We were looking for a nice island in the Halong Bay area that wasn’t so touristy and we found the perfect spot from our friend’s, Tom and Hollie. We’d met them in Sri Lanka and we’ve been keeping in touch so it was nice to go somewhere that they recommended.
The journey from Hanoi was a little bit confused with miscommunication and tourist taxis around Halong Bay but after we’d reached the small ferry port of Van Dong it was plain sailing. Pun intended.
The local scenery is just as spectacular as Halong Bay, with karst mountains popping up out of the sea everywhere you look.
We arrived on this tiny pier and found a guesthouse by wandering around until someone quoted us a crazy cheap price. 150,000 Dong a night suited us nicely and it was right next door to the only hotel on the websites. This was the view of the mangroves and out into the bay.
There are three beautiful beaches on the island, this one is the cleanest.
The island is 15km long and since the beach was the opposite end to the town with the hotels, we rented a motorbike. For the first few days we bopped up and down to the beach, very slowly.
We had a lot of fun in the process.
And it gave us the freedom to explore the island.
Here’s a friend we made in our favourite dinner spot in Quan Lan town. We met an Australian guy called Sean in here, he hung out with us for a week and came and stayed in the same hotel as us in Hanoi too, that was a nice time. It seemed to be popular with all the travellers mainly because they actually had food when you asked them for it. In fact we met lots of like minded people on this small island, it was nice to sit and have a few beers with them. To enjoy a little bit of our culture after so long observing other’s.
The very end of the island was a really nice view across to another island that’s a national park.
When the tide was low, the islanders when out to pick cockles.
We ate in this floating restaurant one morning!
There’s was a lot of road resurfacing going on, these antique steam rollers were everywhere,
and these guys provided the tar.
The best thing about the island was the light, the landscape seemed to completely change at least twice a day.