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Van Don Island on track to become world-class tourism center

Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 19:17 GMT+7
Van Don Island on track to become world-class tourism center

Nestled among Bai Tu Long Bay, adjacent to the world-famous natural heritage site of Ha Long Bay off Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam, Van Don Island has many advantages to developing tourism.

Van Don Island is administered by a namesake district that covers a total area of more than 2,170 square kilometers, including over 550 square kilometers of natural land and consisting of 600 islets of all sizes.

They boast diverse topographic conditions, with forests, beaches, lime mountains, and karst caves. 

The forest ecosystem in the island district is home to 1,028 species of animals while the marine ecosystem has 881 species, including 102 named in Vietnam’s Red Data Book and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

An aerial photo of Van Don District, including Van Don Island and hundreds of small islands, in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An aerial photo of Van Don District, including Van Don Island and hundreds of small islets, in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Van Don is home to several of the most beautiful beaches in the Gulf of Tonkin such as Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung, and Bai Dai.

Bai Dai (Long Beach) is an untamed treasure of Van Don. 

The spot appeals to visitors with its pristine beauty which is becoming harder and harder to find at more touristy beaches. 

The long, white-sand beach offers crystal-clear seawater for optimal visibility of the underwater world. 

From Bai Dai, one can look farther toward the picturesque Bai Tu Long Bay.

Van Don International Airport (left) and an aerial view of Van Don District (right) in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photos: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Van Don International Airport (left) and an aerial view of Van Don District (right) in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photos: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Visitors can also take advantage of the island’s entertainment, including kayaking, jet-skiing, tennis, and beach volleyball.

Minh Chau Beach is also an ideal spot for travel enthusiasts. 

Thousands of holidaymakers flock there every year to enjoy their vacation. 

Couples particularly favor the beach to capture truly amazing wedding photos.

About 15 kilometers from Minh Chau Beach is Quan Lan Beach, which is dubbed one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Vietnam and is also a favorite destination of both locals and international tourists. 

Looking over Bai Tu Long Bay, Quan Lan Beach is blessed with smooth, white sands, transparent blue seas, high waves, a peaceful atmosphere, and fresh air. 

A unique feature of the site is its white sand that gives a cool, comfortable sensation when walking on it. 

The place is an ideal getaway for people wanting to escape the hustle of the city and their daily worries.

An early-morning fish market on Van Don Island (top); an aerial view of Cai Bau Pagoda (middle), and an aerial view of Bai Tu Long Bay (bottom) are seen in these photos of Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An early-morning fish market on Van Don Island (top); an aerial view of Cai Bau Pagoda (middle), and an aerial view of Bai Tu Long Bay (bottom) are seen in these photos of Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photos: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Infrastructural development

“Quang Ninh Province as well as Van Don District have been and will be focusing on attracting as many resources as possible to invest in building Van Don into a regional and world-class island tourist center,” To Xuan Thao, the district’s Party chief, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper during an interview in late 2019.

In December 2018, the 60-kilometer Ha Long-Van Don Expressway was officially opened, cutting travel time by road from Hanoi to Van Don from 3.5 hours to just over two hours.

“Now people can have breakfast in Hanoi at 6:00 am, drink a cup of coffee in the [northern] port city of Hai Phong at 7:00 am, and reach Van Don for work at around 8:00 am. Van Don has never been closer [to Hanoi],” Thao said.

Later the same month, Van Don International Airport received its first commercial flight.

In the island district, a major road was also built to connect the downtown area with Cai Rong Port, where people can get on boats to travel to the district’s islets.

An aerial view of Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

According to Nguyen Vu Van Anh, director of Van Don’s media and cultural center, several large-scale tourism projects are being carried out in the district to turn it into a luxurious and classy tourist destination.

They include a high-class eco-tourism project spanning a total area of 75 hectares in Quan Lan Commune, an international-class resort complex with an area of 100 hectares and an estimated investment of VND5 trillion (US$214.6 million) in the district’s center.

In addition, large corporations have also developed resort and entertainment projects in the island district, such as the Van Don and Van Don 1 high-class entertainment and recreation complexes with an investment of $2 billion and VND4.8 trillion ($206 million), respectively, and a service and airport logistics area.

Besides, Ngoc Vung and Van Canh Communes are invested with up to $2 billion for the construction of luxury resorts, 5-star hotels, international convention centers, casinos, golf courses, a safari, a museum, community agricultural villages, and a library.

Aerial views of Quan Lan Beach in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photos: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Aerial views of Quan Lan Beach in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photos: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

People farm oysters on rafts in Bai Tu Long Bay in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam.

People farm oysters on rafts on Bai Tu Long Bay in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photos: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Pham Van Toan, 29, pulls up oysters raised at his farm on Bai Tu Long Bay in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Pham Van Toan, 29, pulls up oysters raised at his farm on Bai Tu Long Bay in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of Bai Tu Long Bay in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of Bai Tu Long Bay in Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of Cai Bau Pagoda on Van Don Island off Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

An aerial view of Cai Bau Pagoda on Van Don Island off Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

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Bao Anh - Duc Binh / Tuoi Tre News

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