Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay Travel Guide, Quang Ninh

Bai Tu Long Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin,  to the north-east of the famed Halong Bay. Though overshadowed by the famed Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long has its own charm that may make your holiday here a different experience.

Littered with hundreds of islands,  Bai Tu Long Bay offers you a cruise amid the fresh nature with heavenly beauty. The islands of Bai Tu Long Bay are not as densely located and not as captivating as those on Halong Bay. But, cruising on Bai Tu Long Bay is an experience far from the crowd, and most of the time you will not see other tourist boats around. The waters of Bai Tu Long Bay is emerald in color, clean and rubbish free; just jump off the boat anytime you can have a refreshing swim.

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
Fishing boat on Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay has a number of dirt islands and karst islands, some of which have big communities living mainly on fishing. On some islands, there are dense forests and white sand beaches. There are virtually no international-standard tourist facilities in Bai Tu Long Bay, except some mini hotels and resort-like properties on only a couple of islands. 

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
Karst islands on Bai Tu Long Bay

 

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
Rocky formations on Bai Tu Long on a misty day

The beaches in Bai Tu Long Bay are naturally pristine, clean and with fine sand. There are quite a few beaches which may range from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers in length. In the summer, there are big Vietnamese tourist groups who travel to Quan Lan and Co To Islands, which may make accommodations on these islands in serious lack, especially at weekend and during public holidays, and the beaches are busy with tourists. In other times of the year, all beaches are empty and it is more likely that you will be by yourself.

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
Quan Lan Beach, fine sand and empty

There are family-run restaurants on different islands of Bai Tu Long Bay. On the menus, you will only find seafood, which is fresh and caught locally. Most restaurants don't have menus in English, so you make sure you know what is coming. It is better you show the chef what you like by pointing specifically to the fish, prawns, squids...Though prices are very reasonable, it is advisable that you know how much it costs before anything is ordered. Vegetarians may find it difficult traveling to Bai Tu Long, as it seems there is not a wide choice of vegetables available.

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
A floating village on Bai Tu Long Bay

If you plan to travel to Bai Tu Long Bay and spend a few days on the islands, then be prepared that service is very poor. Hotel staff do not normally speak English and navigating around each island is just difficult and expensive.  Electricity on the islands is by small diesel generators, which is in constant troubles. On the islands,  you can either hire a motorbike, a bicycle to ride yourself, or to hire a tuk tuk to take you around. The bikes and motorbikes for hire are in bad shape and could break down anytime anywhere, there are not many places to get them repaired anyway.

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
Minh Chau Beach

Paradissa offers cruise and beach holidays to some islands in Bai Tu Long Bay. There are a few forest paths that we can have a light trekking experience. If you have not been to Vietnam, then we would definitely recommend you take Halong Bay. If you have been to Halong Bay, we would suggest Bai Tu Long Bay for a trip of 3-5 days. Paradissa would not suggest you to take Bai Tu Long Bay for the summer months, as it is too busy and too hot, especially when electricity is not enough for air-conditioners all day.

Bai Tu Long Bay Vietnam
The rocks of Bai Tu Long Bay in the rain