Halong Bay's Hidden Gems - Backpacking Vietnam

Christmas is fast approaching and the temperature just keeps on dropping, so we can't help but dream about all the destinations we want to tick off our bucket list next year! Our TruBabe Sascha talks us through another of South East Asia's gems- Halong Bay in Vietnam. There is so much more to it than meets the eye, you just have to search a little deeper to find the hot spots.

Halong Bay's Hidden Gems

Halong Bay's hidden gems and beauty have put Vietnam firmly on the map, with around 5 million tourists visiting each year. Check out our recommendations for the best places to escape the crowds in Vietnam’s number one tourist hotspot…


#1. Ti Top Island

Ti Top island is one of the biggest islands in Halong Bay and sits right in the centre of it. Ti Top has it all. Climb the 427 steps to experience panoramic views over the bay. Afterwards, reward yourself with a quick swim & a spot of sunbathing on the island’s beach. The best way to dose up on your vitamin sea!

Halong Bay's hidden gems


#2. Bai Tu Long Bay

Bai Tu Long Bay is considered Halong Bay’s little sister and continues northeast of Halong Bay for 100km until the Chinese border. Bai Tu Long National Park is home to rainforest, fishing villages and the same Insta-worthy karst mountains that are scattered across the rest of Halong Bay. A cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay is a fab way to dodge the crowds whilst getting a glimpse into how the locals live.


#3. Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba is the largest island in Halong Bay and is becoming more and more developed as Vietnam’s tourist boom continues. Half of the island is still relatively untouched, though, and filled with jungle and sleepy villages. Cycle through local paths, trek through unspoiled jungle, take in the local wildlife and then reward yourself with a well-earned dinner in one of the island’s many restaurants. Quite literally an island paradise!

Sunset over Cat ba island in Vietnam, Asia


#4. Lan Ha Bay

No trip to Halong Bay is complete without kayaking through it’s emerald waters. Just off the shore of Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay’s uncrowded feel makes it the perfect place to paddle through unexplored caves and blue lagoons.

Halong Bay's hidden gems
Woman explore Ha Long Bay on kayak with limestone mountains on background. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, Cat Ba Island

If you want to explore the wonders of Halong Bay's hidden gems for yourself, why not check out our 17 Day Vietnam Explorer trip! We just launched this epic trip so it is now live for you to book! For more info you can also catch us on info@trutravels.com.

Words by Sascha Gill - Travel Writer and TruBabe

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