Tourists coming to Vietnam often consider Halong Bay as a must visited site because of its stunning caves and islands, however, there is another bay even offering you much more. It’s Lan Ha Bay, situated in the east of Cat Ba Island and it gradually becomes an alternative for Halong Bay, because of the following facts:
- Lan Ha Bay is the further part of Halong area, therefore, it is less touristy than the other parts.
- Owning up to 139 golden sandy beaches, small but pretty and isolated as “blue straits”, the bay always shows up its charm inviting tourists to explore.
- Lan Ha Bay is a peaceful sea with small fishing villages existing isolated from the rest of the world.
- While Halong Bay is applied a strict policy, it is quite flexible in Lan Ha Bay. Your experience is unlimited, you do any water activities that you can imagine, jumping down from the boat, going fishing with local, doing kayaking to anywhere you desire to explore, diving or surfing or even rafting.
How to get to Lan Ha Bay from Hanoi?
Since the last time, to visit Lan Ha bay you must get from Hanoi to Cat Ba island then take a day boat to explore Lan Ha Bay. Now, you can explore Lan Ha Bay on an overnight cruise without getting on Cat Ba island, it could be managed from Got Pier to Lan Ha Bay.
The most popular and easiest way is to take a bus from Hanoi: Good Morning Cat Ba (~350.000vnd/way), Cat Ba Express (340.000vnd/way) to Dinh Vu port.
Another recommended option is using a private van (good for big group or family with kids. ~2.600.000VND/way (16 seat van). Take you only ~2 hours thanks to Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway.
At Dinh Vu port, get on a speedboat, also called hydrofoil to Cai Vieng port on Cat Ba Island (~30 minutes). From the access point Cat Ba, you can continue to visit Lan Ha Bay.
Perla Dawn Sals offers the overnight Lan Ha Bay cruise with limousine van transfer included, it takes only 2 hours transfer from Hanoi to Cat Ba then check in the cruise to explore the beautiful nature
How to explore Lan Ha Bay?
You can also book a Lan Ha Bay 2 day 1 night or 3 days 2-night cruise with Perla Dawn Sails with a transfer, all meals, activities and tourist fee included. Perla Dawn Sails will take you to the less crowded areas of the bay with untouched destinations and exciting activities
- Visit Tra Bau, a very pristine and isolated area in Lan Ha Bay. This is considered as a heaven for kayaking. The best way to discover the brilliance of Lan Ha Bay is kayaking because your kayak empowers very close access, where other big boats can’t get to.
- The bamboo boat rides into Bright Cave, a serene round lake encompassed by trees and high risky stone walls, which resembles a stadium surrounded by high platform.
- Trekking and cycling in Viet Hai to visit old houses, take pictures of forest trees or see people, buffalos working on the green fields.
- Swimming on Ba Trai Dao beach or just jumping down from the boat.
- Fishing with locals: participate in fishing activities with local people; have a go at using fishing gears and put yourself in a real fishing life.
Besides, you can enjoy some other activities like visiting Cai Beo floating village, swimming at Van Boi Con island, diving in Ba Ham lake, rock climbing in the international Rock climbing center or getting into the Cat Ba island to visit the National park.
If you don’t have time, a day tour is worth following. The program can be: visiting Cai Beo floating village, then swimming on Van Boi beach. Next, cruising to Ba Trai Dao area to kayak, take pictures, etc. and then Van Gia floating village after 20-minute sailing. You can rent a bamboo boat to explore the Dark cave (if the sea level does not cover the cave entrance) and Bright cave (like a lake surrounded by mountains).
And don’t miss visiting the Viet Hai village. After that, get back the boat to Monkey Island to enjoy swimming, watch the monkeys playing on the beach.
When is the best time to visit Lan Ha Bay?
The best time to visit Lan Ha Bay is from March to June and October to November. This is when the sun mostly shines, enabling water activities. In December and January, the weather is regularly cloudy and cold, while in February, it’s even drizzly and foggy. From July to September, the temperature is very high, so it might be uncomfortable in doing activities. Moreover, this is the high season of domestic tourism, so just expect locals around you.