Tuan Chau Island is one of the ancient Islands of Vietnam and has also served as a vacation home for the former President Ho Chi Minh. Tuan Chau is derived from the terms “Linh Tuan” which means a patrolman and “Tri Chau” which means a District Chief. It was a guard station in the ancient times which was largely underdeveloped and isolated till the late 1990s. Located in the northwest of Halong Bay, Tuan Chau is about 8kms from the Halong City. It is well connected with both roads and waterways which make it easier to reach.
Tuan Chau beach and island resorts are open throughout the year and there are no restrictions to the beach except for the period of July-August which may see sporadic spells of hurricanes, high tides, and storms and may spoil your vacations; though these storms don’t last for more than a week.
However, if to experience the best of Tuan Chau Island is on your mind, you should be aiming for a trip around September-November or in March. This is a dry spell with a comfortable temperature that makes it a pleasant time to enjoy the beaches as well as sightseeing along with all the activities which are on the offer.
Since budget traveling is a popular thing to do, and the best time for that would be between May and September. It is an offseason which means you save a lot of money on accommodation, cruise trips and the whole lot of things Tuan Chau has on offer.
All periods have something unique to offer. While the summers are great for water sports, the winters have plenty to offer at the Halong Bay including having a BBQ right at the natural caves. Be careful of the Neanderthals though!
Since Tuan Chau is well connected with roads and waterways, it isn’t difficult to reach there.
By Road: Once you have arrived in Hanoi, you can take a bus from either or Luong Yen or My Dinh bus stations. Good quality private buses are available in plenty and will take you to Halong City in about 4 hours. If you have a semi-large family travel, you can opt for a minivan which can accommodate around 10-15 people easily. However, if you wish to travel in privacy, there is always an option of taking a private car. Halong City has many cab and bike services available to take you to Tuan Chau center.
By Water: Halong City is connected to Tuan Chau port and there are regular ferries traveling from Halong and Cat Ba to Tuan Chau Island.
By Air: If you are comfortable traveling in a seaplane, there are flights available from Hanoi to Tuan Chau Island which are operated from a local airline named Hai Au Aviation. Seaplanes are very comfortable and safe so don’t expect Hollywood styled turbulences.
From being a typical isolated Island which was once a vacation home for politicians, Tuan Chau Island has come a long way in the past two decades. There are a plethora of leisurely activities on offer for all age groups and is now seen as a better alternative to the downtown Halong City.
Natural Reserve: Being an Island, Tuan Chau has a diverse natural ecosystem which boasts of natural hills which attract plenty of hiking, trekking and camping lovers from within as well as out of Vietnam.
Animal Planet: There is a whole new marine world a little away from the sea at the Tuan Chau Island. Once you reach there, you will be surprised to see sea lions, dolphins, seals and the dreaded crocodiles (inside a strong guarded space which they can’t breach, you can’t either). Apart from sea life, there is a circus which is open every day except Monday. No Monday Blues for the circus animals, never.
Beach Fest: Sand lovers are in for a treat at Tuan Chau Islands where they can expect soft sand and cool water at both the beaches which are on either side. No matter which side of the Island you are on, it doesn’t give you a stepped treatment. Soft sand for everyone.
Water Sports: We understand that not everyone likes to lie down in the sand till eternity, it does get a little monotonous after a while. For that, Tuan Chau Island has plenty of water sports available at the recreation park where you can get drenched to the hilt with motor racing, canoeing, parachuting, water skiing, water slides, etc.
Sight-Seeing: Tuan Chau Harbour offers cruise services for sightseeing at the breathtaking Halong Bay which is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Imagine going to Vietnam and not doing this. Sightseeing services are also available with canoes, boats, and choppers. There is everything for everyone there.