Ao Ech area: A hidden beauty in Lan Ha Bay

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Ao Ech Area

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 ?


Ao Ech Area
Ao Ech area – Source: Internet

The Ao Ech area is a small lagoon inside Lan Ha Bay. It’s also only a few kilometers away from other attractions of the bays like Tra Bau Area, Viet Hai Village, and Cat Ba Island. 

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.

kayaking in ao ech area
Kayaking in Ao Ech area – Source: Internet

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

    From: $118
  • Rita Cruise

    Destination: Lan Ha Bay – Halong Bay – Cat Ba Island

    Free Kayaking, Private Balcony

    From: $145
  • Scarlet Pearl Cruise

    Destination: Halong – Lan Ha Bay –  Dark & Bright Cave

    Superb Early Bird Promotion – Only $170/person

    From: $165

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!

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