Biking Routes In Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba archipelago is composed of 367 islands including Cat Ba island in the south of Ha Long Bay, off Hai Phong city, and Quang Ninh province. The island is located about 30 km from the center of Hai Phong city and 25 km away from Ha Long city. Infrastructure and accommodation are quite developed with a combination of hotels, motels, resorts, and temples, suitable for a relaxing vacation. Cat Ba island has been recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in the world, making it a worthy destination when visiting Viet Nam and cycling in Cat Ba. With an ideal geographic location and a beautiful coastal highway, it is mostly recommended that tourists take the biking routes in Cat Ba Island, in order to fully enjoy the tremendous sightseeing spots along the way.
Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island is over 100 km square, is a primitive forest, a cluster of Limestone Mountains, with a rugged coastline and many small islands surrounded by beautiful beaches. Today, Cat Ba becomes a national park, preserving in its heart the primeval rainforest ecosystem of hundreds of floral and fauna species. That is the main reason for which cycling in Cat Ba is chosen as the most famous activity. There are three main biking routes in Cat Ba that tourists can choose from: Phu Long Harbour – Thien Long Cave – Cat Ba Town; Gia Luan Harbour – Trung Trang Cave – Hospital Cave – Cat Ba Town and Cat Ba National Park – Viet Hai Village – Cat Ba Town, all are exquisitely beautiful biking trails.
First biking routes in Cat Ba Island
The first biking route in Cat Ba Island involves going through the forest road, starting from Phu Long port to Cat Ba town or vice versa, of about 25 km. Cycling in Cat Ba, from Phu Long Port to Thien Long cave, tourists will have a chance to feel the transition of landscapes and atmosphere, from the breeze of the seaport to the cool weather of forests. Visitors will get to explore through many hills while admiring the wonderful cliffs at the same time. Along this biking trail in Cat Ba, tourists can stop by Thien Long cave in Phu Long commune. This is a very spectacular destination that must be visited by any explorer.
Thien Long Cave
Thien Long Cave is divided into three relatively isolated areas, with stalactites stagnant from millions of years ago. The first area is structured like a stone roof with a giant stone pillar of 1.5 m high as if it’s trying to push the dome up. The second area has a wide arch, gleaming with stalactites from the top of the cave hanging down like many big roots falling from a majestic mountain. More particularly, the shape of many giant animals is creatively “carved” by stalactites such as a lion opening its mouth as if it wants to say "hello" in a friendly way, creating excitement for visitors. The third cave is very interesting, as visitors have to paddle through a stone stalactite like a large turtle to reach two distinct areas: the Heaven area on the left and the Buddha on the right. This place is splendid with golden parasols, religious statues, fairies, and four sacred spirits on the stone pillars. In the mystical Heaven area, visitors will feel like being immersed in magnificent palaces completely made of nature. Meanwhile, the polyphonic rock orchestra will make you feel like you're lost in the realm. This biking trail in Cat Ba will leave tourists with unique impressions of magnificent and wild cave formations.
Second biking trail in Cat Ba Island
The second biking route in Cat Ba is Gia Luan Harbour to Trung Trang Cave, Hospital Cave, and finally, Cat Ba Town, which is the cross-island ocean way. Cycling in Cat Ba along the coastal pathway is surely a romantic and worthy experience, as tourists will be wowed with the stunning ocean view. Two notable destinations along this biking trail in Cat Ba are Trung Trang and Hospital Cave. After cycling 10km South of Gia Luan Harbour, tourists will encounter Trung Trang Cave. Trung Trang is the largest valley of Cat Ba Island, covering an area of about 300 hectares. The 300 m long Trung Trang cave, which passes through the mountain, is a masterpiece created by nature over thousands of years. With countless natural stone stalactites in unique shape and glistening jewels, Trung Trang always captures tourists’ impressions in the first place. Cycling in Cat Ba through this cave, there is a natural forest called Kim Giao that exists naturally and beautifully with high value in economics and scientific research.
Trung Trang Cave
Continue the beautiful biking routes to the Southeast; tourists will meet the Hospital Cave. This is also a wondrous spot along the way. Hospital Cave is a spectacular destination along the second biking trail in Cat Ba due to its special formation by the sedimentation of coastal limestone. In particular, the Cave is also a historical spot as it was a field hospital and shelter for local residents during the Vietnam War. The design comprises the front door adjacent to the West; the back door adjoins the East and the middle area consisting of 3 separate floors with separated rooms and a movie area. Currently, the entire internal structure of Hospital Cave is still intact, with the whole landscape outside overlooking the breathtaking view of Cat Ba National Park. This is an attractive transition place for international tourists along the beautiful biking trails to the island of Cat Ba. After exploring the Cave, tourists continue the journey for the next 8km to finally reach Cat Ba Town.
Third bike path in Cat Ba
The final biking routes in Cat Ba stop by Viet Hai village and end at Cat Ba town. Tourists can both cycle across the forest and conquer the coastal highway during this biking trail in Cat Ba. The total biking trail in Cat Ba takes about 30 km only. Follow the beautiful biking routes in Cat Ba, tourists will have an opportunity to blend in with nature, enjoy the amazing atmosphere of forests and evergreen trees. After 13 km, tourists will encounter Viet Hai village, a community ecotourism destination attracting lots of foreign travelers who love to explore new lands during their cycling in Cat Ba. The villagers will surprise tourists with their friendliness, characteristics of wet rice civilization, and their purely agricultural life. Coming here, tourists can also enjoy the fresh air, the cool breeze of the magnificent ocean, and the primitive beauty of this village.
Viet Hai Village
Each of these beautiful biking routes in Cat Ba offers tourists different experiences and feelings. One question that tourists usually wonder first and foremost is “Where can I rent a bike?” That should be easy cause bikes are available for rent at every starting point of the biking trail in Cat Ba from the bike shops. There are hundreds of hotels and motels located everywhere in the town, most notably along the coastal road. The price of hotel accommodation during weekdays is usually 50% lower than on the weekends, while the hotel price in the tourist season is twice as high as the normal one. Therefore, if you can arrange the time, you should spend about 2 to 3 weekdays to explore Cat Ba to save some cost.
Biking In Cat Ba Island
As an island, Cat Ba possesses comfortable weather with a less cold winter and a relatively cool summer compared to the mainland, very suitable for cycling in Cat Ba. The rainy season of Cat Ba is mainly around July and August. As such, these months are not recommended for visiting the island and try out these beautiful biking routes. The most appropriate time to bike in Cat Ba is during the summer when tourists can participate in some beach activities and swimming. Meanwhile, visiting Cat Ba around September to November is quite favorable for some activities along the trip such as trekking, climbing, kayaking. Cycling in Cat Ba tourists should bring along some basic accessories such as hats, raincoats, and water bottles to stay hydrated.
Image source: Internet