Cat Ba Island Shining in the Sun
Sketch of Cat Ba Island
Located in Hai Phong Province, making up the southeastern edge of Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam, Cat Ba Island is the largest of the 366 islands that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago. It hosts a National Park that accommodates a large variety of marine and terrestrial habitats including limestone karsts, tropical limestone forests, coral reefs, mangrove and sea grass bed, lagoons, caves, a long strip of beaches. The island is also populated by approximately 13 thousand inland inhabitants and around 4000 more dwellers living on floating fishing villages off the coast. Owing a tropical monsoon climate that the average temperature is 25-28oC in summer and 15-20oC in winter , Cat Ba has long been a significant tourist hub of the province itself in particular, and of the whole country in general.
Lush green island
How to get there
There are plenty of tours you can book to head to the paradise. However, it's recommended to hire a motorbike to ride there so that you can immerse yourself in such a spectacular landscape. When you set foot on Hai Phong, ask the hotel front desk to hire a motorbike out. It costs about 60 - 100k per day depending on their types of engine. And there we go!
From the heart of Hai Phong City, you wind up running on street 356 to Dinh Vu Ferry Station bound to Ninh Tiep Ferry Station on Cat Hai Island. Continuing on the street 356, you reach Got Ferry Station, where you board another ferry to Cai Veng Ferry Station on Cat Ba Island. Ferry fees sound cheap, it just costs VND30k per a motorbike that is supposed to ride 2 persons at Dinh Vu Station, and VND20k at Got Station. And the time isn't that long as you travelers decide on hanging out on board whilst feasting your eyes over the sea out there. Actually, it takes 45 mins to get from Dinh Vu to Ninh Tiep, then another similar course of time to reach Cat Ba Island. The ferries start at 6:30 or earlier, and the final departs Cai Veng at 17h every day. And the route repeats every one hour. Don't get concerned too much about the time, you can pay a visit to the paradise by hydrofoil or speed boat. It of course costs more, around VND130k for Vietnamese and VND150k for foreigners.
routes and scenes
What to do
There you are! On the Island, you start riding the vehicle to Cat Ba Town, where a strip of hotels and restaurants is located. It also hosts a bay where boats and ships dock and leave. Don't you feel excited yet? Hey, spend a little time visiting around the town that offers free wifi. Take some pics and check in facebook right away. "Hello, it's me. I'm here in Cat Ba Island. Can't you see the paradise, huh?" may probably be posted on with some photos, which your friends might go green with envy. Once you hang about the town, coastal winds come up and welcome you, bringing a salty smell to cling to your skin and excite your hungry eyes.
Then you ride up and down some hilly passes to make it to a few public beaches, you know, it's free for everyone, though something free sounds not interesting and safe for you foreigners sometimes. Don't bother to join the crowd having some sea bath or lying on the sandy beach for rest. As you spread your eyes over the ocean off the shore, you see several limestone karsts and isles emerging above the water and sharply shining under the sun. Like Ha Long Bay, those islets that have gone through centuries sometimes curiously raise some perplexing legend told by the locals about dragons descending the bay and spitting their jewel and jade which then turned out into stone isles and stood firmly to protect the country from invaders. The turquoise blue water twinkles vividly and shadows of those islets flash mysteriously on the surface; fishing boats and cruise ships slowly float on the ocean while seagulls joyfully hover above white-capped waves. Then you lie down there, covering yourself with a white-foamy blanket of continuous waves going back and forth to the shore. Looking up to the deep blue clear sky, listening to the coastal wind whispering with the ocean, you definitely live your dream up in such a paradise, right?
It's also fantastic if you're lucky enough, well, you're gonna see lots of hot girls and cool guys hanging around with short trunks and great torsos, I guess. Never mind! Of course you can see those people out there at any beach.
Apart from beautiful beaches, you can visit other travel attractions that are inland or in other surrounding islands. If you're interested in local flora and fauna systems, take time for an eco-tour to Cat Ba National Park, declared to be a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Area in the island. There are plenty of indigenous trees and flowers featuring the limestone habitats. Especially, you can watch Cat Ba Langur, one of the highly endangered species listed in the Red Book. Also, you can hike through the park on the stair systems, the highest point of which endows you with the best overview of the island and the ocean as well. Or you're such an athletic guy who looks for some active adventure, you can kayak around the island and get to the Ha Long Bay. Or you can climb limestone karsts or explore a number of wondrous caves. Wow, you see, the island offers you a great deal of joy ever. And I bet, you'll never forget them all once coming to Cat Ba Island. Actually you have to pay some money for entrance fees, but those places are wonderful, you should pass by and enjoy yourselves.
Cat Ba Island
Delicacies of the Paradise
Well if you just decide to have a day tour there on your own, wrap up some bread or sandwiches for lunch or break meals. If you spend more time on the island, just stop by some restaurants around the town for some delicacies. The first one is Pacific geoduck. This saltwater species abounds around the island. There are several ways of gastronomic preparation, like grilling or mixing with herbs, boiling with rice or hot pots. Moreover, you can try jack mackerels, lobsters, sea snakes. Yeah, you're living in cloud nine with those delicacies.
Geoduck on fire
There it is!
Finally to recap the article, there's nothing more to say but just make it to Hai Phong and plan up for a tour around Cat Ba Island! The scenery matches the hospitable climate, which altogether creates a tourist paradise for human beings. It's said YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, well, don't hesitate to travel around. Come join the nature here at Cat Ba Island. You'll bring back a load of unforgettable memories in your whole life. Come on, pack your stuff and start a trip to the paradise!
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Thanks for your attention. Remember to check up further articles of mine if you're interested in this travel topic.
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