Bai Tu Long Bay: Holiday Far From The Crowd Part 1

By Lang Thang.

Bai Tu Long Bay is located to the North-East of Halong Bay, Vietnam. Bai Tu Long is not as sublime as Halong Bay, it is not visited by most foreign visitors to the country. While Halong Bay is busy with tourist activities, Bai Tu Long Bay teems with activities of local fishing communities. There are tens of deserted beaches in Bai Tu Long that could get you relaxing beach holidays, if luxury amenities are not important to you. For those that look for great photos, there are plenty of opportunities for you in Bai Tu Long which offers both local life in the ethereal natural backdrop...

 I traveled to Bai Tu Long Bay on a torrential rainy day from Hon Gai Town. Jumping out of the taxi into the ticket booth, I bumped into the smiling face of a lady behind the counter.

"Where to?", asked she.

"What is the last stop?", replied I.

"Quan Lan Island", answered she.

"I'll go to Quan Lan Island, then".

I shoved the money to her, got the ticket and jumped onboard; the boat started leaving the pier into the thick fog for Bai Tu Long Bay.

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamThere were fishing villages nestled in the leeward side of the islands. All looked dark in the rain.

 

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamThere were passages in between islands that boat could navigate through.

 

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamIn the rain, Bai Tu Long looked like a great ancient painting.

 

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamWithout the islands, it'd be hard to know the right passage, given that the boat captain didn't use the compass while driving.

 

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamAfter 3 hours, the boat entered a strait which was home to Thang Loi Fishing Village.

 

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamFishing boats traveled about the village all the time. All the houses leaned
 against the mountains and faced the water.

 

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamA little girl was absorbed in reading a book while paddling the boat with her feet.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamAfter the strait, the boat came into the open sea again. Quan Lan Island was further away.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamThe boats arrived at Quan Lan at 5 P.M and it took me 6 km further to Song Hao Beach, about half way through the island. It was quiet on the beach at twilight.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamI woke up at 0500 the next morning, made myself a hot coffee and watched the peaceful sunrise.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamThen, I got my bicycle and started exploring Quan Lan Island. The road passed rice fields sometimes.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamAfter 30 minutes cycling, I came to a scenic cove bounded by ranges of mountains.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamThere was a swamp area with mangrove trees.

 

Bai Tu Long Bay VietnamCycling further, I arrived at Minh Chau Beach, a stretch of white sand at the northern end of Quan Lan Island

To be continued...