The majority of people who visit Halong bay will head directly from Hanoi to their cruise and sadly miss Bai Tho Mountain (or Poem Mountain). Whilst I definitely encourage you to go on a boat around these almost 2000 limestone karst islands, I also want you to consider a stop off on the mainland. Bai Tho Mountain is worth at least a morning or afternoon in Halong city.
I stayed the night at the City Bay Palace hotel in Halong City (it’s super close to Hang Noi road where you will find Poem Mountain) and then climbed Bai Tho Mountain in the morning before catching my boat to see Halong Bay at midday!
Bai Tho Mountain isn’t the easiest place to get to as it’s actually closed to the public. However it’s quite an adventure getting to the top! Read on to find out exactly how:
1) Walk to Hang Noi road to find the entrance to Bai Tho Mountain
We were staying to the east of the mountain and as we approached the base the locals seemed to know where we wanted to go and pointed us in the right direction.
2) Find the right house
In order to get to the stairs up the mountain you’ll need to go through someones house…! We had no ides where this house was but luckily she waved to us with a “Bai Tho” and easily led us through her house into her garden.
Fortunately for you I have a photo of the house!
If no ones in the house try asking locals, I’m pretty sure when we were trying to find it that someone called her.
3) Pay the “entrance fee” to access Bai Tho Mountain
To thank the lady for leading you through her house you’ll need to pay an “entrance fee”. The rate seems to differ but we paid 100k dong for 2 people.
TOP TIP: Say you only have 50k dong and see if she accepts – this worked for someone I spoke to.
4) Climb over the gate
In order to exit the ladies garden and access the stairs up the mountain you will need to climb over this gate.
5) Climb the stairs to the most epic views over Halong Bay!
Depending on your level of fitness the climb will take between 20 minutes to 1 hour. As it was closed to the public the stairs are not in perfect condition and some parts are quite overgrown.
Have fun! If you’re also thinking of booking a boat around Ha Long bay make sure you check out the Secret Halong Cruise, you can get 10% off with code TGW10. Head to my blog post for more information.
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