As Bai Chay is the starting point for the majority of bay cruises, most visitors to Halong Bay pass through it at some point. While most only stay long enough to transfer from bus to boat, the town is worth some exploration in its own right. Stroll along the picturesque Bai Chay harbor, where a jumble of white-painted junk boats await their passengers; ride the elevator to the top of the Bai Chay Bridge for a view over the bay; then head to the beach to swim, try water sports such as waterskiing and kayaking, or watch a traditional water-puppet show. A busy local market sells everything from fresh local seafood and produce to inexpensive clothing.
Things to Know Before You Go
Bai Chay is the starting point for most Halong Bay cruises.
Most Halong Bay cruises leaving from Bai Chay include round-trip transportation from your hotel in Hanoi.
If you have the time, an overnight cruise will allow you to see much more of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to Get There
Bai Chay is well-connected by buses from destinations across Vietnam. Most visitors arrive from Hanoi; the journey takes around three and a half hours.
When to Get There
Bai Chay tends to be at its busiest during the high season months of December and January. Visit during the shoulder seasons (March to May and September to November) for the best chance of comfortable weather and fewer crowds.
Other Attractions in Bai Chay
After you’ve climbed the bridge and soaked up some sun on Bai Chay Beach, consider paying a visit to the Quang Ninh Provincial Museum, where you can learn more about the natural and cultural history of this scenic region. Active travelers can climb to the top of Bai Tho Mountain in the middle of the city for panoramic views over the surroundings.
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