Discover the magic beauty of Banh Sua island

Banh Sua island

Banh Sua island

Banh Sua island (Milk Cake) is an oasis within the area of The Vang islands of Bai Tu Long bay, Quang Ninh province, an ideal destination for exploration lovers.

Banh Sua island is also called Ong Tam Tu Hai island, it is not a famous place such as Co To or Quan Lan island, Banh Sua is very wild with an area less than 1 square km.

Looking from above, Banh Sua island is much smaller than surrounding islands so people take pictures often call it “little brother” in the great family of the hundreds of islands in Bai Tu Long Bay. The atmosphere is always quiet and peaceful.

To explore this beautiful island, visitors must wake up from 5 am to catch the boat to the island, because at that time the tide is at its lowest. Barefoot on soft sand, racing against high tides, it all promises a day of fun and excitement

Continue your journey, you take the boat to the Quan cave about 30 minutes from the island, this place was requisitioned as a military base during the American war. There are many beautiful stalactites and stone shoots of different shapes and sizes. When the sun becomes brilliant, stop the boat by the raft houses of fishermen on the bay. The customers can buy favourite and bring on Banh Sua island and ask local people to prepare lunch for you.

The little brother in the Bai Tu Long Bay family has an area less than 1 km2, so there is no long sandy beaches like on the other islands, but in return, the water is extremely blue. You can unleash in the cool water and behold the colorful coral.

In the afternoon, travelers can visit the pier area that connects with the oyster farms, go swimming and catch oysters with local people. The island has a high rocky mountain, an ideal place to admire the sunrise, beautiful sunsets and collect in sight of beautiful Bai Tu Long Bay.

At dawn, the sparkling of sun, enlightens the island in the distance the island would make you surprised. At sunset the blue Bai Tu Long bay appears in mild yellow sunshine, the burning red sun slowly sink into the sea behind the mountains makes everyone admiring.

Be immersed in the nature, learn about the life of fishermen on the island, trust that visitors will have an exciting experience. And somewhere on this lovely island, you will find the sweet moments as the name Milk Cake, to temporarily forget the worries of everyday life


Catching Sa Sung in Quan Lan island

Sa Sung or Sai Sung, a kind of sea worm lives in coastal areas of Van Don and Mong Cai in Quang Ninh province, Sa Sung in Quang Ninh is considered the best. Sa Sung also lives in the waters of Cam Ranh, Can Gio. In Hai Phong town Sa Sung is call Bong Thua, and in the south it is called “earth ginseng”.

Sa Sung worm

Sa Sung worm

The most famous place to enjoy Sa Sung is Quan Lan island, located in Bai Tu Long bay, just a few hour from the World heritage Halong bay. In summertime a lot of local tourists take their tours to Halong bay and Quan Lan island, enjoy fresh Sa Sung sold in the market in the early morning, fresh Sa Sung is very good for health. At around 5.00 o’clock in the morning hundreds of people are seen walking up and down on the beach, most of them are women, they all wear the same clothes, cover all the body except the eyes, they carry a showel and a basket and a bottle of water. Most men in Quan Lan go away on business or go fishing in the sea, only women and young girls go catching Sa Sung. This industry came to Quan Lan island long time ago.

Detecting where Sa Sung have been hidden under the sand was difficult, catching Sa Sung without killing them is even more difficult, unexperienced beginners often cut off the body of Sa Sung, it is hard to sell dead ones because the flesh is dirty, loosing the original sweetness.

Sa Sung has red skin, they look like the earth worms, there are tiny fibers on their body, however Sa Sung is bigger than earthworm and it’s bowel contains only sand. Sa Sung live in the holes deep in the sand.

Sa Sung appear the most in early days of every lunar month, one catches Sa Sung in the early morning when the sea tides have just gone out leaving behind a trail of Sa Sung after one night going out for food and copulation. No one knows how Sa Sung move as they have withdrawn into the sand before sunrise. Like digging for earthworms, just shovel the sand off Sa Sung will appear, food for Sa Sung is organic detritus, ephemera…A Sa Sung measures 5-15 cm in length

Like the earthworms, Sa Sung will terrify the weak minded people with its horrible looks, However the dishes from Sa Sung no one can refuse.

Dishes processed from Sa Sung are literally as expensive as gold, 1 kg of dry Sa Sung is worth a tael of gold, and very few people got to enjoy Sa Sung therefore Sa Sung is only used to make soup liquid for Pho (noodle) and Bun (vermicelli).

A very small amount of dry roasted Sa Sung put in a filter bag will make the liquid stronger flavour, Sa Sung is called the soul of Pho in the past time when there were no spices.

Sa Sung can be baked, served with salt, chili and lemon, Sa Sung can also be mixed with pepper and grilled, diners tend to have roasted Sa Sung with beer, like shredded dried squid, it is crunchy, soft and tough, tastes sweet and fatty very enjoyable.

Fresh Sa Sung can be used to make fried, baked and cooked dishes or make porridge. To process fresh Sa Sung, after washing throughly one adds ingredients to the dry roasting pan on the stove and pour to the basket, remove all those grains of sand clinging to it, Sa Sung is then ready to make delicious dishes. Sa Sung themselves have a natural sweetness the longer diners chew the sweeter it becomes.