Cong Do Island
On the south-east side of Ha Long Bay, about 25 km from Bai Chay Wharf, Cong Do is in Bai 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 Van Don were discovered. This confirms beliefs that Cong Do Island once held an important position in terms of foreign trade.
Dau Be Island
On the south-east side of Ha Long Bay, Dau Be Island is 500 m from Hang Trai Island to the east, and 28 km from the Bai Chay Tourist Wharf, in an archipelago comprised between the Tra Ngu and 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 Ham Lake, a famous spot which people had known long time ago.
Ngoc Vung, or Gem Island, is a pretty site sitting between the Net Islet and Phượng Hoàng (Phoenix) Island, in the Van Don District. From above, Ngoc Vung 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 Hồ 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 “Ngọc” such as Ngoc Vung (dazzling pearl), Minh Châu (Ngọc 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.
Mat Quy Island
Boating past the Am Islet some 20 minutes, we see Mat Quy Islet or Monster Head Islet, which protrudes about 30-35 m from the waters of Bai Tu Long Bay.
Nature has carved the rock in the shape of a monster head, with a rough big nose standing out from a distorted face. From whatever angle, one still find it horrible.
Quan Lan Island
Quan Lan Island belongs to Bai Tu Long Bay; part of an island range on the outside of the gulf of Bac Bo. It has an area of 11 sq. km, and features eight populated hamlets. Quan Lạn Island stretch toward East – West from the foot of Vân Đồn Range to the Gót 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 Lạn had been one of the centres of the ancient commercial port of Vân Ðồn, 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 Lạn 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 Lạn Pagoda lies Nghè Quan Lạn (Ðức Ông) Shrine, which is dedicated to Phạm Công Chính, a local people who participated in the historical Vân Ðồn battle against the Yuan invaders. He was later honored as a god. Quan Lạn has many valuable sea products such as octopuses, butterfish, mackerel, holothurian, shrimp, and sai sung.
Situated about 7-8 km south-east of Bãi Cháy lies the small Ti Top 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 Ti Top, a hero of the former Soviet Union, accompanied by Hồ Chí Minh. To perpetuate the remembrance of their visit, Uncle Hồ named the place Ti Top Island. It has now become an attractive beach for tourists and has various of tourist services
Thirty-five years afterwards, on 27 June 1997, Ti Top returned to the island having his name. Deeply moved, he wrote in the souvenir book of the Management Board of Ha Long 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.
Ba Trai Dao Islet
This island consists of three small mountains with the height of 23 m, seen from afar, resemble three peaches.
The island connects to a legend of about the romantic love between a youngest fairy who was very pretty with a young and poor fisherman. Because of feeling in love with him, she stole three peaches from Heaven for him, that if he ate, would give him eternal life, allowing them to live together forever. The King of the Heavens discovered the robbery and turned the peaches into three stone islands. Chastised, the young fairy had to return.
Today, Ba Trai Dao is a famous tourist attraction with three nice fairy beaches, romantic landscape. It is 22 km from south north of Bai Chay Tourist Wharf.
Cho Da Islet
In the itinerary of Thien Cung – Dau Go – Ti Top, after visiting Thien Cung and Dau Go, one needs 10 minutes boating to the Cho Da Islet or Stone Dog Islet.
Some 8 m up the islet one can figure out a piece of stone in the shape of a dog sitting with its back to the sea, standing guard for the safety of seagoing boats for millions of years.
Tuan Chau Island
On the south-west side of Ha Long 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, President 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 center, 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.
In Tuan Chau, the octagonal house where President Ho Chi Minh rested when he visited Halong
ng now became his memorial site. Tuan Chau Island is expeditiously putting the finishing touches to its construction works so that they can be made available for the 2003 Halong Tourism Year.
Some 8 km away from the Bai Chay Tourist Wharf, Tuan Chau is a sandy artificial beach which stretches over 3 km.