Lan Ha Bay is located in the east of Cat Ba Island, looking to the Cua Van fishing village, adjacent to Halong bay. Lan Ha bay is more than 7000 ha in area, of which 5400 ha is under management of Catba National Park. This is a very quiet bay in the shape of a crescent with approximately 400 large and small islands.
Lan Ha bay should have become famous if it is not close to another tourist destination Halong bay. It is indeed divided by administrative frontiers that Lan Ha is a separate part of Halong bay complex. One journalist, after a day visiting Lan Ha has compared the bay as a virgin girl whe hasn’t seen the man of her life, despite it’s breathing sceneries, there are quite a few tourist boats can be seen in Lan Ha. A peaceful sea area with small fishing villages is like separate from the rest of the world. There are hundreds of beach, beautiful and desolate as the “green straits” invites visitors to explore
Unlike Halong Bay, all islands in Lan Ha Bay are covered with trees and vegetation. The density of limestone is quite thick and is still wild, dividing the sea into small lagoons and lakes, many caves and places haven’t been explored. There are hundreds of mountains in different shapes and sizes depending on the imagination of visitors such as Shoe rock, Bat rock (looks like a bat), the caves in Lan Ha have many stalagmites and stone shoots like Ham Rong cave, Ca cave. Compared to Halong bay, Lan Ha bay has over 100 small beautiful sandy beaches, pristine water, the beaches stretch out between the rocks, quiet without big waves, ideal for travelers.
To be able to feel the full beauty of the limestone islands and spectacular scenery of the romantic Lan Ha Bay, many travelers choose kayaking facilities, explore which tourists vessels cannot bring. Over the small islands, the kayak can take visitors to the foot of the mountain close to the rocks, watching countless scenes of vivid underwater world of green sea. In the vast sea of blue sky appearing red and yellow colors. Some visitors see the bay as a silk band, other see it like a young girl, what ever it is like Lan Ha always has a feminine beauty, even the name of the bay sounds very soft and gentle
Under clear blue water are colorful coral reefs such as Van Boi, Van Ha. The calm waters in the islands like Sen, Cu, Monkey island is where visitors can go snorkeling and diving. Going on small boats, travelers can dodge between mountain gorges into lakes and lagoons, visiting hidden caves and grottoes, relax on the beaches in the middle of the ocean. Cat Dua beach, also called Monkey island raises many monkeys for scientific research, there are pearl farms on the sea, which draw a lot of attention from visitors. In Lan Ha bay there is Rua Giong island, with 2 open fronts with long stretching beach coupled with wild bushes of pineapple which are many years old, the island is surrounded by mountains forming a closed area, the tide withdraws in the morning reveals holothurians, a specialty of this area.
Lan Ha bay is quiet with fishing villages living in peace. Appearing behind the groups of island are floating fish cages breeding local specialties such as sentinels, crabs, prawns…Many fish cages in the bay supply seafood, shrimps, fishes to visitors’ requirements. The bay’s ecotourism in the past few years were invested by Hai Phong city, it takes only 5 minutes from Beo wharf to Cat Dua island with many travel services, attracting a great deal of foreign visitors.
Visiting Lan Ha Bay travelers should take a trek through Cat Ba national park which is home to many precious animals, of which are white langurs and Kim Giao forest. Over the Ngu Lam peak, at the end of the journey is Viet Hai fishing village, the most natural and wild village in Catba archipelago, this is where visitors can discover interesting features of a fishing village in the Tonkin gulf.
A trip to Lan Ha bay can be combined with tours to Halong bay and Catba island in 3 or 4 days, some travel companies offer package tours including 1 night on board cruiser and 1 night at hotel in Catba island, travelers will spend the whole 2nd day kayaking in Lan Ha area, another way is travel by high speed boat from Hai Phong sea port city to Catba, visit Lan Ha bay and return to Hanoi via Halong bay.
With it’s potential, Lan Ha bay is developing forms of tourism, ecosystem services in the forests and islands in order to serve domestic and international tourists.