Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay & Lan Ha bay
All overnight cruises have to follow either route to Bai Tu Long Bay or Halong Bay approved by the authority. Hereunder is some information with map of the 2 options.
Hanoi - Halong bay: 165km, approximate 4 hours drive from Hanoi
Located in the northeast of Vietnam, in Quang Ninh Province, Halong Bay covers an area of 1,553 square km, including 1,969 islands. Halong is internationally famous, twice recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO, for the majestic beauty of the dense rocks and islands, and the natural caves.
Halong Bay was formed by millions of years of geological changes, which created thousands of islands. Hidden inside these are beautiful caverns such as Sung Sot, Thien Cung, Trinh Nu and Thien Canh Son Caves, and Thien Cung Grotto. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site for its biodiversity, geology and nature, Halong Bay’s beauty and charm make it an outstanding tourism destination. The landscape of Halong is attractive in each season.
Bai Tu Long Bay
Hanoi - Bai Tu Long Bay: 170km, approximate 4 hours drive from Hanoi
While Halong Bay radiates the beauty of a gorgeous and dazzling woman, Bai Tu Long Bay is more of like a pure, enchanting young girl with its untouched mountains, beaches, and parks. The bay has a rich biodiversity with two ecosystems: a tropical, moist, evergreen rainforest ecosystem; and a marine and coastal ecosystem.
Due to its geographical position, located in the east of Halong Bay, quite far from Cat Ba island, Bai Tu Long Bay is almost forgotten by visitors. Therefore, it is so pristine and unpolluted, a “must-see” place for travelers who prefer wild nature. In 2006, Bai Tu Long Bay has been found in the top 5 greatest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, according to a poll hosted by the eco-tourism company Gecko Travel (UK).
Lan Ha Bay
Hanoi - Lan Ha Bay: 140km, approximate 2 hours 30 munites drive from Hanoi through Hanoi - Hai Phong Highway
Lying south and east of Cat Ba Town, the 300 or so karst islands and limestone outcrops of Lan Ha are just as beautiful as those of Halong Bay and have the additional attraction of numerous white-sand beaches. Due to being a fair way from Halong City, not so many tourist boats venture here, meaning Lan Ha Bay has a more isolated appeal.
Geologically, Lan Ha is an extension of Halong Bay but sits in a different province of Vietnam. Around 200 species of fish, 500 species of mollusc, 400 species of arthropod, and numerous hard and soft coral live in the waters here, while larger marine animals in the area include seals and three species of dolphin.