Explore Halong in your own way

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There are many places that you want to discover in your Vietnam tours.  However, it will be an interesting experience if you have a chance to discover the entertaining park in Halong. How is that possible? In this writing, you will find the best park in Halong to enjoy your time in Vietnam.

Royal International Park

Royal International Park is located along Bai Chay beach, from the Bai Chay Tourist Boat to the night market Ha Long. This is one of the outstanding recreational areas of Ha Long with an area of about 10 hectares. There are restaurants specializing in serving European dishes, restaurants specializing in Chinese dishes, Vietnamese rice restaurant with specialties seafood. Ideal place for your private tour in Vietnam, right?

Restaurant-in-Royal-International-Park-hellovietnam

Restaurant in Royal International Park

Various entertainment services include the artificial sand beach, refreshment center, swimming pool, etc. The park has bird garden, orchid garden, archery beach, boat shake strong emotions, ghost house, karaoke room, electronic car, art gallery, etc. The stage has an outdoor stage, water puppet show and ethnic music, museum …

The Bai Chay Tourist Boat Port is about 400 m away from Rieu Island – an attractive ecological tourist area in Vietnam private tour.

Here, you can visit ethnic dance and musical theater, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy the traditional songs and dances of Vietnam such as the Calligraphy, Katu dance, Champa dance, etc. Or you can go to water puppet theater that was built in the 12th century under the Ly dynasty. If you are interested in the Vietnam history, you can visit the museum, where displays antique collections of various dynasties such as Bat Trang pottery, Dong Son bronze drum, Cham Pa wood sculpture, etc.

Dragon park

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Dragon  Run game

Dragon Park is the largest theme park in Southeast Asia and the second largest item in the Sun World. Ha Long Park – the entertainment brand of Sun Group has officially come into operation after Cable The Queen has hit two Guinness World Records and the Great Sun Rays have been launched since June 2016. This is also the first park in Asia managed by the Parques Reunidos Group (Spain) – a reputable brand, has established itself as a world leader with over 60 well-known parks in 14 countries. All games at Dragon Park are imported from Europe based on the strict standards of the TUV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) – the German Association for Quality Assurance, under the supervision of experienced experts from Europe.

Produced in limited quantities worldwide by B & M, Dragon Spirit is a world-class adventure game that gives players a sense of suspense. This is not a game for the weak-heart person. You have to be brave to face the fear of the feeling of flying in the sky and immediately go down to the land.

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Dragon Park from above

A little bit more adventurous, but equally adventurous compared to Fast Dragon, where you can feel the freedom to fly around the magic swirls. Although not the most adventurous game in Dragon Park it is challenging to cause many people who afraid of speeding games.

The Mystery Journey is also a roller coaster that makes you scream because you may be fear and feel happy at the moments of playing as you will plunge down from the air during a mysterious ruin exploration journey.

After the adventure to the extreme emotions, you will have a chance to enjoy the romantic moment drifting on the romantic river with a tropical yacht, to watch the clouds and clouds of trees and peaceful bushes in your Vietnam private tour.

Dragon Park is very generous with people who want to get a ticket for their childhood as it is equipped with many modern games appealing not only attractive to the little.

Splashing on the back of the lovely animals with a giant two-tiered gyroscope system in the magnificent space of light and music. Many children have demanded further play when the rotation stopped. Even the girls who have gone through childhood have enjoyed the first two-story “Merry Miracle” in Vietnam. The ultra-modern supercar with exciting touches brings a sense of excitement to groups of friends and family.

These two unique destinations will surely bring you the best time in your travel to Vietnam.

Cat Ba Bay Cruise Tour – Entrance to the green lung of the world

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You are gasping of the city’s dusk and smoke; you are looking for more fresh air and an escape for a while; you are having the intention of lifting your butt off the chair? Leave your city behind and take a cruise tour in Cat Ba Bay, you will definitely bring yourself some air from the green lung of the world.

1. Cat Ba Bay – another holder of the world’s vitality

Dashingly heading to the North of Vietnam, travelers will discover another magnificent wonder of the world nestling itself calmly near Ha Long Bay, cradling all of its evergreens to the heart as dearly as it used to. In some ways of calling, it is preferable to use “bay”, but Cat Ba is actually an archipelago consisting of 367 small islands, in which Cat Ba island lying about 25 km from Ha Long Bay is related to the historic legend of Vietnamese folks.  

Cat Ba Archipelago

Cat Ba Archipelago

Cat Ba Bay is more than just a beauty to be preserved. Its people praise it not only for its originality of the wild and majestic nature of natural grey mounts and infinitive green forests but its significantly high natural value as the arsenal of the world’s vitality recognized by the UNESCO. For many people, Cat Ba Bay is not just an archipelago, it is a white pearl hidden its purity in layers of dust and sand. 

Amongst great numbers of amazing sub-islands in the bay, Cat Ba is the most magnificent in size and is also the largest island compared to more than 1 000 ones in Ha Long Bay. Cat Ba is also known as the pearl island owning the beauty of both history and the wilderness. The name “Cat Ba” is actually a slang of “Các Bà”, which means “The ladies”. The essence of the name is easily explained. Vietnam, as well as most other Asian countries, has numerous mysterious mists and legends. Cat Ba island is rumored or in fact, has a connection with the story of Gióng – the God of war riding with his iron horse, who helped Vietnam fought against its enemy in the past. Besides Cat Ba Island, there is Cat Ong Island and “Cát Ông” is the slang of “Các Ông” which means “The Gentlemen”. In the fight of Gióng, at the island, the gentlemen helped Gióng in fighting the enemy while on this side, the ladies were on another island to assist them. That is why the two islands were named this way.

Visiting the bay, not only can you capture the beauty of nature in your eyes, but you can also be the participant of various intriguing festivals, in which “The Fishing Village” on the 1st of April which marks the milestone when Uncle Ho dropped by the fishing village and “The Lady Temple” are two highlights of the local festivals.

2. Great time to go on a Cat Ba Bay Cruise Tour

Usually, the best time to travel to Cat Ba is in the summer from June to July because it is a great season for discovering the islands and go to the beach. However, most foreign travelers often go to Cat Ba from November to March whether local travelers usually take the tour from April to October. If you travel to Cat Ba in spring, especially at this time of the year, remember to bring along lumber-jacket in case it gets cold at night.

3. Cat Ba tour from Hanoi

If you travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Bay by tour, there will be numerous of ways and agents for you to book from. For Cat Ba is located near Hai Phong city, which is not far from Hanoi,  it will only take about 2-3 hours to get to the city. From here, tourists will travel on a cruise to the bay. Usually, people will spend about 2-3 days in Cat Ba. Normally, tour to Cat Ba Bay from Hanoi is a whole package covering you from A to Z. An ordinary tour pack will often have common timeline Hanoi-Cat Ba-Hanoi.

The price for a day tour in Cat Ba is very cheap and affordable in the variety of Vietnam tours. Some tour operators even offer a free tour for children from 1 to 4 years old and discount for children from 5. A 2-day-1-night round trip from Hanoi to Cat Ba will normally cost from 1.500.000 dongs per person. Because Cat Ba archipelago includes mostly islands, so it will be more suitable for relaxing and participating in sea-side activities than visiting all the destinations because it will be very time-consuming.

For Cat Ba, we advise that you should book a full tour package from Hanoi since the destination is archipelago so you will have to travel on a cruise a lot; a great tour guide in the trip will also be more helpful. Therefore, a tour should cover you better than traveling on your own.

However, if you still want to have the trip by yourself, you can go on a coach from Hanoi to Hai Phong and from Hai Phong to the bay. There are many coach agents around Hanoi, most coaches offer around 47 seats and the ticket price ranges from 80 000 dongs. 

Coaches you can take

Coaches, you can take

From Hai Phong, there are three ways that you can choose either to get to Cat Ba Bay: travel by ferry, travel by bullet train then take a bus or coach or travel by hydrofoil boat.

For the first option, you can travel from Hai Phong to Đình Vũ harbor by taxi or car; from there, buy a ticket and take two ferry trips. The first one will begin at Đình Vũ harbor, you will then travel to Gót station in about 45 minutes. From Gót, take another ferry to Cái Viềng station and travel another 20 km by car or taxi from there to Cat Ba Bay. 

Ferry from Hai Phong to Cat Ba

Ferry from Hai Phong to Cat Ba

For the second one, you travel from the center of Hai Phong to Bính Station. From Bính, you can choose either to travel by speedboat or hydrofoil boat to the bay. For most tourists who prefer to go cheap, they will usually choose to travel by speedboat – the Hadeco with the price from 200.000 to 250.000 dongs per person. However, Hadeco only takes you to Cái Viềng station, from Cái Viềng, you must take a bus to the bay. The hydrofoil boat will take you straight from Bính to Cat Ba.

4. Cruise tour in Cat Ba Bay

As mentioned above, there is nothing much in Cat Ba except for islands, lots and lots of islands! For that reason, traveling to Cat Ba Bay is similar to a journey of exploring different kinds of islands and get yourself a good time relaxing and enjoying life as a true seaside local. Most of the tour will be traveling on a cruise from the harbor to different islands. Normally, it will take one day or two to travel to most main islands in the bay, exploring different caves and enjoy different activities at night by the sea such as dancing or camping. A cruise tour to Cat Ba Bay at day will mostly include traveling to different islands such as Cat Ba Island, Monkey Island, Cat Ong Island and so on.

In the afternoon, you can either choose to have lunch on board, they serve great seafood here with a considerable price or choose to eat out at near restaurants. However, you should have lunch on board because it is safer, cheaper but still very appetizing.

At night, you should gather around by the beach, light up the fire and have an outdoor party. Sometimes local people on the island offer fire dancing and wonderful games to enjoy at night. If you travel on special occasion, you are lucky enough to take part in some festivals.

Where to stay in Cat Ba?

Most people traveling a long day trip from 2 to 3 days will wonder where to stay when there are so many islands. If you are traveling with a travel agent, do not worry because the tour pack has all you need for accommodation that most fit the itinerary. If you tend to travel on your own, you can take a look at this list.

Catba Island Resort & Spa (4-star hotel)

As a 4-star hotel, the quality and service are worthy of its reputation. If you want a fine place for relaxation, come to Catba Island Resort.
Address: Cát Cò 1, Cát Bà Island, Cát Bà Archipelago
Price range: From $50

Monkey Island Resort (3-star hotel)

Monkey Island is a great isolated one in Cat Ba Archipelago. According to ratings, a Monkey is a fine place with great view and appropriate service for a 3-star.
Address: Beach 2, Monkey Island, Cát Bà Archipelago
Price range: From $50

Hung Long Harbour Hotel (3-star hotel)

Located near the crowded market, Hung Long Hotel will definitely bring you much joy while staying in the place.
AddressL #268, 1st April Street, Cát Bà Archipelago
Price range: From $40

Activities at night

There are many things that you can do when the night falls on Cat Ba Bay. Most people will make use of their night to walk along the beach with their lovers, family or even alone. Some even throw a party near the seashore. You can make yourself some BBQ while enjoying a night of chill.

While some want to play it safe, some want to go beyond the border. One of the must-try experience, when you travel to Cat Ba, is to rent a kayak, then sail to Lan Hạ Bay and camp there for the night.

Camping at night

Camping at night

If you stay near the market, you can also go to the night market nearby to get yourself some souvenirs.

In addition, you will absolutely love renting a bike for two to ride around the town. With only 50.000 dongs, you can totally enjoy a fantastic night of your own.

Going to the bar or staying at a café is a really cool activity at Cat Ba. Most foreigners enjoy this kind than the others. Despite whatever activities you choose, Cat Ba will always bring you joy along the way.

5. Destinations of great amazement in Cat Ba Bay

Cat Ba Beaches

There are lots of different beaches in Cat Ba such as Cát Cò 1, 2, 3 are the three ones located near the center, in which, Cát Cò 2 is always praised for its beauty with the pure and crystal clear water. The isolated Monkey Island is a really amazing one with a wonderful beach of deep blue water. If you stay on the island, you can visit the beach every day and you can even participate in parachuting, scuba diving and surfing here. The price for these ranges from 500.000 dongs. However, you should always remember that “safety’s first”. You can either catch a taxi or go on foot if you are near the place. It is advisory that you get to the shore before 6:30 pm because it is when the tide rises.

Cat Ba beaches

Cat Ba beaches

Monkey Island

This wonderful island is a great place you should stay if you decide to get yourself a place in Cat Ba. Originally, the place is called Monkey Island because little monkeys usually come down to the beach to enjoy their day. Furthermore, if you want to enjoy diving in a nearby center, a coach will guide you with the price of 1 000 000 dongs for 30 minutes.

Monkey Island

Monkey Island

Lan Hạ Bay

Lan Hạ Bay is one of the most popular destinations in Cat Ba Archipelago. Especially for travelers who love some adventures and a little bit of challenge on the way, Lan Hạ will definitely a must-see destination on their way. Lan Hạ is such a wonderful place which now has still kept the pure silhouette of nature with white sand dunes, the antique and majestic limestones and ranges of mountains covering the bay. The most-chosen activity here is kayaking. People would love to take a kayak tour and sailing around the bay. Sometimes, they even stay the night camping there. Price for the whole package of a kayak tour is about $10 but if you want to take a tour to see some colorful corals, it will range around $15 to $20.

Cái Bèo Old Fishing Village

Sailing kayak from Lan Hạ Bay, you can easily get to Cái Bèo old fishing village. Cái Bèo is the oldest village in the area. This place is not so crowded or busy but the people are always friendly and so is the village. The villagers will always ready to take you for a trip to feel the peaceful life of the bay.

Cát Bà National Garden

Cat Ba national garden is one of the places that you must visit. This is exactly the center of the green lung where the world’s vitality is stored. The garden consists of nearly 1 000 floral species in which many should be highly preserved. Besides the great natural sites, you can also drop by some wonderful caves such as Trang Trung or the Bat Cave. The entrance fee to the national garden is around 15.000 dongs. With just only 15.000 dongs, what you will receive in mental value is even more.

Thần Công Fortress

Located on a 177-meter mount, Thần Công is a historical attraction which accompanied with Cát Bà people in two great fights against the French and the American in the 40s of the 20th century. Up until now, the two cannons are still being preserved and displayed for visitors. From the fortress, you can also discover many other beauties from the height of nearly 200 meters.

 

Northern Vietnam getaway: Cat Ba National Park

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The northern part of Vietnam is undoubtedly an ideal destination for Vietnam travel as it has everything to offer, from the marvelous mountainous northwest, the fertile Red River delta – Vietnam’s second largest delta, and the so-called “beach heaven” northeast with pristine beaches and majestic limestone islets.

The North also possesses priceless culture, which is the result of thousands of years of civilization and integration. Numerous flocks of both domestic and international travelers have taken North Vietnam group tours to conquer the beauty of this land. Considering the northeast part, Cat Ba Island is perhaps one of the best choices to travel.

Cat Ba Island from above

Cat Ba Island from above

Cat Ba is an about 260 square kilometer large island nestled on the southeastern edge of the worldwide famous Halong Bay, which has been voted as one of the new Seven Wonder of the World. Talking about this island, people always think of the exceptionally stunning beaches and ocean which maintain the wonderful features of Halong Bay first, and then its fresh seafood. Regretfully, many do not acknowledge about Cat Ba National Park – another huge attraction of this island. The Park is the very first marine protected area of Vietnam including 3 subdivisions: terrestrial forest ecosystem, marine ecosystem, and mangrove ecosystem. With such this biodiversity, Cat Ba National Park is undeniably a must-stop destination for North Vietnam group tours.

Mangrove forest in Cat Ba

Mangrove forest in Cat Ba

The National Park provides natural habitats for various species of flora and fauna, many of which are rare plants and animals needing to be rigorously protected. Tri Ly, Lat Hoa, Lim Set, Gie Hoa, and Kim Giao are the most precious wood trees in the jungle. Especially, Kim Giao wood is believed to be the materials to make chopsticks for the King, as it would bubble and turn into red when touching poisonous foods. Regarding animals, the Park provides habitats for several species of primate, consisting of most of 65 remaining golden-headed langur, which is the most endangered mammal in the world. Additionally, it is also home to different types of birds, reptiles, and amphibians that are listed in the World’s Red Book. The white-faced monkeys (locals call it “Vooc”) can only be found in this area. Cat Ba Park has recently been designated as a World Biosphere Reserve thanks to its significance in protecting the wildlife.

“Vooc” Cat Ba

“Vooc” Cat Ba

Vietnam tours to Cat Ba should never miss visiting the National Park. It would be a great experience to go trekking around the jungle to see the wilderness of its animals, plants, diverse natural habitats, and its panoramic view. Paying just 40,000 VND (nearly $2) for an entrance ticket to Kim Giao Forest, trekker will go up rugged routes to reach Ngu Lam Peak, which is the highest summit in the area. On your way, you will come across small streams, see various kinds of plants and animals, and smell the aroma from the flowers in the forest. There are also 2 viewpoints in the Park, from which you can take a panoramic view over the whole spectacular region.

The National Park from above

The National Park from above

The route to the top would be extremely tiring. It requires a strong physical condition, full preparation of necessary items (torch, raincoat, provisions, etc.), and especially, dogged determination. It is not the high altitude or the long route but the humidity that makes trekking and hiking in the Park a tough task. It may be very slippery, thus requiring you to be scrupulously careful when hiking. Also, remember to bring along lots of fresh water to stay hydrated.  Hard as it may be, the view you get from the peak make it all worthwhile. And don’t forget to bring along a high-end smartphone or camera to record all these majestic things. The National Park, hence, cannot be a better destination for North Vietnam group tours.

As it would be quite hard to travel around the Park, it would be better to hire a local guide. Google maps and GPS are not helpful in this scenario. Also, there are not many guide boards on the way that help either.

Naturally gifted with pristine beaches, turquoise sea dotted with marvelous limestone islets, and diverse bio-ecosystems, Cat Ba Island offers different experiences which are suitable for all ages. Undoubtedly, the island would be a perfect choice for a group tour in northern Vietnam.