As you see now there are some hundred cruises in Halong Bay departing everyday and each day about 10,000 tourists visiting Halong Bay. That is the reason why Halong Bay is crowded.
Bai Tu Long Bay shares a similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate and the scenery is the same with Halong Bay but there are fewer tourists in Bai Tu Long Bay as there are fewer cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay. That is the reason why more and more travellers especially the adventurer want to take a cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay instead of a cruise in Halong Bay.
Travelling to Bai Tu Long Bay means you will visit Halong Bay as Bai Tu Long Bay is a part of Halong Bay but you don’t have to share the destination with too many tourists and you can enjoy the trip more. The environment there seems cleaner than Halong Bay.
Bai Tu Long Bay is located in the East of Halong Bay with an area of about 158 square km. it is closed to the Vietnam – China’s border. Having a similar landscape with Halong Bay, in tourism Bai Tu Long is considered a part of Halong Bay. It is an off-the-beaten-track destination for travellers visiting Vietnam and it is highly recommended for travellers who wish to visit Halong with a similar landscape but less touristic than Halong Bay.
According to a legend of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is a place where the children of dragon landing while Halong Bay is the place where the mother dragon landing.
Recently, there are more and more cruises in Halong Bay have moved to Bai Tu Long Bay and choose this route as Halong Bay become more and more crowded.
Taking a cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay is a perfect alternative option for Halong Bay cruise as it is less touristy in the Bai Tu Long Bay route. Moreover, now there are more and more options for you to choose a cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay from a budget cruise to a luxury cruise. The price varies from more than $ 200 to $400 depending on the standard of a cruise.
There are some ways to get to Bai Tu Long Bay.
For people who are in Hanoi, you may book a bus from Hanoi to Bai Chay Bus Station then from there you can get a taxi to Hon Gai Harbour where the cruises start their trips. However, if you are in Hanoi the best way is to take a private car with your travel agent or book a cruise bus if you want to save the cost because your private car driver or cruise bus will know exactly where to drop you and you will be in time. All the cruises have bus picking up from Hanoi Old Quarter so if book a cruise bus you will not need to worry about the time or where to stop because you will travel with other tourists on the boat and the bus driver will drop you exactly at the waiting lounge of the cruise and in time.
Ban Chan Beach ( Foot Print Beach) is a crystal-clear water beach where you can go swimming or relax there. That is a favorite beach for many tourists visiting Bai Tu Long Bay. The beach has the shape of a foot-print so local people named it Ban Chan Beach which means Foot-Print in Vietnamese. The beach is not a long beach but it has clear water and white sand. You can play some games there like football, volleyball. That is also a perfect place for setting up a BBQ party.
Thien Canh Son Cave is the most beautiful cave in Bai Tu Long Bay and it is one of the most beautiful caves in Halong Bay in general. Thien Canh Son means Heaven Scenery as it is beautiful as the scenery in the heaven. To visit Thien Canh Son Cave, you will take easy hiking through the beautiful path to the cave. Inside the cave, you will feel something different from outside with fresh, cool air and its beauty. There are a lot of stalactites and stalagmites with beautiful shapes that make you think you are in the heaven.
Vung Vieng Fishing Village is located in a quiet area of Bai Tu Long Bay. It has a charming landscape and a local culture of fishermen who have been living here for generations.
Visiting Vung Vieng Village, you can do kayaking there around the village to see its beauty and the life of local people there. The clear water with mountains around will be perfect for you to enjoy kayaking there.
Each cruise has its own itinerary but it still follows the main route of Bai Tu Long Bay Itinerary. Please see one of the popular itineraries with Swan Cruise as below.
Day 1: Hanoi – Hon Gai – Bai Tu Long Bay – Cong Do – Cap La (L, D)
07.30 – 08.00 AM: Your cruise bus and guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby in Hanoi Old Quarter ( If you do not stay in Hanoi Old Quarter please go to Hanoi Opera House then we will pick you up from there) for the transfer to Hon Gai Pier.
12.30: Welcome on board, check in your cabin then the lunch will be ready. You will enjoy lunch while your boat cruises in Bai Tu Long Bay – a quiet area of Halong Bay.
15.00: Arriving Cap La area in Bai Tu Long Bay, you can go swimming and kayaking around with the stunning environment among hundreds of limestone rocks.
17.30: You will enjoy the sunset party on Swan Cruise. That is an ideal time for you to share your stories with other passengers. Enjoy a cup of tea and watch the sunset in a wonderful place of the world.
You will then have delicious dinner on Swan Cruise with Vietnamese traditional dishes from different places in Vietnam. After dinner, you can relax on the top deck with a glass of cocktail, play board games with your friends or you can join in the squid fishing for trying your luck. Stay overnight on cruise.
Day 2: Thien Canh Son Cave – Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Vung Ha – Cap La (B, L, D)
06.30 AM: You may get up early for the Tai Chi lesson and enjoy the fresh air of Bai Tu Long Bay. That is a good way to improve your good health.
After that, you will have breakfast with free tea and coffee. There is Vietnamese and Western food available. Take the transfer to the day boat for a full day to the remote area of Bai Tu Long Bay.
08.30 AM: You will visit Thien Cung Cave ( the landscape in the heaven cave) – One of the most beautiful caves in Halong Bay.
09.30 AM: You will move to Cap La and Vung Ha areas where you enjoy swimming and kayaking there. There are some small but quiet beaches there where you can swim and sunbathe.
16.30: You will return to Swan Cruise and enjoy the sunset party with new passengers from Hanoi.
19.00: Enjoy your dinner and stay overnight in Bai Tu Long Bay.
Day 3: Cap La – Bai Tu Long Bay - Hon Gai Harbour (B, L)
06.30 AM: Enjoy the Tai Chi lesson if you wish
07.00 AM: Have breakfast with different dishes.
10.00 AM: Check out your cabin and you will join in the cooking demonstration with our chef. You will learn how to make traditional Vietnamese food and then lunch is already.
12.00: Say goodbye to your cruise team and go back to the bus which is waiting for you at the harbour for the transfer back to Hanoi.
About 16.00: Arrive at your hotel. End of 3 day in Bai Tu Long Bay.
Note: If you take 2 day 1 night with Bai Tu Long Bay the itinerary is the same but the Day 2 is cut off.
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