Some are vast, sandy expanses; others tiny and tucked away – Halong Bay’s beaches are, without doubt, among the area’s top highlights.
Halong Bay’s landscape is famed throughout the world; the teetering limestone karsts rising from the water, the thick jungle cascading over the islands, the misty morning sunrises viewed from the top deck of a traditional junk boat… Here’s our top 20 tourist attractions of the area, in case you were looking for a comprehensive breakdown of things to see there.
Perhaps the lesser known (but by no means less impressive) features are Halong Bay’s beaches peppered throughout the region, showing up on many of the 1,996 islets that make up Halong Bay.
Where are the Halong Bay Beaches?
Considering how many islands there are in the Halong Bay region, there is quite a lot of coastline – just imagine how many beaches there might be between nearly 2,000 islands!
There are a number of beaches located near to Bai Chay Wharf, which is where most cruises will depart from – even visitors on a Halong Bay day cruise will be able to enjoy a stop off at one of the nearer beaches.
However, the real gems are somewhat further flung; further away from the tourist wharf, where they remain vastly undisturbed by the crowds.
Finding Solitude on a Halong Bay Beach
Vietnam is experiencing nothing short of a tourism boom, and Halong Bay plays no small part in attracting these crowds of visitors to the country year upon year.
While tourism interest in Halong Bay continues to rise, we often hear travelers voice their concern that they will arrive to a Halong Bay choked with throngs of other tourists – however, this is not the case.
Indeed the main tourist wharf is a busy place, with many number of cruises ferrying visitors in and out of the bay; however, setting out further afield and exploring deeper into the bay is where you’ll find solitude- and this especially goes for the Halong Bay beaches.
We’ll fill you in on some of the best Halong Bay beach stop-offs you can make (and the cruises that will take you there!).
Ban Chan Beach
Tucked away in a corner of Bai Tu Long Bay, Ban Chan Beach is certainly one of the “off-the-beaten-track” Halong Beaches. Bai Tu Long Bay is situated to the north of Halong Bay, and is generally visited only by the overnight Halong cruises.
Despite its pristine beauty, very few people know about Ban Chan Beach, and fewer still make the journey over to it.
Travelers looking for some peace and quiet within Halong’s vast landscape will undoubtedly be drawn to Ban Chan, and what with the powdery white sand, the crystalline water, and the towering limestone outcroppings standing guard on either side, it’s hard not to be captivated by this place.
Ba Trai Dao Beach
Sitting 22km away from the tourist wharf, Ba Trai Dao belongs to Halong’s less-visited neighbour, Lan Ha Bay.
The beach is nestled into a nook of Ba Trai Dao Island, and is sheltered away from the weather, as well as the crowds.
Sometimes referred to as “Three Peaches Beach”, because of the ‘peach-like’ appearance of the surrounding rock formations, Ba Trai Dao Beach is laden in ancient folklore.
The soft white sand on Bai Trai Dao Beach will all but disappear at high tide, however, so visitors should be aware that the beach is only accessible at certain hours of the day (your cruise director will be able to advise you on the tide patterns).
Titop Beach is a popular favourite amongst Halong Bay beach lovers, thanks to its convenient location on Titop Island – which is a destination included in quite a lot of cruise itineraries.
The beach itself isn’t so big, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality- the soft sand, the clear waters, and the clean environment are the main contributing factors.
While on Titop Island, visitors can also enjoy hiking up the the vantage point in the center of the island and check out the blockbuster views of Halong Bay from above.
These three beaches are just the tip of the iceberg. Which other Halong Bay beaches would you add to this list?