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Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay

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Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam

The Basics

The area of Halong Bay includes three sections: Lan Ha Bay to the south, Halong Bay proper, and Bai Tu Long Bay to the north. The best way to experience it is by boat, available as luxury junks with en-suite cabins or backpacker affairs with bunks; cruises can last days or hours. Enjoy sea kayaking, basket boat rides, cave adventures, squid fishing, karaoke, and cooking demos. It's also possible to see the bay via seaplane and helicopter tours.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Bai Tu Long Bay is a great choice for travelers looking for a less crowded Halong Bay experience.

  • Water is a big part of the fun on warm weather Bai Tu Long Bay tours. Don’t forget to bring swimwear and sunscreen, and check whether your package includes towels.

  • Few Bai Tu Long Bay cruise boats are adapted for travelers who rely on wheelchairs, but the more expensive boats may be prepared to help.

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How to Get There

Bai Tu Long Bay sits north of Halong Bay proper in northern Vietnam. Most cruises depart from Tuan Chau port, although a few high-end options leave from Ha Long International Cruise Port. Many packages include transfers from Hanoi, which are quicker than public transport. The expressway takes around 2.5 hours.

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When to Get There

Bai Tu Long Bay is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit is October through early December when the weather is dry, the temperatures mild, and skies are clear. The summer rainy season (June to September) is hot and may include the occasional storm, with the tourist peak in July and August. January through early March is cool and misty.

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Should I Choose a Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise or a Halong Bay Cruise?

It can be hard to choose between a Bai Tu Long Bay or a Halong Bay cruise. Only Halong Bay is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its caves are the more spectacular. However, Bai Tu Long Bay is less busy, yielding better photos, and its secret lagoons, karst pinnacles, floating villages, and fish farms are just as scenic. You could choose a multi-day cruise that visits both Halong and Bai Tu Long.

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