Quan Lan Island
Local resident has been separated inhabited for quite long time time. The island itself being own amazing sandy beach surround and jungle forest with diversify flora and fauna, unlike others nearby such as Ban Sen. Today, ports exist both at the northern and southern tips of the island. It is a less developed and less touristy alternative to the more popular Cat Ba Island.
There are two larger villages on the island with some scattered houses and guesthouses on the roads in between. Minh Chau village is in the north and has a strip of hotels, guesthouses and cabanas along the white sandy beach. Quan Lan village is in the center of the island with a street of guesthouses and restaurants. The Son Hau beach area has a few resorts near its white sandy beach. Minh Chau and Son Hao beaches have been listed to be some of the best destination in the Northern Vietnam.
Minh Chau beach is the beautiful long crescent-moon sweep on the northeastern coast. The water is clear blue and the waves are suitable for surfing. Watersports action includes kayaks and dives available, and there are lots of cheap restaurant for beer and seafood. However, most of Minh Chau’s beach front restaurants are only open from May to October, and that June and July are more expensive with the high season of Vietnamese people.
Son Hao beach has pristine beauty which exemplifies the unspoiled environment of the area. The white sandy beach, which spans three kilometers, has strong waves backed by the deep blue sea. This is one of the most beautiful beaches for tourists on Quan Lan Island. Visiting this area, the most common vehicle is “tuk- tuk”- motorbike, to visit many pogodas and temple in this splendid island.
After around 4 hours driving from Hanoi to Hon Gai port, Quang Ninh province, continue by speedy boat (almost 2 hours), Quan Lan island has been great to emerge in the natural beauty.
The island is about 15 km and getting around on two wheels on your own is fairly easy. Motorbikes is the best choice and can be rented for 100,000 – 150,000 dong. Also, helmets are rarely provided. Petrol can be found at the corner stores at the intersection in Quan Lan.
Food can be more expensive than the mainland. The cheapest food is generally found in smaller family run guesthouses, it’s around 25,000 – 50,000 Vietnam dong for a noodle, rice noodle or congee (rice soup) dish. Seafood can be found for a wide range of 60,000 – 150,000 Vietnam dong. During the week food can be hard to come by and visitors should get used to variations of things made with instant ramen noodles. Staying at resorts and guesthouses out of town usually involves informing the staff of future meals and some heavy bargaining and negotiation for high prices.
Food in Minh Chau beach is more expensive and can get into the 100,000 – 200,000 Vietnam dong range. There is western, particularly French food available at Le Pont hotel.
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