Bai Tu Long Bay Travel Guide

June 29, 2023

Bai Tu Long Bay is a vast unexplored region that includes a long string of islands. For any visitor who wants to avoid crowds, this destination is the right choice to experience the magic landscape in a peaceful atmosphere.

  • Where is Bai Tu Long Bay? Northeast of Halong Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam

  • Belongs to Quang Ninh Province, and stretches to China-Vietnam’s border, including a sea area of Cam Pha city & Van Don island district, a total area of 158 km2.

  • Famous for its unspoiled beauty of nature, less-touristy route.

  • The name means: dragon bowing down in English, or borrowed sound from "Baie Toulon" in France

An Overview of this wonderful bay

Is Bai Tu Long worth it? 

The primitive charm of this beautiful bay lies in its natural beauty of limestone islands, pretty attractions like Thay Cave, Vung Vieng Village, Thien Canh Son Cave,... historical sites (Van Don Pier, Tinh Hai,...), and many other stunning beaches.

There’re numerous pristine landscapes and a massive area including a long string of islands in Bai Tu Long. Beyond the natural splendor, there’s a national park considered a priceless treasure of the bay. The biodiversity in this place remains untouched with typical ecosystems like mangrove forests, coral reefs, and tropical forests.

Peaceful and unspoiled scenery

Additionally, many visitors love the off-the-beaten track of Bai Tu Long. Located further east of the Gulf of Tonkin, this bay is more tranquil, which is an ideal choice for visitors who want to experience beautiful landscapes without worrying about too many tourists. 

To fully explore this area, it is worth spending at least 2 days on a cruise to admire the outstanding beauty of limestone karsts and mountains rising from the waters as well as mystical caves.

History of the Bay

Million years ago

According to legend, when foreign invaders attacked Vietnam, Emperor Jade sent Mother Dragon and her offspring to assist the Vietnamese. The dragon army blew out a plethora of pearls and gems, which transformed into many mountains on the sea that served as stone barriers. After defeating the invaders, the dragons chose to settle in the bay. The area where Mother Dragon descended is now known as Halong Bay, while the baby dragons landed in Bai Tu Long Bay.

In the 2010s

Visitors would gather at Bai Tho Mountain, where they could witness the panoramic view of the bay. However, the influx of tourists made it unable to protect the natural landscape and environment here. As a result, since 2017, tourism activities here have been prohibited. 

Nowadays, this attraction continues to draw international attention while trying to maintain its natural beauty and resources.

Explore Thien Canh Son Cave

Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise

The best way to explore this place is by joining a cruise. There're many boats currently active in this area with 2 days or 3 days tours. You can make the most of your trip to the bay while having many amazing activities such as kayaking, swimming, and visiting caves,...

Here are some best cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay recommended by Asian Discovery Travel Travel:


Price from/pax

Why choose?

Signature 5*

US $167

Large cabin with jacuzzi

Dragon Legend 5*

US $171

2 nights without a day boat

 La Regina Classic 3*

US $115

Wooden boutique design

*Price may change in the future, check Rate for the exact amounts

Swan Cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay

 Things to do


Concealed from the masses and still widely unknown, Cap La Island in Cong Do Area is a perfect place for kayaking and swimming. Let’s enjoy the sandy beach, breathtaking nature, and beautiful scenery.

Exploring fishing village

Situated in the heart of Bai Tu Long Bay, Vung Vieng fishing village is a peaceful location with an unspoiled landscape and the local culture of the fishermen. You can touch the crystal water, immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and chat with native people here.

Have fun with the kayaking activity

Witnessing magnificent 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. This cave offers a discovery of 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.

Best Time to Travel

Overall, the period between September and April, especially October & November is the best time to visit Bai Tu Long Bay with pleasant weather with a clear sky, sunny and cool air.

This place has a typical Tropical monsoon climate of Northern Vietnam:

  • The dry season: between October and April with less rain and mild weather.

  • The wet season: May to September, not recommended for traveling because of storms, extreme heat, and unstable weather. 

You can see the weather in Bai Tu Long Bay for more detailed information.

The Gorgeous Bay in Autumn

How To Get To Bai Tu Long Bay 

Through a cruise

Most cruises in this bay offer a transfer service. Upon booking, you will be picked up around 8.00 - 8.30 at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quater. Then the car travel to Halong International Habour or Tuan Chau Marina depending on the ship. Get on board and simply cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay.

By yourself

Being far away from Halong City, the locals usually travel by bus or car to Hon Gai Whaft, Van Don District, and board a high-speed boat. It takes from 45 - 90 minutes to reach this bay.

From the city center to the wharf, it will take about 10 minutes by the fastest route of 6.2km.

  • First, you will follow the direction of National Highway 18 and turn right onto Tran Hung Dao - Le Thanh Tong - Le Quy Don

  • Turn left on Long Tien about 160m, you will arrive at Hon Gai Wharf.

  • Here, there are boats to Bai Tu Long daily, buy tickets at the counter and move to the ship and start your journey.

All in all, we hope this guide provides the best information possible for any travelers planning a trip to Bai Tu Long Bay. How about booking a tour to this magnificent destination with Asian Discovery Travel here.