If the crowds of Halong Bay is not what you expect for your travel there is still a few options for you in the area. Our favorite was to hike the Poem Mountain and see from the top the beauty of the Halong Bay, one of the UNESCO World Heritage treasures.
The Poem Mountain, also called Bai Tho, is located in Halong City. It includes some small fee and fence jumping but nothing too challenging for an Indiana Jones like you.
To arrive at Halong City, take a Grab from the bus station or from the peer.
Where to Stay
We are guessing you have been or plan to spend some days around the area, either taking a boat cruise or staying in Cat Ba Island. Our recommendation is to spend an extra night in Halong City. Take a room in a hostel or guesthouse close to the mountain because the best time to hike is from afternoon to sunset. It will be more complicated to find transport elsewhere at that time but it’s totally up to you.
We stayed in Zostay Backpacker HaLong.
When to Go
As written in the last section, we think the best time to go is from afternoon to sunset. Consider the time to walk down if you decide to stay until the sunset. A flashlight or the phone will serve.
How to Arrive
Go to this point on Maps.me in Halong City and find a narrow street that goes inside.
After 25 meters, you will find a locked fence and a woman. Easy, pay her a little fee that she opens the lock and let you pass. In November 2018, we paid only 50.000 Dongs (1,9€). A few minutes later, there is another fence. This is the most complicated part. But don’t get stressed. Try to squeeze on the right side of the fence. If you don’t fit, the only option is to jump from the left side helping yourself with a tree.
Good job Indiana Jones! Once on the other side, the rest is easy. Around 15-20 minutes steep up and you will be on the top with amazing views of the Halong Bay.
We experienced a lot of trash on the way. Be cool and collect some of the garbage on your way down. It really doesn’t cost any effort and helps tremendously our planet. It’s also about educating locals on not throwing plastics when they see normal people like you collecting trash. Follow Adventure Bag and Trash Hero movements for more info.