Coming to Cat Ba Island

CAT BA ISLAND TOURISM

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 331 0

CAT BA INTRODUCTION

During your travels in Vietnam, you may have heard of Cat Ba Island – the Pearl Island of the north. Cat Ba’s beauty attracts many visitors but for a lot of people, this island still retains much mystery by its compelling mountainous landscape, never ending green forests and fascinating culture. You will not only fall in love with the lifestyle here but also the people. Let’s find out why visitors love Cat Ba so much! Following the links below to find a helpful part of the article for you:

bãi biển Cát Bà2

Cat Ba History

The name of Cat Ba Island means “Women’s Island.” Legend has it that three women of the Tran Dynasty were killed and their bodies floated to the island. Local fisherman found the bodies on three different beaches, and the residents built a temple for each woman. 

Prior to 1945, Cat Ba town was quite literally just named Cat Ba Street, later renamed to Cat Ba commune, located in the Cat Hai district of the Quang Yen province. In 1957, the town was renamed to Cat Ba Town and was absorbed into the Hai Phong province.  

cat ba national park
Coming to Cat Ba Island

NORTHEASTERN VIETNAM FOLK STORY

According to a northeastern Vietnam folk story, Cat Ba island was once the harem of the first man to exploit lacquer in this area. When he discovered the precious bay with many beautiful islands, which later became known as Ha Long, it was also his time to conquer the fate of the island’s many lonely women, whose husbands had passed away. Later, on another sea trip full of uncertainty through the area, to freely exploit the area of Hon Gai, Bai Chay, he gathered all the women to live on a beautiful, rich and isolated island in the middle of the sea, located in Lan Ha Bay. That is how the island received its name Cat Ong (Man’s Island) to go along with Cat Ba (Women’s Island).

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Cat Ba Geography

Cat Ba Island is part of an archipelago made up of 367 large and small islands. Cat Ba Island is the main island of about 140km², 50 kilometers  away from Haiphong port, located in the southern part of Ha Long Bay. It creates a massive island complex and contains a large number of caves on the land and on the sea to fascinate visitors. Come to Cat Ba island, you can enjoy the fresh air and blend in with the beautiful nature.

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Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba Island is a giant green carpet, containing many mysterious and interesting attractions. Cat Ba National Park is the third biosphere reserve in Vietnam; now recognized by UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve. The total area of ​​the Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve is over 26,000Ha; with two core zones (strict conservation and no human impact), two buffer zones (allowing for limited economic development but combined with conservation) and two transition areas (economic development). The Cat Ba biosphere reserve is a convergence of tropical rainforests on limestone islands; mangrove forests; coral reefs; rug and cave systems. Cat Ba Island also has the Cai Beo site, belonging to Ha Long culture, a group of people who lived here from 6475 – 4200 years ago.

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nước biển cát bà

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island contains varied garden topography; with mainly limestone mountains; and many interesting caves; alternating with smooth; white sand beaches; where visitors can swim and relax. The limestone mountains have an average height of 150m; with the highest peak being Cao Vong; 322m above sea level. Cat Ba has 300 species of marine fish; 500 species of mollusks and crustaceans; of which many can be used as raw materials for producing fine art items such as tortoise; dragon shrimp; pearl oyster; coral; sea shells; and more …

Boulder Corner

Cat Ba Weather

Cat Ba Island weather is very cool, fresh, suitable for comfortable relaxation. Located in the tropical monsoonal zone influenced by the ocean, the average temperature, humidity and rainfall indexes of Cat Ba Island are similar to those in the surrounding areas. Winters are typically warmer than usual and summers are cooler than usual than the mainland.

In Detail: Precipitation: 1,700-1,800 mm / year, seasonal fluctuations. The rainy season is mainly July and August. Average temperature in Cat Ba Island is around 25-28 ° C.

In the summer it can be above 30 ° C, with average winter temperatures of 15-20 ° C, but may drop below 10 ° C (when the winter monsoons occur). Average humidity: 85%. Tidal oscillation: 3.3 to 3.9 meters. Sea salinity: From 0.930% (rainy season) to 3.111% (dry season).

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Must See Places On Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba attractions offer natural, ecological tours that cannot be separated. There are many archaeological relics of the Neolithic, cultural relics Ha Long, and traces of the ancient Vietnamese

In addition, you also have the opportunity to visit the famous public beaches of Cat Ba: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, and an opportunity to join the beach party on Tung Thu Beach. Riding a motorbike on the road through the island; you have the opportunity to visit the unique places that are not available anywhere else, such as Trung Trang cave, Huong cave, Hospital cave, Thien Long cave, Gia Luan bridge – the most beautiful bridge in Cat Ba, and trekking in Cat Ba Nationl Park

Cat Ba visitors are not only attracted to the island by the caves and green canopy of the mountains, but also by the local food and boat trips. You will enjoy the fresh air of the sea and kayak visits to famous sites: Bright cave, Dark cave, and enjoy the clear waters at Three Peaches beach. Furthermore, joining the night cruise is another activity you can expect to enjoy in Cat Ba. You can go all over Lan Ha Bay – Ha Long Bay, and visit more than 100 different large beaches

thưởng thức bữa trưa ven biển
Watch the Cat ba island

Cat Ba National Park

Established in 1986, Cat Ba National Park has a forest, a sea rich with resources, beautiful scenery, and a variety of rare plants and animals. The total area of the park is 15,200ha, with the forest area being 9,800ha and the sea area being 4,200ha. The topography is diverse, made up of mainly limestone mountains with many caves. Each mountain, with an average height of 150m, has many small passages such as Da Lat Pass, Eo Bich Pass, Cao Pho Pass … and many large streams year around, such as Thuong Luong Stream, Treo Stream, Viet Hai Stream. Cat Ba is a tropical forest with special soil types. The limestone forest occupies the largest area, intermingled with natural forests on the mountain, especially in the Trung Trang area where the Kim Giao forest grows naturally. 

The fauna here is also rich

The flora here contains 620 species from 123 families such as Dogs, Trai Ly, Lat Hoa, Dinh, Kim Giao …. These are trees that need protection for proper development. The fauna here is also rich with 20 species of mammals, 69 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, especially white-headed langurs, which live in cliffs along the coast. Rare and now only in Cat Ba. The cave on Cat Ba island is also very rich in plant and animal life. Each cave has a different beauty, creating beautiful natural paintings that will amaze anyone. The most visited caves are Luon cave, Trung Trang cave, Gia Luan cave, Thien Long grotto … with gorgeous stalactite stalks.

How To Get Cat Ba?

In the past, it was very difficult to reach Cat Ba island. Normally, from Ha Noi, tourists had to go to Hai Phong city by bus or train, then buy tickets at the Binh harbour to go to Cat Ba. Currently, reaching Cat Ba Island is much improved. Many bus companies are expanding direct routes from Hanoi (and other locations) to Cat Ba and from Cat Ba to other locations in Vietnam. This has been improving convenience for visitors, allowing them to have more choices to reach Cat Ba if they have a strict travel schedule. 

You can ride a bike from your location to Cat Ba to enjoy the beauty of nature and scenery on the island road here

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

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cat ba monkey island

CAT BA MONKEY ISLAND

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 218 0

MONKEY ISLAND EXPERIENCE

Coming to Cat Ba Island, visiting Monkey Island is one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable activities. With a perimeter of only 3 square kilometers, but Monkey Island keeps a lot of interesting things. Fascinating visitors by the pristine, breathtaking view of the mountain and beautiful white sand, Monkey Island is an ideal destination whilst traveling in Cat Ba to have a truly amazing time and relaxing moment during your stay.  Let’s break down the article by following these links below to find a helpful part for you

 

Monkey Island Introduction

What to do on Monkey Island

How to get Monkey island

Be careful on Monkey Island

I’m here to help you out

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

WHAT TO DO ON CAT BA ISLAND

Monkey island introduction

Monkey Island is not a strange name to visitors when traveling in Cat Ba. Only 15 minutes away from Beo harbour by boat, Monkey Island is the first place in the trip to visit Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay . On the way, you will have the opportunity to visit fishing villages and fish farms, learn about the living habits and lifestyle of local fishermen in Cat Ba. This will be an enjoyable experience for you. Monkey Island was originally called Pineapple island because it has pineapple trees growing on sand. In the past, fishermen in Cat Ba often came to the island to pick up wild pineapple to make a remedy as a cure for diabetes. Currently, there are more than 20 wild monkeys living on the island. They usually come down to the beach to receive food from visitors. Time by time, it has been called Monkey Island to make the island more familiar to tourists

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làng Việt Hải
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What to do on Monkey Island 

Coming to the island, you will have the opportunity to enjoy golden sunlight on white sand beach. From here, you will be seeing the beauty of Lan Ha Bay with mountainous limestone karsts surrounding neighborhood area. Monkey Island’s white sand beach is also one of the highlights of the island. You can lie on the long white sand beach to enjoy the sunshine or spend minutes to immerse yourself in the cool blue crystal clear water. 

On Monkey Island, you can also kayak to explore the islets and small sand beaches around Monkey Island. With 200,000 VND ( $9 USD), you can rent a kayak to explore yourself. In addition, hiking on the mountain is also worth considering when visiting the Monkey Island. Only 10-minute hike, you will have the opportunity to capture panoramic photos from the top of the mountain. Not only that, you can also see the community of monkeys playing on it.

VIET HAI VILLAGE
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How to get Monkey island 

The island is one of the attractions in the trip to Cat Ba. You can book daily boat tour and nature tours for a chance to visit Monkey Island and other famous sightseeing places on the tour schedule. Besides, if you want to explore this miracle place yourself, the suggestions below may be useful for you:

 

From the center of Cat Ba town, you ride a bike / take a taxi to Beo Harbour. It would take you 5 minutes by bike to get there. In the harbour, you buy a sight-seeing ticket at the ticket box which is 40.000vnd / each. Then take a small junk boat at the harbour. The price for round route should be from 200.000vnd – 300.000vnd / boat depending on your bargaining skills. A small junk boat is capable to take 8 people at the same time. If you have more people, you will pay less.

Vietnam tourism - How to get Cat Ba from Ha Noi by bikes?

What should you be careful on Monkey island?

Due to the natural instinct, the monkeys on the island are often very aggressive. You should pay attention when you intend to feed them. Be aware if you don’t  want to be bitten. Also, watch out for your stuff  if you don’t want to get stolen by the monkeys. Normally, as they are used to being fed by people, the monkeys often come very close to the large crowded tourist area, causing conflicts between monkeys and visitors. If you intend to do kayaking from Monkey Island, you should notice that the waves around the monkey island are usually very high. Wearing a life jacket is essential to keep you safe. In the other hand,  putting sun-scream to protect your skin is also a good idea as you will spend a lot of time taking part in outdoor activities on the island.

bãi biển Cát Bà2

I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

Wait, you would love these tours so much!

VIET HAI VILLAGE – THE TRANQUILITY OF YOUR SOUL

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 380 3

VIET HAI VILLAGE – THE TRANQUILITY OF YOUR SOUL

Viet Hai Village is still a relatively unfamiliar name for tourists. Often tourists flock to the popular destinations with bustling crowds and local people in a hurry to make money. These are places where tourists rush to keep up with the schedule for their journeys. However, Viet Hai is a far cry from this.

The village is a pristine flower nestled in thick jungle beneath towering limestone rock formations and completely removed from the bustle of Cat Ba Island. Here you will find the true lifestyle and culture of the ancient Vietnamese. The village is separated from the outside world and is a peaceful place to reconnect with nature; admire honest; hard-working people and the simplicity of their lives.

A gently winding road connects Viet Hai Port with the village. On one side there is crystal clear emerald water whilst the other side boasts vertical rocky mountains.

If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy nature the way it was 1000’s of years ago, mountains, and majestic views as well as understand the lifestyle of the Vietnamese, Viet Hai village is the place for you. No more overstimulation; none of the usual worries you might have when traveling in tourist areas; it is just you and nature.

How To Get Viet Hai? 

Amazing Person In Viet Hai

What To Do In Viet Hai? 

I’m Here To Help You Out

How To Get Viet Hai? 

There are two ways to reach Viet Hai village. The first way is by trekking through the national park passing through 17 km of the forest road. The second option is to take a small junk boat from Beo harbour in Cat Ba to Viet Hai harbour. I highly recommend the second option because, not only will it save a lot of energy, it will ensure you can appreciate the landscape to the fullest extent. The boat trip to Viet Hai takes 45 minutes and you can enjoy the stunning view of Lan Ha bay on the way.

Trekking In Cat Ba National Park

Amazing Person In Viet Hai – Loi – the dedicated Politician

During my trip, I met Loi – the Chairman of Viet Hai Committee. He impressed me with his tanned skin, deep voice and humble attitude. Although he was not born in Viet Hai, he has had an association with this miracle land for nearly 20 years. During this time Loi has contributed a lot to the beautiful Viet Hai village meaning it is quickly becoming a favorite destination with tourists who are looking for a taste of the real Vietnam. 

viet hai village

WHAT IS VIET HAI VILLAGE?

Viet Hai was previously known only to the local community as an ancient fishing village. Viet Hai people are still living almost exactly as they were 2000 years ago. For the other people in Cat Ba, Viet Hai village was an ancient village. Home to people living in isolation and separated from the outside world. When Loi took office in Viet Hai, he wanted to improve the lives of the local people, as well as share this special part of the world with people from all over the world. It was difficult at the first as the population’s knowledge of the tourism industry was limited but over the past few years Loi has convinced the locals that their traditional way of life and natural environment can be preserved and exist along-side tourism.

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cat ba island homestay

LOI BUILT HIS OWN HOUSE

Loi travelled from Viet Hai to Hai Phong countless times to secure funding to re-build the paved road from the harbour to the village. Once the road was built he then needed travel companies to bring their tourists to Viet Hai port. He built his own house using ancient tools to turn it into a place where tourists could experience the culture of Viet Hai, enabling tourists to understand more about Vietnamese agriculture.

I asked him why he chose to do this. His answer really impressed me: “I want tourists to know more about Vietnamese Agriculture and the important role its plays. I earn  nothing, but in the long term, Viet Hai will become a eco destination .Currently the only way to experience Viet Hai’s beauty is through a travel company but they will be impressed. Tourists will spread word of that beauty. More tourists will bring more income for the local people and this will improve the quality of their lives.”

THE PLACE WILL BE RECOGNIZED AS FAMOUS AND BEAUTIFUL WHEN MANY PEOPLE KNOWAND TALK ABOUT IT

Loi was right, a place is recognized as famous and beautiful when many people know and talk about it. He showed me the natural garden he planted with his own hands. He said: “Agriculture is no longer valued in Viet Hai by the people as a result of poor crop performance. I am aiming for this place to instead become a cultural destination where tourists can learn about traditional agriculture in Vietnam. I have to be a good example for people to follow.” Loi is also a member of the Cat Ba Langur conservation project, protecting the Cat Ba Langur community. By visiting Loi’s house you will have the opportunity to watch a video on the Langur and find out more about this project.

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

What To Do In Viet Hai?

In Viet Hai, besides the beautiful natural scenery, you can experience many local activities that foreign tourists may have never experienced before.

Viet Hai village is an isolated village located in Cat Ba National Park. This place still boasts wild, untouched jungles spread across the rocky mountains. Visitors will be able to appreciate nature untouched by humans.

Visitors may also find some of the following activities interesting

+ Fishing in the streams, ponds, and sea: 

For ancient Vietnamese people, fishing was an essential activity to provide food for daily meals. Visitors to Viet Hai village will have the chance to experience fishing and learn more about the daily life of the locals.

Cat Ba National Park
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+ Experience traditional rice production: 

You will have the opportunity to learn about rice production in ancient times in Viet Nam. You also will experience the use of ancient tools to make white rice grains. This is something  which  should not be missed when visiting Viet Hai.

+ Picking Fruits In The Natural Garden

As the platform being developed by Loi, you will have the opportunity to experience the fruit picking from the garden itself and can eat directly. The fruit is clean and nutritious waiting for you.

THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL VIETNAM

+ Hiking and visiting caves in Viet Hai: 

Surrounded by pristine forest systems and limestone mountains, Viet Hai contains many mysterious caves and viewpoints at the top of the mountains. I had the opportunity to visit these beautiful places. The scenery on the top of the mountain as well as the mystery of the caves were truly charming, keeping everyone’s footsteps here.

+ Enjoy The Local Food 

Food is an indispensable feature in any culture. Coming to Viet Hai cuisine, you will have the opportunity to taste the unique local dishes; learn the recipes of the ancient Vietnamese. The ingredients are completely clean and organic; ensuring you will have the most delicious experience If you would like to visit Viet Hai village to experience local activities and stop at Loi’s place, contact us. Part of the money will be donated to the Cat Ba langur conservation project and at the same time, you are helping Loi to maintain his dream of contributing to the Viet Hai Village community.

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I AM HERE TO HELP YOU OUT!

Don’t worry if you struggle to find a course of action- contact me. I will help you as best as I can. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am available all of the time to help you out.

We have both day tours and inclusive tours visiting Viet Hai village. you will seriously have a good time with us.

I am here to listen to you

Whatsapp number: +84936516991 – Viet

Skype: ducvietdz

Facebook: http://fb.com/namtravel.net

Good luck with your amazing journey in Viet Nam!

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WHY YOU SHOULD KAYAK IN CAT BA?

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Why is kayaking in Cat Ba so attractive?

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Pay attention when using Vietnamese currency

Common Mistake When Using Vietnamese Money

Posted By : Duc Viet Nguyen/ 270 0

What is Vietnamese money?

Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?

Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency

Keeping the face value of money to pay small

As a traveler, using local money to buy consumer goods, is a crucial part of traveling.

 

In this article, I will address Vietnamese currency and tips when using Vietnamese currency.

 

  1. What is Vietnamese money?
  2. Cash VS bank cards. Which is more convenient in Vietnam?
  3. Common mistakes when using Vietnamese currency
  4. Keeping the face value of money to pay small

 

Vietnamese Dong is the official currency in Vietnam. The denominations are as follow: 1000 – 2000 (lowest denomination)

5000

10000

20000

50,000

100.000

200.000

500,000 VND. (highest denomination)

 

XE is an app you can use, to give you live conversion rates or you can simply type the amount into Google and it will convert it for you.

 

If you have foreign currency in cash, you can exchange to Vietnamese Dong. This is very easy to do at the airport and perhaps more convenient, though the commission will be quite high compared to the ATM fee you would have gotten, if you were to have withdrawn cash upon arrival.

 

For money transfer, you can go to the bank or another very convenient way is to go to a jewelry shop or as they’re known ‘gold shop”, they won’t charge you for fees unlike airports and hotels.

 

The bigger the amount of money, the higher the exchange rate is.

 

For example:

 

In the case, changing $10USD to its Vietnamese equivalent (227,273VND) will be lower when you would change $100 to 2,272,736VND.

 

In general, money valued ​​less than $10, the exchange rate will be lower than if the coin value is higher than 10.

 

Why is this change? Because high par value currencies are often more easily traded on the domestic foreign exchange market between Vietnamese and Vietnamese. The higher par value is used or is therefore, more easily exchanged.

 

Cash or bank card? Which is more convenient?

 

It is true that in Vietnam, cash is used in most trade deals. From street food, to market vendors and pharmacies to mechanics most store holders are standalone businesses and do not offer card machines. At some restaurants, people have a swipe card system to charge, but this is only a very small amount.

 

When traveling in Vietnam, do not forget to spend a day in your wallet on average in Vietnam.

Avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash in case of theft or robbery. The ATM system in Vietnam is very developed so you can withdraw money anywhere in the metropolitan area (depending on your bank) and large cities. On average the most you can withdraw 2,000,000VND. Typically you can withdraw this amount three times in a row from the same ATM. If you are in need of more cash, this is the time to make use of the jewelry shops.

 

If you are planning to travel to mountainous or rural areas. You MUST carefully consider the cost of your trip as there will be no way for you to withdraw money from your bank card. If you do not have enough cash. Keep this cash hidden away. Another tip is to have two wallets. One with a small amount of cash and the rest on another one out of sight, refilling the one with the smaller amounts of cash as you need it.

 

The common mistakes when using VND

Vietnamese currency is made of polymer, so it is water-resistant and very durable. One of the most common mistakes made with VND is confusion between the currency: 20.000VND and 500.000VND. The 500.000 note is bigger in size, but very similar in color to the 20.000 note. If you are in a hurry to go somewhere, hungover or just plainly not paying attention handing over the wrong note is a high possibility.

Another error when using Vietnamese Dong is that it can be quite sticky. You could very easily pay with two notes at the same time, only finding this out when you look into your wallet to pay for your Bun Cha and only have 5000VND remaining instead of the 100.000 you had previously thought. Vietnam is very humid and the weather is unpredictable, combine this with keeping the money in your pocket for a long time and voila! Sticky money. Always double-check the money before paying.

 

Keep the face value of money you use to pay in the smallest denominations.

 

In Vietnam, you have to pay to return to nature at public toilets. Price is usually very cheap only about: 1000-3000VND per time, but in truth it is quite and inconvenience. Keep small denominations side to pay for such times.

 

When traveling in Vietnam. The cost of everything compared to some countries is next to nothing so it is easy enough to throw money away. Be smart with your money, don’t flash it around because all of a sudden you’re a millionaire for the first time in your life. Respect the fact that small businesses don’t have a change box in the back of their shop, they will usually have to run to fellow store holder to swap the money to give you change. Enjoy the products and services that Vietnam has to offer and support the local stores vs the international chains. Do your part to give back to the community.