50km north-east of Van Do beach in Quang Ninh province, Co To appears with its wild beauty and one of the longest white sandy beach in the Gulf of Tonkin. Co To Island District comprises three main islands - Co To, Thanh Lan, and Tran - and smaller ones and covers 4, 000 square meters.Local residents, mostly migrants from northern provinces, live in only two communes and a small town. From large Co To Island, you can discover many beautiful things. Beaches in the large Co To Island are deserted and not polluted by modern industrial society. Beaches in Co To Island are very clean and beautiful with white sands and blue water. Co To Island has two beautiful beaches: Van Chai and Hong Van. Van Chai and Hong Van are the two must-see beaches in Co To. Van Chai Beach is still unspoiled and tourists can relax and play in the big waves and stay overnight in small bungalows while Hong Van beach is always quiet with small waves. Therefore, it is said that Co To Island’s beaches are the perfect spot for beachgoers looking for somewhere relatively untouched.
How to get there
From Hanoi/Halong City: Take a drive to Cai Rang port to get to Co To Island which takes around 1 hour and 45 minutues by speed boat.
Things to do
1/ The attraction is not only known for a long, clear beach near the residential area but also for a green pine forest and a tiled road along the shore where locals love to take a walk at sunset.
2/ For local residents, the best way to explore every corner of the islands is to hire a motorbike and a destination which should not be missed is the solar-powered Cô Tô lighthouse on the peak of a mountain not far from the town. The pathway from the foot to the light house is deserted and difficult to negotiate, with rough stones. From the lighthouse balcony, visitors can get a panoramic view of the mountains and the horizon.
3/ Another place of interest is the Bac Van military port, around 20 minutes from the lighthouse. Bac Van Beach is known for the different kinds of coral that the authorities are trying to conserve.
Co To is not a touristic beach and just well-known for some years which make the whole island very quiet and natural. There are only local restaurants available in Co To beach which cost around 5 - 8 usd per person per meal.