Viet Hai is a small, remote village that can only be reached by boat or hiking in the center of Cat Ba National Park. Though the village changed a lot following modern life, there are still vast rice fields and local houses built of bamboo and thatched roofs, surrounded by lush forests and mountains, where visitors can get a distinctive look at traditional rural life in Vietnam.
Viet Hai Village: A serene and rustic beauty of Halong Bay
1. Viet Hai Village Location
Viet Hai is a small fishing village located deep in Cat Ba National Park, about 18 km from Cat Ba Town, in Cat Hai island district, Hai Phong province. Compared to other fishing villages, this place has a quite small area, only about 141 hectares, with 70 households. This ancient village is also famous for its beautifully rich ecosystem, including mountains, forests, and lakes.
The village has a long history spanning more than 100 years. According to local people, in the past, when fishermen went fishing on Lan Ha Bay, they encountered a big storm, so they took refuge in the fishing village, where they unexpectedly found a source of fresh water, and decided to dwell there. Since then, Viet Hai village has gradually formed and developed until today.
2. How to reach Viet Hai Village, Cat Ba Island
Generally, there are two ways to reach Viet Hai village, both from the starting point of Cat Ba Town.
Option 1: By water
From Cai Beo Pier in Cat Ba Town, take a boat or ferry ride to Viet Hai Pier, then travel around 4 kilometers by bike or electric car to Viet Hai village.
Option 2: By road
From Cat Ba Town, buy entrance tickets to Cat Ba National Park for 80,000 VND per person. After that, you will have to hike through the forest, which is about 8 km long, to reach Viet Hai village. Visitors are advised to hire a tour guide to avoid getting lost as well as carefully prepare personal items before starting, such as hiking shoes, insect repellent, and water.
However, the easiest and most convenient way to get to Viet Hai village is to book a Halong Bay cruise trip. The cruise will take you on a leisurely voyage through the green waters and limestone karsts of Lan Ha Bay. At the Viet Hai Pier, the cruise staff will prepare transportation for guests to travel to the village (bike or electric car).
Normally, Viet Hai village is the exclusive attraction on the 3-day, 2-night itinerary of many cruise lines. But if your travel plan is tight and you cannot make the 3-day tour, we highly recommend you book a trip with Paradise Grand or Ambassador Signature Cruise, which offer a visit to Viet Hai village on their 2-day, 1-night sailing program.
3. Best time to visit Viet Hai Village
A sense of excitement and spectacular sights are guaranteed on the journey to Viet Hai. Nonetheless, if you want an ideal experience, you should visit Viet Hai village during these two periods:
- February to March: Since it's springtime at this point, the weather is cool and slightly cold. When you arrive, you will see a dreamy and magical picture of the Viet Hai fishing village coated in dew.
- June: The best time to visit Viet Hai is during the summer, when there is fresh air and a tranquil sea. This is also the harvest season in the village. You will be mesmerized by the splendor of golden rice fields scattered with lush mountains.
4. Things to do at Viet Hai Village
Cycling to Viet Hai village and environs
A bicycle is the most enjoyable vehicle to savor every moment in the authentic charm of rural Viet Hai. Following the concrete road to the village, you will pedal your way through green forests, vast rice fields, and charming bamboo bridges. You can also stop anywhere for sightseeing and photographing. If you travel on your own, the bicycle rental price in Viet Hai is about 50,000 VND/person/day.
Hiking through Cat Ba National Park
For those who are enthusiastic about both athletics and adventure, hiking through Cat Ba National Park to Viet Hai village is a great journey. The hike will take about 4-5 hours through primary forests, caves, and rapids. It’s a great chance to soak up the majestic nature of the largest natural ecosystem in northern Vietnam and escape from the chaos of city life. Just keep in mind that you should be in good health, have prior hiking expertise, and travel with a local guide for safety.
Experience the authentic way of life in Viet Hai Village
Make the most of village life while you're there! You will have a chance to visit ancient houses, bee houses, and fish lakes, learn how to work with a buffalo as a coworker, and strike up a conversation with welcoming residents about their daily lives. Walk through the fields, take in the rhythm of the mountains and forests, and release all of your life's tension. This will help you appreciate this place's simplicity and purity even more.
Try fish foot massage at Viet Hai Village
At Viet Hai Village, don't forget to have a fish foot massage! It’s a refreshing way to unwind and rejuvenate while taking in the village's natural beauty. Visitors will dip their feet into a small, shallow pool with friendly and calm Garra rufa fish, also referred to as “doctor fish”. With their special skills, these small fish delicately nibble away at the dead skin on your feet, creating a tickling feeling that is both soothing and energizing.
Tucked away in the tranquil scenery of Cat Ba Island, Viet Hai village provides a hidden getaway from the outside world and an amazing experience for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure and an honest look at rural life in Vietnam. If you’re keen on this quaint attraction of Lan Ha Bay, contact our travel consultants now to find your perfect cruise trip with the best deals.