Located to the south of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, home of Cat Ba Island, spreads over an area of more than 7,000 ha, of which 5,400 ha are under the management of Cat Ba National Park. You can visit Lan Ha Bay during a Halong Bay overnight cruise, or rent a boat and start your journey from Cat Ba Island.
As one of two unspoiled neighboring bays offering the same stunning scenery as Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is just to the South but without the crowds, while Bai Tu Long Bay lies just to the East of Halong Bay. Cruising to Lan Ha Bay, you’ll feast your eye at the marvelous beauty of natural scenery with hundreds of imposing mountains in different sizes and shapes. Lan Ha Bay boasts numerous picturesque white sand beaches tucked into more than 400 islands.
Lan Ha Bay
The uniqueness of Lan Ha Bay
In comparison to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is more tranquil and isolated from the rest of the world. The islands are covered with trees and vegetation; the small fishing villages are peacefully under the island clusters; and the sandy beaches stretch along rocky mountain. All makes a fantastic alternative to Halong Bay for a good spot to swim, a private beach BBQ or an overnight camp. So if you prefer an off-the-beaten-track destination, Lan Ha Bay is an ideally non-touristy option to unwind and get lost into the nature.
Tranquil life in Lan Ha Bay
Thanks to the primitive magnificence and less-crowded attractions, Lan Ha Bay has gradually gained popularity for recent years. Just 30 minutes by boat from Cat Ba Island, you’ll be indulged in the colorful coral reef and the calm sea among breath-taking landscapes of Lan Ha Bay. Among three bays in Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is considered to have the best water quality for diving and good conditions for rock-climbing. Here, lots of lagoon and caves haven’t been discovered yet. Cruising to Lan Ha Bay, you can visit many caves resting on the beach, such as Tung Gau Cave, Monkey Island (Cat Dua Island).
Monkey Island in Lan Ha Bay
Things to do in Lan Ha Bay
Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
Local life in floating village
Cruise to Lan Ha Bay
Best time to visit Lan Ha Bay
The weather in Lan Ha Bay is similar to the northern Vietnam’s weather in general and the Halong Bay’s weather in particular. The summer time in Lan Ha Bay is wetter and warmer, with the highest chance of heavy rain and storms during June – August. The winter is much cooler and drier from December to February, when it’s too cold to swim or take a boat.
Overall, the best time to visit Lan Ha Bay is in the autumn (September – November). This is a perfect time for both swimming, kayaking and hiking, cycling activities.
Catchy view from Monkey Island
How to get there
From Hanoi, you can go to Lan Ha Bay by car, shuttle bus, limousine privately or bus arranged by your cruise company. It usually costs about $80 for one-way private transfer between Hanoi and Lan Ha Bay. There’re two main harbors that Lan Ha Bay Cruises depart: Got Pier on Cat Hai Island and Tuan Chau Marina on Tuan Chau Island.