Based at the first point of the S-shaped Vietnam, Tra Co beach, one of the most beautiful beaches, is an important stop-over when tourists arrive in Vietnam from the north.
Tra Co beach is located in the Northeastern extreme of the “S-shaped Vietnam”, in Quang Ninh province. It is by the border with China, and around 8 kilometers from Mong Cai mountainous town and some 170 kilometers far away from Ha Long. With its advantages in terms of location, the beach is the destination of a number of travelers, especially those who come from China.
To the west, the province borders an extended forest and mountainous region. To the east, it is adjacent to the Gulf of Tonkin. It features a meandering coastline, numerous estuaries and tidal flats, and more than 2,000 large and small islands. Of which 1,030 have been named. The local annual temperature is around 22.7oC with two main seasons (Hot and Cold). The best time for swimming is summer season from April to September.
How to get there?
From Hanoi, going there by bus is a bit tired because of a long and uneven way of about 300km, and a long time of 7 hours. However, it is worth that you can enjoy the scenes of the Red river delta and will be surprised at different natural beauties from time to time and from plain to mountainous area.
Getting there by marine seems to be much easier and faster. After visiting Ha Long bay or Cat Ba island, we can take an express boat and reach to the beach after about two hours. By this way, you can also have a chance of enjoying the feelings of floating on the sea.
Why should you spend time here?
A fine and fresh sea environment
Tra Co is considered one of “the most lyrical beaches in Vietnam” with a wide and plain beach, white and smooth sand, and blue sea water all the year round. The beach is about 15 kilometers long, on the edge of Tra Co peninsula, which was created by waves and flows. As a result, it covers some 3-4m sand-banks. Just nearby you can see a shadowed casuarinas forest, used to protect the inner village from hurricanes and the sand from erosion. It is neighboured to an original eco-system of mangrove forest is the zone lung. Known as one of the most beautiful beach in Vietnam, Tra Co is occasionally put in comparison with Nha Trang beach. Accordingly, if Nha Trang is as beautiful as a modern girl, Tra Co is a coyly rural girl since it has not yet been much exploited for tourism. Tra Co beach is much far from the city, industrial zone and harbour, which make it possess a cool and pure air, and a quiet and pristine environment.
A place of easy-to-buy seafood
If you would like to enjoy fresh seafood, Tra Co fishermen can surely meet your requirement. The fresh sea foods are always available on the seaside after fishing time. You can buy what you want at very low prices. Staying here, you still have a very good opportunity to taste every sea delicacies of your interest, such as lobsters, sea crabs, etc., while you can still save your money.
A picturesque view
Just 6 kilometers from the beach, there is a place where tourists could relax by watching the romantic sunrise and sunset. It is the beautiful Con Mang sand-bank, whose sand is fairly smooth and so solid that you can ride a motorbike on it. Imagine that you are sitting on the rocks, listening to the sounds from the sea waves. This will make you feel free, relaxed, and harmonized with the nature.
Closed to Con Mang, it is Vietnam’s border point with China, Sa Vi, where nature starts to write the “S”-shape of the nation. Tourists can clearly see China from this point. Though the Border War was left behind long ago, people can find some underground shelters, scattered along the two sides.
For those who are interested in local historical vestiges, Tra Co communal house, the pride of Tra Co people since it was built long time ago in 1462, should also be a stop-over, if time is available. Though having been repaired many times, it still retains the original architectural style as well as the sculptural art.All of six people who are worshipped in the house came from Do Son, Hai Phong city. They were the first people to step in the zone and established the village 400 years ago. Besides, they worship Quan He (Nguyen Huu Cau), a leader of uprising farmers under Le-Trinh dynasty.
Notes: At the end of the fifth lunar month, local people always organize the Village festival. A group of activities, such as boat paddling from Tra Co to Do Son – the father land, from 25th to 30th, cooking competition, boat racing, and so forth.