Halong Bay Island
Quan Lan Island
Quan Lan Island belongs to Bai Tu Long Bay; part of an island range on the outside of the gulf of Tonkin. It has an area of 11 sq. km, and features eight populated hamlets. Quan Lan Island stretch toward East - West from the foot of Van Don Range to the Got Mount with many high mountains to the east barring waves and winds, protect the villages. The island is situated on an important navigation route that connects China, Japan, Thailand and Philippines to Vietnam. Along two sides of the island are tens kilometres of sand beaches. This is the endless resource for glass making which the sea gives to man and it is also the extremely interesting tourism
Since the 11th century, Quan Lan had been one of the centres of the ancient commercial port of Van Don, which was animated and prosperous at the time. Today, there are still many vestiges linked to the ancient commercial port. This also explains why the island, lying deep in the sea, has the large pagodas and archaeological sites seen today. On the island there is the Quan Lan Communal House built in the 18th century; exceedingly beautiful and almost entirely preserved. Next to it is Quan Lan Pagoda (Linh Quang Tự), which is dedicated to Buddha and God Liêu Hạnh. The pagoda also worships the statue of old Hậu, a local person who made lots of contributions to the construction of the pagoda. The statue features a gentle and cheerful old woman, which adds an original character to the pagoda. Beside Quan Lan Pagoda lies Nghè Quan Lan (Ðức Ông) Shrine, which is dedicated to Phạm Công Chính, a local people who participated in the historical Van Don battle against the Yuan invaders. He was later honored as a god. Quan Lan has many valuable sea products such as octopuses, butterfish, mackerel, holothurian, shrimp, and sái sùng.
Tuan Chau Island
On the south-west side of Halong City it is Tuan Chau Island, a schist island, very pretty, with a luxuriant forest. It has an area of 220 ha, and to the east and south are two beaches endowed with very white and fine sand. In 1962, Ho Chi Minh visited Halong Bay and made a stop here for vacation. Nowadays, Tuan Chau Island is one of the most attractive destinations in Halong City.
Tuan Chau is in an important position at the entrance of the waterway system of Thang Long, Bach Dang and Van Don and this is why it was formerly a military watch station. The Office of Feudal Customs was also installed there.
The island also has many archaeological sites pertaining to the ancient Halong culture from 3, 000 to 5, 000 years ago.
One can go to Tuan Chau Island via the 2-km cement road from the mainland. Investments have been poured into the island to turn it into a modern tourist resort. It includes such fascinating extras as the dolphin, sea lion, and seal-performing club, animal circus club, golf court, cultural-sports centre, beach, rural market, ornamental fish lake, villas in Hill 1 and Hill 2, guesthouses, five 80-room villas by the beach. The ensemble of five restaurants and one round house built in the pagoda motif can serve up to 500 guests at the same time.
Situated about 7-8 km south-east of Bai Chay lies the small Titov Island. It displays a beach shaped like a crescent moon, and sand that has been washed to a snowy white by the tide. On 22 November 1962, this tiny island had the honour of receiving a visit from astronaut Ghermann Titov, a hero of the former Soviet Union, accompanied by Ho Chi Minh. To perpetuate the remembrance of their visit, Uncle Hồ named the place Titov Island. It has now become an attractive beach for tourists and has various of tourist services
Thirty-five years afterwards, on 27 June 1997, Titov returned to the island having his name. Deeply moved, he wrote in the souvenir book of the Management Board of Halong Bay: "My deepest thanks to destiny, which has allowed me to come back to this tiny island.” It has become a beach attracting many visitors.
Ngoc Vung Island
Ngoc Vong, or Gem Island, is a pretty site sitting between the Nét Islet and Phuong Hoàng (Phoenix) Island, in the Vân Don District. From above, Ngoc Vong looks like a beautiful velvet handkerchief with exquisite white edgings; it seems to float on the water surface. On the east side of the island there is a kilometres-beach with pure white sand. At the centre is a luxuriant benjamin fig tree; it was under this tree that Ho Chí Minh stood and conversed with the population in 1962 during a visit. Formerly, under the feudal dynasties, this island zone contained a great quantity of rare and precious species of mother-of-pearls. At night, fluorescent pearls would light up the whole region. So there are several islands having name “Ngoc” such as Ngoc Vung (dazzling pearl), Minh Châu (Ngoc Châu)... During the war against the US, the island belonged to a front of outward islands that served as protection for the eastern waterways. It is also on the beach that many stone artefacts were discovered in 1937, opening a string of excavations and archaeological research aiming at providing some explanations of the mysteries of the ancient Ha Long culture.
Cong Tay Island
In the Ngoc Vung - Quan Lan islands itinerary, one will visit Cong Tây Island, which lies at the Bái Tu Long Bay, 40 km away from the Bai Cháy Tourist Wharf. From Cam Pha, express boats will take you 30 minutes or 90 minutes by common boats to reach Cong Tây Island. Cong Tây Island is considered the Cinderella in a legendary tale. The Cam Pha Coal Construction and Port Company built a resort in the island to attract holidaymakers. A system of villas and restaurants lies very close to the beach. Red brick-paved, coconut-lined roads lead from the villas to the beach. Hammocks are available here and there for tourists to relax and view the sea.
Cong Do Island
On the south-east side of Ha Long Bay, about 25 km from Bai Cháy Wharf, Cong Do is in Bái Tu Long Bay in the region which recognised as the World Heritage. It has an area of 23, 363 sq. m, and its mountain reaches a peak of 172 m. The island features many lagoons, which are the residence of numerous species of sea-life, such as shrimp, crab, fish, squid and aquatic plants. On the south-west side of the island, there is a wide coral reef displaying a myriad of colours. Coral reef ecosystem is more than 700 m long and 300 m wide. It is preserved almost undamaged. In the future, there are plans for the development of a zone for scuba-diving. On the south-east side of the island, vestiges of the ancient commercial port of Vân Don were discovered. This confirms beliefs that Cong Do Island once held an important position in terms of foreign trade.
Reu Island lies just 500 m from the tourist boats wharf. The Hoàng Gia International Joint Venture is implementing a project to turn the island into a resort complex with many kinds of services. At present, the island has a lot species of animals, including many rare ones. Reu Island is fast changing into an interesting holiday resort.
Dau Be Island
On the south-east side of Ha Long Bay, Dau Bê Island is 500 m from Hang Trai Island to the east, and 28 km from the Bai Cháy Tourist Wharf, in an archipelago comprised between the Tra Nguand Da Le islands outside Ha Long Bay (seaport of Lan Ha Bay). It has an area of 22, 863 sq. m, and its highest peak reaches 139 m. When speaking of the island, it is impossible not mention to Ba Hâm Lake, a famous spot which people had known long time ago.
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