Top 10 things to do in Quan Lan island, Quang Ninh

Best things to do in Quan Lan island

Top things to do in Quan lan island

This article provide you with everything you need to know about the best things to do in Quan Lan island as the first time visitors. Written by a local guide who has been working in tourism industry over 10 years

Quan Lan island is famous for its white sandy beaches, amazing natural beauty, friendly locals and hearty local seafood. I could say it is an interesting place for those who like travelling off the beaten path in the Bai Tu Long bay area, Northern Vietnam. There are lots of unknown areas for tourists. It is the most remote island in the Halong bay area. 

Top 10 things to do in Quan Lan island that you shouldn’t miss

1.Check out Quan Lan lighthouse

Quan Lan light house

Lighthouse in Quan Lan island @trip Hunter

A place which isn’t been seen in a list of things to do in Quan Lan in lots of travel guides but worth a visit, especially for photographers. Quan Lan is located in the heart of Van Don, which was used to be a bustling port in 11th century with a large number of boats and ships from all over the world anchor for trading. It was considered as strategy land of East Sea.The light house was built in 19th century by French colonials.

Known as the oldest lighthouse in Vietnam as well as South East Asia. To reach the top, you need to hike 184 steps to see the breathtaking view of sky, rock and water

2.Admire the amazing beauty on the top of Wind Strait

WInd cape Quan Lan

Wind cape in Quan Lan island

Wind Strait (Eo Gio) is a highlight for travelers in Quan Lan island with a magnificent view from its top. Just 10 minutes drive on an electric car from Dong Nam village. It is a straight mount toward the sea , you need to walk through a  part of the forest and climb up its top to admire the panorama view of imposing pristine natural beauty.

The way up is a small pathway with soils. It might be a bit slippery when it comes to rainy days. To avoid the big crowd during the tourist season from May to August, get there in the early morning from 5.30 am to catch the dawn

3. Going for a swim at Robinson beach

Robinson beach Quan Lan

Robinson beach in Quan Lan island @thuy.06

Robinson beach(Bai Bien Robinson)  is known as a well off the beaten path in Coto island. To be, it is one of the nicest beach here which has not many people with emerald water, strong sea waves, lots of rocks and reef. There is a small pathway and not easy to find. It is slippery after the rain. I knew it because I got here after the heavy rain in the earlier night. 

You know it is also a good place for necked bathing when it comes to low tourist season, from Octorber to early April. What is better than staying in an eco-lodge nearby and feasting on a BBQ dinner on the beach? It is also a perfect spot for catching the sunrise. If you are a fan of beach gateway, then staying around the Robinson beach area is an ideal choice.

4.Visit the historic Quan Lan communal house

Quan Lan communal house

Communal house in Quan lan island

The communal house is a well-known historic site that worships the god of the village and the ancestor who contributed to setting up the village, built in the 17th century. Later on, the locals dedicated our national hero, General Tran Hung Dao, who had a great leadership of Vietnamese people in 13th century to be against Mongolians. 

If you are architecture lover, you will see a series of wooden columns and beams made of rosewood.

5.Wander around the morning fish market

Quan Lan market

Early morning fish market in Quan Lan island

It is right opposite the communal house, only a few minutes walk from Dong Nam village. There is an array of seafood such as prawn, fish, squid, sea crab and king crab; which is brought by local fishermen from their fishing boat. The market starts at 4.30am and lasts only 2 hours. Both buyers and sellers must bring their flashlights because it is dark during the market period. 

What makes it interesting about this market is no bargaining, which sounds unusual in Vietnam because they are all locals, saving time. After the market, have a bowl of noodle soup in the nearby local restaurant for breakfast. 

6. Learn more about an ancient house over 100 years old

ancient house quan lan island

100 years old house in Quan Lan island

This house is made of stone, wood, and molasses, built-in 1918 during the French colonial period. The house was 10.000 meters square and used to be next to the seashore. The house has five spans, 4 big rosewood columns and 7 meters high. The supporting platform for the column is made of blue stones. Talking to the owners who have earned their living by making Nuoc Mam “fish sauce” for years, having a cup of green tea and share some daily routines with them. I bet this experience is unique

7.Walking along Tram Forest in Minh Chau beach area

Minh Chau forest

Tram Forest in Quan Lan island

The forest is over 100 years old, a highlight for both landscape and space of the Minh Chau beach area. which is a well-known tourist attraction in Quan Lan island, with stunning landscapes and endless white sandy beaches. A walk through the forest makes you feel relaxed with fresh air, a cool atmosphere. 

According to old men living the village, the forest were already here before their ancestors were here, roughly 300 years old. It is a great place to hang out during the high summertime heat. 

8.Taking photos at some the magnificent white sand dunes

Quan Lan sand dune

White sand dunes in Quan Lan island

Nature has blessed Quan Lan island with amazing white sand dunes is right on the bank of a small canal. Follow the main road from Quan Lan to Minh Chau, you will see this awesome spots for taking tons of cool photos

The harmony of sky, sand and water makes it an awesome picture created by Mother nature

8.Swimming, Kayaking or Tubing on Minh Chau beach

Things to do in Quan Lan island - Minh Chau kayaking

Kayaking on Minh Chau beach

The most well-known beach amongst travelers in the island, which is only 15 kilometers from Dong Nam village. Long beach, smooth sand, emerald sea water, no sand stick on your feet when strolling around the beach.

At the beach, you can immerse into a camping fire, play on the beach and learn more about marine life , join in sport games, enjoy watching the sea in a peaceful setting at night time.

On the other hand, going kayaking around the nearby islands is an interesting thing to do around the Minh Chau beach area. 

You can also enjoy BBQ seafood dinner on the beach, which is really fantastic.

How to get there : From Cai Rong port, you can take the either take speed boat to go directly to Minh Chau quay and take a tuk tuk to your hotel or take a wooden boat which stops at some islets for sunset photo opportunities.

9.Staying in a homestay with a local family

Quan Lan lunch

Home-cooked at family homestay in Quan Lan

What I like the most about staying in a homestay in Quan Lan just because of yummy fresh seafood, warm hospitality and quiet. Having a homecooked dinner with all my family members makes me feel like home. There is some language barrier but it is fine for basic communication. I often hire a scooter at the homestay, which is safe, and convenient. You can easily get around the island with a smartphone. There are also private rooms with basic facilities of Western standard like hot running shower, clean bathroom and more

Where to stay in Quan Lan island?

There is a lots of options to choose from: homestays, guest houses to hotels, resorts. 

Budget accommodation

Mai homestay

Quan Lan Eco homestay

Bougainvillea homestay

Mr Chuong’s homestay

Mid-range accommodation

Paloma hotel

Van Hai Xanh resort

Nam Phong hotel

Luxury accommodation

Minh Chau Pearl hotel and resort

Grand Pearl resort 

Note : There is a guided tour to Quan Lan island from Hanoi, which is the best choice for you to explore this beautiful island with hassle-free; enjoy the trip with Hanoi Eco Tour

Read more: Top things to do in Coto island

Van Don Travel guide

Quan Lan island travel tips

This is our amazing lists of the best things to do in Quan Lan island, what would you add for your upcoming trip to Quan Lan island

Written by David Nguyen from Hanoi Eco Tour 

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