Quang Ninh is currently best known for Halong Bay – one of the 7 natural wonders of the world since 2012. This place annually welcomes huge number of tourists. However, this northern province of Vietnam also has its own untouched beauty where visitors can spend one or two days finding their peace alongside nature.
Idle in Co To Island
One of the most charming and romantic island of Vietnam, Co To impresses visitors with crystal blue sea, white smooth sand, and golden sunshine. Don’t miss the chance to begin your day with the first sight of a sunlight coming out of the sea. You might want to spend your day lazing on the sand or strolling along the empty coast to fully feel the pristine beauty of the island. Feel free to immerse into the clean water while watching flocks of seagull flying above. Sitting on Cau My cliff where layers of rock in unfamiliar colors and shapes testifies to the creativity of nature and enjoy the sea breeze while the waves continuously lapping beneath your feet. Here you can definitely find your peace among nature.
Another place for tourists to have a wander is Choi primitive forests. One can enjoy the cool fresh atmosphere. On the two side of the path various types of hundred year old trees house thousands rare birds. Pretty Choi blossoms, which usually bloom on April, enhance the exotic beauty of the island. If you want to see a paranormal scene of the island, go and find the Co To lighthouse. As the symbol of the island, the lighthouse offers a great view of the Northern Gulf with unique formation of small islets, glistening emerald sea, majestic mountains and golden rice-fields from a far. Should you be sharp-eyed, you may see villagers rowing out to the sea.
Remember to visit Hong Van beachfront to watch the appealing sunset. This beach has been claimed as the best place for romantic souls to say goodbye to the sun as it usually turns into a charming violet. A magnificent scenery for vague thoughts.
Speaking of cuisines, the island offers various types of fresh ingredients, especially seafood. You can join with the villagers go catching some fishes or squids. BBQ on the beach for dinner is rather an excellent idea. You can enjoy incredibly tasty food right beside the gentle waves under the moonlight. Simmering light from lanterns, candles and burning charcoal make the ambience even more fanciful.
There are two common ways to reach the island: by high-speed train and by wooden ship. The high-speed train departs at 01:00 pm everyday, lasts for about 90 minutes, and costs 135,000 VND for a person. The wooden ship departs daily at 06:30 am from the harbor to the island and 01:00 pm from the island back. Wooden ship only starts when there are enough tourists for a turn and it takes 3 hours to reach the island. Besides, it is necessary to notice that foreigners need to register with the police since the island is a border district. The registry is usually caused by the tour operators make visitors. Last but not least, don’t forget to check the weather forecast before traveling to the island.
Stretch your legs for enchanting Binh Lieu
While you can lie all day long resting on a Co To’s beach, Binh Lieu is a place you need to walk quite a lot, but not necessarily rush, to explore its beauties. This faraway district of Quang Ninh is rather unknown to many people, even to Vietnamese. In fact, it is the northernmost mountainous districts, 108 km from Halong City and approximately 270 km from Hanoi.
With mountainous terrain in shape of “spines of dinosaurs”, Binh Lieu is an ideal place for trekking. Travellers will be overwhelmed by the landscape captured from the top of the “spines”. In front of the extraordinary scenery of endless surrounding mountains, one might feel humble compared to the greatness of nature. Little villages nestled on the mountainside, smoke rising from wood stoves, groups of ethnic people carrying firewood on their back slowly ambling on the mountainside followed by leisurely herds of buffalos, all contribute to a peaceful atmosphere that seemingly disappeared in a modern society. Thank to cool weather all round the year, tourists may not need to concern too much about the travel time. However, each season in Binh Liêu has its own beauty. Spring is the season of Tung flowers to bloom spreading its pure white throughout the forest. In additions, it is also the time for traditional festivals such as Luc Na Dinh Festival, a festival of Tay people with various traditional games, or Soong Co, a singing festival for lovers. On the other hand, summer and autumn is appropriate to visit the waterfall like Khe Van, or Dau Song. On the winter, Binh Lieu impresses visitors by its golden rice terraces, as long as the the local celebration of the new harvest.