Most tourists like Lan Ha Bay because of its wild and peaceful beauty, with many large and small islands with different shapes and beauties. Visiting Lan Ha Bay, you will experience the feeling of being immersed in nature, discovering the daily life of local fishermen.
Lan Ha Bay has an area of more than 7,000m2 with hundreds of islands, located to the east of beautiful Cat Ba Island and south of Ha Long Bay. With the wild and lively beauty of unexploited beaches, Lan Ha Bay is an attractive destination for tourists.
Let’s go to enjoy beautiful views and participate in fun activities on the sea!
Table of Contents:
- What is the best time to travel to Lan Ha Bay?
- Means of transportation to Lan Ha Bay
- Unique points of Lan Ha Bay vs Ha Long Bay
- Prepare necessary luggage for Lan Ha Bay tour
- What to visit and do in Lan Ha Bay
5.1. What to visit in the bay
5.2. What to do in Lan Ha Bay
- The charming and valuable ecosystem in Lan Ha Bay
- FAQ about Lan Ha
1. What is the best time to travel to Lan Ha Bay?
Lan Ha Bay is located in the northern tourist area, so the weather here is full of four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each season has its own beauty, very poetic and charming. Depending on your interests and schedule, you can arrange a time to visit this place.
Usually, from April to June is in the summer, the sea is calm, the weather is sunny, windy, the sky is very clear, suitable for sailing to explore the bay. From about September onwards, it is not a very busy tourist season, so Lan Ha Bay is quite peaceful, suitable for those who like to relax in a quiet space. At this time, you can also participate in sea activities such as sailing, surfing, climbing.
2. Means of transportation to Lan Ha Bay
To visit Lan Ha Bay, you can depart from 2 main piers, Got Ferry Wharf in Hai Phong City and Ben Beo Wharf on Cat Ba Island. Got Ferry Wharf is the place to 4-5 star luxury cruise ships for tourists who prefer luxury service and fewer crowds. Ben Beo owns smaller ships, suitable for small groups and families, where many Vietnamese tourists often choose.
So, almost all foreign tourists travel from Hanoi to Got ferry wharf in Hai Phong City to start visiting Lan Ha Bay. If you are already in Hanoi, Vietnamdrive will transfer you in a private car to Cat Ba island; from here, you can come to Lan Ha bay.
Besides a private car from Hanoi, it depends on where you will start, you can choose the suitable transportation. You can check more means below:
- By train: If you have more time and want to enjoy the scenery along the way, you can choose the train to go to Hai Phong City Center from Hanoi, then move to the ferry port to visit Lan Ha. Every day there will be 4 trains to Hai Phong, traveling time is about 2.5h – 3h.
- Airplane: Most domestic airlines operate flights to Cat Bi airport (Hai Phong City), where it’s easy to Cat Ba, then explore Lan Ha bay. You can choose the airline according to your preference if you stay at Da Nang City or Saigon.
- Bus, There are many bus trips from Hanoi to Hai Hong, departing continuously for 15-30 minutes for each. You can easily catch the bus at Nuoc Ngam bus station or Gia Lam bus station in Hanoi. You should choose a bus with the destination of Binh ferry wharf or Got ferry port in Hai Phong City. From here, you can easily catch the boat to Cat Ba then exploring Lan Ha. We just recommend local buses for travelers who have more time and want to spend a limited budget.
3. Unique points of Lan Ha Bay vs Ha Long Bay
Lan Ha Bay is in the area of Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, connecting with Ha Long Bay, but you have to start visiting Lan Ha Bay from Cat Ba Island or the ferry terminals from Hai Phong City.
Compared with the other attractions in Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay has a beautiful scene not inferior to Ha Long Bay. With hundreds of large and small islands, estimated at 300 islands, Lan Ha Bay also possesses wonderful landscapes and poetic beaches.
When taking a cruise to visit Lan Ha Bay, you can get closer to the islands on the way. This can help to feel stronger between people’s connection with nature, rocky islands, and the sea.
The price to visit Lan Ha Bay is cheaper than the ticket to visit Ha Long Bay. But moving to Lan Ha Bay is a bit more difficult than traveling to Ha Long Bay because it takes one more boat trip to get to Lan Ha Bay.
4. Prepare necessary luggage for Lan Ha Bay tour
In addition to personal items according to your needs, you need to pay attention to bring others while visiting Lan Ha Bay.
- As with trips to the sea and islands, you first need to prepare bathing suits, swimwear, towels.
- A pair of sunglasses will make you comfortable when sunbathing in Lan Ha Bay, and also prepare a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face from sunburn.
- Carry sunscreen, especially when you come to Lan Ha Bay from April to September every year, the amount of sunshine is very large, so you need to pay attention to this.
- Prepare a pair of light slippers so you can move on sandy areas with few stones or have hard objects on beaches to protect your feet.
- A waterproof bag to store travel items such as phones, cameras…
>> Check another a beautiful La Pandora Cruise to visit Lan Ha Bay.
5. What to visit and do in Lan Ha Bay
5.1. What to visit in the bay
Luon Cave locates on Bo Hon island, on the right is Heaven Gate, in front of the cave is Con Rua island. The cliffs surrounding the cave stand tall, the water in the four seasons is clear and calm.
Luon Cave, a masterpiece on Lan Ha Bay, is a well-known tourist destination with beautiful check-in photos. You will be surprised when kayaking to visit the wonderful scenery around Luon cave.
Lan Ha Bay Floating Market
If you have ever traveled to Mekong Delta, you will probably imagine the big floating markets of the people there. However, Lan Ha Bay floating market has a much smaller scale. Mainly fishermen look after fish and shrimp rafts and sell their seafood here, so calling this area the floating market.
Cua Van fishing village
Cua Van fishing village nestles on the Van Gia limestone mountain, in the calm area. This place owns the colorful floating houses floating in the middle of the bay. The life of the locals is extremely peaceful with more than 300 families engaged in fishing. With charming and poetic beauty, the Cua Van fishing village on Lan Ha Bay becomes one of the most beautiful ancient villages in Vietnam and the world.
Nam Cat Island
Nam Cat Island stays about 15 minutes by boat from Lan Ha Bay. This island keeps full of wildness, serenity, and charm. It has three wooden stilt houses and six bamboo cottages, allowing you to fully enjoy the fresh air from the sea nature.
Monkey Island is also known as Cat Dua Island because there are many pineapple (Dua) trees on the island. However, now the island is called Monkey Island because it is home to more than 20 monkeys brought by the rangers of Cat Ba National Park. They are quite friendly and often enjoy playing with visitors.
Monkey Island has 2 beautiful beaches, namely Cat Dua Beach 1 and Cat Dua Beach 2. The seawater here is extremely clear, suitable for swimming and kayaking.
Van Boi Beach
Van Boi beach locates along the protruding part of a mountain range, where many tourists often come here to explore boating, go swimming. Van Boi beach has beautiful natural scenery with lovely fine white sand stretches, clear blue seawater, and peaceful space.
5.2. What to do in Lan Ha Bay
Swimming and watching corals
With many beautiful beaches in Lan Ha Cat, you can enjoy swimming, immersing in the cool seawater. The diving spots here have a depth of 4-5m, which is very suitable for watching corals and other sea creatures.
Lan Ha Bay is on the list of nice places for kayaking in Vietnam. You should buy a kayak tour so that the cruise ships can take you to the calm and beautiful seas for you to both do kayaking and enjoy the amazing scenery here. Usually, most guests like to go kayaking in the area of Dark Cave, Bright Cave, and Me Kong Cave.
Climbing on Lan Ha Bay is currently a favorite activity of many tourists, especially foreign travelers. You can find many climbing spots near Lan Ha Bay and around the Cat Ba area with craggy cliffs, attractive to those who like an adventure. We recommend you book a tour with a travel agent when you want to join this activity.
Enjoy a peaceful night on the cruises
Spending a night on the cruise is an ideal experience which many foreign tourists like to do. If you have a chance, do not miss staying overnight in the peaceful area of Lan Ha. You will feel so relaxed while your cruise floats in huge seas surrounding by the whisper of waves. And, an incredible sunrise comes with you to welcome a new fresh day, making you love life more.
>>> You may check a nice Peony Cruise to visit Lan Ha Bay.
6. The charming and valuable ecosystem in Lan Ha Bay
Not only is naturally endowed with beautiful and charming natural landscapes, but Lan Ha Bay also contains many typical ecosystems, notably cave ecosystems, tidal ecosystems, coral ecosystems, soft bottom ecosystems, and saltwater lake ecosystems.
In particular, the cave ecosystem includes typically submerged caves, which are a special type of structure of karst terrain (weathering phenomenon) in the sea. Marine species congregate in these caves, especially sponges and soft corals.
The intertidal ecosystem with unique biota mosaics rarely found in other places includes sandy intertidal flats, rocky reefs, and mudflats. In the area of Lan Ha Bay, there are about 40 sandy beaches, concentrated in the southeast of Cat Ba Island. Sand beaches are usually located on the coral shelf with a height of 1m – 4m, width 20m – 200m.
In which, intertidal reefs occupy most of the tidal flats around the islands; on the intertidal reefs are structured by algae and oysters typical for the biota of tropical seas.
The coral reef ecosystem in Lan Ha Bay is the most developed one in the Gulf of Tonkin, which is typical for the entire area. The coral reef is home to almost all groups of marine organisms such as polychaetes, mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans, marine reptiles, coral reef fish, etc.
Besides their function as a place to feed and breed, coral reefs are also a haven for these groups of organisms. One of the outstanding features of coral reefs is that they are distributed in various zones, creating a diverse and unique ecological relationship.
The ecosystem of the soft bottom, the seabed of Lan Ha Bay exists an interlaced network of ancient river beds covered with clear blue ocean water to a depth of 29m. This area is home to over 1,000 species of marine animals and plants and also contains the main fishes and breeding grounds of the Gulf of Tonkin.
The seabed is not distributed continuously but is strongly divided by islands and coral reefs, which creates a diverse habitat of species, and also plays an important role in the biological and ecological relationships among marine ecosystems, mangroves, coral reefs, as well as interactions with rainforest ecosystems.
Lan Ha Bay has nearly 100 saltwater lakes with the largest lake measuring 28.8 hectares (Ang Vem Lake) and the smallest lake measuring 0.7 hectares (Ang Tre Moi Lake). Saltwater lakes are home to many ancient marine species, creating a very good opportunity for monitoring and studying the relationship between the fluctuations of physical and climatic factors to the evolution of the biology of species.
In addition to possessing cultural and biodiversity features, Lan Ha Bay is also an area that has experienced a history of material development lasting about 18,000 years.
With typical development of topography, Lan Ha Bay has hundreds of large and small islands with rich and green vegetation all year round, a network of pristine underground caves, streams, and fine sands. All create peaceful and romantic pictures in the bay.
In June 2020, Lan Ha Bay was officially recognized by the Council of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays (MBBW) as one of the most beautiful bays in the world and became the 46th member of the Association.
7. Frequently asked questions about Lan Ha Bay
How much is a ticket to visit Lan Ha Bay?
When you buy tickets to visit Lan Ha Bay at piers such as Ben Got or Gia Luan, the price of a visiting day’s ticket costs 80,000 VND/person.
If you stay overnight on the boat, the fee for staying on the bay will be 300,000VND/person. In addition, you have to pay additional boat and service fees. However, travel companies sell cruise tickets to spend the night on Lan Ha Bay, they often include the cost of staying on the bay.
How many days should I spend visiting Lan Ha Bay?
Lan Ha Bay has a fairly large area. But, just to visit the landscape, you can spend a day to be able to get the most sightseeing of the bay.
However, in order to experience and feel the peaceful beauty, as well as have time to better understand the nature and people in the sea, you should spend at least 2 days and 1 night on the cruise for the discovery of the Lan Ha Bay and nearby attractions.
Should I buy a boat ticket to visit Lan Ha Bay in advance?
If you only visit the bay within a day, then you may not need to buy in advance. When you arrive at Gia Luan pier or Ben Got wharf, you will easily buy tickets for sightseeing.
However, if you want to spend a night on the cruise, it’s best to book the all-inclusive cruise service for your trip in advance.
Lan Ha Bay is located in the Cat Ba archipelago and is adjacent to Ha Long Bay in the south.
With a total area of more than 7,000 hectares, the bay consists of a rather unspoiled archipelago, containing about 300 densely large and small islands, creating a giant mysterious picture.
Lan Ha Bay Cat Ba not only owns beautiful natural scenery, charming beaches but also has many tasty seafood dishes found only here.
If you like beaches and seafood, Lan Ha Bay (Cat Ba island) will be an ideal place to spend your holidays.
Hopefully, the detailed information above gives you more useful ideas to range your journey to this bay.
Do not forget to tell us what you want to know more if you cannot find it here!