Cat Ba Island and Ha Long Bay

Previous Home Up Next

Cat Ba Island

View over Cat Ba harbour

Our guide book described Cat Ba as the best kept secret of Vietnam - until a few years ago. It used to be a quiet fishing village with just some odd tourists. Now, Cat Ba now has a boulevard, several hotels, and lots of restaurants and souvenir shops.

But the best part of Cat Ba is not on the land, but in the water. You can take a boat for a trip through the bay. Here are dozens or maybe hundreds of floating houses, clustered together in neat streets. 

Water taxi


On guard duty Rowing with his feet

Although the guard dog looks very menacing, the people enjoyed seeing tourists and wave and smile while repairing the fishing nets or transporting people or cargo from one house to the other.

Nice girls

The harbour in the mist

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park

A part of Cat Ba island is declared National Park. We were brought to the beginning of the park, walked through it and were picked up by a boat at the other side and brought back to our hotel. In between we crossed a couple of small but steep mountains, enjoyed a cup of tea in the middle of the jungle and had lunch in the little village in the National Park.  Water buffalo
Planting rice in the fields

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay


Ha Long Bay is placed on the World Heritage list of Unesco, and with reason. There are thousands of little islands scattered throughout the bay. As they are of limestone, the water has nibbled a bit of the rock at the waterline. For some of the smaller rocks this gives the impression the rock may fall down sometime soon! After some hours of sailing, we visited a cave with beautiful stalagmites, illuminated with bright colours. A nice surprise of Vietnam is that you should not recognize an Indian or elephant, but a dragon and a lion. Still, we don't have enough imagination for this.  

Enjoying the view The caves
Back on the boat we found the reason why we didn't recognize the dragon. The small lobster on the right is called the Ha Long dragon, and he doesn't look a bit like the dragon we expected. But he tasted fine. And we also bought some of the other Ha Long treasures: pearls that are grown here. 


Fishing boats in Ha Long Bay

Previous Home Up Next