Two Must-see Fishing Villages on Cat Ba Island

July 2, 2023

We wake up every day at sunrise over the sea or at the song of birds at the bottom of the forest, the inhabitants of these villages preserve a rich and intact culture, despite the hard weather. Stay away from big cities to explore with us Cai Beo and Viet Hai villages, two unmissable places in Cat Ba.

Cai Beo, the oldest fishing village in Viet Nam

Also called Vung O fishing villages, this aquatic setting in the heart of Cat Ba takes you to the oldest floating village in the country. A must-see stop on the pearl island to enjoy the authentic life of generations that have settled in mobile homes for centuries. With a surface area of almost 18 ha, the Cai Beo village is nestled in the most important archaeological site of the coast and the Northern islands, dating back almost 7.000 years. Found in the depths of karst formations, it brings together some 300 families living from fishing and fish farming.

A true maritime cultural museum

According to the various researches carried out by French and Vietnamese researchers, the stone objects detected in Cai Beo showed traces of two civilizations of pre-Halong and Halong, dating back almost 7 centuries. This is what makes the place the exceptional archaeological site of the northern island territory. The place was classified as a national vestige in 2009.

Take advantage of this excursion on the water's edge to find yourself in a particular world shared in harmony by man and the sea. Surrounded by simple rafts, boats of all colours are both a means of circulation, exchange, meeting and housing. Going through a hundred floating houses gives the opportunity to observe the daily life of fishing families and to meet children who go to school while sailing. There is also a floating market where the small equipment for fish farming and daily necessities are traded. A painting of lake life as peaceful as it is picturesque.

Meeting the welcoming men and women of Cai Beo allows you to get as close as possible to scenes of local life. Admire the magnificent landscapes away from the city’s bustle, learn a little about traditional fishing techniques and savour freshly prepared seafood on a floating house, so many moments that we are not ready to forget.

How to go to Cai Beo village?

It is located more than 1.5 kilometres from Cat Ba town, district of Cat Hai, along the coast of domain 2B of the Beo pier.

Viet Hai Village

Another village that attracts hikers to Cat Ba Island is Viet Hai. Located in the eponymous commune, the Viet Hai village is the most distant and disadvantaged in the district. Previously entirely away from the rest of the world, the place is still little known to tourists. It is also accessible by road through the jungle of Cat Ba National Park.

Nestled in the middle of the mountains, Viet Hai village can be seen with traditional dwellings, some of which are very basic, built from earth, bamboo and straw. In this hamlet populated by some two hundred souls, the absolute tranquillity, the wild landscapes and the welcome of open-hearted men make you quickly forget the noisiness of urban cities.

At the end of the village, a clean bungalow surrounded by an idyllic setting can accommodate passengers wishing to spend the night on the island. In some plots of land, you will be able to meet people in rice-growing season. Here, a man can be a farmer, fisherman and "Xe om" driver during the day.

Riding a bicycle along its unique tarmac path allows you to breathe a breath of air and explore the lush desert surroundings. A passage to do without hesitation to memorize your getaway in the wilderness in the Cat Ba National Park.

How to go to Viet Hai village?

It is located in Cat Ba National Park, Viet Hai commune

There are two ways to access this small fishing village:

+ The first option from Beo pier, take a boat towards Lan Ha Bay to reach the forest in 45 minutes. If you don't feel like walking, rent the Xe om or motorbike, electric car or bicycle to reach the village after 6 kilometres.

+ By opting for the rest, the most adventurous prefer to walk nearly 9 kilometres in the primitive jungle of Cat Ba to appreciate a varied fauna and flora.