Finding solitude on a pristine beach, hidden away amongst the towering karst landscape of Halong Bay is still very much a reality- as long as you know where to look. Ban Chan Beach is an unexplored patch of paradise concealed from the masses, and as of now still widely unknown.
The Growing Popularity of Halong Bay
Halong Bay has undoubtedly become one of Vietnam’s most traveled to tourist destinations in recent years. Having twice received recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, travelers from around the globe have been flocking to marvel at the astounding natural beauty of the drowning limestone plateau. Thanks to the rapidly growing number of visitors in the bay, tourists are beginning to seek a slice of the paradise away from the crowds and discover more off the beaten track locations.
The Desire to Follow the Route Less Traveled
To the North of Halong Bay is Bai Tu Long Bay, an area much less traveled compared to its famous neighbor. Bai Tu Long Bay is still in its infancy in terms of tourism, which serves to make the experience of traveling there even more special. A vast portion of Bai Tu Long Bay belongs to the National Park, which sees much of the marine and terrestrial areas protected and preserved. This is naturally of great benefit to the numerous beaches dotted along the coastline of the hundreds of islands within the bay.
When it comes to the commonly mentioned destinations within Bai Tu Long Bay, one usually hears the likes of Cong Do area, Vung Vieng fishing village, Da Xep Park, Cong Dam area, Thien Canh Son cave and Tra Gioi beach. Little do we hear of Ban Chan Beach, despite its stunning beauty straight off a post card it seems that until now it has gone widely unnoticed.
The Undiscovered Beauty of Ban Chan Beach
Ban Chan Beach (in English it would be ‘Foot Beach’) is definitely of the “off the beaten track” variety. Untouched by human intervention and unchanged by the passage of time, the powdery white sand and jewel-colored waters of Ban Chan Beach are nothing short of heavenly. The beach stretches for several kilometers, making it an ideal location for a water side stroll as you take in the surrounding landscape.
The beach is surrounded by the famous towering limestone outcroppings as if they are acting as sentinels watching over the area. The impossibly steep cliff faces are bestrewn with casuarina pines, whose evergreen foliage is but another thread in the rich fabric of Bai Tu Long Bay’s natural ecosystem.
When to Visit
Visitors could find a reason to visit not only in summer but throughout the autumn and winter seasons too. Summer in the Bay tends to be humid and very hot, so a cooling swim in the azure waters of Ban Chan Beach would be just the ticket. Then comes the cooler Autumnal months, which are much milder in comparison but still warm enough to enjoy a beach visit. The winter months will see temperatures drop to around 18 degrees Celcius, accompanied by dry weather and calm waters- consider this as possibly the best time to visit Ban Chan Beach.
Described as “unspoiled” and “primitive” in its beauty, it’s near impossible not to be captivated by this place. Ban Chan Beach is one of those rare places where you should go to do nothing, nothing but contemplate your surroundings- perhaps by taking a walk along the coastline or cooling off with a swim in the crystalline waters. There are limited kayak rentals available on the beach, so if solo-exploration is more your speed take the time to cruise around the island and check out the rest of the nearby coast. However you choose to enjoy it, you better do it fast before everybody else is let in on the secret.
Cruises that Visit Ban Chan Beach
With the number of visitors to Halong Bay dramatically increasing year on year, there are hordes of new cruise companies appearing to meet the growing demand. There are, however, only a small handful of cruises whose route will take you to Ban Chan Beach. Among them is the Halong Bay Royal Wings Cruise, Garden Bay Legend Cruise, Garden Bay Luxury Cruise, and Garden Bay Premium Cruise.