Lan Ha Bay, paradise of the Tonkinese Sea
- on Aug 24, 2019       By: Bảo Ngọc
Located south of Halong Bay and east of Cat Ba Island, this natural wonder covers an area of more than 7,000 hectares encompassing around 400 islands and islets. With 139 romantic beaches scattered throughout the crystal clear and tranquil water you can easily find an intimate spot for swimming or total relaxation under the sun.
Divers will have something to look forward to at the coral reefs in the depths of Van Boi, Van Ha or the Sen, Cu and Monkey Islands. Not to mention there are countless wild coves and caves to explore either by cruise or by kayak. If you want to experience pristine nature and a location less frequented by tourists then Lan Ha Bay is undoubtedly the best choice.
When to go?
For Vietnamese holidaymakers summer is synonymous with time spent at the beach for seaside holidays. Like any other coastal destination in the north, Cat Ba and Lan Ha are the two most popular names from April until October. During these months the beautiful sun shines all day and the water is clear and peaceful.
As for travelers from other continents, the splendor and tranquility of Lan Ha Bay is coveted especially from October to March.
How to get there?
You can board a boat or canoe from Cai Beo Pier which is one kilometer east from Cat Ba village. The journey usually takes about 15 minutes. In addition to an excursion around the bay you can go swimming or visit a fishing village and try delicious seafood.
The cost of visiting the bay by cruise ship with capacity for 20 - 30 passengers normally varies between 1.2 - 1.5 million VND. In the high season the cost can rise considerably, especially on the weekends.
If you are traveling alone or in a small group, consider sharing the boat with others to save money or make new friends. Guests can enjoy a luxurious cruise on Lan Ha Bay through a wide range of tours offered by reliable local travel agencies.
What to see and do in Lan Ha Bay?
While cruising beneath the cliffs of Bo Hon Island you can admire Luon Cave and its distinct shape. Surrounded by steep slopes, its emerald water is calm all year round. This is one of many memorable stops at sea.
Nam Cat Island
After departing the pier towards Lan Ha Bay in about 15 minutes you can begin to admire the breathtaking scenery of Nam Cat Island.
To enjoy this oasis, spend the night in one of the eco-friendly bungalows or book a charming room at the wonderful Sandy Beach resort. Fishing, diving, swimming, kayaking and other outdoor activities are all possible so come stay here and have a memorable vacation.
Monkey Island is also called Cat Dua (Pineapple) Island because of the pineapples that grow wild here. You will reach this beautiful stopover in just ten minutes from the pier. You can go and meet a group of monkeys who live free on the island or spend hours relaxing on a private beach with white sand.
Van Boi Beach
Known as the quietest beach of all in Lan Ha Bay, this area is ideal for swimming or kayaking amongst beautiful surroundings and enjoying some time away from the crowds.
Turtle and Bell Islets
You will come across many islets with particular names. They are usually named after what they resemble for instance the most famous islet is called “Hon Rua” or Turtle Islet. It is located on the sea route to Viet Hai village; also keep an eye out for Hon Chuong or (bell islet).
Hon Chuong also has many other names such as Hon But (pen), Hon Nen (candle) and Hon Bap Chuoi (banana). It’s a small islet on the path from Cat Ba to Cua Van fishing village.
Climbing in Lan Ha Bay
The cliffs of the steep limestone peaks in the bay of Lan Ha will certainly delight climbers of all skill levels. For the less sporty there is always the easily accessible Tien Ong Island where you can explore a small cave with large stalactites. There are many tours which provide climbing and safety gear.