Bai Tu Long Bay, a serene and unspoiled sibling of the famed Halong Bay, remains one of Vietnam’s best-kept secrets. As a less-traveled alternative, it offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in an atmosphere of pristine beauty and tranquility. This hidden gem is a haven of peaceful waters, stunning limestone karsts, and rich biodiversity, untouched by the bustle of more tourist-heavy destinations. For those wondering how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, the journey is part of the adventure, leading you through the scenic landscapes of northern Vietnam. Let’s explore Bai Tu Long Bay with San Travel through the article below, and discover the tranquil allure of this exquisite destination.

Understanding Bai Tu Long Bay’s Location

Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay, a serene counterpart to the bustling Halong Bay, is a hidden gem located in the Gulf of Tonkin in northeastern Vietnam. This guide aims to provide you with a clear understanding of how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, offering a tranquil escape amid its stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters.

Geographically, Bai Tu Long Bay is located just northeast of Halong Bay, sharing similar breathtaking scenery of towering limestone karsts and emerald waters. The bay’s proximity to major cities like Hanoi, which is approximately 160 kilometers away, makes it accessible yet sufficiently remote to maintain its untouched charm. From Hanoi, travelers usually venture eastwards towards the city of Haiphong or the town of Halong, from where Bai Tu Long Bay is a short journey away.

Unlike its famous neighbor, Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long offers a more secluded retreat. The bay stretches over an area that includes hundreds of islets and islands, many of which are uninhabited. The landscape here is a mix of open waters, clusters of limestone islands, and a variety of small coves and beaches, which create a serene and almost mystical atmosphere.

For a better understanding, visualizing the bay’s location through a map highlights its proximity to Halong Bay and illustrates its extended archipelago that veers towards the northeast, hugging the coastline before curving outward into the Gulf of Tonkin. This positioning not only contributes to Bai Tu Long Bay’s unique ecosystem but also to its tranquil ambiance, set apart from the more frequented tourist paths.

Traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay from Hanoi

Traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay from Hanoi
Traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay from Hanoi

Bai Tu Long Bay’s enchanting beauty is just a journey away from Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi. Whether you prefer the independence of solo travel or the convenience of organized tours, there are several options to suit your style. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay from Hanoi:

Bus: Affordable and Accessible

  • Options: Several bus services run from Hanoi to Bai Tu Long Bay, with departures from major bus stations such as My Dinh, Gia Lam, and Luong Yen.
  • Duration: The bus journey takes approximately 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions.
  • Cost: Prices are typically budget-friendly, ranging from VND 100,000 to VND 200,000 (approximately $4 to $8).
  • Tips: Look for buses heading to cities near Bai Tu Long Bay, like Cam Pha or Halong City, and from there, you can take a local taxi to the bay.

Private Car/Taxi: Comfort and Flexibility

  • Benefits: Hiring a private car or taxi offers a more comfortable and flexible journey. You can schedule your own departure time and enjoy the convenience of door-to-door service.
  • Estimated Prices: The cost for a private car or taxi can range from VND 1,500,000 to VND 2,500,000 (around $65 to $110), depending on the type of vehicle and negotiation.
  • Tips: Always agree on the price before beginning your journey. Some drivers may offer a full round-trip service, including waiting time at the bay.

Organized Tours: Hassle-Free and Informative

  • Pros and Cons: Organized tours remove the stress of planning and often include knowledgeable guides. However, they can be more expensive and less flexible than independent travel options.
  • What to Expect: Most tours include transportation, meals, and activities like kayaking and cave visits. Prices vary widely based on the luxury level and length of the tour.
  • Tips: Research and compare different tour operators for the best value. Ensure that entrance fees and additional activities are included in the price.

Tips for Navigating from Hanoi

  • Plan Ahead: Check bus schedules or book your car/tour in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Local Knowledge: Don’t hesitate to ask locals or your accommodation staff for travel tips and recommendations.
  • Travel Essentials: Carry local currency for small expenses and have a map or GPS handy in case of unexpected detours.

Traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay from Hanoi can be an adventure in itself. Whether you choose the affordability of a bus, the comfort of a private car, or the ease of an organized tour, the journey promises scenic views and the excitement of exploring one of Vietnam’s most beautiful destinations.

How to Get to Bai Tu Long Bay from Halong Bay

If you’re in Halong Bay and looking to extend your adventure to the quieter and equally beautiful Bai Tu Long Bay, understanding how to make this transition is essential. Here’s a guide on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay from Halong Bay, along with a comparison of what each destination has to offer.

How to Get to Bai Tu Long Bay from Halong Bay
How to Get to Bai Tu Long Bay from Halong Bay

Transitioning from Halong Bay

  • Boat Tours: One of the most common ways to get to Bai Tu Long Bay is by joining a boat tour. These tours often start from Halong Bay and provide a seamless transition to the less-explored areas of Bai Tu Long Bay, including stops at key attractions.
  • Private Boat Hire: For a more exclusive experience, hiring a private boat can be arranged. This option offers flexibility and the opportunity to tailor your itinerary according to your interests.
  • Local Transportation: Alternatively, you can use local transport services like taxis or buses to reach points closer to Bai Tu Long Bay, from where you can embark on a boat journey.

Comparing Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay

  • Popularity and Crowds: Halong Bay is a popular tourist destination and can be quite crowded, whereas Bai Tu Long Bay offers a more serene and untouched environment.
  • Scenery and Activities: Both bays boast stunning natural landscapes, but Bai Tu Long Bay is often considered more pristine. While Halong Bay offers a variety of tourist-centric activities, Bai Tu Long Bay is ideal for those seeking tranquility and unspoiled natural beauty.

Tips for a Smooth Journey

  • Check Tour Itineraries: Ensure the tour you choose includes Bai Tu Long Bay. Some tours might only cover specific parts of Halong Bay.
  • Consider the Season: Weather and seasonal conditions can affect boat schedules, so plan accordingly.
  • Pack Essentials: Bai Tu Long Bay is more secluded, so bring necessary items, especially if you plan to stay overnight or engage in outdoor activities.

Knowing how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay from Halong Bay allows you to explore the unique aspects of these two beautiful bays, enhancing your overall experience of Vietnam’s stunning northeastern coastline.

>>> Read more: Bai Tu Long Bay weather: A comprehensive guide

Choosing the Right Transportation Mode: How to Get to Bai Tu Long Bay

When planning your journey to Bai Tu Long Bay, selecting the right mode of transportation is crucial. Each option offers a different experience based on factors like budget, time, comfort, and adventure. Here’s a breakdown of the various transportation modes to consider when figuring out how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay:

Bus: Budget-Friendly and Reliable

  • Pros: Buses are an economical option, ideal for those on a tight budget. They offer regular services from major cities to areas near Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • Cons: Buses may have longer travel times and less comfort compared to other modes.
  • Best For: Budget travelers who don’t mind a longer journey.

Car: Comfort and Flexibility

  • Pros: Hiring a private car or taking a taxi provides comfort and flexibility, allowing you to travel at your own pace and make stops along the way.
  • Cons: This is a more expensive option, especially for solo travelers.
  • Best For: Groups or families seeking comfort, or those who prefer a personalized travel experience.

Motorbike: Adventure and Scenic Routes

  • Pros: For the more adventurous, motorbiking offers an exciting way to see the Vietnamese countryside up close.
  • Cons: It requires confidence in your riding skills and comfort with navigating local roads.
  • Best For: Solo adventurers or couples looking for an exciting and hands-on travel experience.

Boat: Direct and Scenic

  • Pros: Boats offer the most direct route to Bai Tu Long Bay, especially if you’re traveling from Halong Bay. It’s also a chance to enjoy stunning coastal scenery.
  • Cons: Weather conditions can affect schedules, and options may be limited outside of organized tours.
  • Best For: Those looking for a scenic and direct route to the bay, or travelers coming from Halong Bay.

Factors to Consider

  • Budget: Your budget will largely dictate which transportation mode is best. Buses are the most cost-effective, while private cars offer the most luxury.
  • Time: If time is a constraint, consider faster options like a car or direct boat tours.
  • Comfort: For a more comfortable and hassle-free journey, private cars or organized boat tours are advisable.
  • Adventure: If you’re seeking an adventurous journey, motorbiking or taking local buses can add an exciting element to your trip.

Choosing the right mode of transportation will significantly impact your experience of traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay. Consider what aspects are most important to you, whether it’s saving money, traveling comfortably, or adding an element of adventure to your journey.

Boat and Cruise Options: How to Get to Bai Tu Long Bay

When considering how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, embarking on a boat or cruise is a journey and experience rolled into one. The variety of cruise options available offers something for every traveler pondering how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, whether you’re seeking luxury or traveling on a budget. Here’s an overview of the cruise routes and tips on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay that cater to different preferences and needs.

Overview of Cruise Routes for How to Get to Bai Tu Long Bay

  • Short Itineraries (1-2 days): Perfect for those with limited time and wondering how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay efficiently. These cruises cover the main attractions of the bay, offering activities like kayaking and local village visits.
  • Longer Itineraries (3-4 days): Suitable for travelers who want a comprehensive experience on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay and explore it thoroughly. These cruises include off-the-beaten-path areas and additional activities.
  • Luxury Cruises: These cruises provide top-notch amenities and exclusive excursions for those seeking comfort while figuring out how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay.
Ambassador Cruise - Luxury cruise
Ambassador Cruise – Luxury cruise
  • Budget Cruises: An economical choice for travelers, these cruises still offer a full Bai Tu Long Bay experience.

Tips for Selecting a Suitable Cruise

  • Determine Your Budget: Your budget is key in choosing the right cruise for your journey on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • Consider the Duration: The length of the cruise affects how deeply you can explore Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • Research the Amenities: Different cruises offer varying amenities, which can impact your experience of how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • Read Reviews: Reviews can provide valuable insights from others who have traveled to Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • Check Inclusions: Knowing what’s included in your cruise package is essential for planning your trip to Bai Tu Long Bay.

Selecting the right boat or cruise is a vital part of your adventure in discovering Bai Tu Long Bay. Whether you choose a quick excursion or a longer exploration, each option offers a unique perspective on the stunning beauty of this serene destination.

Accommodation: Where to Stay Before Your Journey to Bai Tu Long Bay

Choosing the right accommodation is a crucial aspect of planning your trip, especially when considering how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay. Whether you’re starting your journey from Hanoi or looking to stay closer to the bay, there are numerous options to suit different preferences and budgets. Here’s a guide to help you select the best accommodation that aligns with your travel plans to Bai Tu Long Bay.

Accommodations in Hanoi

  • City Center Hotels: Staying in the heart of Hanoi offers easy access to cultural attractions, shopping, and dining. This is ideal for travelers who wish to explore the city before heading to Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • Boutique and Luxury Hotels: For those seeking a blend of comfort and local charm, Hanoi’s boutique hotels provide a unique experience. Luxury hotels offer top-tier amenities, ensuring a restful stay before the journey.
  • Budget Hostels and Guesthouses: Budget-conscious travelers can opt for hostels or guesthouses, which are plentiful in Hanoi. These accommodations often provide basic amenities and a chance to meet fellow travelers.

Accommodations Near Bai Tu Long Bay

  • Hotels in Halong City: Staying in Halong City can be convenient for travelers, as it’s closer to the departure points for Bai Tu Long Bay cruises. The city offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury to budget-friendly.
  • Resorts and Eco-lodges: For a more serene environment, consider staying in a resort or eco-lodge near Bai Tu Long Bay. These accommodations often provide stunning views and a peaceful setting, perfect for relaxation before or after the bay visit.

How Accommodation Choice Affects Your Travel Plan

  • Proximity to Departure Points: Choosing accommodation closer to the cruise departure points can make it easier to reach Bai Tu Long Bay, especially for early morning departures.
  • Travel Time and Convenience: Accommodations in Hanoi require additional travel time to reach Bai Tu Long Bay, but offer the opportunity to explore the capital city.
  • Budget Considerations: Your budget for accommodations may influence your overall travel plan. Balancing cost with convenience and comfort is key.
  • Experience and Preferences: Whether you prefer the bustling city atmosphere of Hanoi or the calmness closer to Bai Tu Long Bay, your choice of accommodation should reflect the type of experience you desire.

Selecting the right accommodation plays a significant role in the enjoyment and convenience of your trip to Bai Tu Long Bay. Consider your preferences, itinerary, and budget when choosing where to stay, as it sets the tone for your entire journey.

What to Do Upon Arrival in Bai Tu Long Bay

After completing the journey on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, you will be greeted by an array of activities and attractions that this serene bay has to offer. Understanding how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay is just the beginning; what follows is an immersive experience into its tranquil beauty. Here is an overview of what to do upon arrival, especially tailored for first-time visitors who have just discovered how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay.

Exploring the Natural Beauty

  • Island Hopping: A must-do after figuring out how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay. The bay’s numerous islands, like Hon Co Island with Thien Canh Son Cave, are perfect for exploring unique landscapes.
  • Kayaking and Swimming: Ideal for those who’ve journeyed on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay seeking tranquility. Paddle through calm waters or enjoy a swim in secluded areas of the bay.

Cultural and Relaxing Activities

  • Visit Local Fishing Villages: After your travel on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, visit villages like Vung Vieng to experience the local culture. These excursions provide a peaceful transition from your journey.
  • Relax on Pristine Beaches: Perfect for unwinding after learning how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay. The bay’s secluded beaches offer a peaceful retreat.

Adventure and Exploration

  • Trekking and Hiking: For the adventurous spirits who traveled on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay, the bay’s hiking trails offer stunning views and exploration opportunities.
  • Bird Watching: A serene activity for nature lovers to enjoy the diverse birdlife in Bai Tu Long Bay.

Suggestions for First-Time Visitors

  • Take a Guided Tour: Especially beneficial for those new to the area, providing insights into the bay’s hidden gems.
  • Plan Your Activities: Coordinate activities based on your arrival time to make the most of your visit.
  • Respect the Environment: Essential for preserving the bay’s natural beauty for future visitors.

Upon arrival in Bai Tu Long Bay, a range of activities from relaxing to adventurous awaits. Each experience here enriches your journey, making the effort on how to get to Bai Tu Long Bay well worth it.


Set sail on a breathtaking journey to Bai Tu Long Bay with San travel. Our carefully tailored tours, enriched with unique offerings, ensure a smooth and unforgettable experience in this peaceful haven. Let San Travel lead your discovery of Bai Tu Long Bay’s serene wonders, ensuring a journey filled with responsible exploration and lasting memories.