The island district boasts diverse topographic conditions, with forest, sea, lime and earth 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 ones named in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world.
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.
A view of part of Bai Tu Long Bay (Photo: VNA)
Looking out to Bai Tu Long Bay, Quan Lan beach is blessed with smooth white sandbank, transparent blue sea, high waves, peaceful atmosphere, and fresh air. This is an ideal hideaway for people to get rid of the city bustle and daily pressure. The lush wild pineapple ranges even make the beach more pristine than elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Bai Dai (Long Beach) is an untamed treasure of Van Don. This spot appeals to visitors with the wild and poetic beauty which might be hard to find in other touristy beaches. The long, white-sand beach offers the crystal clear seawater for the optimum visibility of the underwater world. From Bai Dai, one can look farther toward the picturesque Bai Tu Long Bay. Entertainment is plenty such as kayaking, water motorcycle, tennis or volleyball.
Minh Chau beach is also an ideal spot for travel enthusiasts. Thousands of holiday makers flock here every year to enjoy their vacation. Couples particularly favour the spot to capture truly amazing wedding photos. The beach is 230km from Hanoi and 15km from Quan Lan beach. The unique feature of the site is the pristine white sand that gives a comfortable sensation walking on.
In the first five months of 2019, Van Don island district welcomed 723,000 visitors, up 26 percent year-on-year, reaching 60 percent of the yearly target. The tourism revenue was estimated at 320 billion VND (13.7 million USD).
The launch of the Van Don International Airport in December 2018 is expected to bring more visitors to Van Don, thus helping Quang Ninh achieve its target of welcoming 15-16 million tourists, including 7 million foreigners, by 2020 and 30 million arrivals, including 15 million foreigners, by 2030.
Therefore, local authorities have been offering many incentives to promote the launch of flights to the airport, the first of its kind invested by a private business in Vietnam.
Passengers on flights to Van Don can visit a number of local attractions including the complex of Yen Tu monuments and landscapes, the world natural heritage site of Ha Long Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay free of charge within 30 days since their arrival at this airport.
Quang Ninh is endowed with natural advantages for sea and island tourism. It has a coastline of more than 250km and more than 2,000 islands and islets which account for two-thirds of the total number in Vietnam.
It is home to popular destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long, Ha Long Bay National Park and some islands. In particular, Ha Long Bay literally “descending dragon bay”, was twice recognised as a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1994 and 2000.
Last year, Quang Ninh hosted the National Tourism Year 2018 under the theme “Ha Long-Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination”. The province welcomed 12.3 million visitors, including 5.2 million foreigners, and earned 24 trillion VND (1.03 billion USD) in tourism revenue./.