Bai Tho Mountain is the best Halong Bay Viewpoint that provides some of the most spectacular views over the bay. If you’ve seen the instagram famous photo of a Halong Bay Viewpoint taken from a green tin roof, it’s at Bai Tho Mountain. Due to it’s popularity on social media, locals have made it a lot more difficult to find. It can be a bit of a challenge, but we’ll guide you through everything you need to know.
How to get to Bai Tho Mountain
To get to Bai Tho Mountain, you’ll have to stay in Halong Bay City. To get to Halong Bay City, we used 12Go to book a van from Hanoi. 12Go is a super cheap and reliable way to get around Vietnam and other popular Southeast Asian countries.
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From the Halong Bay City you can either grab a taxi or rent a scooter. We decided to get a scooter as it was cheaper than getting a taxi there and back. We rented a scooter for half the day at 80,000 VND ($4.50 AUD) because we only needed it to go see the Halong Bay Viewpoint.
Head towards Bai Tho Mountain, which is on the east side of the city. If you’re coming from the west you’ll have to cross the bridge and drive a little further. The entrance is located in Hang Noi Street but finding it is the tricky part. We asked a local where the entrance to viewpoint was and she led us through her house and up to the gate.
As of September 2018 the gate is completely sealed off. There is barbed wire and fencing so it’s impossible to climb over or through. Additionally, there a guard dogs that are quite vicious and the only way pass them is to make sure you’re with the local lady. The local lady will show you the way to climb up the rocks which lead to the start of the walk. From here it’s about a 30 minute hike up some stairs to the top.
Where to stay
If you’re not doing the cruise in Halong Bay, there are a few accommodation options spread throughout Halong City. We found the best area to stay is close to the Sun World Amusement Park. There are nightly food stalls and markets close by.
We stayed at Thuy Duong Ha Long Hotel which is mainly for budget backpackers. If you’re looking for somewhere luxury to stay which also gives you an awesome view of Halong Bay, check out Muong Thanh Luxury Quang Ninh Hotel which is one of the tallest buildings in the area so you’re sure to have an incredible view.
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The entrance fee will vary depending on whose house you walk through. We had to pay 50,000 VND per person ($3 AUD). We tried our best to bargain the price down but the lady wouldn’t budge at all. Maybe you’ll have some better luck!
As the only way to reach Bai Tho Mountain is through a local house, there are no set opening hours. Be sure to pick a reasonable time to visit as the lady might not be awake. We visited at 4pm and had no issues.
Halong Bay Viewpoint – What to Expect
Once you reach the top of the Halong Bay Viewpoint, you’ll no doubt be left speechless. You’ll be able to admire the incredible panoramic views overlooking Halong Bay. You’ll be able to see the chaotic streets of Halong City as well as the harbour where local fishermen boats come and go.
There are plenty of different angles and views for some great photo opportunities. For the best soft lighting, aim to be at the top just before 5pm as the sun slowly starts to set. Alternatively, you can head there for sunrise. The sun will rise directly in front and you might be able to capture some light rays peaking over the different islands.
When we went, there was no one else around expect another local couple that were also taking photos. We took our time and spent the afternoon relaxing and taking in the incredible views.
This is definitely the best Halong Bay Viewpoint and one that we highly recommend. For a different view of Halong Bay, be sure to try one of the many Halong Bay Cruises!