Bai Tu Long Bay, a serene counterpart to the renowned Halong Bay, is a treasure trove of activities and sights waiting to be discovered. Located in northeastern Vietnam, this less-traveled bay offers a peaceful escape, making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore the unique things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay. This majestic bay spans about 158 square kilometers, characterized by its emerald waters, towering limestone karsts, and rich biodiversity.

As a tourist destination, Bai Tu Long Bay is rapidly gaining recognition, especially among travelers seeking a more authentic and less crowded experience. This bay provides a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, setting it apart from its more famous neighbor. Whether it’s cruising through the scattered islands, exploring hidden caves, or immersing in local culture, the array of things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay caters to a diverse range of interests. Its rising popularity is a testament to the bay’s unspoiled beauty and the sustainable tourism efforts in place to preserve its natural charm. For those exploring Vietnam’s majestic coastline, discovering the myriad of activities in Bai Tu Long Bay is an experience not to be missed.

General Introduction to Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay, located in Quang Ninh Province within the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, is a splendid marine region. This bay lies to the east and spans across three districts and cities, including the Co To Island district, Ha Long Bay, and the city of Cam Pha.

Famed for its hundreds of islands, both large and small, each with its distinctive characteristics, Bai Tu Long Bay presents a landscape of undulating beauty and unique charm. The inhabitants of this area primarily reside on the larger islands such as Van Don Island district, Quan Lan Island, Ngoc Vung, as well as in coastal areas like Ben Do and Cua Ong. Fishing and aquaculture form the backbone of the local economy, sustaining the livelihoods of the residents. This bay is not only a natural wonder but also a living, breathing community where traditional ways of life coexist with the rhythms of the sea.

The history and formation of Bai Tu Long Bay are closely intertwined with the ancient legends of Vietnam, offering not only a rich cultural backdrop but also a unique context for the various things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay. This mesmerizing bay gets its name from a legendary story dating back to the early days of the Vietnamese nation. According to folklore, a dragon mother and her offspring descended to earth, scattering precious pearls that transformed into the myriad of islands in the bay, which served as natural fortifications against invaders.

This mythological origin has greatly influenced the naming of the region. Where the dragon mother is believed to have touched down is now known as Ha Long Bay, while the landing spot of her offspring became Bai Tu Long Bay. This tale adds a mystical aura to the bay and inspires many of the activities available there. Visitors to Bai Tu Long Bay can explore these legendary islands, each telling a story of its own, and indulge in various activities that intertwine the region’s rich history with its natural beauty. From sailing between these mythic isles to uncovering hidden caves and engaging with local folklore, there is a multitude of things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay that cater to both adventure seekers and cultural enthusiasts.

Things to Do in Bai Tu Long Bay

What is attractive about Bai Tu Long Bay? What to do in Bai Tu Long Bay? Follow the information below:

The beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay

The beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay
The beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay, with its rustic and mystical beauty, has long enchanted visitors from afar. The bay is characterized by its rugged limestone and schist islands, rising majestically from the waves. These islands, numbering in the hundreds, vary in size and form a breathtaking natural landscape.

The population of Bai Tu Long Bay is concentrated in areas like the Van Don Island district, Quan Lan Island, Ban Sen Island, and Ngoc Vung, as well as the coastal regions of Cua Do and Cua Ong. Here, the local community primarily engages in fishing and aquaculture, which are not only their main livelihoods but also intriguing aspects for tourists exploring the things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay. This vibrant local life adds a unique dimension to the bay, allowing visitors to experience authentic cultural interactions alongside the natural wonders. From exploring the daily life of fishermen to sampling fresh seafood, the human element of Bai Tu Long Bay complements its natural allure, creating a rich tapestry of experiences for all who visit.

Interesting activities at Bai Tu Long Bay

Swimming at Bai Tu Long Bay

When visiting Bai Tu Long Bay, one of the top things to do is immersing yourself in its crystal-clear and refreshing waters. This experience is truly not to be missed. The pristine, untouched beauty of the beaches, with their long stretches of fine white sand, captivates any traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, Bai Tu Long Bay offers it all.

Indulging in a swim at the beaches of Minh Chau, Co To, Van Don, or Quan Lan Island is one of the many enjoyable things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay. It offers a sense of unparalleled relaxation, allowing visitors to leave behind their worries and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the bay. The serenity and untouched beauty of these beaches make for a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and are highlights of the myriad activities that Bai Tu Long Bay offers.

Minh Chau Beach
Minh Chau Beach


Besides swimming, another essential item on the list of things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay is kayaking. The bay, with its hidden corners and areas inaccessible to larger boats, is ideally explored in a kayak. These small, often two-person boats, provide a unique opportunity to navigate the lesser-known parts of Bai Tu Long Bay. Paddling through the calm waters, visitors have the chance to intimately explore the bay’s secluded nooks and crannies, making kayaking not just an activity, but a journey into the heart of the bay’s natural beauty. Whether it’s weaving through the towering karsts or gliding along the quiet beaches, kayaking stands out as a serene yet adventurous exploration, a must-do among the many things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay.

Some destinations you should visit when visiting Bai Tu Long Bay

While indulging in the scenic splendor of Bai Tu Long Bay, exploring the adjacent Ha Long area is one of the enriching things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay, as it presents a rich tapestry of cultural heritage. Be sure to visit the ancient temples and pagodas dating back to the Ly Dynasty. These historical sites are essential in offering a glimpse into Vietnam’s architectural grandeur and act as custodians of centuries-old traditions and stories, adding to the list of things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay.

Vung Vieng fishing village
Vung Vieng fishing village

A particularly enriching experience, and another must-do when listing things to do in Bai Tu Long Bay, is to listen to the enthralling legends of the sea at Vung Vieng fishing village. Situated in a tranquil setting, this village offers insights into the intimate bond between the local communities and the maritime world, a bond that has shaped their way of life for generations. This cultural exploration is a key part of the diverse experiences that Bai Tu Long Bay has to offer.

>>> Read more: Best Time to Visit Bai Tu Long Bay

How to get to Bai Tu Long Bay

To reach Bai Tu Long Bay, your journey begins at Hon Gai Pier. Conveniently located just about 10 minutes from the city center, the fastest route covers a distance of approximately 6.2 kilometers. Your drive will take you along National Highway 18, followed by a right turn onto Tran Hung Dao – Le Thanh Tong – Le Quy Don streets, and finally a left turn onto Long Tien, leading you straight to Hon Gai Pier.

At Hon Gai Pier, there are daily boat services to Bai Tu Long Bay. Purchasing a boat ticket at the pier is straightforward, and soon you’ll be on your way to exploring the bay. Besides independent travel, you can also opt for organized tours or Ha Long Bay cruises that include itineraries to Bai Tu Long Bay. Choosing this option relieves you of transportation concerns, allowing you to fully immerse in the beauty and attractions of Bai Tu Long Bay without any hassle.

Experience you need to know when traveling to Bai Tu Long Bay

San Travel has compiled some essential tips for travelers planning to visit Bai Tu Long Bay:

  • The ideal time to visit is from April to June when the weather is sunny and warm, perfect for beach activities. This period is not the peak tourist season, so it’s relatively less crowded.
  • For a comfortable experience in Ha Long, wear light and airy clothing. Don’t forget to pack your swimwear for beach activities.
  • Along with your personal luggage, it’s advisable to carry identification documents, a phone/camera for capturing memories, motion sickness medication, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.
  • When in Ha Long, do not miss out on trying local delicacies such as squid cakes, sa sung (sea worms), horseshoe crabs, and a variety of fresh seafood like mantis shrimp, snails, clams, etc.

Bai Tu Long Bay is an exceptional destination that should not be missed on any Halong Bay cruise. If you’re planning a trip to Halong Bay, consider contacting San Travel at +84.91297.2222 or visit their website for professional travel advice and support. San Travel currently offers a variety of Ha Long tours and packages at attractive prices. Book now for a fun, budget-friendly trip with great deals!

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