Once upon a time, when Vietnam was invaded, the Jade Emperor sent a mother dragon with a herd of little dragons to earth help the people defend their country. When the enemy boats came towards the shore, dragons vomited thousands of pearls and gems that turned into stone islands to prevent the enemy’s approach. After defeating the invaders, the dragons did not return to heaven but stayed on earth. The place the Mother Dragon resided is now Halong Bay and the young dragons turned into the islands of Bai Tu Long Bay which contains the Co To island group.
After about one and half hour on the boat, green, misty mountain ranges and white sandy beaches of Co To Island appear on the horizon.
East of Van Don Island, Co To Island District comprises dozens of islands on about 46.2 square kilometers. Among them, Co To Lon, Thanh Lan and Tran are three largest and most attractive islands along with three main beautiful beaches and other smaller unnamed ones.
From the Co To wharf tourists can easily see a 15 km beach lengthening to the end of the island. It’s commonly called Uncle Ho beach, the main beach of islanders and the most crowded place. A paved path winds along the edge of the sandy beach, lined with houses, shops and a market. The beach is deserted and not quite polluted by modern industrial society. It is typical with white sands and blue water as clear as crystal.
On the mountain of 5 km distance from the town lays an imposing lighthouse, the highest point of the island. The pathway from mountain foot to the light house is deserted and tortuous with rough stones. From the balcony of the light house, tourists shall take an overview of spectacular green island with Co To, the farthest inhabited island from the mainland. Wildlife adventure lovers often camp here. Tourist can also spend one day to explore this pristine tiny island in a trip carried out by young islanders in the weekends. Thanh Lan Island is nearer with surrounding white sand beach. On the island, oranges are a special harvested fruit. During harvest time, the island turns a splendid orange-yellow colour.
From Hanoi, tourists can travel to Van Don by bus at Luong Yen or My Dinh Bus Station every one hour from the morning to 5.30 pm.
Some Popular tourists’ activities: Walking on the romantic beaches; Bathing in the blue water; Trekking, biking to explore Co To or scuba diving in the deep blue waters.....
Over the past few years, Co To’s rustic beauty has attracted small groups of young tourists who are seeking adventure Vetnam tours and do not care about hotels and organized tours. Tourists to the islands can’t help but become absorbed by the fantastic, unspoilt beaches. The smooth white sand of the beaches under the shining sunlight creates a peaceful, romantic setting for tourists who would like to explore Vietnam's islands and beaches.