Lan Ha Bay is also called “Kayaking Paradise”. You can paddle go through an interesting cave known as Luon Cave, Dark & Bright Cave. Passing through the natural entrance, you will see a tranquil round lake, surrounded by luxuriant trees and different sized stone walls.
Lan Ha really is a very special place. No matter what you wish to do you will find somewhere to really make your holiday complete. Enjoy kayaking, swimming, diving, rock climbing, beach volleyball, football or any one of a number of activities. Make sure you include Lan Ha Bay in your travel itinerary.
Lan Ha Bay is located slightly to the south of its famous neighbour - Halong bay. It has about 400 of the karst formations standing proudly in the clear blue waters, offering tourists a different view from every angle. This part of the main bay is less touristic, less inhabited, cleaner, and just as beautiful as Halong Bay itself.
As a plus point, with no less than 139 beaches, it is really easy for you to find your own perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and even climbing up the cliff faces to jump into the water.
Lan Ha Bay weather geography is very typical of a tropical climate, with 2 main seasons dominating throughout the year.
From May to September the weather tends to be hot and humid with sporadic summer storms, and from October through until April it is mainly dry and cool
The best time to go to Lan Ha Bay is summer, the weather is always sunny, suitable for both bathing and boating on the bay. If you want to combine to travel Cat Ba can also go in the autumn of the North, but sometimes there are still storms and weather is not very sunny for the beach.
Normaly, transfer to Lan Ha bay means the transport take you to the Cat Ba island, then from there you join the tour to explore the Lan Ha bay. And after the Highway Hanoi Hai Phong and Tan Vu - Lach Huyen bridge go into operation, it is very convenient to get Cat Ba Island / Lan Ha bay not just from Hanoi but also Sapa and Ninh Binh.
From Hanoi to Lan Ha bay
Most economical and convenient way is go with daily bus that depart from Old quarter 3 times /day, Old quarter hotel pick up and drop off around hotel in Cat Ba island. You have two choices are: Cat Ba daily bus at $10 (bus - ferry - bus) or Cat Ba express at $15 (bus - speed boat - bus).
Otherwise, private car transfer will be a good choice once you want more private space (around $80 for 4-seat car) or it would be pretty cheap once you travel with a group.
Form Ninh Binh to Lan Ha bay / Cat Ba island
It is about 5 hours of transfer from Ninh Binh (Tam Coc) to Cat Ba. A21 Tours offer traveler 02 option of the bus from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba island:
From Sapa to Lan Ha bay / Cat Ba island
Sapa Cat Ba Bus is the best choice for not only budget travelers when traveling between Sapa and Cat Ba islands by going directly instead of transit in Hanoi. It takes about 11 hours of transfer from Sapa to Hanoi by sleeping bus that depart daily at 8 Am and 8 PM from Sapa bus station to Cat Ba island and cost $25 (including ferry) - see more there: https://a21tours.com/ticket/sapa-cat-ba-island-bus/
Only accessible by kayak or rowboat, Dark & Bright Cave is one of the least visited yet most intriguing of all the Lan Ha Bay caves. The partially concealed entrance is sheathed in orchids and fig trees, which, once you pass through, opens up to reveal a 100-meter long tunnel- the 'dark' segment of the Dark & Bright Cave.
Just 22 km away from Bai Chay Wharf, Ba Trai Dao island is located in Lan Ha Bay (a far less popular area of the Halong Bay region). The name "Three Peaches” Beach comes from the three limestone karsts has the peach-like appearance. The island’s beach is a sheltered shoreline, perfect for swimming, kayaking, or just taking in the scenery. It is quite heavily affected by the tides (at high tide the beach will disappear), but for several hours of the day, it is the perfect spot to hop off the cruise boat for a couple of hours and soak up the island vibe.
Nestled in the valley, bordered by bright green rice paddies guarded by buffalo, Viet Hai was absolutely separated with the outside world until recently. Today, Viet Hai boasts a handful of activities to cater to the tourists who come to visit, which serve to entertain as well as educate about local life- things such as traditional rice wine cooking and farm animal care.
Located in Lan Ha bay, the “monkey island” is home for more than 20 monkeys. They often go down to the beach to play with tourists, eat the food provided by customers such as bananas, apples, tangerines, ect. On this island, visitors can enjoy the wild beauty of the beach; swimming, kayaking in the crystal clear water; or decide to explore the island’s mountain to see the panorama view of Lan Ha Bay with hundreds of small islands rising up over the clear blue water and clear white sand.
Known for its steep, rocky cliff faces and smooth waters below, Luon Cave displays many of the wonderful natural assets that Lan Ha’s ecosystem is known for. Upon passing through Luon Cave you will arrive at a hidden lake, surrounded by a steep enclosure of limestone mountains. The brackish lake is great to kayak around, thanks to its smooth, emerald waters. The craggy cliffs, flowering orchids and ancient trees of Bo Hon Island make the surrounding landscape quite spectacular, but what really sets this island apart is its population of golden monkeys that can be seen swinging up and down the sides of the cliff.
Lan Ha bay day cruise - from $21 / person
Azela Lan Ha bay crusie 2 days - from $110 / person
Kayaking in Lan Ha bay
best way to enjoy viewing the spectacular caves is to roll your kayak through it. This activity would bring you the most unforgettable experience while you’re in Lan Ha bay.
Snorkel diving in Lan Ha Bay
Soak into the waters and enjoy the cool refreshing sense that Lan Ha Bay provided.
You could try to cast fishing-net to be the real fisherman, this is a fun experience with a group of friends
Cat Ba island biking
The town’s roads at Viet Hai’s village are narrow concrete paths that meander through the straw huts, and act as a solid path for those who might be inclined to tour around by bicycle. This is a pleasant way to enjoy the geen tree, sunlight and the wind on this island.