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Lan Ha Bay is widely considered as one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Be it vacation or weekends, this is one spot you won’t regret visiting. 

Lan Ha Bay is known to be in the southern part of the most fascinated Halong Bay. It is also seen as being in the eastern part of Cat Ba Island.

While Lan Ha Bay is very similar to the famous Ha Long Bay, it is less crowded and less polluted. It’s also family and couples friendly as there are no crazy backpackers, loud music and beach parties.

Today we are going to reveal everything you need to know about Lan Ha Bay that make it a must-visit. 



Lan Ha Bay | Vietnam – A Comprehensive Travel Guide


How to reach Lan Ha Bay

For those who may have been to or heard of Halong bay, this is more like a sister bay. To get to Lan Ha Bay, visitors need to travel to Vietnam. If you’re in Vietnam already, then all you have to do is travel to Hanoi. Hanoi is about 134 kilometers away from Lan Ha Bay. 

There are various transportation options to consider if you are visiting Lan Ha Bay. The route options to consider are; Hanoi to Hai Phong by land transport at around 2-4 hours. 

Alternatively, visitors can take Hai Phong to Cat Ba island by speedboat, which is approximately 10 minutes. Another option is the Cat Ba island to Cat Ba town by bus that spans 40 minutes.

While the timing of getting to Lan Ha Bay might be different, visitors should also understand the timing of the departure, which is from Hanoi to Cat Ba by land transport, usually around 8:00 or 11:00 or 14:00, with a return to pick up time from Cat Ba to Hanoi standing around 9:00 or 12:30 or 16:00.

Similarly, a direct pickup from hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter and drop off at Cat Ba Island hotels take between 3 hours and 3.5 hours. The transport fare is around 14 dollars per person without returning to pick up.


How to get around 

The best way to move around the Bay, is either by foot or by bicycle. Visitors can easily rent bicycles from Viet Hai Village or some locals around. Using bicycles in places like Lan Ha Bay can be an exciting experience.  

Similarly, exploring on foot is not a bad option either; tourists can take cool pictures with their partners, families, or friends as they move around in Lan Ha Bay.


Best time to visit Lan Ha Bay

Travellers can visit Lan Ha Bay at any point in time, whether for vacation, holiday, or a special treat. However, to have a pleasant experience that lasts for years, if not for life, is better to go to Lan Ha Bay when the weather is cool and fresh. 

To illustrate better, many domestic tourists often travel to Lan Ha Bay from April to October and enjoy themselves. International visitors are always recommended to visit Lan Ha Bay from November to March. The purpose is to have adequate climatic conditions that support the thrills and zeal of going out there to have fun. 

If you have more time and decide to visit 

Regardless of the timing visitors may choose to visit, Lan Ha Bay is packed with exciting places and spots that will make you a lifetime  


Where to stay in Lan Ha Bay

Hostels – Catba Buffalo Hostel | Green Mountain Hostel | Central Backpackers Hostel – Catba

Mid Range Hotels – Cat Ba Ocean View Hotel | Hoang Phuc Hotel

Luxury Hotels – Blue Lagoon Cat Ba | Hôtel Perle d’Orient Cat Ba – MGallery | Cat Ba Eco Lodge Resort


Where to eat in Lan Ha Bay

There are various places where visitors can pitch their tents and eat delicious meals and famous specialties at Lan Ha Bay. For example, seafood such as lobster, sea crab, seaweed are offered on Era cruise, Azalea Cruise, Orchid Cruise, and Parad President Cruise, and La Regina Legend Cruise. 

Similarly, travellers can also have a good meal at Lan Ha Bay: Cat Ba, such as Fried crab with salt, sea sam grilled, baked lobster with egg sauce, poached lobster with wine, grilled shrimp, steamed shrimp, and many more.


Things to do in Lan Ha Bay

The main purpose of every visitor is to have a memorable experience. Hence visitors are always curious to know what to expect when they get to Lan Ha Bay. Knowing things to do can quickly give visitors a head start in their expedition preparation. This section is a carefully written list of things to do  in Lan Ha Bay to brighten your time on the Bay. 



There are many small sandy beaches on Lan Ha Bay. It is generally believed to be a perfect spot for kayaking. For kayak lovers, the water is typically clean and calm water and coupled with Cat Ba Island’s wild nature.

To know the exact spot in Lan Ha Bay to Kayak, visitors should be looking for places such as Cai Beo Floating Village, Van Boi Beach, or Monkey Island. This is also a place where tourists can observe the wild nature, enhancing their bay experiences.


Rock climbing 

This is a good option for those that love adventure. Getting in contact with the limestone through rocky climbing can be a delightful experience during Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island visitation. 

There are available guides and protection to utilize for all categories of rock climbers.

 Whether for a learner, negotiator, or Pro climbers, the guides are perfectly made to establish the rope and all protective equipment and follow the visitors’ routes to guarantee safety. Visitors relish the long-distance of moving from Lan Ha Bay to Vietnam through the most adventurous experience during their fantastic trip to Vietnam.


Visiting fishing village and floating market

Many people fancy fishing activities. Tourists can also use this opportunity of visiting Lan Ha Bay, to carry out some fishing exercises. There are many places in Lan Ha Bay where visitors can easily do some fishing. Some fishing spots around here are Viet Hai Fishing Village, Cai Beo Floating Village, etc. These fishing villages have a few locals living around that can quickly guide you.


Experiencing the Van Boi Beach

Van Boi is a nice place to create a loving memory, it is also an incredible place to relax with white sand, and clear water people can see to the bottom. The waves are relatively calm, which is good to dive into the coral and swim. 

Again, travellers can relax by bathing on the beach and watching the beauty of the coral. Here they are expected to feel impressed by this natural landscape and the surrounding cliffs. The beach seems to be escaped from modern life with noise and bustle. A very cool place to meditate.


Getting to Monkey Island

Lan Ha Bay’s experience cannot complete without looking at Monkey Island, otherwise known as Cat Dua Island. This place is well-known for two things: their significant number of monkeys present, and two, the place has a fantastic view of Lan Ha Bay.

Monkey Island features many cruise itineraries, and visitors can also get there through the tour from Cat Ba Island. The most elevated part of the island gives Lan Ha Bay’s best views and is reached by a short trek from the beach.


Nightlife in Lan Ha Bay

There are quite a lot of activities tourists can enjoy at night in Lan Ha Bay. One of which is enjoying an overnight cruise on Lan Ha Bay.

To enjoy this, visitors need only to book a Lan Ha bay package tour with a boat company and transfer included. A straight-up cruise from Hanoi to Lan Ha Bay is only around 2 hours by limousine van. 

Visitors can, however, take an overnight cruise through Perla Dawn Sails. This cruise offers visitors the chance of seeing Lan Ha Bay, the untouched area of Halong Bay:

There is also a unique cruise route in the crude Lan Ha Bay. Visitors can also recreate several recreations such as swimming, kayaking, bamboo boat ride, fishing village visit, cycling, cooking demonstration, Tai Chi.

Thing visitors enjoy interesting traditional Vietnamese cuisine served in unique styles, including set menu, barbeque, and buffet; and a special sparkling top- deck dinner.

For visitors that might want to dance and groove around, there is also a traditional musical performance to brighten up at night. 


Lan Ha Bay – Travel Itinerary 

Depending on the visitors’ purse, spending a day or two should at least be a minimum, while a week’s experience is long enough to experience the most of the fun around. 

For example, 3-days, 2-nights would allow the visitors to experience a cruise with an adequate fantastic amount of time to see the bay and what it offers.


FYI – Departures from Hanoi  include transport from Hanoi, one night on the boat, one night on an island in Lan Ha Bay, and return transport to Hanoi. 

With this, visitors would get to document their experience by taking nice shots and videos that would make them keep a long-lasting memory of their expedition at Lan Ha Bay.

While this may not be the usual Halong Bay, touring Lan Ha Bay is one voyage every tourist should consider and experience. A nice exploration to have ultimate fun, relate with locals and other tourists from around the world. Visitors also get to relax, expand their networks, and create lovely stories to remember in their lives.

Post a trip to Lan Ha Bay, near Hanoi, you should have Saigon on your Travel Bucket List as well. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, that will make you fall in love with the vibes. 

Once you are in Ho Chi Minh City, you can also do the border crossing, and head to Cambodia – Home to the famous Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. And this 7 Day Cambodia Travel Itinerary will prove to be an excellent travel guide for you.


Lan Ha Bay Travel Guide
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About The Author: Catalin Geangos is the founder of TravelTrained and a travel blogger who mainly focuses on travel experiences, nightlife, pub crawls and party experiences while travelling in Southeast Asia. He moved from Romania to the UK 6 years ago and since then he travelled in over 35 countries.


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