The difference between Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay in Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Ha Long Bay is already well-known by people around the world and became a symbol of Vietnam tourism since it has been voted by UNESCO as a natural wonder of the world many times. But in addition to Ha Long Bay, there are also 2 other bays nearby with worthwhile nature and scenery for visitors to consider to avoid overcrowding in Ha Long Bay, which are Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.

Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay are all located in the Gulf of Tonkin in northeast Vietnam. Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay belong to Ha Long province and Lan Ha Bay belongs to Hai Phong province.

Ha Long Bay – world-renowned, unique, and vibrant

Ha Long Bay is located on the west coast of the Gulf of Tonkin in the Northeastern sea region of Vietnam, including many other small islands. With the synchronous development of transport infrastructure, moving to Ha Long is very quick and convenient. From Hanoi, visitors can use a variety of means of transport to Ha Long such as motorbikes, cars, coaches, trains, seaplanes, or airplanes.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Where to visit in Ha Long Bay

1-Sung Sot Cave (The Surprise Cave)

Sung Sot Cave is located in the most famous central area in Ha Long Bay on Bo Hon Island. Perhaps you will only see this cave “normal” when going through about 100 stone steps from the cave entrance. But the deeper you go, through the rocky crevices, people will be amazed by the beauty of nature at the hands of Mother Nature. Limestone stalactites in various shapes emitting many sparkling colors make visitors go from one surprise to another. The deepest part of the cave is called the ‘royal garden’, where you can see a transparent lake at the bottom, with a variety of flora and fauna.

2-Luon Cave

Also located on Bo Hon Island, about 1km from Sung Sot Cave, this is one of the attractions that attract tourists to the Ha Long Bay tour, especially those who want to kayak by themselves. Coming to Luon Cave, in addition to the majestic natural scenery, visitors have the opportunity to participate in extremely interesting kayaking activities. This place is created by nature and sculpted into a beautiful arc full of stalactites hanging down, it is an interesting journey for boating to admire the magical stalactites of different shapes and sizes, created millions of years ago.

3-Dau Go Island and Thien Cung cave

Dau Go is a large, beautiful cave with ancient mossy features, the French call it “the wonders cave”, located on the Dau Go Island range. This is a distinctive feature compared to many other caves on Ha Long Bay. The cave is the largest limestone cave in Ha Long, dating back 2 million years.

Thien Cung cave located in the north of Dau Go Island is one of the most beautiful caves in Ha Long. Thien Cung Cave allows visitors to admire an extremely shimmering and fanciful scenery like a fairyland with countless stalactites and stalagmites in different shapes.

4-Soi Sim Island

The island is located in the west of Ha Long Bay, on the island grows a lot of myrtle trees, so it is called Soi Sim (Sim is myrtle). The island has a primeval forest with a variety of plants typical of the Ha Long Bay ecosystem, including many endemic and valuable tree species. Soi Sim Island has a green, peaceful space with a clean and pristine beach, visitors who stop here can enjoy taking stunning natural pictures.

5-Ti Top Island

In addition to the beautiful natural scenery, Ti Top island also owns a beautiful beach that is quiet, airy, and very clean with a charming arc of white sand stretching for visitors to enjoy after swimming. Visitors can climb up to the mountain to observe Ha Long Bay at different heights with many ships moored, making the natural picture very impressive. At the peak, visitors can have a panoramic view of most of Ha Long Bay.

6-Dragon’s Eye Island

The island is located south of Ha Long among the majestic high mountains with wild and mysterious beauty that has not been exploited by tourism too much. Looking down from above, you will know why this place is named Dragon’s Eye. Contemplating the clear blue water of the island seems to see the bottom of the lake. It is a natural place with an extremely unique and attractive landscape.

7-Cua Van fishing village

Cua Van fishing village is one of the largest, most beautiful, and bold Vietnamese fishing villages of Ha Long Bay. Visitors to Cua Van fishing village will be attracted to the charming natural scenery. Visiting the fishing village, visitors can experience the cultural daily life activities of local fishermen such as trawling, squid fishing, boating… and enjoy delicious seafood right on the boat.

8-Tuan Chau Island

This is the most beautiful island among 1,969 islands in Ha Long Bay, also the only island inhabited by people. It has the largest artificial coast in Vietnam with a clear blue sea surrounded by green pine forests, a long stretch of white sand, and a cool fresh atmosphere. Tuan Chau Island has developed into an ideal luxury resort. Coming to Tuan Chau, you should participate in a water music show, have fun at the outdoor amusement park, or a giant dinosaur park that attracts a lot of young people.

Lan Ha Bay – wild, minor, and calm

Lan Ha Bay is located on the east of Cat Ba island, overlooking the Van gate adjacent to Ha Long Bay. Lying outside the area of Cat Ba archipelago so you need to get here before continuing to discover Lan Ha. There are many ways to move to the bay such as ferry, canoe, boat, cable car, or yacht…

This is a very peaceful bay in the shape of an arc with about 400 large and small islands creating a giant picture depicting fairy scenes. All the large and small islands in Lan Ha Bay are covered with carpets of green trees and plants, even if they are only extremely small islands. Here is a peaceful sea with small fishing villages living like they are separated from the rest of the world. The difference between Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay is that Lan Ha Bay is more deserted and clean, with fewer tourists, and fewer people living. If comparing Ha Long Bay to a lively girl in spring, then Lan Ha Bay is more like a gentle autumn girl.

Where to visit Lan Ha Bay:

1-Monkey Island

Previously, the monkey island was called Cat Dua island because on the island there were many wild pineapple trees. Its fruit looked delicious but inedible. But in recent years, it has been called Monkey Island because there are many monkeys living on the island. They often go down to the beach to play, making an impression on those who have come here. This is an ideal beach for tourists when traveling to Cat Ba because the sea here is extremely clear and blue. There is a restaurant with thatched roofs for visitors to sit and enjoy the sea breeze, buy drinks, and eat ice cream… along with several services such as renting bathing suits, buoys, and kayaks.

2-Nam Cat Island

15 minutes from Beo wharf to the direction of Lan Ha Bay, you can come to Nam Cat, the island surrounded by majestic nature. It has pristine beauty and brings a peaceful feeling. Human intervention on this island is limited to the fullest extent to keep the natural values intact. Staying here you will be immersed in the nature and atmosphere of the profound sea. Unlike other beaches, this place has small sandy beaches to create your own private space to relax under the sun and cool blue water.

3-Three Peaches Island

Three Peaches island is located in the East of Cat Ba Island. The area has a beautiful beach, white sand, and a clear blue sea. On sunny days, visitors can see the bottom of the water. The beaches on the island are known as one of the most romantic and unspoiled beaches in Lan Ha Bay. The place is suitable for sunbathing, taking photos and playing beach sports… However, the island is only floating for a few hours, then the sands will be submerged under the tide.

4-Light Cave – Dark Cave

Light cave – Dark cave or Bright Dark cave is located on the boundary between Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay. This is the resting point for customers to Lan Ha Bay. This is considered a paradise for kayak lovers with an interlaced underground cave system. The Dark cave is long and always flooded by the tide so visitors just can go through the Light cave. This cave has the same structure as Luon cave in Ha Long Bay, you can only go through it by small boat or kayak.

5-Cat Ba National Park

Not only owning an extraordinarily diverse ecosystem, but the national park in Cat Ba also attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists by its long-standing historical values that are still preserved to this day. There are still many archaeological remains that prove the presence of ancient people from thousands of years ago. Cat Ba national park was established in 1986, with a diverse ecosystem from marine ecosystems, island forests and mangrove forests, enough to draw tourists and science enthusiasts come to explore.

Bai Tu Long Bay – immense, original, tranquil

Bai Tu Long Bay is also in the Gulf of Tonkin of Vietnam, northeast direction of Ha Long Bay, so it takes the same way to visit as going to Ha Long Bay.

Until now, this island bay still retains the natural beauty as Ha Long Bay, but the tranquility of this place makes its difference. When come to Bai Tu Long, tourists will be stunned by the charming nature of the islands on the bay as well as the long sandy intact beaches. Because of this, Bai Tu Long Bay is increasingly attracting tourists to visit when it comes to leisure travel.

Bai Tu Long Bay, Halong

Where to visit in Bai Tu Long Bay:

1-Bai Tu Long National Park

Bai Tu Long National Park is truly an attractive eco-tourism destination. The national park has long island chains running on both sides of the sea creek with undulating tropical forests. The immense green of trees and forests brings visitors to the point of fascination, to forget all worries and hustle rhyme of everyday life and fully enjoy and immerse themselves in the overwhelming nature of Northeast Vietnam.

2-Thien Canh Son Cave

Thien Canh Son is a rather unspoiled cave with natural beauty, pristine limestone stalactites, and picturesque surrounding scenery. Inside the cave, visitors will be impressed by the magical beauty of stalagmites and stalactites with unique shapes formed millions of years ago. Although the area is smaller than Sung Sot cave, Thien Canh Son cave still possesses an irresistible beauty. The cave does not have too many tourists so visitors who come here can have the fullest experiences. It is like stepping into a fantasy world where imaginations fly up with rocks in many shapes of flowers, baby elephants, or adorable dwarves.

3-Tam Cung Cave

Referring to famous destinations in Bai Tu Long Bay of Ha Long can not fail to mention Tam Cung cave, which is a beautiful natural wonder. The cave is divided into three main compartments wriggling through each rock crevice. There are also many stalactites and stalagmites with special shapes. In the inner compartment, the stalactites create unique works of art with vivid images such as fairy, primrose, lion, seal… All create the unique featured beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay.

4-Vung Vieng fishing village

Vung Vieng fishing village is a small isolated village with a wild look, bestowed by nature with beautiful and peaceful natural scenery amidst the busy and noisy life of Ha Long. This is the destination chosen by many people as an ideal relaxing point. The village had once recognized as the most beautiful fishing village in the world. Vung Vieng fishing village has an extremely idyllic beauty, showing the explicit cultural colors of Northern fishermen. Coming to this fishing village, you will be able to visit and experience many interesting activities.

5-Quan Lan island and Minh Chau Beach

Quan Lan island is a beautiful island with a rich flora and fauna system in the fresh air and beautiful beaches. The long stretches of white sand and the coastline with whispering waves have brought a poetic beauty to this area. When coming to Quan Lan island, visitors will experience swimming activities, participate in festival programs, camping, team building, and enjoy unique sea specialties at coastal restaurants.

This beach has white and fine sand that makes visitors feel comfortable walking without fear of getting sand on their feet. Minh Chau brings the beauty of the original untouched wilderness. Therefore, this beach is known as a floating pearl in the heart of Quang Ninh province. Minh Chau beach is a very suitable destination for organizing sightseeing and sports activities.


Each bay in Northeast Vietnam has its unique characters and attractions. If you are a person who likes bustling and vibrant places, you may enjoy the atmosphere in Ha Long Bay. If you want a peaceful and no rush place or an original natural space to mingle, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are great choices. Each person has their own preferences and travel styles, hope you will choose the appropriate place for your upcoming trip if you consider visiting a bay in Northeast Vietnam.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *