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Cat Ba Island Shining in the Sun

Updated on April 18, 2017

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.[1] 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.[2] The island is also populated by approximately 13 thousand inland inhabitants and around 4000 more dwellers living on floating fishing villages off the coast.[3] Owing a tropical monsoon climate that the average temperature is 25-28oC in summer and 15-20oC in winter [4], 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

The Island by the bay.
The Island by the bay. | Source
In the open arm of the sea.
In the open arm of the sea. | Source
Cloud hovers around mountains.
Cloud hovers around mountains. | Source
Heading to the paradise.
Heading to the paradise. | Source
Forested limestone mountains.
Forested limestone mountains. | Source
Piercing the heart of the Island.
Piercing the heart of the Island. | Source
The lonesome road takes us to the sea.
The lonesome road takes us to the sea. | Source
Sometimes you feel lonely as the road doesn't end at all.
Sometimes you feel lonely as the road doesn't end at all. | Source
Endless green frames the front of such scenic beauty of the bay.
Endless green frames the front of such scenic beauty of the bay. | Source
Stairs fringe mountains to let hungry feet roam about.
Stairs fringe mountains to let hungry feet roam about. | Source
There comes one of public beaches in the Island.
There comes one of public beaches in the Island. | Source
The sea embraces the soft white sand bank.
The sea embraces the soft white sand bank. | Source
The beach serves sun seekers whilst umbrellas spread over the place for ya to hide and dry.
The beach serves sun seekers whilst umbrellas spread over the place for ya to hide and dry. | Source
Rocky cliffs tempt your curious eyes.
Rocky cliffs tempt your curious eyes. | Source
And there it goes, the paradise is shining.
And there it goes, the paradise is shining. | Source

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

Ferry routes
Ferry routes | Source
on the way to the ferry station under a gloomy sky
on the way to the ferry station under a gloomy sky | Source
The huge bridge shortens distance to the sea
The huge bridge shortens distance to the sea | Source
a noteworthy landmark
a noteworthy landmark | Source
Locals and tourists flock to the paradise
Locals and tourists flock to the paradise | Source
Ferry schedule
Ferry schedule | Source
On the dock to await a ferry to come
On the dock to await a ferry to come | Source
Off the coast looking backward to the land
Off the coast looking backward to the land | Source
There comes a speed boat
There comes a speed boat | Source
Leaving the shore
Leaving the shore | Source
On board dying to see the paradise
On board dying to see the paradise | Source
There it is! The final dock to land!!!
There it is! The final dock to land!!! | Source
through a curly strip of mountain pass
through a curly strip of mountain pass | Source
The roads glorifies the sky and landscape
The roads glorifies the sky and landscape | Source
The downtown bay
The downtown bay | Source
Nice clean street
Nice clean street | Source
A range of hotels and restaurants
A range of hotels and restaurants | Source
and getting through another chilling cool pass toward the sea
and getting through another chilling cool pass toward the sea | Source

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.



Scenic Beach

A quiet corner
A quiet corner | Source
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Tourist Attractions

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[5] 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

Source

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!

Enjoy yourselves!

Looking to the sea of my own world
Looking to the sea of my own world | Source

Reference sources

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A1t_B%C3%A0_Island

All the pictures without cited sources in the articles belong to the author. For further information, please feel free to contact me at nhphuc2310@gmail.com.

Thanks for your attention. Remember to check up further articles of mine if you're interested in this travel topic.

For other articles, please check out:

Tay Ninh Province at https://hubpages.com/travel/Tay-Ninh-Province-Why-not
Thu Duc Town at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thu-Duc-Saigon-A-joyful-suburb
Da Lat Half Way to Heaven at http://hubpages.com/travel/Do-we-need-a-long-trip-to-change-horses-in-midstream
Life Trap Escape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Life-Trap-Escape
Ke Ga Cape at http://hubpages.com/travel/Sunset-on-Ke-Ga-Lighthouse
Mui Ne Beach at http://hubpages.com/travel/Mui-Ne-Such-a-Paradise
Da Nang City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Thomas-Wanderlust
Hai Phong City at http://hubpages.com/travel/Hai-Phong-Once-Coming-Then-Staying
French Colonial Structures in Saigon at http://hubpages.com/travel/French-Colonial-style-Architecture-in-SG
Top 3 things to do in Saigon Vietnam at http://hubpages.com/travel/Top-ten-things-you-must-do-in-Saigon-Vietnam
Can Gio a nice choice at http://hubpages.com/travel/Can-Gio-A-nice-choice
Cat Ba Island at https://hubpages.com/travel/Cat-Ba-Island-Shining-in-the-Sun
Ta Dung at https://hubpages.com/travel/Ta-Dung-Vietnam-A-Pearl-of-The-Highlands

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    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
      Author

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 7 weeks ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      习主席, I'm glad that you even paid a visit to that island despite your freaking tight schedule planning to CHINES-IZE VN or any country nearby. Well, I haven't traveled in Nghe An before, so I have no idea of must-see places there. Anyway, there are heaps of websites that can guide you where to go in that province. By the way, the place you're living now, I believe, is near to Cua Lo beach. Why don't you come and see, huh? (Glad to have you back, buddy)

    • profile image

      习近平 - 中华人民共和国的主席,中国共产党中央委员会总书记 7 weeks ago

      I'm now in Nghean, so lucky to have a chance to enjoy the summer here。 It's boiling, baking and roasting. It's something that a powerful president like me have never experienced before. I'm just afraid that next time I meet Obama, people will find it difficulty to distinguish us, you know, because of the complexion. By the way, could you recommend some places to visit in Nghean?

    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
      Author

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 13 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      Many thanks buddy. I'll try to travel more and write as well. Hey, why dont you try writing something, buddy? There's a heap of topics for writing.

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      Eden Ly 14 months ago

      nice article! buddy

    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
      Author

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 16 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      Thanks a lot ^^

    • profile image

      bud_saint 16 months ago

      It's quite far for me thu cuz I'll only hit Danang and fly back. Anyway, put it in my bucket-list for further travel later on. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thomaswanderlust profile image
      Author

      Nguyen Hong Phuc 21 months ago from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

      Many thanks ^^ If you like my writings, check up others here in the blog

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      Hacunmiumiu 21 months ago

      What a woderful blog! I hope it is more and more popular blog in the future.