TOP BEST ISLANDS IN HALONG BAY FOR SWIMMING, KAYAKING & SIGHTSEEING



Halong Bay is listed as the leading tourist spot in Vietnam with the magnificent beauty of thousands of limestone islands, which absolutely bring special experiences for any tourist when paying a visit to the bay. Below are the top 7 most impressive islands in Halong Bay that you should not ignore.

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islands in halong bay
Source: Internet

Being the world’s natural heritage, Halong Bay is a tourist attraction by its extraordinary beauty of thousands of limestone islands in various sizes, many of which stand out from the rest, catching the attention of many tourists such as Cong Do island, Dau Be island, Bo Hon island, Dau Go island, Bai Dong island, Titop island, and Soi Sim island. 

1 - Top 7 islands in Halong Bay: Cong Do island 

Cong Do island is located in the Southeast of Halong Bay, about 20km from Tuan Chau wharf and Halong international cruise port. The island has an area of 23,363km2 with a coral reef which is over 700m long and 300m wide, featuring numerous natural lakes, home to many sea creatures such as shrimps, crabs, squids, seaweeds, algae, etc. The Southwest of this Halong bay island is characterized by gigantic colorful coral reefs, many of which are extremely rare, named Red corals, horn corals.

 

halong bay islands

Cong Do island is an ideal place for kayaking - Source: Riccardo Mucelli

The area around Cong Do island is also the place for cruises on Halong Bay to anchor overnight. At night, the whole bay becomes glorious by the light from cruises. The most interesting activity in Cong Do island is kayaking, helping you to immerse in the pristine nature. There are several other attractions on this Halong island including Co Cave, Thay Cave, which are amazing places for kayaking tours. 

2 - Top 7 islands in Halong Bay: Dau Be island 

Dau Be island is situated in the Southeast of Halong Bay, about 24km from Tuan Chau wharf with an area of nearly 23,000m2, featuring a diversity of fauna and flora such as ferns, Orchid species, cordyline fruticosa, yellow-furred monkeys, birds, etc. The island is characterized by steep cliffs looking like solid walls, standing in the middle of the sea. The island in Halong Bay consists of 6 lakes, the most famous one is Ba Ham lake, which includes three wide and round holes, connected with each other by a narrow winding tunnel, which features colorful stalactites in many different shapes.  

3 - Bo Hon island  

Bo Hon island can be considered as one of the most outstanding islands on Halong Bay, about 20km from Tuan Chau wharf and over 10km from Halong international cruise port with an area of 3.8km2, which includes a myriad of renowned caves such as Sung Sot cave, Luon cave, Dong Tien cave, Trinh Nu cave, and Trong cave, etc. 

 

halong bay island

Bo Hon island is one of the best islands in Halong Bay - Source: Riccardo Mucelli

The most well-known cave is Sung Sot cave, which was in the top 10 most stunning caves on the globe with glittering stalactites, stone statues in unique shapes such as elephants, flowers, seals, etc.  This is also home to ample endemic plants and rare animals. The high mountain peaks and steep cliffs reflect their images on the water surface, creating a wonderful picture of nature. 

Visiting this Halong Bay island, you can have numerous exciting experiences such as trekking, kayaking, or simply just sightseeing and admiring the beautiful landscape. Particularly, kayaking through Luon cave is a must-do activity on the island where you can discover the utmost beauty of the cave. The rental fare for a kayak is 50,000 VND/ way for 2 people ($2.2). Hiring a boat is a more suitable option for a group of crowded people with just 30,000 VND/ people/ way ($1.3). Besides, you can get on a speedboat with the fare of 120,000 VND/ person ($5.3) 

Other fun activities when visiting this Halong island can be named fishing, squid fishing, watching the sunset on the beach, sunbathing, and doing yoga on the deck. 

4 - Top 7 islands in Halong Bay: Dau Go island 

vietnam islands halong bay

Dau Go island - Source: Claudette Bleijenberg 

Dau Go island is located in the southwest of Halong Bay, about 4km from Tuan Chau wharf. The island has an area of nearly 700,000m2, featuring limestone mountains, of which the highest peak can reach up to 189m. From a distance, Dau Go island looks like a giant wooden stick in the middle of the bay with blocks of jagged rock. 

There are three gorgeous caves on this Halong Bay island which are Dau Go cave, Thien Cung cave, and Thien Long cave. Dau Go cave is situated at a height of 27m above sea level with an area of about 5,000m2, featuring colorful stalactites of different sizes, and diverse fauna and flora. Thien Long cave is an archaeological site, belonging to the Halong culture of the post-Neolithic Age. Thien Cung cave on Dau Go island in Halong Bay is situated deep in the mountain with a height of hundreds of stone steps, erected in a spiral, attracting visitors by its large area of about 10,000m2, divided into three compartments. Inside the cave are stalactites formed millions of years ago with many shapes and small transparent lakes.     

5 - Top 7 Halong Bay islands: Bai Dong island 

halong island

Bai Dong island - Source: Krisztian Tabori

Bai Dong or Dragon Eye island is situated in the east of Halong Bay, about 28km from Tuan Chau wharf, about 25km from Halong international cruise port. Bai Dong Island stands out from the rest of the islands in Halong Bay thanks to its unique bow-like shape in the middle of the sea, surrounded by a white smooth beach, blue seawater, and wild pineapple trees, boasting its poetic serene beauty. One of the most impressive features of Bai Dong island is a unique circular turquoise lake with an area of about 3,000m2, featuring abundant vegetation, pristine and romantic landscape, and mangrove forests. To get to the lake, you need to follow the route, which is also an opportunity for you to admire the beauty of the surrounding landscape at different heights. 

Some activities on this Halong Bay island can be listed as swimming, mountain climbing, kayaking, or setting up a BBQ party on the beach. Because there are few services and no fresh water on the island and little, it is necessary to be well-prepared for your trip to the island of Bai Dong.  

6 - Titop island

Titop island is well-known as one of the most stunning islands in Halong Bay, about 7 to 8km from the southwest of Bai Chay tourist spot. The island leans against Cua Luc bay, in front of the island is Bo Hon island, and Sung Sot cave, the right is Dam Nam island. The island features a pristine landscape and peaceful atmosphere, stretching smooth sandy beaches and turquoise transparent seawater that you can see rapids in the seabed. This Halong Bay island includes the beach of Vang Trang, famous for its serenity and airy space. This is also one of the most popular destinations in summer.  

There are many activities in Titop island such as kayaking with the fare of 150,000 VND/ hour ($6.6), admiring Halong Bay with a panoramic view from Titop mountain peak, etc. 

7 - Top best islands in Halong Bay: Soi Sim island

Soi Sim island is located in the southwest of Halong Bay, about 10km from Tuan Chau wharf, attracting a large number of tourists by its pristine beauty and tranquility. The island has an area of 7.8ha, featuring the charming and attractive beauty of the turquoise sea, white sandy beach, and majestic mountains. The island is formed by rock, Feralit soil, which creates diverse flora and romance for this “Jade island”.

 

halong islands

Soi Sim is one of the most promising Halong Bay islands - Source: Internet

Coming to Soi Sim island, there is a myriad of fun activities you can join such as swimming and immersing in the rustic beach, discovering the coastal ecosystem, motor riding around the island, conquering Soi Sim mountain peak with more than 400 steps, or simply watching the lined rose myrtle, etc. 

Nature bestows Halong Bay spectacular landscapes and ample breath-taking islands, making it one of the must-visit tourist magnets on the journey to Vietnam. And above is the list of the 7 best islands in Halong Bay that should not be missed. 

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Being born and living here in Vietnam, I got a chance to see lots of beautiful places, try countless great dishes, & experience many interesting things in places I visited. And It's so great to share all things I know about Vietnam to you.

Giang Pham — Giang Pham

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