Quan Lan – Vietnam – To Halong

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I enjoyed my short stay on Quan Lan Island even though it was the wrong time of year to be there.

It was time to move on…

I still had 11 days before I had to leave to The Philippines, so I looked at my options. There weren’t many between Quan Lan and Hanoi.

I decided to head for Halong City for a few days to see whether or not it had anything more to offer than just a transitpoint for people coming and going from their Halong Bay cruises.


The ferry leaves Quan Lan at 7:00am. Talk to your hotel and they will arrange for a tuk tuk to pick you up from your hotel. In Quan Lan Town they pick you up at 6:30am. The cost is VND20k.

You buy your ferry ticket at the ticket booth at the ferry terminal. The cost for a fastboat to Halong is VND200k.

You will need to ‘sign out’ with the police and fill in a form with your passport and Vietnamese Visa details.


The fastboat left on time at 7:00am.

It is a small ferry with seating for about 30 people. It has an open back if you want the watch the scenery en route.

You weave your way past fishing villages and rocky, uninhabited islands.

The trip takes about 1.5 hours, so you arrive in Halong ferry port at 8:30am.


There are taxis waiting when you disembark.

I got off of the ferry and stopped in a local street stall for a noodle soup breakfast (VND30k).

By the time that I had finished (and talked to a few locals over a cup of tea), it was 9:30am.

I looked at google maps… I was only 3kms away from my hotel over the water in Bai Chay. Halong city consists of 2 parts joined by a bridge: the tourist part is over the bridge in district called Bai Chay.

I had already booked by Bai Chay hotel using BOOKING.COM. With BOOKING.COM, because I use them so much, I get ‘genius’ benefits which include an earlier noon checkin and a 2 hour later check-out.

I had time before I could check-in, so I decided to walk. How hard can it be?

I walked the 1km-ish to the bridge. It wasn’t what I was expecting.

When I decide to do something, I do it. So, I looked at google maps and doubled back about 1km or so along Le Loi street to get to the access to the bridge road.

I walked over the 1km long bridge and got some nice elevated views of Halong.

At the other end, I followed another road over a couple of hills to my hotel.

It took me 2 hours to get from my breakfast to my hotel. I enjoyed the walk – even with my luggage in tow – it was different.


Given that I don’t speak any Vietnamese and that I only had google maps to get me there, the trip went well.

My door-to-door trip cost was VND220k (US$10).

BUT, if you have the same idea to walk across the bridge to Bai Chay, I would advise against it.


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