Titop Island: As Compelling As Its Legend

Ti Top Island sits at the heart of Halong Bay, just 8 kilometers to the southeast of the Bai Chay Tourist Area. Although it is relatively small (a total area of 3.7 hectares), it’s regarded as one of the most picturesque islands in the bay and is a crowd favorite among Halong tourists. It also features among our top 20 tourist attractions in the Halong Bay area!

Titop offers breathtaking landscapes that can be viewed from a vantage point high up in the center of the island. It has a crescent-shaped beach that is known for its tranquility, powdery white sand, and azure blue waters. Because of its proximity to Bai Chay Harbor, a stopover on Ti Top Island is included in many cruise itineraries.

The story behind the island’s name

Formerly called Cat Nang Island, it is now named after Russian cosmonaut Gherman Titov, who in 1961 boarded the spaceship Vostok 2 and became the second man to orbit the Earth (after fellow Russian Yuri Gagarin who beat him by just a few months).

A year later, he visited Halong Bay and toured the area with Vietnam’s revered leader – Ho Chi Minh. Uncle Ho consulted with the locals and, in a gesture of friendship between Vietnam and Russia, renamed the island ‘Titov’ in honor of the valiant cosmonaut.

titop island
Titov island in Halong Bay. Photo by thanhnien

In 1997, Gherman Titov made an emotional return to the island and in the visitors’ book of Halong Bay’s management, he wrote: “I give my thanks to God for giving me a chance to return to this island.” In September 2015, The People’s Committee of Northern Quang Ninh Province proudly unveiled a statue of Titov on the island.

Unknown to many, this beautiful island is also known to the locals as “Cemetery Island.” In 1905, a French cargo ship failed to safely navigate its way through the waters, eventually floundering on the rocks and losing all its crew. They were all buried on the island, so the name caught on.

Nowadays, Ti Top Island is considered one of the most attractive sites, offering many services designed for both international and domestic tourists who come to visit Halong Bay.

titop island
A corner of Titov island. Photo by Lesleyd

Best time to visit Titop island

Titop Island is a year-round and popular tourist destination, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences and the type of experience you desire. Let’s explore the options:

Shoulder season (March to May and September to November)

  • Fewer tourists and the price of cruises is lower.
  • The weather is cool and pleasant.
  • Indulge in activities like swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and hiking without being overwhelmed.

Hot summer months (May to July)

  • Hot weather, suitable for water-based activities like swimming and diving.
  • Higher temperatures and increased visitor numbers.

Peak season (December to February)

  • This is the time when almost all travelers from Europe, America, and other countries in the frigid and temperate zones choose to cruise in Halong Bay and do a side trip to Titop Island.
  • Expect the beach and hiking paths to be busy during this time.

Dry season (September to March)

  • Cool weather and clear skies.
  • Halong Bay is less touristy, providing a peaceful and fresh atmosphere.
  • Swimming and underwater sports may not be ideal due to the cooler temperature.

Overall, the best time to visit Ti Top Island is during the dry season for optimal weather conditions and fewer crowds. However, if you prefer a quieter experience and don’t mind some occasional rain, the shoulder season can also be a great time to visit.

If you are planning to visit this wonderful island during the peak season, you must note that prices are higher and availability may be an issue. It would be best to book your trip early to get the best price.

How to get to Titop island

Being so close to Bai Chay Tourist Harbor makes Titop very easy to get to, even if you’re only on a Halong Bay day tour and your cruising time is limited. The easiest way to get there is to book a cruise that includes it in the itinerary. Let’s break down some options:

Day cruise tour

  • Most day cruises depart from Bai Chay Harbor and offer a convenient way to explore the island within a limited time frame.
  • The price for a day cruise that includes Ti Top Island typically ranges from $30 to $50 per person.
  • This package usually covers transportation, meals, and island access.

Overnight cruise

  • These cruises provide a more leisurely experience, allowing you to spend more time on the island and enjoy its beauty.
  • If you opt for an overnight cruise, the cost will be higher, starting from around $100 to $200 per person.
  • Overnight cruises offer a more comprehensive experience, including accommodation on the boat and additional activities.

Seaplane tour

  • For a unique and scenic approach, you can take a luxury seaplane to reach Ti Top Island.
  • The seaplane tour can cost anywhere from $200 to $300 per person.
  • This option offers a panoramic and breathtaking view of Halong Bay during your journey.

Pros of taking an overnight cruise to visit Titop island

  • Sunset and Sunrise Views: Provide the opportunity to witness both sunset and sunrise over Halong Bay, offering breathtaking views that you wouldn’t experience on a day trip.
  • Relaxation and Comfort: Spending the night on a cruise ship provides a comfortable and relaxing environment. You can unwind in well-appointed cabins, enjoy onboard amenities such as restaurants and lounges, and take advantage of leisure activities offered on the ship.
  • Leisure Activities: Offer a variety of leisure activities onboard, such as cooking classes, Tai Chi sessions, squid fishing, and kayaking.
  • Cultural Experiences: Many overnight cruises include cultural experiences, such as visits to local fishing villages or opportunities to interact with the crew. These activities allow you to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the people living in the Halong Bay area.

Cruises that visit Titop island

Things to do on Titop island

When visiting Titop Island Vietnam, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in beautiful natural scenery and engage in a variety of tourism activities.

Ti Top beach (Vang Trang beach)

titop beach
Enjoying in Titov beach. Photo by bestpricetravel

Aside from amazing panoramic views of the bay, Ti Top Island is home to a lovely little beach of the same name – Ti Top Beach.

It’s an ideal stop-off point to engage in some beach activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, and barbecues. It is only a small beach, but the island mesmerizes tourists with its immaculate white sand and crystal-clear blue waters throughout the year.

To the side of the beach area, you will find a handful of bars and seafood restaurants where you can stock up on some refreshments and fill up on the tasty local flavors. Relax on the white sand beach and soak in the beautiful surroundings of Halong Bay.

Kayaking and water sports

Kayaking in Titov island
Kayaking in Titov island. Photo by getyourguide

For thrill-seekers, kayaking around the island is a must-try adventure. Moreover, Titop Island caters to various water sports lovers. Whether you’re into jet skiing, paddleboarding, or snorkeling, there’s an activity suited for every enthusiast.

Explore the surrounding waters of Titop Island by renting a kayak and paddling around the area of Halong Bay. Glide through the transparent waters, discover secluded coves, and admire the limestone formations emerging from the sea.

The area is home to rich marine life, which makes snorkeling a top choice for water lovers and marine enthusiasts. Services and equipment for all activities are readily available, ensuring you can fully immerse yourself in every experience without any constraints.

Hiking or mountain climbing

Hiking in Titov island. Photo by paradisevietnam

Reaching the top of Titop Island is also a popular activity, which requires walking up 450 steps at a summit height of 110 meters (360 feet). You can enjoy some shelter from the sun while taking in the spectacular views. As you ascend, the panorama unfolds, revealing the beauty of Halong Bay from a unique vantage point.

Exploring Me Cung cave (Maze cave) 

me cung cave
The impressive beauty of Me Cung cave. Photo by vinwonders

Watching from afar, the cave entrance looks like a house roof carving deep into the slopes of the island. Venture inside and you’ll find multiple chambers and a corridor of around 100 meters. There is also a lake and sparkling stalactites in various shapes and sizes hanging like multi-colored curtains.

Ti Top Island attracts numerous visitors daily for several compelling reasons, often serving as a highlight of their Halong Bay cruise. After taking in the island’s picturesque vistas and engaging in various activities, visitors indulge in a refreshing swim in the bay’s stunning turquoise waters, completing their memorable visit.

Before you go, we’d like to share some commonly asked questions about Titop Island that we receive from avid.travelers.

Titop Island is one of the main attractions in Halong Bay, so the majority of the cruise companies include it in their itinerary. Some of the most notable Halong Bay Cruises include La Regina Royal Cruise, Paradise Elegance Cruise, Paradise Sails Cruise, Paradise Peak Cruise.

Yes absolutely! You can visit Titop on a stand-alone day trip, which means a trip to visit only Titop Island. The private boat will take you directly to the island, and you’ll get to spend the entire day there.

There is no direct trip between the two islands. The most convenient way is to join a cruise from Tuan Chau Marina. Ti Top Island belongs to Route No. 2 on the Halong Bay Tour, so many cruise ships make a stop there. Another option is to take a seaplane to get a bird’s eye view of the island and other places in Halong Bay. Seaplanes take off from Tuan Chau Island and fly 300 meters above sea level.

The number of steps to Ti Top Island can vary depending on the specific path you take, but typically there are around 400 steps leading to the viewpoint on the island.

It usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes to climb to the top of Ti Top Island, depending on your fitness level and pace.

Titop Island is situated within Halong Bay, which is in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Specifically, it’s located near Bo Hon Island, known for its stunning landscapes and caves like Sung Sot Cave.

Accessible via Bai Chay Tourist Port, which serves as the gateway for tourists exploring Ha Long Bay, Titop Island offers a delightful addition to the array of scenic wonders awaiting visitors in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Titop Island is named after Gherman Stepanovich Titov, a Soviet cosmonaut whom President Ho Chi Minh visited Ha Long Bay in 1962, shortly after becoming the second human to orbit the Earth.

You Might Also Like