View our location map on Cat Ba Island
We arrived on Cat Ba Island after our cruise through Ha Long Bay and had to pinch ourselves – we had a huge room with a stunning view of Bac Bo Bay and the sun was about to set! We have been so lucky with everywhere we have stayed and once again we have hit the jackpot.
Our first day here we visited the National Park, and climbed to the top of one of the mountains for amazing views over the karsts both on Cat Ba Island and out into Lan Ha Bay (which has the same scenery and is joined onto Ha Long Bay). About 90% of the island is National Park so we will probably do some more exploring in there over the coming week/s.
We have finally got an amazing running track again – it is a coastal track from Cat Ba town around to beaches Cat Co 3 and 1 (in true Asian fashion, the beaches are named “1” or “2” and are ordered 3,1,2) with stunning views out into Bac Bo and Lan Ha Bays. The sunrises and sunsets from here are beautiful and we already spend most of our time up on the coastal track watching the many sea eagles and changing view.
Cat Ba Island is way more chilled out than anywhere else we have been in Vietnam so far, and this, combined with the views and the coastal track have meant that we have decided to spend Christmas, Dre’s birthday and New Years here. Earlier in the year when Dre said he wanted to spend his birthday and NYE on an island, neither of us imagined it would have views out into the ocean with enormous limestone karsts jutting out right in front of the window of our room as well as 3 white sand beaches that are basically deserted.
There is heaps of seafood here (as expected) including huge 60cm horseshoe crabs, mantis shrimps, and clams which are the local delicacy. You can get snake, seahorse or eagle wine, which is exactly what you think it is – preserved animals inside the jar of alcohol. We have also finally found a good Pho (rice noodle soup) lady at the morning market, still not up to Luang Namtha standards but the best we’ve found in Vietnam so far (and she makes it with shrimps which is awesome!). Our photos of Cat Ba so far are here.