Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay

Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay: Which’s the best? What’s the difference? Advice to choose 1/3?

Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay … Which bay to choose? It confuses my beloved customers because they don’t know what to choose, what’s the most suitable for them or their family. And in this article, Phuong, Hai Phong Tours would like to share detailed information and point out how different they are. Let’s go!

Firstly, let’s define each of the bay mentioned above.

What’s the difference btw Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay

To decide which bay to go, the sure sign that you will need to know the difference between Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay. Here you have them!

1. Halong bay

Best places to see:

  1. Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave): This is one of the most impressive and largest caves in Halong Bay, featuring two main chambers filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The cave’s grandeur and beauty will leave you amazed.
    Stalactic in Sung Sot cave Halong bay day tour
    Stalactic in Sung Sot cave Halong bay day tour
    Entrance of Sung Sot cave
    Entrance of Sung Sot cave
    Main theater Sung Sot cave
    Main theater Sung Sot cave
  2. Titov Island: Climb to the top of island for panoramic views of Halong Bay. The hike can be a bit challenging, but the stunning vistas make it all worth it. Swim at the beach.
    Titov island Halong bay
    Titov island Halong bay
  3. Luon cave: A serene and picturesque lagoon accessible by small boats or kayaks.
    Inside Luon cave
    Inside Luon cave
  4. Dau Go Island: Known for its vast chambers and striking stalactites. The cave has a fascinating history tied to ancient Vietnamese battles. This’s less touristy, available in private day tour only.
    Unspoiled Dau Go cave
    Unspoiled Dau Go cave
  5. Ba Hang Fishing Village: This charming village provides a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the local fishing communities. It’s smaller than Luon cave and available in group tour operated by local at the port.
    Ba Hang Fishing Village
    Ba Hang Fishing Village
  6. Me Cung cave: It is situated on Lom Bo Island. The cave is named “Me Cung” because of its intricate and maze-like interior that can give visitors a feeling of getting lost in its beauty.
    Me Cung cave
    Me Cung cave

Activities

Here comes the primary activities on Halong bay so you can define Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay:

  1. Largest cave visit: The cruise will stop at island and visitors will step up, go down to the Sung Sot cave and go along the one way line to admire scenery inside.
  2. Sightseeing from island peak or swimming at sand beach: cruise will stop at island, visitors go on a hike to Titov peak for panoramic view or swim at the sand beach.
  3. Kayak or boat ride: At Luon cave, you will do either kayaking or boat riding through a cave to get in the Luon lake.
  4. Cooking: All of the overnight cruises offer cooking demonstration onboard.
  5. Taichi: All of the overnight cruises offer Taichi exercise onboard in the morning. The hardest thing for tourist is to wake up early!
  6. Squid fishing: All the overnight cruises have tender (small boat for transfer). They turn on the lights at night to attract squid and tourists may come here for fishing.
  7. Cycling: When you do the 3 day trip, you will do cycling to Viet Hai village. (depends on which cruise you book with).

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination located in northeastern Vietnam. It is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, featuring thousands of limestone karsts and islets that rise dramatically from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.

The name “Halong” translates to “Descending Dragon” in Vietnamese folklore, which adds to the allure of the place with its mythical charm. The bay covers an area of around 1,553 square kilometers and includes approximately 1,969 limestone islands and islets of various sizes and shapes.

Due to its cultural and ecological significance, Halong Bay has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. However, the popularity of the area has also raised concerns about environmental sustainability and the impact of tourism on the fragile ecosystem. In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve the bay and promote responsible tourism to safeguard its natural beauty for future generations.

2. Lan Ha bay

Best places to see:

  1. Dark and Light cave (hang Sang, hang Toi): The Dark cave has never ever opened. Tourists will do kayaking around area and get through the Light cave only.
    Light cave Lan Ha bay
    Light cave Lan Ha bay
    Dark cave closed
    Dark cave closed
  2. Tai Queo cave: This’s where to go kayaking in the 3 day tour only to Lan Ha bay.
  3. Ba Trai Dao beach: The beach to swim in the 3 day tour only to Lan Ha bay. (can be skipped due to high tide).
    Ba Trai Dao beach
    Ba Trai Dao beach
  4. Trung Trang cave (on Cat Ba island): This cave is on Cat Ba island. They will use tender to transfer you to Gia Luan port, transfer to the cave by bus.
    Trung Trang cave Cat Ba
    Trung Trang cave Cat Ba
  5. Tra Bau: An area to go kayaking and swimming. You will jump off the water from the cruise (no sand beach)
    Kayaking at Tra Bau
    Kayaking at Tra Bau
  6. Viet Hai village: a fishing village on Cat Ba island for sightseeing, cycling.
    Cycling at Viet Hai village
    Cycling at Viet Hai village

Activities

  1. Smaller cave visit: they will transfer you to Cat Ba island by tender to visit Trung Trang cave.
  2. Swimming: If you do 2 day trip, you will jumb off cruise. In 3 day trip, you may swim at the Ba Trai Dao beach also depends on cruise’s itinerary.
    Jump off the water Lan Ha bay
    Jump off the water Lan Ha bay
  3. Kayak: You may do kayaking at Tra Bau, Tai Queo or Light cave.
  4. Cooking: All of the overnight cruises offer cooking demonstration onboard.
  5. Taichi: All of the overnight cruises offer Taichi exercise onboard in the morning. The hardest thing for tourist is to wake up early!
  6. Squid fishing: All the overnight cruises have tender (small boat for transfer). They turn on the lights at night to attract squid and tourists may come here for fishing.
  7. Cycling: When you do the 3 day trip, you will do cycling to Viet Hai village. (depends on which cruise you book with).
Light cave Lan Ha bay
Light cave Lan Ha bay

If you are not sure if going with Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay, Lan Ha Bay is a stunning and lesser-known destination located adjacent to Halong Bay in northern Vietnam. It is part of the larger Cat Ba Archipelago and falls within the boundaries of Cat Ba National Park. Lan Ha Bay is praised for its pristine natural beauty, featuring similar limestone karsts and islets as Halong Bay, but with fewer tourists, making it a more tranquil and secluded experience.

The bay is characterized by its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and lush greenery covering the limestone formations. Visitors to Lan Ha Bay can enjoy activities such as kayaking, swimming. The proximity of Lan Ha Bay to Cat Ba Island provides additional opportunities for visitors to enjoy the local culture, try authentic Vietnamese cuisine, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the local communities.

Overall, Lan Ha Bay is a hidden gem of Vietnam, offering a more intimate and serene alternative to the busier Halong Bay, while still showcasing the beauty of Vietnam’s coastal landscape and rich biodiversity.

Bai Tu Long bay

Best places to see:

  1. Thien Canh Son cave: At least you have a cave to visit…
    Thien Canh Son cave
    Thien Canh Son cave
  2. Vung Vieng fishing village: Primary key on Bai Tu Long bay. This’s where to go kayaking or boat ride to see village.
    Kayaking at Vung Vieng fishing village
    Kayaking at Vung Vieng fishing village
    Hang Ca at Vung Vieng fishing village Bai Tu Long Halong
    Hang Ca at Vung Vieng fishing village Bai Tu Long Halong
  3. Cong Dam area: Place to anchor, kayaking, swim (sometimes)
  4. Thay Cave: A small cave allow tourists to kayak through.
    Thay cave
    Thay cave

Activities

  1. Small cave visit: tender will transfer you to Thien Canh Son cave for a visit. It’s small and unique cave on Bai Tu Long bay.
  2. Swimming: Swimming is not allowed in this route. In some cases, captain may give exception.
  3. Kayak/boat ride: You may do kayaking at Vung Vieng, Cong Dam area. Boat ride’s available in Vung Vieng.
  4. Cooking: All of the overnight cruises offer cooking demonstration onboard.
  5. Taichi: All of the overnight cruises offer Taichi exercise onboard in the morning. The hardest thing for tourist is to wake up early!
  6. Squid fishing: All the overnight cruises have tender (small boat for transfer). They turn on the lights at night to attract squid and tourists may come here for fishing.
Bai Tu Long scenery
Bai Tu Long scenery

When you are wondering between Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is another magnificent bay located in northeastern Vietnam, adjacent to both Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. Like its more famous neighbors, Bai Tu Long Bay is also characterized by its stunning karst limestone formations rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. It is part of the same geological and scenic complex as Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay, and together they form an awe-inspiring seascape.

Despite its proximity to Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay is relatively less explored and less frequented by tourists, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a more peaceful and off-the-beaten-path experience. The bay is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, with numerous small islands and islets covered in lush vegetation.

The tranquility of Bai Tu Long Bay offers visitors a chance to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the serenity of the surroundings. Like Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay also offers various activities such as kayaking, swimming, hiking, and exploring hidden caves and beaches.

The bay is also home to a rich diversity of marine life and is a vital habitat for various species of fish and birds. Preserving the ecological balance and the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay is essential, and there are efforts in place to promote responsible tourism and conservation practices in the area.

Overall, Bai Tu Long Bay is a true gem of Vietnam, offering a more secluded and peaceful alternative to its more well-known neighbors, while still showcasing the remarkable natural wonders that this region of Vietnam has to offer.

Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay: Advice to choose

It’s difficult to say if Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay: Which’s the better bay. You will need to refine your needs to decide. Here are some criteria:

1. Age

  • Young, mid-aged: 3 of them are good to make.
  • Small kid, elder: Better choose Halong or Bai Tu Long for more leisure, less activities. Most of the time on Lan Ha is for kayaking, jumping off water that’s not suitable.

2. Expectation

  • Cave visit: If you are keen on visiting the largest cave, no doubt, pick up Halong bay to visit Sung Sot cave.
  • Swimming: To swim at sand beach, choose Halong. To jump off the water, choose Lan Ha. No swimming, choose Bai Tu Long.
  • Scenery: Halong is the best (recognized by UNESCO), then Bai Tu Long, and Lan Ha bay.
  • Less touristy: If you want to stay away from the crowds, choose Bai Tu Long, then Lan Ha and then Halong. They also have day tour to Halong, Lan Ha and of course, it’s must be more crowded than rest all. No day tour to Bai Tu Long.

Cruise options to Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay

Here comes some cruise options to Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay:

Final words: Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay

Hmm, headache enough! If you still feel hard to make decision, no worry! Let’s Whatsapp Phuong +84975200357 to discuss and find out the way! We are happy to go with you to choose Halong vs Bai Tu Long vs Lan Ha bay.

Thanks for reading! Much appreciated your comment down here!

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