Lan Ha Bay Travel Guide: Location, History, Weather & More

Lan Ha Bay (Vietnamese: Vịnh Lan Hạ), located next to Halong Bay and in the Gulf of Tonkin, is formed with around 300 karst islands and limestone sea rocks and can be found southeast from Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City. As a geological extension of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is equally as beautiful although it is less visited, less inhabited and therefore has the extra appeal of being a more peaceful place.

Lan Ha Bay Weather

Lan Ha Bay or Halong Bay: Which is Better?

If you prefer to see the essential scenes and sights, and prefer your itinerary to be packed with activities, take a trip to Halong Bay. If you want to just sit back and relax in the heart of natural tranquility, make sure you head to Lan Ha Bay instead.

Adjacent to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is regarded as the “forgotten haven”, a rough gem with hidden beauty and an ideal alternative for Halong Bay. Depending on your travel style and plan, you can find out which one suits you better. Let take a look our Lan Ha Bay Guide to get your plan ready!

Lan Ha Bay or Halong Bay

Useful Information of the Lan Ha Bay:

  • Lan Ha Bay is over 400 square kilometers in size, making it smaller than its more famous neighbor, Halong Bay.
  • Lan Ha Bay is known for its stunning natural beauty, with its towering cliffs, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
  • Lan Ha Bay is home to a unique ecosystem, including hundreds of species of flora and fauna, and several species of endangered marine life.
  • Compared to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay is less crowded, making it a great option for those seeking a more peaceful and serene experience.
  • Lan Ha Bay is a great destination for kayaking and biking, with several scenic routes and trails to explore.
  • There are many eco-friendly accommodations available in Lan Ha Bay, including floating hotels and eco-resorts, which help to preserve the natural environment of the bay.

Lan Ha Bay things to do

What does Lan Ha Bay have to offer?

This isolated paradise is an ideal beach location, with hundreds of undisturbed white sand beaches. While the beaches are fairly small, they are surrounded by towering limestone karsts that give visitors lots of privacy. Whilst relaxing at these tiny beaches visitors may see many butterflies and birds enjoying the many flowers and trees that sit around the edges of the sand. Lan Ha Bay is also a great place to take part in water-based activities such as snorkeling, kayaking or scuba-diving!

One unexpected activity that is possible in Lan Ha Bay is rock climbing! Some cruise operators offer the option to climb some of the ancient limestone karsts that are dotted around the bay, giving visitors the chance to see Lan Ha Bay from a very different perspective. Though it can be physically challenging, it is also extremely satisfying to climb your way to the top.

Many visitors use Lan Ha Bay as a base for visiting the nearby fishing villages and floating villages that are an integral part of Halong culture. Viet Hai Fishing Village is one of Lan Ha Bay’s top attractions where locals invite tourists to come and witness their traditional way of living. Visitors may be surprised to see that people who live on floating villages have guard dogs and even restaurants and a kind of Town Hall.

  • Cat Ba Island - The largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, Cat Ba Island is one of the main features of Lan Ha Bay. It is a tourist hub for the Halong Bay area as many tourists who choose not to opt for a cruise use Cat Ba as their base to explore this bay area, and can also have a great time exploring Cat Ba’s jungle and caves and enjoying its beautiful sunsets.
  • Many Beaches - Beach lovers who never mind venturing a bit further to Lan Ha Bay will be rewarded with mesmerizing beaches. Most are calm and primitive, perfect for unwinding. Discover some of the best stretches of beaches in Lan Ha Bay like Ba Trai Dao, Van Boi, Cat Dua, Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3 Beaches will bring you a memorable experiences.
  • Monkey Island - Cat Dua Island, more famously known as Monkey Island, is famous for two things, firstly for its monkeys and secondly for its wonderful view of the bay. Monkey Island features on many cruise itineraries and can also be accessed by tour from Cat Ba Island. The peak of the island offers some of the best views of Lan Ha Bay and is reached by a short trek from the beach.
  • Cannon Fort - Overlooking Lan Ha Bay like a watchful parent, the Cannon Fort is the perfect place to get a stunning panoramic view of the bay. The Cannon Fort sits on top of a 177-meter-high hilltop and is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday. There is an entrance fee of around $2.00 USD for adults.
  • Luon Cave - One of Lan Ha Bay’s famous caves, Luon Cave can be found on Bo Hon Island. It has much to offer with its charming natural scenery and exploring it is one of Lan Ha’s greatest experiences. Exploration is done by kayak or a small boat and tourists can choose to kayak alone or to take a tour in a local boat. Inside Luon Cave the air is cool, the water calm and the atmosphere peaceful. Monkeys can often be seen running around the cave.

How to Get to Lan Ha Bay in Hai Phong?

To get to Lan Ha Bay there are a few easy options. Many choose to arrange a cruise with a Hanoi-based cruise company; these cruise packages usually provide a return transfer to and from Hanoi and full board overnight on a traditional junk ship.

If you are based in Hanoi you can reach Cat Ba Island by taking a direct bus or taxi from Hanoi to the island of Cat Hai, and once in Cat Hai you can take a 10 minute speedboat journey to Cat Ba. Once in Cat Ba you can take a boat from Beo harbour (Bến Bèo) which is about a good mile (2 kilometers) from Cat Ba town. By bus the total journey should take around 03 hours and should cost you around 350,000 VND.

Alternatively, if you are traveling directly from Hai Phong it is very easy and straightforward to book a speedboat or ferry from Hai Phong from Binh Port to Cat Ba Island. Speedboats cost around 190,000 VND and should take around 1 hour and ferries cost around 120,000 VND and take 2 hours. Ferry and boat tickets can be booked online or in person at Binh Port.

Weather and Best Time to Visit Lan Ha Bay:

Weather and Climate in Lan Ha Bay is always pleasant with temperature vary from 14°C to 32°C. So you can visit Lan Ha Bay at any time of the year and still have a great experience but the perfect time to visit Lan Ha Bay is between March and June or from October and November.

Lan Ha Bay Weather Forecast with Average Temperature by Month:

Months

High / Low(°C)

Rain

Rainfalls

January

20° / 14°

4 days

39mm

February

21° / 15°

4 days

21mm

March

22° / 17°

6 days

52mm

April

25° / 20°

7 days

67mm

May

31° / 24°

9 days

174mm

June

32° / 25°

8 days

186mm

July

31° / 24°

10 days

247mm

August

31° / 25°

12 days

315mm

September

30° / 24°

11 days

234mm

October

28° / 21°

5 days

69mm

November

24° / 17°

4 days

45mm

December

22° / 15°

3 days

27mm

 

From March to June the weather is mostly sunny, and it doesn’t get as blisteringly hot nor does it rain as much as it does during summer. Having good weather like this will give you great conditions to enjoy the many activities on offer. Although you should keep in mind that this time is also peak season for domestic tourists. After June, the weather becomes a lot more volatile and typhoons and tropical storms become more likely.

Recommended Tours:

Adventure Journey

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Lan Ha Bay Travel Guide: Location, History, Weather & More Lan Ha Bay Travel Guide: Location, History, Weather & More
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