Quan Lan Island – pleasant diversification in the north on the beaches, but…
- First of all, this article and photos refer to my several-day visit, which took place in November 2018 (non-tourist season). In the near future, the island should become a tourist resort and the island was just in front of wider urbanization. Quan Lan Island in Quang Ninh Province is one of many hundreds of islands (up to 600) that is part of the Van Don Archipelago. Another nearby tourist island is Co To Island.
Quan Lan Island in the non-tourist season is not so visited by foreign tourists.
- Most of the islands of Van Don are uninhabited, but Quan Lan is inhabited. The island of Quan Lan is further away from the tourist and visited Ha Long Bay (the most visited place in the north of Vietnam), and foreign tourists come here in significantly less than to Ha Long. Quan Lan Island can be reached by boat from Cai Rong (cruise takes about 1 hour) or from Hong Gai port in Ha Long (about 1.5-2 hours).
Some beaches abandoned, in the low season clogged with garbage and mess.
- Quan Lan Island has about 5 smaller settlements, 1 small town in the south-central part – Tan Phong and then the town in the north – Quang Trung and in these 2 places it is possible to stay. There are cheaper smaller guesthouses / hotels and in the north one high-quality hotel. The island is not a concert of historical monuments and only in the town of Tan Phong you can see the temple and the prayer place, but the main attractions are beaches. There are about 6 very nice and large beaches.
Quan Lan Beach (Thai Hoa), Sơn Hào Beach, Minh Châu Beach, Robinson Beach.
- The biggest beaches are Quan Lan (Thai Hoa), Sơn Hào Beach, Minh Châu Beach, Robinson Beach from the smaller ones. These beaches are very nice, but it should be added that garbage can be clogged off-season (October-April) (you don’t want to see these photos below) and you can’t buy anything on these beaches. There are a few other smaller beaches on the island, eg Got beach (Bai Got) in the south of the island.
Practically the only way to move around the island is by motorbike or foot.
- Quan Lan Island is not so large, at the widest points it is about 4 km, but the length of the island is about 18 km. You will probably not walk every day on foot, so you only have the possibility to rent a motorbike (or a bicycle) and do it best if you ask the hotel directly to rent a motorbike. I haven’t seen a single functional bus on the island in just a few days (just one rusty wreck). Please note that the situation may be different during the tourist season (May-September).
Quan Lan pier or Minh Chau port – the main boat ports in Quan Lan Island.
- There is also a pick-up of tourists to the harbors on the island, at certain times / hours there is a tiny minibus for several people, who will drive around the guesthouses / small towns, stop it by waving hands and go to the port. This minibus is goind to Quan Lan pier or Minh Chau port, for the exact times of depratures you have to ask at your hotel, they usually know this information. This also applies to boat departures from the port back to Cai Rong, you have to find out on the spot. This minibus go about 1 hour before departure of boat to Cai Rong.
What are the roads and what is the weather on Quan Lan Island?
- From the north to the south of Quan Lan Island, there are 1 main highway and several other side roads. Motorbike transport is not difficult at all, the whole island is flat, with some exceptions, the roads are quite passable. Even on a motorbike, you can get to the nearby 3 largest beaches on the island by small side roads.
Tourist season in Quan Lan Island starts from May to September.
- The tourist season is from the middle of May to September and temperatures are about 30 °C, exceptionally higher. Of course, this period is also the best for swimming, while in a non-tourist season, swimming may not be safe and, as already written, there can be some garbage. At the time of my stay, in November, the temperature was about 25 °C. Tourist season – more tourists, more services, non-tourist season – limited services, less tourists.
Where to eat and where to stay, what is the accommodation in Quan Lan Island?
- Accommodation in Quan Lan Island is a bit limited, it is a small island. But even so, you will find some cheaper guesthouses mainly in the aforementioned small towns. Prices are usually about 12-30 USD / room for 2 persons. Some beaches, such as Quan Lan and Son Hao, also offer accommodation in apartments / cabins, but at the time of my stay they were all closed. It is necessary to add that there were construction works on the island and new accommodation facilities or hotels will probably open in several places in the near future.
Urbanization on the Quan Lan Island is underway.
- The whole island actually looked like before preparing for the large urbanization of the entire island, some new construction of roads, in several places were already built foundations of buildings, etc. when theses changes of the island will be fully in the stars. You can visit some restaurants and buy some food mainly in Tan Phong and Quang Trung. If you go out somewhere, buy a snack, drink.
Summary and practical information about Quan Lan Islandicon-angle-double-dow
Where is Quan Lan Island?
- Quan Lan Island is a part of Van Don Archipelago, Quang Ninh province, Van Don district. It is about 200 km from Hanoi to Cai Rong and about 20 km by boat from Cai Rong port to Quan Lan Island.
How to travel from Hanoi to Quan Lan Island?
- You have to travel first from Hanoi to Ha Long or to Cai Rong. There is also a public local bus between Ha Long (Bai Chay bus station) and Cai Rong (Van Don) and this bus costs about 1.50 USD, the journey takes about 1-1.5 hours, the bus often stops and ends just outside Cai Rong center. You can also use a taxi between these cities.
- Boats from Ha Long to Quan Lan depart from Hon Gai port, ticket costs about 9-10 USD, exact times you need to find out on the spot, it may change over time and boats from Van Don (Cai Rong) from Cai Rong port, ticket costs about 7-9 USD, again, times you need to find out on the spot. Recently, there have been about 4 boats every day from each port. Boat tickets could be booked online at Baolau, but it has not been possible lately, but you can try Baolau or you can buy tickets in the port.
- Boats from Cai Rong Port go to Minh Chau (north of the island) but also Quan Lan pier, boats from Ha Long go to Quan Lan pier. I recommend – go to the port of Quan Lan, it is only about 4 km to Tan Phong town.
How to get from Quan Lan pier to Tan Phong town?
- From the pier of Quan Lan to Tan Phong you can travel by a small local minibus for tourists or use mototaxi, ask on the spot. I have noticed several times that the minibus is already waiting for tourists before the boat arrives (but I cannot guarantee this situation).
What is the nearest airport from Quan Lan Island?
- The nearest airport is Van Don International Airport, this airport was opened in the end of 2018. Located about 10 km from the port of Cai Rong. So you ca get to Cai Rong by plane from some destinations of central and southern Vietnam.
How big is Quan Lan Island?
- Quan Lan Island is approximately 18 km long (from Minh Chau Port to the south of the island to Bai Got beach) and the width of the island at its widest point is about 4 km. From the north to the south of the island it takes about 1 hour by motorbike.
What are the most beautiful beaches in Quan Lan Island?
- In my opinion, the biggest ones – Quan Lan (Thai Hoa), Son Hao and Minh Chau. Please note, in the non-tourist season, the beaches may be dirty and clogged by trashes, but it is not yet a total disaster. The advantage of visiting outside the tourist season is a significantly smaller number of tourists, but the services are limited.
Where to rent a motorbike in Quan Lan Island?
- Where do you see a bigger number of motorcycles in a row, so I recommend to ask at this spot. You can also ask at the hotel, they will help you and the y can rent a motorbike. Motorbike for 1 day costs about 7-12 USD.
How much is Quan Lan Island visited?
- There are significantly fewer tourists in the non-tourism season. E.g. at the time of my stay, in November, there were as many as 30 foreigners on the island. However, the situation may be different in the tourist season. Tourism in this island will be growing in the future, beginning changes and initial construction have already been seen.
Is it possible to buy some snack right on the beaches?
- At the time of my stay, all the restaurants and stalls at all the beaches were closed. Rather, I recommend to take at least a drink on your way.
Where to stay in Quan Lan Island?
- I recommend to choose Tan Phong town, about 4 km from Quan Lan pier. Here you will find a few cheap guesthouses/hotels. There are also a few restaurants and cafes. Personally, I had accommodation in Tan Phong via Airbnb (owner of guesthouse came for me on a motorbike to the port of Quan Lan)
Is it necessary to travel to Quan Lan Island with a tourist guide?
- No, it is not necessary, you can travel to Quan Lan Island on your own. The island is smallthe island is small and you can’t get lost there. For the orientation use your Google maps.
Accommodation in Quan Lan Island – Guesthouses / Hotels (online booking):
▶️ Quan Lan Nam Phong Hotel ▶️ Tuan Thuy Guesthouse ▶️ Link Homestay Quan Lan ▶️ Thanh Thuy Guesthouse ▶️ Hung Thinh Hotel ▶️ Phuong Hoang Hotel ▶️ Mina House
Current weather on Quan Lan Islandicon-angle-double-down
(rain showers, in the upper right corner click on the icon to view another additional information)
More photos from Quan Lan Islandicon-angle-double-down
Ha Long Bay + Mapicon-angle-double-right
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating / 5. Vote count: