The hidden beautiful virgin offshore
Located in the east of the Ha Long Bay and bordered to the China’s territorial waters, Bai Tu Long Bay, well-known for a long strip of islands which was created when the entire limestone plateau sank below sea level, so called the submerged dragon boasting 3000 craggy and towering islets, is magnificent by its own way. However due to its far distance from the main land, so it is often neglected by tourists.
The most prominent destination of Bai Tu Long Bay is the Vung Vieng fishing village, Quan Lan Island and Van Don island with the Bai Tu Long National Park – one of 7 national park of Vietnam constituting mainland ecosystem and marine ecosystem.
Bai Tu Long can be compared as a virgin girl still bashful of her charming beauty. It is still an untouched travel destination meaning that the environmental pollution has not reached the Bay yet. If you are really fond of the desolate natural beauty, then Bai Tu Long Bay is the must-come for you definitely. In fact, it becomes the attractive travel place for a large number of tourists in these recent years. However, a day tour to Bai Tu Long is barely enough to discover this area and its surroundings. It is recommended that you take a Yacht or Cruise at least in 2 days 1 night and over to discover all the features of this Bay.
Van Don Island: In fact, this is an archipelago consisting of more than 600 islands around the east and northeast in Bai Tu Long Bay with population of around 23,000 people. It has many beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, fresh air and the historical culture which are great potentialities for economic development and services tourism. When coming to Van Don island, you would have various choice to take bath on lovely white-sand beaches in the clear blue water, or hike on the Van mountain at the height of 445 meters on Ban Sen islet and the Bai Tu Long National Park on Ba Mun island. Van Don Island is linked to the mainland at Cua Ong by bridge and frequent buses come in from Ha Long City to Cai Rong (main town of Van Don) in about 90 minutes. You can also get there by high-speed hydrofoil from Ha Long City in an hour. Noi Bai International Airport at Hanoi is the closest to the island and is linked to Cai Rong by highways 2, 18 and 304 with a journey time of about 4 hours.
Bai Tu Long National Park is a major attracting point of Van Don archipelago, boasting a primeval forest with precious trees like erythrophleum fordii (lim xanh), burrettiodendrom hsienmu (gỗ nghiến), madhuca pasquieri (sến mật), vatica tonkinensis (táu mật) and podocarpus fleuryi (kim giao); wild animals such as wild boars (lợn lòi), monkeys, gibbons (vượn), varans (kỳ đà), eagles, squirrels and deers; and endangered species of birds and animals, along with dense jungle.
Quan Lan Island: Lying so far from the mainland, QuanLan is a less developed and less touristy as compared to other islands. However, thanks to that, its beach still not be polluted by crowed tourism. The Minh chau beach in Quan Lan is so beautiful, 1km-long white-sand and shaped like a crescent moon with clear blue and the waves are suitable for surfing, have lured tourists coming there more and more. The best time to play in the water is from about May to October, winter is a bit chilly. If you come there incidentally on 16-18thof the sixth lunar month, you would have chance to contemplate the Rowing-boat Restival Hoi Cheo Boi which is the biggest festival in the bay area, gathering thousands of people turn out to see it.
Tra Ban Island: Being one of the largest islands in Bai Tu Long Bay and also borders to Bai Tu Long National Park, this island has a thick jungle like in Cat Ba Island (Hai Phong province) with many colorful butterflies. You can take a boat from Van Don Island and come here for watching lovely butterflies.
Ngoc Vung Island: This is really a peaceful island that appropriate for relax. Although there is no high-grade resort here, but many tourists would like to come this land so much cause they are fond of at the tranquil landscape, the simple daily life of people here. Relaxing on long chair under the sunlight, listening to the rhythm of wind and sea waves, or swimming in the deep blue clean water, or biking along the beach under the green trees would help to calm you down and forget the bustle city life behind…
Co To Island: Despite being the furthest northeast island from the mainland, this island has its own seductive features that you will want to stay here more than you expect. Thanks to the far distance, the island still has deserted and aesthetic beaches, whose one of which is Trinh Sat Beach. This beautiful tropical beach has a wonderful shore with white sands and blue, crystal-like water. The sea at Co To seems to be so nice no matter when you look at it: day or night, sunrise or sunset, under the moonlight or in the morning mist. Whenever you walk on a Co To beach, you are about to experience many unforgettable emotions.
Co To Lighthouse is the symbol of the island, which offers the most beautiful panorama of Ha Long Bay. From the lighthouse, you would have the complete overview of the Northern Gulf with unique formation of small islets on emerald water of the bay, the pristine white color of beaches, the lush green color of forests, and yellow rice-fields from a far. On the way to the hill where this lighthouse is located, you would pass through a romantic forest with a variety of alluring flowers booming along the path, not to mention to melody of the forest composed by thousands rare species of birds. In Co To, you might feel free to immerse into the clean water while watching flocks of seagull flying above or wandering around the beach to look for their foods. With many options of beaches in Co To, you should never worry about finding a good spot for a relaxing afternoon lying on the beach. Sometime during harvest time, you can even smell the fragrance of oranges from the nearby Thanh Lan Island, which has turned a splendid orange-yellow color.
Vung Vieng fishing village (or floating village): Far 24km from the mainland, Vung Vieng fishing village is located in the center of Bai Tu Long Bay and to the northeast of Halong Bay. It is surprised that there are only around 160 people living at this fishing village. Their occupations are fishing and pearl farming. Nowadays, a part of local residents is working in tourism and providing tourism services. The amazing pictures that your eyes can catch here are simple small floating houses, films on old televisions, a woman cooking the dinner while children play traditional games in front of the houses and the husband preparing for his fishing trip at night. Almost people here live on fishing and aquaculture but there are several people do small business on their boats by selling miscellaneous goods for other ones and tourists. They will teach you how to throw fishing net, how to cook a fish right on the boat which are very interesting and leaving special memories in your mind about people here and the sense of peace in your holiday.
Recently, Vung Vieng became famous place for travel companies. In order to explore this place, take our day tour Bai Tu Long bay and you can hire either kayak to discover by yourself or small boats rowing by local people. These services are often included in travel itinerary of the cruise.