Mangrove forest kayaking in Khanh Hoa

 Hoa Lan Island in Khanh Hoa Province charms tourists with a two-kilometer kayaking tour of its mangrove forests, mountain trekking and water sports.

With a pristine natural beauty and diversity of terrain including beaches, waterfalls, streams, and lakes, Hoa Lan Island on the south-central province's Nha Phu Lagoon covers 400 hectares, of which 37 hectares are used by Long Phu JSC for tourism.

This location is about 20 nautical miles (12 kilometers) from Nha Trang's center to the north. To reach the destination, visitors must transfer through Da Wharf, then take a boat or canoe for seven nautical miles.

Kayaking through mangroves is a new service started in February to enhance visitor experience and promote tourism. There are about 10 kayaks on the island; each one is 3.8 meters long and 0.9 meters wide.

Visitors can row a kayak on their own or with a partner to explore two kilometers of the mangrove forest. They are instructed in basic kayaking techniques, required to wear life jackets throughout the journey and stick to the right route. During the tour, supervisors are always on duty to assist adventurers if necessary. Kayak rental costs VND100,000 ($4.33) per hour.

Nguyen Huu Phuc, a 33-year-old visitor from Phu Yen Province, said: "This is the first time I have experienced kayaking in a mangrove forest. Rowing down creeks with their wild and natural scenery is a sheer delight."

The mangrove forest, near the coast, is about four hectares wide with a dense population of mangroves among other plants. It is also home to many types of crab and fish.

Binh An Beach with a coastline of two kilometers is the place for swimming and relaxing. It is ideal for underwater games, featuring a 2,000-square-meter floating buoy park, jet skies and parachutes.

This photo shows a group of visitors in competitions on swimming to the shore.

The 175-meter-long walkway over the mangrove forest is a favorite tourist spot for taking photos. The bridge is surrounded with rocks in different sizes and natural scenery.

The orchid valley with a variety of species like Oncidium, Renanthera Coccinea and Foxtail, ‘Non la’ (Palm Coral Hat) road, and watching birds are other attractions.

The Toc Tien Waterfall climbing tour is a favorite activity here. The three waterfalls boast altitudes of 200, 400 and 500 meters above sea level. The tour is suitable for both amateur and professional climbers.

Visitors are immersed in nature when conquering high cliffs above streams, with basic skill and safety assistance ensured.

In the afternoon, camping on the beach is recommended. The area has seven accommodation sites and more than 200 tents for rent.

Due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of tourists coming here has decreased significantly. Currently, Hoa Lan Island tourism is only active on weekends with an average 200-300 visitors a day.

"We always advocate changing toward new patterns and services according to travel trends to develop tourism, and attract tourists to Nha Trang after the pandemic is brought under control," said Duc, deputy director of Long Phu JSC.

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