TOPO Climbing

Moody’s beach, Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam

Topo published on |


Dans routine Heaven

Han Bay, west of Cat Ba island, the antechamber to Halong Bay, North Vietnam. Quite a fantastic site, rather difficult to access. Not so much for its routes, but above all for the exceptional atmosphere. In the middle of thousands of karst boulders in the Gulf of Tonkin, a tiny beach and 6 specially equipped routes. The weather wasn't great that day, but it was well worth the detour. 3 routes on the left, 3 on the right, exceptional rock and a unique viewpoint. No great difficulty on the program, 3 warm-up routes in IV+, V /V+ before a rather elegant 6a and a pretty line ending with a 6b+ roof. Great atmosphere. 3 stars more for the unique site than for the climbing itself...

Technical summary

Access to the place

By boat, which is unusual! From the port of Cat Ba. Asia Outdoors, based on the harbor (upstairs from the Noble House's Good Bar), organizes the trip. It's a 3/4-hour boat ride to the sandbar in question. To say exactly where it is in Lan Ha Bay is asking too much... to the west of Cat Ba (the blue part on the map?).

Map & topo

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start

The beach is tiny, even inaccessible at high tide. The 2 cliff faces are just a few dozen meters apart.

Course Les voies

They are all very well equipped with bolts or sealed rings. The rock, karst rock, is excellent, abrasive, with nice holes and cracks. Bring a dozen quickdraws and a 60m rope. Belays equipped for rappelling.


Khon Co Gi (12m, IV+, 6 quickdraws)

The easiest of the sector. Stair climbing that ends in a chimney.

Mao De (20m, V)

More interesting route, furthest to the left. No difficulty, excellent rock, view over the bay. A final dihedral to negotiate.


Routine Heaven (20m, 6a)

Beautiful route with a not-so-difficult step at 5/6m, the rest is homogeneous, with no real difficulty. Nice view of the beach.

Honeymooner's Delight (12m, V)

Very short, too bad. A ridge to negotiate before crossing to the left. Airy finish.

Barefoot Vietnamese (15m, 6b)

Our opener of the day took it out barefoot! The roof has some nice, straight holds and a foot ramp. The final reta is perhaps the trickiest.

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