Ba Lua, the fascinated Ha Long Bay in the south of Viet Nam
(National Times)- With the crystal blue sea and the picturesque scenery of limestone isles in various shapes and sizes, emerging from the sea, Ba Lua is often regarded as the southern Ha Long Bay of Viet Nam.
Located in Ha Tien, Kien Giang Province, Ba Lua is an archipelago with over 40 large and small islands in the sea of King Luong District. However, there are only a few islands of this archipelago having residents. Most of Ba Lua still remains intact, thus being the perfect destination for tourists to discover and experience. The sea around Ba Lua archipelago is so shallow that sometimes, you can even walk between islands. You can also catch seashells covered by the sand with your own hands.
The islands in Ba Lua archipelago are named after its shapes and legends by local people, such as: Pig Island, Goad Island, Ngang Island, Mangrove Island, etc. The most famous islands are Pig Island and the Three Hon Dam (Dam Duong Island, Duoc Island and Gieng Island) of which, Hon Gieng is a large island with high population and a quiet and pristine beach. The special about the Three Hon Dam is that the distance among the islands is very close, thus tourists can swim from one island to another without the need of any boat.
Ba Lua archipelago is currently a popular tourism destination for youngsters who love to explore the unspoiled and wild natural life. It is also regarded as the perfect location to witness sunrise and sunset on the sea.
It will take about 45 minutes to reach Ba Lua by boat. Visitors can choose to discover the islands on foot when the sea water is shallow, or rent a small boat to travel among islands. In addition, local services on sea diving and coral reef watching are also available.
For cuisine lovers, Ba Lua offers fresh and delicious seafood with a variety of fishes, prawns, squids, and so on. However, if you are looking for proper restaurants, you will be disappointed due to the lack of modern facilities on the islands. Instead, you can make orders with locals and ask them to prepare the food for you.
Camping overnight is another option that many visitors fancy. You can also hold BBQ parties on the beach, however visitors are strictly asked to clean up after your outdoor activities to protect the environment and nature of the archipelago.
How to get to Ba Lua:
From Sai Gon, you can take overnight coaches to Ha Tien. The journey normally takes 8 hours. Remember to ask the driver to drop you at Ba Hon (approx. 22 km from Ha Tien). From here, you can go to Pig Island by taking a boat, which departs at 11am and arrives at 11:40am daily. If you have a little of time before boarding, don’t forget to visit Cave pagoda (Hai Son pagoda), a 300 year-old attraction of Kien Giang.
For outdoor camping, you can also bring tents, hammock, and other essentials, such as torches, lighters, knives, water, anti-mosquito cream, medicine etc.
The most beautiful time for visiting Ba Lua archipelago is from Sep to Mar in lunar year.