If you look through the Lan Ha Bay Cruises itinerary, you’ll notice that most of them include a kayaking stop at a place call Ao Ech area.
So, what makes it so popular among cruises in both Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay? In this guide, we’re going to discover more about the Ao Ech area, an untouched beauty deep within Vietnam’s Lan Ha Bay.
Where is Ao Ech Area ?
In English, Ao Ech means Frog Pond. Even though it has an odd name, there are no frogs in the area. The area is bordered by many islands and islets, which from above look like a frog. That is why the locals named the area Ao Ech, or Frog Pond.
What makes the Ao Ech Area worthwhile to visit?
The Ao Ech area is renowned for its natural beauty and calm atmosphere. Separated from the rest of Lan Ha Bay by enclosed limestone karsts and islets, the location looks likes a tiny jewel attempting to hide from the crowds of tourists. As soon as you get there, you’ll feel how calm and peaceful it is.
The beaches in Ao Ech, small though they may be, are perfect for those who seek seclusion and quiet. The pristine sand, crystal clear waters, and plenty of sunshine make your time on these beaches more peaceful than ever.
The Ao Ech area is also appear to be an ideal place for water activities.
Exploring the area by kayak would provide you with some unique experiences. You’ll get the opportunity to see the massive limestone karst up close and sail slowly through several hidden caves and lagoons where the big cruises can’t.
Swimming in Ao Ech is also a spot on activities that you should not missed. One thing that makes Ao Ech unique is that you can swim not only on the beach but also in the middle of the area. Imagine jumping off your cruise and diving into sparkling clear and calm waters; such an amazing feelings, right?
How to Get There
Because of its isolation, Ao Ech is only accessible by boats. So, most tourists choose to take an overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay, which usually includes a stop at Ao Ech. The trips depart from Tuan Chau Marina in Halong Bay, allowing you to explore not just Ao Ech but also other renowned attractions in both Halong and Lan Ha Bay. A cruise costs between 120 and 160 USD per person, which includes all entrance tickets, food, on-board accommodations, and activities.
Top Lan Ha Bay Cruises visit Ao Ech Area
Dragon Bay Cruise
Destination : Lan Ha Bay – Halong Bay – Dark & Bright Cave
Private Balcony in all cabins
Destination: Lan Ha Bay – Halong Bay – Cat Ba Island
Free Kayaking, Private Balcony
Scarlet Pearl Cruise
Destination: Halong – Lan Ha Bay – Dark & Bright Cave
Superb Early Bird Promotion – Only $170/person
If you simply just want to visit Ao Ech only, you might start by traveling to Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island. From Beo Port on Cat Ba Island, you could rent a boat that would take you to Ao Ech. However, because the area is not included in a daily boat tour, you have to book it privately. The cost should be about 30USD to 40USD/junk boat for 3 hours.
Even though it is not a popular tourist attraction in Lan Ha Bay or Halong Bay, the Ao Ech area has its own beauty that is worth visiting. Lying hiddenly between giant limestone karsts & islets, Ao Ech will not only surprise you with its serene beauty, but also with many intriguing water sports such as kayaking or swimming.
Let’s hop on a Lan Ha Bay cruise and explore this hidden beauty with us!