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Rippling Co To

posted Nov 28, 2011, 6:48 PM by Dong Travel Ticketing   [ updated Nov 28, 2011, 6:54 PM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]

Cai Rong port in the early morning has gentle breezes.The sky is coming to life after a long night’s sleep.Boats are bobbing up and down,crowded with visitor.The boat is busy with eager travellers chatting and the sound of music from the radio.In the last 4 years,this port has continuously welcomed numerous groups of young visitors to distant island.

Starting from the Cai Rong Port in the morning,visitors sail for an hour and a half to Bai Tu Long Bay,an area surrounded by spectacular mountainous scenery.Morning dawn breaks on the tranquil sea.But the boat created small waves,and the boat owner asked all guest to sit down.Suddenly turns its direction into the space with view of sea and sky.Co To island is located in Van Don district,Quang Ninh province,about 3 hours by boat from Cai Rong Town.But boats don not travel on stormy days!

Cruising through the magnificent scenery and emerald water of Bai Tu Long Bay,Co To Island appears,bathed in brilliant sunshine and with blue skies and a white sandy beach.An important part of Bai Tu Long Bay,the island of Co To features unmatched natural beauty,untouched by human activity and far from the noise and dust of urban life.

I book a room in a local guest house owned by the district People’s Committee.Following my friends’advice.I choose a room on third floor to enjoy fresh air and a beautiful seaview.This local guest house is situated on a busy street of a residential area,next to markets and restaurant.People who want an escape from the noise can find it a small room at a motel at the ned of the island and shall have chance to meet hospitable islanders.

Co To island district comprises three main islands – Co To,Thanh Lan,and Tran along with three main beautiful beaches and other smaller unnamed ones.

From the Co To wharf you can easily see a 15km beach stretching to the end of the island.It’s commonly called Uncle Ho beach,and is a most popular among islanders.The beach is deserted and clean with white sands and blue water as clear as crytal.

Co To sea is beautiful both by day and by night,at sunrise and sunset.The attraction is not only the long,pristine beach near the residential area but also the green pine forest and a paved road along the shore,where locals love to walk at sunset.Co To islands has an abundance of seafood such as shrimps and cuttle fish at very chap price.You can bring a gas cooker and cook your own meal or hire a local cook.

The second beach is named Hong Van and is about 8 km from the town.Hong Van beach is regarded as the mos beautiful one,with fresh air and a sense of huge,open space.Little lanes pass through green fields and suddenly curve toward the beach.Thanh Lan island acts as a wind break,and helps keep Hong Van calm and peaceful.Hong Van beach is also commonly known as Hom Trinh Sat.

The final beach in the island is the small Van Chai,located at the end of the island.Passing through the small path of the island,tourists shall reach this beach.People say that it’s the ideal place for a beautiful view in the morning.If you choose to come to Co To during a full moon,you must visit Van Chai where you will be enchanted by the sparkling white sand beach under the moon light.The best way to explore is to hire a motorbike at VND80,000 a day.I ride through pine forests and rice fields in the harvest season,taking in the scent of mature rice and violet Sim flowers along the roadside.Winding trails lead to small beaches and eventually to the forest.From large Co To Island,you can hire  a boat to the surrounding islands where you can do a wide range of activities such as snorkeling and spear-fishing.

On the mountain 5km away from the town lies an imposing lighthouse.the highest point of the island.The pathway from of the island.The pathway from the foot to be light house is deserted and difficult to negotiate,with rough stones.From the balcony of the light house,you can see a pamorama of the spectacular green island of Co To,the farthest inhabited island from the mainland.Wildlie adventure lovers often camp here.At the weekend,you can also spend a day to explore this pristine tiny island in a trip organized by young islanders.Thanh Lan island is nearer and is surrounded with white sandy beach.On the island,oranges are a speciality harvest.During harvest time,the island turns a splendid orange-yellow colur.

Over the past few years,Co To’s rustic beauty has attracted small groups of young tourists who are seeking adventure and do not care about hotels and organized tours.Visitors to the islands can’t help but become taken in by the fantastic,unspoilt beaches.The smooth white sand pf the beaches under shinning sunlight creates a peaceful,romantic setting for vistors.Take a walk on the romantic beaches,bathe in the blue water,go fishing and see coral reefes frm aboard a ship.On this island,you can also hike,bike and scuba dive in the deep blue waters.

Further information:

+From Hanoi,visitors can take a bus to Van Don at Luong Yen or My Dinh station every one hour from the morning to 5.30pm

+Or catch a later bus at Ha Long or Cam Pha station,then get on a Mong Cai bus near the Bai Chay bridge to reach the Cua Ong market.

+The boat departs at 7am everyday.

+Ther’s a trip at 1pm from the mainland to the island on Tuesday,Thursday,Saturday,and in the reserve direction on Monday,Wednesday,Friday and Sunday.

+A boat trip is VND70,000 oer passenger

The motel on the island is priced at VND150,000.Tourist should book a room in advance,organize a homestay or rent a tent on beach.

A motorbike for lease is  priced at VND80,000-100,000 per day

+In the morning,tourists can take a boat to Thanh Lan island,a small island close to Co To and explore Co To by trekking.