Exploring Ha Long’s Dragon Eye

Image by: https://discoverhalong.com

If you’re trying to escape from the busy city life yet want more than just the basic natural scenery, Bai Dong in Ha Long Bay, Northern Vietnam may be the place for the adventure seeker that you are. Also called Mat Rong or Dragon Eye Island, it is a newfound haven within an already amazing place.


Ha Long Bay is an international tourist destination because of its thousands of islands each offering a magical view and experience. But the recent discovery of Mat Rong Island will further elevate it into an even higher standard of natural beauty. Virtually untouched from any human or commercial hand, it is a treasure for the adventurer at heart. The new island is named as such because of its location in Ha Long Bay which literally means “Descending Dragon” in Vietnamese. Yet actually it is shaped like a big-headed octopus with long tentacles that seem to twist and turn in different angles. In the centre is a lake which resembles an eyeball or an octopus head. On the other hand, some say that the island is crescent-shaped.


But whatever shape Dragon Eye Island really is, it doesn’t really matter because what makes it a must-visit is its 300-400 metres of pure white sand beach and crystal blue waters. The island is also unusually surrounded by rocky mountains, thus theorized that it must have been a limestone mountain millions of years ago which slowly got eroded by the natural elements. No soil or even limestone remained, leaving only slabs of sharp black rocks positioned on top of each other. This made the trees strongly grounded through the cracks in the rocks. During low tide, the shoreline of the island is 30 metres long, giving visitors the chance to walk around in complete beauty and serenity.


The lake in the middle of the island is 100 metres in diameters and also surrounded by rocky hills. There are one-of-a-kind kelp and seaweed that cannot be found anywhere else. The water is salty because it is said to be connected to the sea through a deep cave system. There is also a mountain pass which guests can explore.


Since it has just been discovered, Mat Rong Island doesn’t have the convenience of other long-standing resorts like fresh water, mobile phone signal and other tourist amenities. Guests who choose to stay overnight can sleep in hammocks or tents and have to bring in their own supplies. Some wish that services like food, kayak rental, etc. will be made available soon, but for those who came here specifically to get away from the stress of reality and enjoy a uniquely adventurous experience, The Dragon Eye Island is the perfect escape.       


Mat Rong Island is located 20 kilometres from the harbour and can be reached by taking an hour ride in a wooden boat or 30 minutes if taking a high-speed boat.