Travelers arriving this hidden beach will have a chance to enjoy themselves in an extremely primitive-pristine scenery with emerald water, white sandy beach. Surrounded by rugged rocks and trees of green forest covering along the sea, nature endowed Ban Chan with a poetic beauty and charm to heart with the fresh air, clean water and smooth white sand stretching for kilometers beneath blue casuarina pines.
On Ban Chan Beach, besides swimming, travelers can enjoy such fascinating activities such as doing sports activities, kayaking or camping and having dinner on the beach.
Kayaking around Cong Dam Village is a real highlight, as the area is littered with mountainous islands looking for all the world as if the rocks were stacked up carefully by Mother Nature herself. Along with that, coral reefs, limestone formations and sea caves make this area ideal for kayaking.
If you are looking for a relaxing excursion with some time off the beaten track, arrange a kayaking session around Cap La floating village, located in a remote part of Bai Tu Long Bay. Beyond what you can view in the village itself, the surrounding area offers excellent views of the sinking limestone plateau, demonstrating the geological forces which gave birth to the bay’s spectacular islands.
Dark & Bright Caves are beautiful sites to explore by kayak. Dark Cave is a long sea cave which offers a taste of adventure by kayak, while Bright Cave, with natural light illuminating its mysterious beauty, is considered the most beautiful cave in Lan Ha Bay. Amidst luxuriant trees and fragrant orchids surrounding the tranquil inner lagoon, you will find a natural haven unlike anywhere else.
Ho Ba Ham Lake system comprises three round pits, linked together by a narrow, meandering tunnel only accessible by boat or kayak during low tide. In the tunnels, you will find a forest of stalactites and stalagmites in varying shapes and colours. Further in, a shaft of light coming through the roof reveals an array of orchids clinging to the cliffs, cycads growing here and there, and clumps of Truc Doi Ga (a reed with cock’s tail-liked yellow leaves). In the second tunnel, an old carambola tree bears fruit all year round, attracting groups of monkeys, flying squirrels, and silver-headed parrots in its branches. The tunnels are also home to various species of bats and butterflies.
Luon Cave is a perfect spot for keen kayakers, with its large circular lagoon accessed by the sea cave where you will pass underneath stalactites as you paddle. After getting through the cave and entering the lagoon, you can enjoy great scenery with cycads, ferns and benjamin fig trees shading the rugged rock cliffs, along with sweet-scented orchids. If you are fortunate you may see some beautiful golden monkeys swinging up and down on the trees.
Soi Sim Beach, a clean and relatively new site for visitors to Halong Bay, features white sand hugging the outline of Soi Sim Island. The spot is ideal for swimming, relaxing and sunset-watching. Perhaps the best way to enjoy the beach is after climbing to the peak of Soi Sim Island.
The two mountains on Soi Sim Island, both around 100m high, offer an engaging short climb for visitors and rewards trekkers with panoramic views over the island and the bay. The mountains here are thick with Sim trees (rose myrtle) which are typically in bloom in April or May, painting the slopes a brilliant purple when seen against the turquoise waters of Halong Bay.
Titov Beach boasts pristine sand, clear water and small waves, making it perfect for swimming and water-sports. A small bar on the beach provides swimming costumes, floats and showers - fresh water is brought from the mainland. After swimming at Titov Beach, you can enjoy fresh seafood seasoned by the wide open sky and incredible scenery.
The climb to the top of Titov Island offers iconic and genuinely stunning views over Halong Bay's remarkable seascape. From the peak, you can look over the small curving strip of white sand at Titov Beach and the gentle surf, to the myriad islands beyond and the vast sky. It is a scene of natural harmony that is not soon forgotten.
Ba Trai Dao (Three Peach Beach) in Lan Ha Bay is a pristine area for kayaking, with the number of visitors still low. Boasting many small, secluded beaches and romantic landscapes, the best way to visit the Three Peach Beach area is to book a 3 day 2 night cruise and request a stop here, where you can spend some time kayaking, as well as swimming and sunbathing on the beach.
Covered by the tides for most of the day, Ba Trai Dao Islet only reveals its beach for 2 – 3 hours at low tide. With beautiful white sand and crystal blue waters, on sunny days here the visibility is quite impressive. Ba Trai Dao Beach has shallow waters for some distance out from the curving strip of sand. Mountains on both sides shelter the beach and add to its stunning beauty, with abundant green vegetation and wild flowers.
Ba Hang floating village and the surrounding area is among the most popular kayaking spots in Halong Bay. Apart from the charming scenes in the village itself, the nearby cave system is great fun to explore by kayak, and offers iconic Halong Bay views. Kayaking service is available here from cruise operators as well as from local villagers.
Ba Hang Village is a popular spot for visitors to witness the lifestyle of local residents on the bay. Around 50 families live here, and Ba Hang has been home to generations of these families. Children learn to swim early and spend the bulk of their time on the water. Rising and falling with the tides and sheltered by towering limestone, the village is a true water world.
Cua Van floating village, situated in a calm bay ringed by mountains, is a tranquil retreat for those seeking an authentic local experience. The largest floating village in the area, Cua Van has some 700 residents, mostly making their living from the sea. Some families here have risen to a status of relative wealth, with a few houses boasting tiled roofs and surprisingly well furnished interiors.
To explore Vung Vieng floating village, you can easily arrange to hire a kayak from your cruise boat, if you prefer more freedom than the rowing boat tour offers. Paddling the calm waters among the colourful floating houses, you will catch domestic scenes of women preparing meals, children playing noisily on the floating walkways, and men readying their boats for overnight fishing trips. These images of daily life here in the amazing setting of Halong Bay make special memories for your trip.
At a quiet location, Vung Vieng floating village is ideal for exploring the local lifestyle. Scenes of fishing boats with nets hung out to dry and the laughter of local families give Vung Vieng an idyllic and traditional character. You may either tour the village on a rowing boat with a local, or rent a kayak and make your own way through the community.
The first of Dau Go Cave's three chambers features formations of remarkable colours. The middle and rear chambers are full of carefully lit stalactites. According to local stories, during Vietnam's historic 13th century battle against Mongol invaders, this cave is where wooden stakes were hidden which were later driven into the river bed to trap enemy vessels – the name “Dau Go” means wooden stakes.
Me Cung Cave on Lom Bo Island has numerous chambers linked by small passageways, some just large enough for one person to pass through at a time. Also a notable archaeological site, scientific explorations in Me Cung Cave have yielded artefacts leading experts to believe that the cave was inhabited some 7,000 to 10,000 years ago by a Stone Age culture using the bay as a food source.
Thien Canh Son Cave is a vast cavern consisting of three main chambers. The access path, hidden under forest canopy, brings you inside the cave to view a wide variety of rock formations, variously said to resemble a lotus, a baby elephant, seals and flowers. Inside this dream chamber, stalactites look like scores of gnomes, apparently conducting a meeting, and the walls sparkle when exposed to light.
Situated in Hon Co Island, Thien Canh Son is a newly popular site boasting a cave plus a pristine beach where guests can enjoy clear water and a quiet ambience comparable to a private beach.
Among Halong Bay's less well known treasures is Tien Ong Cave, its many timeless stalactites and stalagmites located amidst the pristine landscapes of Cai Tai Island. The mouth of the cave, 50m wide and 10m high, leads to a massive underground dome of some 1,000 square meters. Here, archaeologists have discovered artefacts indicating that the cave was inhabited around 8,000-10,000 years ago.
Considered the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay, Thien Cung Cave's vast interior is some 3,000 square meters, including several levels and impressively high ceilings. The stalactites and stalagmites in Thien Cung Cave come in many forms, and visitors enjoy learning the local stories about them, including the legend of the Dragon Prince falling in love the Lady of the Clouds.
Halong Bay's largest and most famous cave, Sung Sot Cave consists of two major chambers. The first features numerous stalactites hanging from the ceiling. From here a narrow passageway leads to the massive second chamber, where natural light brightens the surfaces of a space roomy enough to hold thousands of people. Sung Sot Cave's 10,000 square meters of space are threaded by a 500-meter paved passageway.
Ride bike about 6km through verdant forests to visit Viet Hai Village. The path to this remote fishing village is paved and suitable for casual cyclists, and along the way you can enjoy the pristine ancient forests which cover most of Cat Ba. In Viet Hai you will experience the true lifestyle of rural Vietnam.
Hidden in a valley among the jungle clad mountains of Cat Ba National Park is Viet Hai Village. This small village in a remote corner of Cat Ba Island is rarely visited by Vietnamese tourists, but increasing numbers of foreign tourists are finding it a fascinating place to explore. Not that many years ago, Viet Hai remained cut off from the rest of the island, only accessible by rough tracks through the forest, and local people lived self-sufficiently off the land. With its scenic setting and traditional culture, Viet Hai makes a great excursion from a Halong Bay cruise.