Lan Ha Bay – Less known paradise in the North of Vietnam

Situated to the south of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, which is home to Cat Ba Island, covers a total area of over 7,000 ha, 5,400 ha of which are under the administration of Cat Ba National Park.

While the managerial boundaries place Lan Ha Bay within Hai Phong Province (not Quang Ninh Province, which Halong Bay belongs to), the resemblance in its formations, with some 400 islets dissipated over the area, shows that not only locals but also foreigners commonly recognize it as a part of the enormous Halong Bay zone.

Different from its famous neighbor, Lan Ha Bay keeps much more naturally beautiful scenery with a severe convergence of limestone mountains which the sea surface has subdivided into smaller gulfs and bays. Featuring more than a hundred small but spectacular beaches lying at the ground of the mountains, travelers will meet no difficulty looking for an ideal spot for swimming, or holding a lovely party together with a private beach BBQ or camping overnight. Let’s fancy, after a long day discovering a large number of mysterious caves and grottoes, you can completely relax by bathing in the skyblue waters and breathing the Lan Ha Bay’s salty sea breeze.

Thanks to its unharmed and incredibly natural beauty as well as because people seek for pristine, less popular destinations, Lan Ha Bay has gradually gained popularity. Just 30 minute boat ride from Cat Ba Island, you will be certainly enchanted by breath-taking sceneries of the bay. It is also a great idea to join in a deep water soloing, rock-climbing or snorkelling and diving trip. Among the three bays in Halong Bay zone, Lan Ha Bay is believed to have the highest quality of water to ensure the best conditions for diving and rock-climbing. If you want to stay overnight here, Lan Ha Bay also offers a wide selection of hotels, hostels and bungalows with different quality on Cat Ba Island, Viet Hai Village and Monkey Island (Cat Dua Island). You can also choose a cruise or junk boat, surrounded by rock and water to spend your night.

Compared to the center of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is not as really famous a travel option, and there are not many cruises heading to this amazing bay from Halong City’s ports. Missing out on Halong Bay's top attractions including: Pelican Cave, Sung Sot Cave and Titop Island, if only visiting Lan Ha Bay is a common preoccupation of many travellers.

Due to the long distance from Halong City, Lan Ha Bay has a more isolated appeal, so, this bay does not witness so many tourist boats venture here. Among sailing and kayak trips in Cat Ba Town, those of this bay are best organised.

Even though sitting in a different province of Vietnam, Lan Ha is an implementation of Halong Bay. There are about 400 species of arthropod, 500 species of mollusc, 200 species of fish and uncountable hard and soft colorful coral you can find in the waters here, while bigger marine animals in the area including seals and more interestingly, three dolphin species.

As it’s the first time open to the public, there is no doubt about the beauty of Ha Long bay. Every year, this bay sees thousand of people traveling here and coming back. But you can actually find another place providing to you much more. Considered as twin of Halong bay, located in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha bay is a less known land and water of flowering tourism in Vietnam in recent years. It may be unfair that this stunning bay is not as well-known as Halong bay but thanks to this, Lan Ha Bay still preserves the most amazing experience, the beauty of natural environment and interesting local culture.

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