Bai Tu Long Bay- Halong

Bai Tu Long Bay is every bit as beautiful as its famous neighbor. Indeed, in some Ai??ways beautiful, since it has scarcely seen any tourist development. This is good news and bad news. The bay is unpolluted and undeveloped, but thereai??i??s little tourism infrastructure. Itai??i??s pretty hard traveling around and staying here, and unless you speak Vietnamese, itai??i??s difficult to get information.

Charter boats can be arranged to Bai Tu Long Bay from Halong Bay; boats range from 100,000d to 250,000d per hour depending size and amenities.The one-way trip take about five hours. A cheaper alternative is travel overland to Cai Rong and visit the out-lying islands by boat from here. Foreigners are almost always charged double the going rate on the ferries around Bai Tu Long Bay.

Van Don Island (Dao Cai Bau)
Van Ai??Don is the largest, most populated and most developed island in the archipelago. However, there remains only very limited tourism development here to date.
Cai Rong (pronounced Cai Zong) is the main I town on the island, which is about 30km in length and 15km across at the widest point Bai Dai (Long Beach) runs along much of the southern side of the island and is hard-packed sand with some mangroves. Just offshore, almost touching distance away, there are stunning rock fomations similar to those in Halong Bay.

SLEEPING & EATING
The only hotels are at Cai Rong pier, about 8 km north of the new bridge to the mainland. Cai Rong is a colorful, busy area, with lots of fishing boats and passenger vessels and a background of limestone mountains in the bay. Itai??i??s also full of karaoke bars and motorbikes.You might want to get a room with air-con I to block out some of the noise.

GETTING THERE & AWAY
There is a new bridge linking Van Don to the mainland, making it much more accessible from Halong Citv. Frequent buses run between Hon Gai (Halong City) and Cai Rong Bus station (20,000d, 1.5 hours). Youai??i??ll pass plenty of coal mines en route ai??i?? your race (and lungs) will receive a fine coating of black coal before the journey is completed. Just pity the people who live here and have to breathe this in every day.

A good way to get to Van Don is with the Mui Ngoc hydrofoil from Halong City. In the other direction, it leave for Halong bay at 4 pm. There is also an irregular service to Mong Cai (US$10, two hours), departing Van Don at 8.30am and returning at 2 pm.
Note that these boat schedules may change and are dependent on the weather. Be prepared to hang around here a day or so. Several of the companies offering tours of Halong Bay also offer tours of Bai Tu Long Bay.

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