who love discovery, scuba diving will be a favorite activity on Halong Bay. There are countless coral reefs and numerous marine life along Cong Do Island and Van Don Island. Imagine that you can see various kinds of fish as well as pristine coral reefs at the bottom of Halong Bay by their eyes and even touch them. Dancing with an octopus or swimming with sea bass is no longer the only sight in animation. We believe that the underwater adventure is the heart, the soul of Ha Long Bay that visitors should not miss.

Diving in Halong Bay

Diving in Halong Bay

In summary, it’s hard to say Halong Bay or Bai Tu Long Bay is better since these two are both worth visiting. And if you have enough time, why not coming both of them? We hope our blog will reinforce your decisions. Have a nice trip with Halong Bay Cruise Deals!


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