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Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay

We all have heard of Halong Bay and constantly ticked it for our must-go destinations. What most people don’t know is that Halong Bay is not the only gorgeous one in the area. There are 3 of them. And they all shine in their own nuances and are unmistakable. Let’s take a closer look to see how well you know one of the most beautiful places on earth, as well as what it is still hiding from the world?

Halong Bay – The Graceful Muse

Halong Bay Limestone Mountain

Needless to mention the reputation of this world nature wonder, Halong Bay becomes busier than ever as its beauty really stood the test of the time. Hence, be prepared for the huge amounts of visitors here. However, it’s fair to say that Halong Bay owns the unique gracefulness which can make up to anything that might be your concern.

This is the most extensive area of limestone mountains which made the signature of Halong Bay. With every changes of the time during the day, the light gently touches the mountains to create a colorful orchestra of the nature. Staying in this bay always leaves you in awe of the contrast between a small human-being and the great Mother Nature. Apart from that, Halong Bay features the largest and most beautiful caves of 3 bays. Not directly facing the ocean like its neighboring bays, this is the safest spot to swim with minimum effect of ocean currents and the warmer water.

This part of the complex basically has it all. Whether you are a sport lover or a nature appreciator, there’s a range of activities at your disposals such as sightseeing, canoeing, kayaking or fishing…

The blessing scenery has been attracting a lot of foreign film makers to come and create masterpieces, the most famous ones are Indochine (1992) and Kong: Skull Island (2017). Many Vietnamese artists also come to Halong Bay to nurture their senses of art. Don’t miss your chance on this.

For sightseeing:

Ti Top Island (Titov Island)

Surprise Cave

Three Peaches Beach (Ba Trai Dao Beach)

Soi Sim Beach

Luon Cave

Tuan Chau Beach

… and so on.




Cave visit

Visiting a fishing village by sampan

Fishing from the boat

Cooking demonstration

Cruises go to Halong Bay:

Aclass Legend Cruise

Glory Legend Cruise

Pelican Cruises

Paradise Cruises

Bhaya Cruises

Legend Cruises

Au Co Cruises

Indochina Sails

Valentine Cruises

Jasmine Cruises

Violet Cruises

Embarkation & Disembarkation Points: Tuan Chau Pier

Bai Tu Long Bay – The Diamond In The Rough

Vung Vieng Fishing Village

If the crowd is a problem for you, Bai Tu Long Bay is a more peaceful yet magnificent area in this complex. When it comes to comparisons, this bay almost has everything its renowned sister offers except for less tourists. In short, it’s a laid-back alternative to the bustle of Halong Bay. Boasting the same spectacular scenery of islands, karst pinnacles and the caves, there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy here from trekking, rock climbing to taking a dip in some secluded beaches or just purely treasuring the nature beauty. In addition, it’s the only bay which is home to one of seven Vietnamese national parks. For all nature lovers: don’t miss a chance to pay a visit to Bai Tu Long National Park which features both a terrestrial and an aquatic zone to cherish the pristine and flourishing wildlife here as it’s under strict protection.

Bai Tu Long Bay offers a closer look into the local community since tourism is still in the initial stage here. You’ll have the chance to meet local people, not just sellers, owners or staff on the cruises but the Vietnamese.

For sightseeing:

Cap La Island

Hon Co Island

Bai Tu Long National Park

Thien Canh Son Cave

Vung Vieng Fishing Village

… and so on.



Visiting a fishing village by sampan

Cave visit

Fishing from the boat

Cooking demonstration

BBQ on private beach (with Indochina Junk fleet)

Cruises go to Bai Tu Long Bay:

Dragon Pearl Junk Cruises

Red Dragon Cruises

L’Amour Cruises

Prince Cruises

Dragon Legend Cruise

Swan Cruise

Paloma Cruises

Huong Hai Sealife Cruises

Emperor Cruise

Signature Cruises

Embarkation & Disembarkation Points: Hon Gai Pier

Lan Ha Bay – The Hidden Gem

Peaceful Sunset at Lan Ha Bay

Situated in the south of the Halong Bay and the east of Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay humbly shines in its own beauty which is no less than Halong itself. Being the smallest one out of the 3 well-known bays, 400 of the karst formations were covered by greeneries and elegantly rest in the emerald waters. It earned the title as “Kayaking Paradise” for allowing travelers to paddle through plenty of caves and around the area. 139 sandy beaches are modest in sizes which makes them perfect for swimming, chilling out or even snorkeling to see coral reefs in some of them. Other than that, there is a splendid cycling route to Cat Ba National Park for visiting Viet Hai fishing village.

This is an ideal spot to spoil your adrenaline thirst by trying out some trekking, deep water bouldering, and rock climbing. We highly recommend this bay for adventurous travelers who also want to have a sense of the world nature wonder.

For sightseeing:

Viet Hai Fishing Village

Trung Trang Cave

Cai Beo Floating Village




Cycling the island road

Village visit

Fishing from the boat

Cooking demonstration

Which cruises go to Lan Ha Bay:

V’spirit Premier Cruises

Perla Dawn Cruise

Stellar of the Seas Cruise

Orchid Cruises

Ginger Cruise

Ylang Cruises

Embarkation & Disembarkation Points: Got Pier

When you’re considering between Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, there is no wrong answer here, only good options. The only and simple key for a great trip to this nature wonder is choosing the right cruise. It’s totally fine to make your decision on the basis of gut feeling, however our experts are always open for a further discussion on this. And if you are a traveler who has all the time in the world, there’s always a possibility to explore all 3 of them.

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