Preparing to exploit Tra San Cong Do beach Ha Long: For a long time, tourists visiting Halong Bay who wanted to immerse themselves in cool, blue seawater during the scorching summer had only two options: Soi Sim Beach and Ti Top Beach. However, this summer, tourists will have more choices as the beach cluster in the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ area of Halong Bay has been put into operation.
This proposal was submitted to the People’s Committee of Halong City by the Halong Bay Management Board in document number 213/BQLVHL-TTBTIII on March 29, 2023, regarding the approval of the management and exploitation plan for the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ beach cluster in Halong Bay.
According to the assessment of the Halong Bay Management Board, the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ area covers an area of about 250 hectares, possessing many beautiful natural sandy beaches, with numerous coral reefs and diverse underwater species in the overall heritage site. The Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ beach cluster is part of tour route 4, located approximately 25km from Tuần Châu International Port, next to the Cống Đỏ overnight stay area on Halong Bay.
The beach cluster consists of 8 natural sandy beaches formed from coral fragments and shells, ranging in size from 100m2 to 800m2, enough to serve the tourism activities of visitors. Among them, there are 4 beaches that can serve tourists’ activities throughout the day without being affected by the tides.
In addition to serving tourists’ beach needs, this area can also exploit kayak services, sightseeing, and exploring natural landscapes. From the management house area, tourists can kayak to the beaches in only 10-20 minutes. Based on the evaluation of the tourism carrying capacity of Halong Bay, the level of exploitation of the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ area is 3,173 visitors/day. According to regulations on kayak and rowing boats on Halong Bay, the number of vehicles operating in the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ area is 200. The exploitation of the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ beach cluster will be managed and supervised by units under the Halong Bay Management Board and related agencies and units.
So, after being approved, these beaches will be put into operation, allowing visitors to Ha Long Bay to have more opportunities to swim, especially at the sandy beaches near the rock islands on the sea, which often have beautiful landscapes and cleaner water. It also benefits the management by helping to regulate the number of visitors throughout Ha Long Bay, reducing the load on tour routes 1 and 2, and laying the foundation for organizing high-quality tourism products on Ha Long Bay.
According to evaluations by experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and carrying capacity assessment consultants, tourism activities in Ha Long Bay still rely mainly on the available resource values and natural values in the central area, leading to a large difference in the number of visitors between tour routes. The total area of tour routes in Ha Long Bay is 434 km2, of which the area of routes 1 and 2 is 78 km2 (about 19%), but they receive 4/5 of the total number of visitors to Ha Long Bay. The area of routes 3 and 4 accounts for about 80%, but the number of visitors to both routes is only about 1/5 of the total number of visitors to Ha Long Bay.
Environmental carrying capacity assessments show that the N4+ Ammonia index in the environment of route 2 is higher than the limit allowed by the QCVN 10-MT:2015/BTNMT for the marine protected area due to the two tourist attractions in the route, Luon cave (kayaking point) and Ti Top Island beach, attracting a large number of visitors swimming in the summer. This affects the quality of the tourist experience and creates difficulties for the management and conservation of the heritage values. Meanwhile, tour route 4 is an area with many beautiful and unique landscapes, natural sandy beaches at the foot of the islands, but the tourism products in the route only include overnight stays on cruises, cave visits, kayaking, rowing boats, visiting fishing villages, and pearl farming models.
As mentioned above, for a long time, only two beaches, Soi Sim and Ti-Tốp, have been officially opened for tourism in Ha Long Bay. In recent years, Soi Sim Beach has been temporarily closed, so tourists can only swim at Ti-Tốp Beach when taking the route number 2 tour.
Due to the lack of officially permitted beaches for exploitation in the bay, not only tourists but also travel companies have repeatedly proposed exploiting the potential of the natural sandy beaches around the foot of the islands and the beautiful, unique landscapes in the area of the number 4 tour to serve ecological tourism. Another advantage is that the exploitation of the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ beach cluster does not require infrastructure investment, only using existing facilities and equipment or installing additional ones on the shore and extending to the exploitation area, thus not affecting the landscape and value of the heritage.
Currently, the Management Board of Ha Long Bay has completed a plan for exploitation and management of the Trà Sản – Cống Đỏ beach cluster, which is being submitted to the People’s Committee of Ha Long City for consideration and approval.