We've just left Quan Lan island and decided to write a trip report about it since we didn't see any other on our way there, and thought it might help some other travelers. This is a gorgeous island with very friendly people and next to no tourists. It seems that between zero and four tourists rotate through the island each day, so you're pretty off the beaten path here. Despite that, it's very easy to get to. We heard about it during our Halong Bay cruise - and simply left the group when they headed back to Hanoi by bus at tours' end. got a ferry there for 130,000 dong at 1:30 p.m. from Halong Bay (it's at a different ferry terminal - the name escapes us now, but ask around for it - on the other side of the suspension bridge as the big mess of Halong Bay junk boats.) The ferry was one of the high points of our month in Vietnam - you'll share the trip with an assortment of nice locals (all were very friendly to us) and getting a fantastic cruise of Baitulong Bay, which is just as gorgeous as Halong Bay in a nice little boat that chugs along at a pleasantly slow speed. You may even get to ride on the roof if there isn't much cargo there. It took about four hours to get to the island. The tuk tuk rate from the ferry landing to the town center (which is about 10 minutes or a few kilmeters) should be about 10,000 dong - definitely work this out ahead of time (as with all goods and services here) to avoid any misunderstandings. The first accomodations available are just north of the ferry landing - ATI Resorts. We checked these out but found them too rustic and isolated for our taste. Quan Lan town is a 5 minute tuk tuk ride up the road, where you'll find a cluster of little family owned guest houses / hotels. We were advised to try XXXX and found it entirely satisfactory. There are 3 other "resorts" on the Island - these are considerably more expensive, in the 20-60 dollar range, but have more scenic locations. Our advice would be to stay in town where you'll have restaurant choices etc. The magic of the Island can be experienced on bicycle or moto. We broke our "no moto rule" (we have a baby) and were glad we did - it's really the way to get the most out of your stay on Quan Lan. Price was roughly 125,000 / day. There are 3 terrific white sand beaches and many other little lagoons and bays for swimming. The largest bay has interesting historical significance as it was the site of a giant naval battal in the 13th Century where the Vietnamese repeled a Mongol invasion and sunk 400 ships - apparantly much antiquity is still found from these boats. (don't quote me on any of this, I heard it from a partial English speaker on the Island.) Because there are so few tourists the town seems to have a kind of dual pricing system - roughly double for tourists. Don't worry - it's still extremely cheap. But be advised you should ask about the cost as you go - most menus don't have prices.
#1 yaelzephyr has been a member since 29/5/2010. Posts: 2
Great report thanks, I did one of the three day tours to Halong Bay and although the Bay is beautiful and the tour was okay... it was just so organised I felt like a sheep.
This looks like an option when we go back.
#3 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221