Lan Ha Bay Itinerary for Adventure and Relaxation [2023 Updated]
Lan Ha Bay Overview
Located in the south of Ha Long Bay and east of Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay has become a popular tourist destination recently.
Is Visiting Lan Ha Bay Worth It?
Lan Ha Bay
Yes. This hidden gem is absolutely worth visiting! Lan Ha Bay boasts a sense of serenity that is unparalleled. So, there are many things to see in Lan Ha Bay.
Covering over 7,000 ha, with a significant portion managed by Cat Ba National Park, it features around 400 islands (small and large), all adorned with lush greenery.
What truly sets this place apart is its rich and diverse marine life. The crystal-clear waters teem with hundreds of marine creatures. You may even be lucky to spot seals and three different dolphin species.
What Is The Best Month To Visit Lan Ha Bay?
The best months to visit this stunning destination is in summer, ideally from April to July. During these months, the weather is delightful, with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 28°C.
Moreover, from April to July, the proximity to the sea ensures a comfortable and pleasant atmosphere, and you won't have to endure sweltering heat.
Lan Ha Bay In Summer
How Long Should You Spend In Lan Ha Bay?
Spending 2 to 3 days in Lan Ha Bay is a great idea. It's a beautiful place with many islands and cool things to see. If you stay for a few days, you'll have time to really explore and relax.
You can visit hidden spots, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and do fun activities like kayaking, swimming, hiking, and even visiting local fishing villages. Sounds awesome, right?
What To Do In Lan Ha Bay?
There are plenty of things to do in Lan Ha Bay, from exploring to relaxing on the beaches, and it's all easy to enjoy. Here are some examples:
Sea kayaking: You can paddle in a small boat and explore the beautiful bay.
Swimming around beaches: You can swim in the clear water and relax on the sandy beaches.
Explore Cat Ba: You can hike, rent a scooter to see the area, and try local food.
Visit fishing villages: You can see how people live on the water and learn about their way of life.
Chase sunsets: Enjoy the stunning colors of the sky as the sun goes down.
Snorkel about: Discover the underwater world by snorkeling and see colorful fish and coral.
Explore caves: Take a tour to see interesting caves in the bay.
Explore Lan Ha Bay’s Caves
The Closest Airports To Lan Ha Bay: Cat Bi & Van Don
Cat Bi is the closest airport to Lan Ha Bay (only 30 km away). It's the third-largest airport in Vietnam and has direct flights to and from Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Danang, Buon Me Thuot, Nha Trang, and Con Dao.
Van Don airport is about 52.3 kilometers away from Lan Ha Bay. Tourists from Ho Chi Minh City and Danang often pick this airport to start their journey to Lan Ha Bay.
Lan Ha Bay Itinerary
Depending on your time budget, you can choose a 1-day or 3-day-2-night itinerary in Lan Ha Bay. If you want to fully explore this place, choosing the 3-day-2-night option is ideal.
If you only have one day to visit Lan Ha Bay, here are two route options you should try:
Option 1: Ha Noi - Tuan Chau Marina - Viet Hai Village - Three Peaches Beach
07:00 AM: Your day begins in Hanoi. You'll embark on a journey to the beautiful Halong city, approximately 155 kilometers away.
The estimated travel time is around 2 hours. Afterward, head to Tuan Chau Marina to reach Lan Ha Bay by cruise.
09:30 AM: When arriving at Tuan Chau Marina, the adventure truly begins. From here, you'll cruise through Halong Bay, with its iconic limestone karsts and emerald waters.
The journey from Halong Bay to Lan Ha Bay is a highlight, as Lan Ha Bay is located off the coast of Hai Phong City, about 30 kilometers from the city center.
In Lan Ha Bay, you can explore to your heart's content. You can go snorkeling to observe the vibrant coral reefs, capture Instagram-worthy check-in photos, or take a kayak to explore hidden corners.
11:30 AM: Rest and enjoy your meal.
01:30 PM: After your morning exploration, your cruise takes you to the charming Viet Hai village. Here, you can experience the preserved culture and historical heritage.
You can ride electric cars through the village and get a glimpse of traditional Vietnamese houses, which have been preserved since the war with the US.
A unique and exciting feature of Viet Hai is the fish foot massage experience. You’ll find this both entertaining and soothing.
03:00 PM: It's time for a refreshing swim at the stunning Three Peaches beach! This beach is renowned as the most beautiful in Lan Ha Bay, with its clear, shimmering waters and a backdrop of towering limestone karsts.
You can also partake in entertaining water sports and enjoy a refreshing cocktail while taking in the marvelous scenery.
05:30 PM: Return to Tuan Chau Marina. You conclude the one-day exploration of Lan Ha Bay.
Option 2: Cat Ba - Ben Beo Marina - Cai Beo Village - Tai Keo Cave - Three Peaches Beach
Cai Beo Village
7:00 AM: Begin your journey by traveling from Cat Ba Town (Hai Phong) to Ben Beo. The distance is approximately 2 to 3 minutes by car.
8:00 AM: You can board the cruise to visit Cai Beo fishing village, the largest floating village in Vietnam to date.
Make a stop at the renowned Heritage House. There, you'll have the opportunity to see a fish called Lucky Fish, which is more than 14 years old and weighs 80 kg.
9:30 AM: Head to the marvelous Tai Keo limestone cave, one of the distinctive highlights of the Halong Bay region. If you enjoy kayaking, you can use a kayak to explore the cave.
11:30 AM: It's time to savor a delicious lunch on the cruise and take a break.
1:30 PM: Visit the Three Peaches beach for fun and swimming. You can also try various entertaining activities, including snorkeling, seafood tasting, and taking photos on the natural white sandy beaches that line the rocky islets.
16:30 PM: It's time for the Sunset Party, where you can enjoy the breathtaking sunset views over the stunning Lan Ha Bay (provided you've signed up for this experience).
17:30 PM: Return to Ben Beo, then head back to Cat Ba. You end the one-day exploration of Lan Ha Bay.
3 Days And 2 Nights
3 days and 2 nights is the most ideal time to explore this beautiful bay. Here are my itinerary suggestions to help you not have to think too much about what to do while traveling here:
Day 1: Ha Noi - Tuan Chau Marina - Three Peaches Beach
The Three Peaches Beach
7:00 AM: The day begins early with a departure from Hanoi. The journey takes approximately 2 hours. You'll travel through scenic northern Vietnamese landscapes heading towards Tuan Chau Marina.
9:30 AM: Around mid-morning, you’ll reach Tuan Chau Marina, the starting point for your Lan Ha Bay cruise. You'll prepare to set sail into the bay's stunning waters.
If you rent a hotel in Lan Ha Bay, this is the check-in time. Then, you'll head to one of the morning highlights: The Three Peaches beach.
The crystal-clear waters and pristine shores make it a perfect spot to relax, swim, or take in the serene surroundings.
11:30 AM: It's time to indulge in a delicious lunch served on board your cruise. You'll have a chance to recharge and rest after your morning explorations.
1:00 PM: You can participate in kayaking at the Three Peaches beach. To have a convenient location for boating, you should rent a boat to see the bay or buy a kayak tour.
Usually, boats will take you to calm areas close to shore to make rowing easier and to ensure safety.
3:00 PM: Your journey continues to Monkey Island, home to over 1,000 wild monkeys (belonging to 30 species).
Don't forget to conquer the island's peak for panoramic views of Lan Ha Bay. It's a perfect moment to capture unforgettable memories of this breathtaking natural wonder.
4:30 PM: The day at the Three Peaches beach concludes with the Sunset Party, where you can savor the breathtaking sunset views over the stunning Lan Ha Bay.
6:00 PM: Head back to your hotel/cruise for a well-deserved dinner. After dinner, you can participate in nearby night activities such as walking, stargazing, etc.
Day 2: Viet Hai - Ba Ham Lake - Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park
7:00 AM: The day begins with a hearty breakfast to fuel your adventure.
8:00 AM: Your journey commences as you head towards Viet Hai Village. Here, you can explore the area by bicycle. You'll pedal through village roads, lush rainforests, and mysterious tunnels.
As you cycle, you'll see the breathtaking landscapes of rice fields. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to stop and admire the rustic beauty of traditional houses constructed from straw, mud, and bamboo.
This is your chance to witness the everyday life of the local villagers, offering a glimpse into their routines and customs.
For those who prefer not to cycle, electric car services are available for a fee. So everyone can comfortably participate in this adventure.
11:30 AM: Take a break to rest and enjoy a delicious lunch.
1:30 PM: You can visit Ba Ham Lake. This extraordinary lake is in an enclosed area, surrounded by steep rocky cliffs on all sides. So, the experience here will differ from that at the Three Peaches beach.
Ba Ham Lake is also a habitat for unique wildlife, such as the Golden Langur monkeys, flying squirrels, parrots, and other endemic species found in Halong Bay. If you're lucky, you can see them and take photos/videos to save these moments.
3:00 PM: You can head to Cat Ba National Park, where you'll have multiple options for exploration. You can choose a short 2-hour trek or an adventure lasting 2-3 hours by foot, bike, motorbike, or car.
Whichever you choose, you can pass through Kim Giao forest and ascend to Ngu Lam Peak to enjoy a panoramic view of the national park.
6:00 PM: Return to your hotel/cruise ship for a well-deserved dinner and a restful evening.
Day 3: Dark And Light Cave In Halong Bay - Ha Noi
Dark And Light Cave
7:00 AM: Have breakfast.
7:30 AM: Go to the Dark and Light Cave and begin your last-day itinerary. These caves are known for their wild and mysterious beauty, nestled in the heart of this World Heritage Site.
To explore these caves, you need to paddle through narrow passages in small boats or kayaks.
11:00 AM: Your exploration of the caves concludes, and you'll go to your cruise/hotel for the check-out process and lunch.
1:00 PM: Following lunch, you'll begin your journey back to Hanoi. You conclude your 3-day-2-night Lan Ha Bay adventure.
The Best Lan Ha Bay Cruises
Lan Ha Bay has some fantastic cruises that offer memorable experiences for travelers. Let me introduce you to a few of the best ones!
Mon Cheri is a popular choice with two ships. These cruises combine European elegance with Vietnamese charm. What makes it stand out is the diverse food options, including vegetarian, kosher, and gluten-free meals.
Peony is a top 4-star cruise for travelers who want a peaceful yet engaging vacation. It has 42 roomy cabins with bathtubs and balconies.
You'll enjoy the beauty of Lan Ha Bay, including its karst mountains and caves. Just like Mon Cheri, Peony offers food catering to special dietary needs.
Stellar of The Seas
Stellar of The Seas
This cruise is perfect for a romantic getaway. It has 22 cabins with private balconies, adding a touch of luxury and intimacy to your trip. You can relax by the pool, enjoy a tai chi class, or go for a swim or kayak adventure.
Explore Lan Ha Bay With Asia Tour Advisor
Exploring Lan Ha Bay with Asia Tour Advisor offers a fantastic way to experience this beautiful region. With a guided Lan Ha Bay tour, you can visit secret spots you might miss.
You can explore Lan Ha Bay in our tours to explore northern Vietnam, such as:
When you go with us, you don't have to worry about all the details, including how and when to visit Lan Ha Bay.
We can offer various tours and help you plan a trip that fits your interests. You can focus on enjoying your vacation while we take care of the logistics.
So, let the experts guide you through the beauty of Lan Ha Bay!
Are Lan Ha Bay And Halong Bay The Same Things?
No. Lan Ha Bay is not the same as Halong Bay. While they share geological similarities, Halong Bay is larger and has more islands. Lan Ha Bay's islands are lush and wild in comparison.
Can You Swim In Lan Ha Bay?
Yes, you can swim in Lan Ha Bay. It's clear, calm waters are ideal for swimming, and many cruises and tours offer swimming stops at various locations.
What Animals Are In The Lan Ha Bay?
Lan Ha Bay is home to various marine life, including fish, seals, and three species of dolphins. You can also spot animals like Golden Langur monkeys, flying squirrels, and parrots in the surrounding areas, including Cat Ba National Park.
You can choose the Lan Ha Bay itinerary that suits your conditions, whether for a quick day trip or a more extended two-night adventure.
You can cruise through waters, check out secret caves, and chill on beaches. A trip here guarantees awesome memories of its beauty and peace.
In addition to Lan Ha Bay, you can explore many other famous tourist destinations in Vietnam as well as throughout Asia with Asia Tour Advisor!