Bai Tu Long Bay – An escape to summer paradise

In the Northeast of Vietnam, the unspoiled natural beauty of Ha Long Bay has, of course, been capturing the attention of travellers for years. However, there are always way too many tourists around the year. If you’re the sort of travellers who love to keep things off the beaten track, Bai Tu Long Bay is an ideal destination for you. With Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay has also become a world natural heritage site for visitors but it still keeps its own pure and pristine charm. Venture only 30km northeast towards the Chinese border, 200km from Hanoi, you can now have a chance to experience the beautiful and less touristy Bai Tu Long Bay. Keep reading to get more ideas for your trip to this elusive peace and quiet place!


According to local legend, to assist the Vietnamese in defending their country, the Jade Emperor sent a family of dragons as protectors. When the invaders’ ships were near the shore, the dragons created pearls and gems that were then turned into thousands of stone islands to form firm walls on the sea. The ships crashed into stone islands while moving quickly. When the invaders failed, the dragons decided to stay in the lower world. The place where the mother dragon descended was named Ha Long, the place where the dragon’s children attended upon was called Bai Tu Long (Bái: attend upon, Tử: children, Long: dragon). Bai Tu Long Bay is a complex of special islands with biodiversity that is similar to Ha Long Bay. Here is also home to Ha Long culture existing from thousands years ago.

Compared to the number of about 600 cruises in Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long has a much more modest number of about 30. However, these cruises always have longer routes as there are many things to see in Bai Tu Long Bay and they don’t take much time to stop for different activities like the cruises in Ha Long Bay. Thus, the price of these cruises can be a little higher compared to those of Ha Long Bay. But if you take a chance, you’ll see that it’s worth the price!

A private beach of Bai Tu Long Bay.
A private beach of Bai Tu Long Bay.

Coming to Bai Tu Long Bay, you will not only have the chance to immerse in the mesmerizing and scenic nature, but also pick up new things about Vietnamese culture.


Your travel itinerary to Bai Tu Long Bay is arranged according to the cruise you choose. Normally, there are 3 types of cruises: 3 days 2 nights, 2 days 1 night and 1 day only. However they’re all based on the same activities and things to see here.


Thien Canh Son Cave

This is a large beautiful cave with three main chambers on the island which can be accessed to via a hidden path through a dense forest canopy. The formations inside the cave are commonly in shapes of various daily items, lotus blooms, a baby elephant, seals and other flowers. There’s a nice beach here as well, making it an ideal stop for a few hours of exploring.

Explore the inside of Thien Canh Son Cave. Source: IG @iva_florencia

Ban Chan Beach

Very much an “off the beaten track” beach area, Ban Chan Beach has a quite interesting name meaning Foot Beach. With white sand fringed by idyllic green and blue sea, the beach is one of the most coveted beaches in the entire region. It is wonderful to enjoy a swim, kayaking or a beach barbecue in a such magnificient place surrounded by rugged rocks and lush green forest.

Bai Tu Long National Park

The National Park is a flourishing forest and marine conservation area covering 61.25 km2 and an even larger aquatic area of 96.58 km2. Here is not only home to green grass and blue water, but also boasts the bio-diversity with three basic ecosystems of forest, flooded soil and sea. Many gene samples of rare animals and plants are listed in the Red Book of Vie and the world.

Cong Do Island

Covering an area of nearly 23.4 square kilometers, Cong Do Island is a great work created by the Mother Nature with a large number of concentrated coral reefs, underground lakes inside karst mountains, underwater caves, and large beaches.  Cong Do Island features the unique characteristics with a lot of winding marine troughs, stone mountains, plants that create the exciting natural lakes where many types of marine creatures such as shrimp, fish, crab, squid, algae survive. Especially, an impressive feature of this land is the system of lakes in this area. They are planning to develop this area to become an impressive zone for scuba-diving and snorkeling as well.

Cong Do Lagoon ecological area

Thanks to its many beautiful beaches with emerald waters and white sandy banks, Cong Do is an ideal place for swimming and kayaking. In addition, travelers can enjoy trekking up to the hill and admire the panoramic view and airy space at the top of the hill.

Vung Vieng Fishing Village

This is an important stop-off point for any visitors hoping to get an insight into traditional Ha Long culture and life or simply seeking for a potential spot to stop and take some photos. Even though it’s no longer inhabited full-time, the floating village is preserved for tourists to walk around and learn about the deep-rooted local traditions.



Besides, the cruise will offer you many different activities to take part in such as kayaking, swimming, cooking class, yoga or simple nice night on the top of the deck.


There are loads of cruises departing to Bai Tu Long Bay every day, mostly from Hon Gai Pier. Most common ones include Huong Hai, Swan, Dragon Legend, Golden, Royal Wings, Signature Royal Cruise. Each has different facilities and itinerary, however, they’re all well arranged basing on the same activities and things to see. That’s why it’s a little confusing and difficult for first-time travellers to the Bay to choose the most appropriate one.

bai tu long cruise
An example of a tour to Bai Tu Long Bay on a 2 days 1 night cruise.

There’s a small notice for you when choosing a cruise for your trip. Booking directly with the cruise always costs you more than booking through tour operator. And if you still hesitate about which to choose, the operators can give you full details of each cruise and help you choose the most suitable one for your special requirements, itinerary and budget. They can also give some useful advice so that you can fruitfully enjoy your trip.

If you are excited already, Asianwaytravel is always willing to help you make your dream journey come true!

Do you like this post?