A day hissing Cat Ba Pearl Island – Lan Ha Bay to discover how nature favour this land? The white sandy, deep blue sea, sunshine, green island…all created the gigantic picture that poetic, spectacular to astonished!
I have a close friend that lives in Cat Ba Island (Cát Bà)– who followed her husband and quit the game, so we created a group to go to Cat Ba to celebrate her and stay in a day to discover Cat Ba – Lan Ha Bay. This journey accumulated a lot of beautiful memories.
This was not the first time I went to Cat Ba but it was my first time completely discovered this land. Last time we moved by motorbike in 2 days from Hai Phong city, the trip was like a “mortify bodies” one, cos we were moving non-stopped and just found out the seaside here. Because of that, this time we were looking forward to find out the remaining parts and the post will collect more details in total 2 trips.
After the wedding party, just me and my friend stayed travel in Cat Ba. We were rowing from Cat Hai to go back to Cat Ba. Cat Hai Island has the famous delicious cassava cake. And it was the most delicious one, we were eating incessantly! Just a bit regret that this type of cake just existed in Cat Hai, we couldn’t find the same in Hai Phong. If you rowed by hydrofoil from Hai Phong to Cat Ba, we could not promise that you would find the same!
From Hanoi to Cat Ba you can catch a bus from Giap Bat station (Giáp Bát Station) (now just existed the bus from Giap Bat – after demarcation in the end of 2016). The ticket is around 3-4 USD per one. If you are following the highway one, it will take only 1.5 hour to be there, but the bus will not pick up passengers while going along. We have Anh Huy or Hoang Long to Hai Phong city, and catch a xe-om driver (xe ôm – who drive you on motobike, be meaning motor-taxi) to Binh rank (phà Bính). At the rank contains a lot of vehicles, the cheapest one was Van Tai (Vận Tải), and then Hoang Tu (Hoàng Tử), the most expensive one was the highway train. In fact, every train is still the highway one but Van Tai takes 2 parts buses, from Binh rank to Dinh Vu port (Cảng Đình Vũ), and from Dinh Vu follows the highway to Phu Long (Phù Long) and catch a bus to get into the Center of Town, the ticket is roughly 5-7 USD/ time.
Travel Hanoi to Cat Ba Island – From Youtube – Pham Thanh
The second one is from Hoang Tu to Phu Long and then catching a bus to go to the city center, the price is around 7-9 USD. The third one was the fastest, just for 45 mins, is a highway train from Binh rank to Cat Ba Town, 11 USD for this.
Besides this, you can catch Hoang Long to Cat Ba directly with only 8,5 USD. You will not be worried much with this, just get in the bus, every rise and fall they will take care of you.
The first thing we did is to do a research for hotels. In the height time from May to August, those rooms here were not enough for all. So the price for 3 stars room often rise up to 50 USD and over. This time if you want to be cheap, you had better to choose the Homestay ones, it was around 15-25 USD per 3-4 persons/room. Cat Ba is still on the way to expanse, more hotels and the quality is getting better and better. When we arrived, it was almost November, the last month of summer, the sunshine was intense but not in the height time, you can enjoy the sea without the cold feeling!
The deserted Cat Ba and the price for the best location hotels, the central road surface, nearby the port, sea overview, modern rooms just for 10 USD/night. In facts all hotel here is parity, you can choose your suitable room on your own!
We caught a xe-om driver to the Cannon Fort (the entrenched fortification 117), the place where located the telescope that leads to the bay. Ticket to entrance in to the relic is 2 USD. After climbing for a moment, we two arrived the most beautiful places that overlooks to Lan Ha Bay. The bay located in the East of Cat Ba Island, face the Cua Van that border upon Ha Long Bay. The pretty bay area, the sweet arc with around 400 big and small islands. Different from Ha Long, all Lan Ha Bay’s islands was fulfilled by the green trees or floristic composition, though just a tiny island as rockwork.
This is the time for turning on the panorama mode on your phone to requisitioned to the last. The deep blue sea, the pearl island, the vermilion sails across the huge picture and the windy hill.
In recent times, Cat Ba has 1 more specialty – milk goat cos they were kept a lot on those mountains here.
As it named, on the hill is still keeping the model, gunnery objects from the resistance old times.
We just had a unique afternoon to visit the bay, but the assigned ship tour is all for the whole day, the expensive price in addition and my friend recommended that those spots were not that interesting, we had better to discover 2-3 spots only. So we requested by ourselves a small boat to visit the bay for taking the initiative of our schedule. The price for renting is 20 USD for 3 hours to the bay, and to the monkey island. Ticket to entrance is 2 USD per one.
The ship is small but just for 2 persons, perfect for running officious to find out the corners to save and take continuous pictures. As bored with taking pictures, we contemplated the bay and island around. The interesting and precious things of Lan Ha Bay is the tidy and none garbage. The ship went through the bay, wormed through the beautiful bays to the monkey island.
In Vietnam we have a lot of monkey island, so the impression of mine with this island is not the monkey, but the kayak experiences. The price for renting and rinse bath and cabinet is 9-10 USD per hour. At first I worried a bit that I couldn’t steer, cos in the reality show was not that easy. So lucky me everything was progressed in favorable, we were steering to discover the bay by following our own liking, move to the rocky island on the sea, touched their rough surfaces. The island was less visitor then just our boat lonely on the stream, there was no language to describe this.
What a pity those days using selfie-stick unskilled, we dared not to use to prevent the phone dropped into the sea so no photos to save but the eyes remembered them all.
After boating we swam in the sea on the island’s seashore. This is also the favorite place for the foreigners to expose under the sun.
On the island, there was a row of pandanus that perfect to take a good photograph, though its fruit was not able to eat but pretty beauty and was used for flavoring.
On the way to get back, we asked the boatman about the night cuttlefish fishing service. It was around 35-50 USD/ boat. We could not take this chance due to the high price so we frowned and decided to destroy Cat Ba!
In the height times, the night market was full of people, the crowded shops and inns, the music was on everywhere included the lane and alley. However, Cat Ba Island is strangely solitary at this time. We wandered through the seaside in the evening to enjoy the waves crashed onto our feet and a bar to make a fuss.
My friend said, at Cat Ba just had 2 bars that carrying the “live” DJ. It was Saturday night and not many bars played music. We got into a new opened bar, ordered 2 cocktails and suddenly took all the bar! Cos from the beginnings to the end, there was no guest inside, the staves just get in and out!
If you went out with friends, you can choose those karaoke to make noise!
to be continue…