Quan Lan island, Vietnam travel tips

Quan Lan island travel tips

Quan Lan island – A cool place for travelling off the beaten path : Travel tips

Quan Lan island belong to Van Don Dist, Quang Ninh province in the Northern Eastern Vietnam. Just only 1 hours on a speed boat ride to reach the island. This is a rising destination for beach gateway with an array of activities from swimming, cycling, kayaking to fishing with locals. There are tons of desserted beaches and unexplored parts which is good for adventure travelers.

On the other hand, it’s also part of the well-known Bai Tu Long bay area. Check out this insider Quan Lan island travel tips written by a local guide with 10 years working experience and has been to Quan Lan island many times. 

Best Quan Lan island travel tips from local insider

Fill up your rental scooter with petro and checking it carefully before hiring

The high tourist season in Quan Lan island is from May to August when tons of local tourists going on their beach vacation. When it comes to off-season, lots of the scooters haven’t been used for long.

So my advice is to check the scooter carefully to make sure that everything works well. from break to tire. On the other hand, there is no offical fuel station.

If you are staying in the village called Dong Nam, there are street vendors offering petro, fill up your scooters before getting around. If you got flat tires, the only way you can do is to walk with your motorbikes to the nearest mechanic stores. Hiring a motorbike is $10 USD per day excludes fuel. It is pretty safe to get around by motorbike because there is amost a few vehicles on the island. 

Take enough VND to the island

There is no ATM machine on the island. so you had better bring enough cash (Vietnam Dong) – the local currency to the island. The estimated budget for your travel expense per day is $35 USD or 800.000VND  (if you stay in a guest house or a homestay). Remember that cash in king on this land. 

Suggested budget for traveling the island 

Motorbike rental : $10 USD per day without fuel

Motel/guest house/homestay : $20 USD to $25 USD per room per day off-season (September to April), the high season rate is 1.5 times to double the the price (weekend rate). . For hotel, the rate is from $30 USD to $45 USD per room per night. For mini resorts or bungalow is from $45 to $80 USD per room per night

Set menu lunch/dinner : $10 USD per person, min 4 guests, eating light like fried noodle, fried rice with some salads or French fries costs around $3 to $5 USD per meal

Bicycle for rent : $5 USD per day

Kayaking on Minh Chau island : $10 USD per double kayak per hour

Entrance fee to Son Hao beach : $1 USD per person

Cruising on a wooden boat from Cai Rong port to the Quan lan island

You’ll see magnificent sceneries of limestone islands in the Bai Tu Long bay are, some of the fishing villages as cruising on a wooden boat among locals rather than going on a speed boat. Take this advice if you haven’t got sea sick because during typhoon season from June to late August, the seawave is strong. 

Pratical information about traveling on a wooden boat to Quan lan island

Duration : 2 hours

Departs at Cai Rong port

Ticke fare : 80.000VND per person 

Schedule : 7.00am and 13.00pm from Van Don

Arrival at the main port of Quan Lan near Dong nam village. If you are staying in Minh Chau beach area, please double check if it arrive there or not. 

Avoid traveling during the high season and national holiday of Vietnam

You’d better not to go their during the national holidays of Vietnam (peak season)  30th of April, 1st of May, during Vietnamese independence day 2nd of Sept. There are tons of Vietnamese tourists which makes you may not enjoy your holiday, just for people watch

From May to late August is the high season for Vietnamese visitors, please not to go their during the weekends from Friday to Sunday to avoid big crowd. 

Please note that summer time is the best time for swimming on Quan Lan island, just to avoid the weekend trip. 

Enjoy the fresh seafood bought from the morning local fish market

If you are a real foodie and love eating seafood which is known as local specialities on the island. Wake up at 5.00am and walk to the only morning fish market and buy some fresh seafood and bring it back to your accommodation and ask them to cook it for you with extra fee. I would say it is a unique dinning experience makes your day. Don’t forget to order some beers to enjoy with. My advice is to make BBQ seafood lunch. 

Please check in advance with the staff at your accommodation if they are willing to cook for you. 

Don’t walk around Dong Nam village if not necessary

I did walk along Dong Nam village at night and I encountered my dogs barking and tried to scare me. It is dark at night because there is no light on the street. Also, the village is really quite at night off-season. So you may enjoy a cup of coffee in the nearby cafe rather than walking along the village. There’s actually nothing to do at night expect karaoke singing which is available in Paloma hotel, costs around $10 USD per hour. 

Bring snacks, bottled water and other swimming equipments when going to the beach

During the high season, getting things on a beach front store on the beach is more expensive than usally. When it comes to off-season, most of them are closed. For your convenience, you’d better to bring them all from your hotel. Please bare in mind, taking shower with fresh water should be in the hotel during off-season, wash your feet before entering the hotel after coming back from the beach in order not to bring sand to your hotel room.

You can get some snacks and drinks at the local convinience stores in Dong Nam village. Check the rate before buying to advoid being overcharged. 

Having enough time at least 3 days trip

It takes 3.5 hours for Hanoi to Cai Rong port and another hour for speed boat ride or 2 hours for a wooden boat ride to get to the island. Basically, you will spend 1 day for traveling. 2 days 1 night trip is rush, I have to go say. 3 days 2 nights is perfect timing to enjoy the island at its best. Having a relaxing trip with sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, cycling and more. 

Book a speed boat ticket with your hotel’s staff

What I like the most is to offer free pick up from the hotel to the main pier for taking a speed boat ride back to Van Don. All hassle-free. And you don’t have to wait for a long queue during the peak season. The rate is pretty much the same or just a bit higher than booking on your own. 

We hope these Quan Lan island travel tips above helps you someways to plan a trip to Quan Lan island cheaper, longer and better. 

Questions and answers about traveling Quan Lan island

When is the best time to visit Coto island?

If you don’t like mass tourism, Octorber and April is two best months for traveling the island because you can see sunshines and go swimming. Nov to Feb is cold during the winter time in the island

For those who like outdoor activities, then May to August is the best time to see the island. Avoid traveling at the weekend only

Is there any way to get from Quan Lan island to Coto island?

No, you can’t. Travel is no direct boat in between Quan Lan and Coto island. You need to go back to Cai Rong port and take another speed boat to other island.

What is the different between Coto and Quan Lan island?

It is pretty much the same in term of scenery. But Coto island is more developed than Quan Lan island. There are better quality of accommodation in Coto island. There are more unexplored area in Quan Lan island. 

Which is the closet airport?

Van Don airport is the closet one, only 10 kilometers from Cai Rong port. There are flights to Central and Sourthern Vietnam. 

How to travel from Halong Bay to Quan Lan island?

There are speed boat from a dock which is near Long Tien pagoda in Halong city. It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the island

How many beaches in the island and which is the best one?

There are 7 beaches in the island includes : Quan Lan beach (near Dong Nam village), Son Hao beach, Robinson beach, Minh Chau beach, Turle beach, Con Trui beach and Con Khoi beach. 

In my opinion, Robinson is the most beautiful beach because it is less visited by visitors

In there any place for currency exchange ?

Officially not. You can exchange your money in your hotel or resort at lower rate. 

Which are should I stay, beach or main town area?

In my opinion, the main town area is the best for more things to do : visit pagodas, temples, meet people, visit local market and more

We hope article helps you some ways to plan a trip to Quan Lan island better, longer and more affordable . If you find this Quan Lan island travel tips helpfu;. please LIKE, SHARE AND GIVE US COMMENT in the box below, we are very much appreciated that. 

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David Nguyen : Freelancer tour guide as well as a passionate writer for Hanoi Eco Tour, who has been working over 10 years in the tourism industry. All articles are written by him from his REAL travel experiences, down to earth and unique.

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