Discover Ban Sen on The Horizon Cruise in Bai Tu Long Bay

Posted Date: 13/07/2019

Discover Ban Sen on The Horizon Cruise 
Ban Sen is a fishing village located at Tra Ban Island - also known as the biggest island in Bai Tu Long National Park with an area spanning approximately 139 km2, consisting 72km2 of floating lands. The remaining parts of Ban Sen are strewn with rocky islands. In contrast to the size of the island, however, there are merely about 27 households and 1053 inhabitants. The main source of income of the population there comes from farming, fishing, and local plantations such as orange and green tea. In comparison to Halong Bay, this majestic island is potentially a much better holiday destination for travelers.
How to get there?
To get to Ban Sen, it may take you 30 minutes via speedboat from Cai Rong port (Van Don town), or more than 1 hour if you were to commute by wooden boats. There are 2 trips to Ban Sen from this port: The boat service starts at 7am and 8am respectively, while there will also be two return trips at 1pm and 3pm respectively. The ticket price for taking a high-speed boat is VND 50,000 / trip. As Ban Sen does not have an active tourism market, therefore there will not be any motels, hotels, restaurant services for tourists. This would mean that you may need to carry your own sleeping bags, tents and food.
If you prefer to travel by motorbike or Tuk Tuk, you may want to rent it from the villagers. They can be readily found at the harbour or deep within the island. However, a more reasonable option is to book a tour with The Horizon Cruise - a local cruise company based in Hanoi. They offer various fun activities such as kayaking, caving and mountaineering, where you get to see a bird-eye view of Bai Tu Long Bay whilst on a private tour to Ban Sen.
 Things to do
Ban Sen is a paradise for those who want to experience a vacation in nature without spending a bomb. In Ban Sen, there are many beautiful caves. One such example is the widely-known Nha Tro cave, which is one of the caves located at Quyet Tien area (Dong Gianh village). Note that when you explore these caves, you are strongly advised to bring along a flashlight because they are very dark. Also, you are advised to get the local people to lead the way. 
Alternatively, you may like to visit fish farms on the island, particularly the oysters and mussel farms. There, you will get to see how the locals raise different species of sea animals and  hand-pick the freshest oysters and mussels.    
What to eat?
 Ban Sen provides local specialties such as the famous Sen Orange, which is grown naturally without the use of harmful chemicals. This type of fruit is usually reserved by traders months before the harvest. Therefore, you are encouraged not to miss this rare opportunity to enjoy the sweetness of this fruit. In addition to oranges, Van tea is another local specialties you may not want to miss. This type of tea is exclusive in Ban Sen. The tea turned red when it is brewed. It has a pleasant aroma, not too bitter, and is very good for health. You may request to collect the tea leaves alongside the locals, and then participate in processing this specialty. Ban Sen also provides several farmed seafood species such as geoduck, snails, sea oysters and etc     
Ban Sen is close to Quan Lan, Minh Chau and Co To islands. As most people may know, Quan Lan Island is a beautiful beach, where it has seen a large number of sightseeing tours for several decades; while Minh Chau has the largest and most unique forest in Vietnam. And the gorgeous sandy beach on Co To island is the best holiday destination in Northern Vietnam. Hence, when Van Don economic zone becomes stable, there will be a tourism development on this island.