of the famous Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long bay is by no means
less attractive than the touristy World Heritage Halong.
More and more travellers are choosing Bai Tu Long bay as
Compared to Halong, Bai Tu Long bay is even more beautiful,
there are hundreds of large and small islands and islets
scattered around the bay, and Bai Tu Long still preserves
it's natural and unharmed beauty with crystal like sandy
beaches in Minh Chau, Quan Lan and Ngoc Vung islands
stretching our tens of kilometres.
It takes about 1 hour drive (50 km) from Bai Chay ward, the
tourist centre of Halong city, to reach Bai Tu Long, the bay
area belongs to Van Don district, visitors going to further
islands like Co To, Quan Lan or Bach Long Vi can catch
public ferries or high speed boat from Cai Rong township,
there have been a hydrofoil connecting Quan Lan and Cai Rong,
departing in the morning and afternoon.
Bai Tu Long
was discovered by the French in 19th century, in the old
days the area was inhabited by nomadic fishermen catching
fish, cuttle, sentinels and other marine products, the
sparsely populated islands are home to valuable and rare
species. Until recently Bai Tu Long bay has not been
exploited by tourism. Travellers visit Bai Tu Long bay to
enjoy the wild beauty of nature, away from the noisy Halong
Tourism facilities in Bai Tu Long Bay are pretty simple, at
the moment there are only a few tour companies offering
tours to Bai Tu Long, and their main destination is Quan Lan,
the only island in Bai Tu Long bay where foreign tourists
can visit without permit from local authorities. Local
travellers can go further out to Co To island or Bach Long
Vi, the most far reached island in Vietnam's East Sea.
One of the most interesting part of Bai Tu Long bay is the
complex of mountain caves, of which Nha Tro grotto is the
most beautiful, the cave is located in Ban Sen island, about
1.5 hours by boat from Cai Rong. To reach Nha Tro cave,
travellers need to take a wooden fishing boat from Ban Sen,
the cave is like a natural theatre, around 200 square metres
in area, inside the cave there are thousands of stalagmites
and stalagtites of all shapes and sizes, archeololical finds
prove the presence of primitive people in the New Stone Age
5000 years ago.