The density of limestone mountains here is quite thick and still very primitive, dividing sea surface into small bays. Many lagoons, bays and caves have not been discovered yet. There are hundreds of mountains with many shapes depending on the imagination of tourists such as Guoc islet (like a clog), Doi islet (like a bat) … The stalactite caves, the characteristic features of Halong are also present in Lan Ha, which is Ham Rong, Do Cung, Ca Cave …
Unlike Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay has 139 small golden sand beaches for visitors to explore. Many sandy beaches stretch between two rocky mountains that are really ideal beaches with no big waves. Under the blue water is colorful coral reefs such as Van Bo, Van Ha … Quiet water areas such as Sen island, Cu island, Monkey Island … are places where visitors can dive to explore coral reefs.
By small boat, visitors can glide through the canyons in the bay to visit caves, rest on the beach in the middle of the sea as Vam lagoon, Tung Gau Cave, Cat Dua. Monkey Island has lots of monkeys that attracts many visitors and guest houses are available for overnight stay. Especially visitors can visit the growing pearl farms here.
Lan Ha is a peaceful sea with small fishing villages that are likely to be isolated from the rest of the world. In the peaceful island clusters, there are small villages that cultivate the specialties of the region such as blue mussel, cobia, crab, abalone, grouper. This place is a supply that provides fresh fish and shrimp according to the daily needs of visitors.
Tourists visiting Lan Ha should go through Cat Ba National Forest, where many species of precious animals including rare white-headed langurs and needlewood forests. Over the top of Ngu Lam mount, at the end of the journey is Viet Hai fishing village, the most pristine fishing village of Cat Ba island, where visitors can discover many interesting things about a fishing village in the North of Vietnam. With many potentials in tourism, tour companies are designing package tours in which visitors will visit Halong Bay, overnight on the train and Day 2 is to visit Lan Ha Bay and rest. Overnight at hotel in Cat Ba or sleep in bungalows on Monkey Island.
Experiences for a trip in Lan Ha Bay:
1. Popular program
Most visitors to Cat Ba island usually rent a boat to visit Lan Ha Bay for about an hour, then take a bath at Monkey Island Beach. The total time is about 3 hours. If you go to the group of 15 people or more, a trip like that can help you have a general view of Lan Ha Bay with beautiful small islands, sandy beaches, fish and oyster cages,... The price of this tour usually costs 100,000 VND per person for boat ticket, and 30,000 VND per person for visiting Lan Ha Bay including a bathing ticket at Monkey Island. When you come to Monkey Island, you can rent floats, kayak boatsr or fresh water bathing. There is also a roof restaurant that serves drinks and if you sit at the table you pay a charge about 25,000 VND per person. You should use sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat, swimming goggles, swimwear.
2. Discovering program
If you want to discover Lan Ha Bay, you should follow one day tours. After crossing Cai Beo fishing village, you go by boat down Nam Cat Island, Bai Boi, to swim on Van Boi Con Island. Next you can visit Marine fish cages that are controlled by the soldiers in the bay. After visiting the fish cages, the boat will take you to Ba Trai Dao area for kayaking, photography … Next, the boat goes about 20 minutes to Van Gia floating village. This is a village in the middle of the sea with hundreds of years of history with hundreds of households living. Six-year-old students can sail to school at a raft on their own. All activities here are quite difficult and the work of people is only fishing and aquaculture. Here you can use the kayak to visit the floating village, then you can kayak to visit the dark cave (if the sea level is low and it does not hide the cave entrance) and bright cave (like a lake surrounded by mountains) . You can stop and have lunch on the boat.
After resting, the boat continues to take you back to Viet Hai Pier. You should rent a motorbike to visit Viet Hai village, and on the way, you will go through a 30-meter-high cave with a very cool atmosphere, you will watch the mangrove forest that seems like another world. You will visit Viet Hai village with mud wall houses from ancient time in a quiet space of green rice fields.
After visiting Viet Hai Village, you return to the boat to go to the beach at Monkey Island. This is an island with the most beautiful beach in Cat Ba because the water is very clear. You can climb the mountain to see panoramic view of Lan Ha Bay. Some travelers choose to stay right at Monkey Island Resort on the island to experience the close life with nature, with fresh air of the sea.
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