Places to visit in Cat Ba Island
Places to visit in Cat Ba Island
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Canon Fort - Phao Than Cong
Located at the height of 177 meters, this is a historic site built by the Vietnamese army in the 40's of the 20th century, and now there are still two well-preserved guns, each weighs up to tens of tons . What is more, besides visiting the fort, visitors can also enjoy the astonishing panorama of Cat Ba – the two gorgeous beaches: Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2; various islands with different size: Long Chau, Cat Ong, Ang Tham. Also, from this height, Lan Ha bay looks so lively and hustling with hundreds of fishing boats in the harbour.
It take about 10 minutes to get to Cannon Fort from the center of Cat Ba town, so you can rent a bike, motorbike or have a walk to the destination.
Lan Ha Bay - Vinh Lan Ha
Geologically, Lan Ha is a part of Ha Long Bay but lies in a different province of Vietnam. The ecosystem here is also great, around 200 fish species, 400 species of arthropod, and numerous types of coral live in the water, while larger marine animals in the area including seals and three species of dolphin. Besides, Lan Ha bay has 139 small sandy beaches, as many islands have a sandy beach lie between two limestone mountains. Many tourists come to these beaches for kayaking, sunbathing, swimming or have a picnic on the beach.
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Since it’s quite far from Ha Long Bay, there are not many tourist boats here, which makes Lan Ha a quite remote and primitive place. You can rent a boat or join a tour to come to visit Lan Ha bay. Some resorts like Monkey Island resort provide small boat for small group of 2 - 3 people and the price is very reasonable. Most of tourists visiting Lan Ha bay say they really enjoy this place because it is not so crowded and the nature here is so stunning with lovely sandy beaches and thousands of islets around. Visiting Lan Ha in 3 to 4 hours is a reasonable time.
Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is about 20 km from Cat Ba town. This dense tropical jungle covers half of the whole island and among many other animals and birds is home to the endangered Cat Ba Langurs. Cat Ba National Park is an attractive eco-tourism destination and is particularly attractive to adventure lovers. To get to this national park, you can rent a car, a motorbike or a bike if you love biking. Besides, you have to buy an entrance ticket, which costs VND 40,000 with adult and VND 20,000 with children. A guide is not compulsory but is highly recommended to help you understand clearly about the jungle with various kinds of trees, animals, insects. Moreover, there are different routes so you can choose the most suitable one for your interests and your health condition as well. The most popular, most proper for hiking ones are: Ao Ech (Frog Lake) – Viet Hai route; May Bau – Hang Quan Y (Hospital Cave) route; Kim Giao – Me Con – Tung Di route, Kim Giao Forest – Ngu Lam Peak route.
It will take about 4 to 6 hours for each trekking trail, so remember to take proper trainers and bring some necessary things with you like water, mosquito repellent,a raincoat and flashlight in case you visit Trung Trang cave on the hiking trip. You can buy some basic snack in small shops in Viet Hai, a small village outside the park.
Note: The park open at 7am and close at 5pm, so if you want to join a long and difficult trekking trail, you should start your trip as soon as possible.
Hospital Cave - Hang Quan Y
Hospital Cave is a famous stop off for visitors on Cat Ba Island. Set at Tran Chau - the road that links Cat Ba town to the National Park, but is difficult to reach without private transport. The easiest way for you is to rent a motorbike in one of many rental stores in Cat Ba(the price is from 100,000 to 150,000VND), then drive 10km North until you see the signs for the cave. If motorbike is not suitable for you, getting a taxi could help. Located in high mountain so the road to the cave could be rough and steep.
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This strategically important concrete bombproof cave is an 17 room underground hospital as well as the safe house for Viet Cong leaders which was used during the war in Vietnam until 1975. It contains rooms for various specific purposes: recovery rooms, doctors’ office, a giant natural cavern used as a cinema room, and even escape tunnels for soldiers in emergency. With a very cheap entrance fee of 15,000VND, you can rent a guide so that you will have a chance to learn a bit more about the cave.
Cat Co beach
Traveling to Cat Ba island, don’t forget to visit the most beautiful and famous Cat Co beach. You can get there to chill, lounge around, sunbath or go swimming. Cat Co beach is separated into 3 parts by the limestone mountains. Cat Co 1 beach which is about 1 km from the center of Cat Ba city, is the most well-known beach in Cat Ba so if you want a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, this beach is not really suitable, especially in summer months when a lot of tourists come here. Cat Co 2 is less popular one, however it is still a stunning and attractive beach with such a lovely swath of white sand and suitable for those who want to enjoy the peace. Cat Co 3 is the nearest one to Cat Ba town. It is also a pretty beach with white sand and bright sunshine. There is a new 700 meter wooden seaside walkway around the mountain, so you can easily move from one beach to another.
Viet Hai Village
Viet Hai belongs to Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City, and is about 10km from the center of Cat Ba Town. Considered as 'isolated heaven’, it is located between the valley and surrounded by huge mountains and jungles. Despite the rapid development of the modern world, Viet Hai people still remain 'primitive' of the ancient. Despite the fast development of Cat Ba town, Viet Hai still remains unspoiled natural primitive landscape. Additionally, the hospitality and warm welcome of the locals in the village will make you want to stay here longer. Despite the quite poor living condition as a remote area, people here seem to be satisfied and enjoy their life. Besides, you can also enjoy the food grown by the locals in some restaurants opened here, especially after you have a trek through the national park.