Not so far from Cat Ba island town is a lovely fishing village called Viet Hai - a must-visit attraction for any tourist who comes to visit Cat Ba island and Lan Ha Bay.
Viet Hai Village is a small fishing village, which belongs to the Cat Hai district of Hai Phong city. Located approximately 18 km from Cat Ba Island, the village of Viet Hai can be reached through a jungle trekking of 8km passing the Ao Ech Lake or through a 45-minute boat from Beo pier in Cat Ba Town. Adorably called the "Sleeping beauty" by tourists, anyone who visits here will have a chance to switch to a new atmospheric space and appreciate the precious retained hundreds-year traditional cultural values of Cat Ba.
Viet Hai Village
Viet Hai village has an area of about 15,000m2, a population of about 300 people with nearly 100 households living. However, according to villagers, the actual number of people living in the village is only half due to working away from home or going ashore to do new economic development. Therefore, the space in Viet Hai village is more peaceful, wild, and beautiful.
The villagers are natives in Halong Bay and their ancestors had lived there since hundreds of years ago self-sufficiently by fishing, farming, and breeding. Oblivious or indifferent to the modern world, Viet Hai Villagers still live in simple houses built from bamboo, wood, leaves, and soil. About 10 years ago, when Viet Hai village started to have electricity and tourism became developed, many households turned to the homestay, or to work as a tour guide, driving an electric car to take tourists. As a result, their livings also have many changes and the incomes are more stable than before. Although the village has a small area, the electric system, school, and the station is complete and spacious. Food and main source of income come from what is hunt and gathered from nature, so despite being developed for eco-tourism and cultural tourism, the village still lives with great harmony to nature. Therefore, the unspoiled beauty of nature and the hospitality of people will uplift visitors’ spirits.
Nowadays, Viet Hai village still retains the typical culture of the villages in the Northern Delta region. The house of Mrs. Pham Thi Hoat's family in Viet Hai is now preserved for tourists to visit and experience. The house is including a main room and kitchen made 40 years ago, the architecture has characteristic of the old Northern houses with leave roofs and soil walls. On average, Mrs. Pham Thi Hoat's house welcomes hundreds of visitors every peak day. It is not only a place to visit, this house has the right temperature which very suitable for wine fermentation and distillation. Therefore, coming here, we have the opportunity to learn about the traditional wine-making process of the Vietnamese people.
In order to fully admire the beauty of Viet Hai village, you should travel at these times:
From February to March: this time the fog covers the whole village which makes a very magical and magnificent scenery.
Viet Hai village is in harvest season in June, visiting at this time you will able to admire the beautiful natural scenery with golden fields and limestone mountains.
To reach Viet Hai, there are 2 routes: by water through Lan Ha Bay to Viet Hai wharf or cross the primeval forest through Cat Ba National Park to enter the village.
Viet Hai village is a community eco-tourism destination that attracts a lot of foreign travelers who love to explore a new land.
Firstly, you need to be healthy and have experience in trekking. You should have a local guide by contacting the tour offices in the town center and repair all necessary for trekking such as shoes, clothes, insect repellent, etc. as well. Through the mountain-cut slopes, there is room to go. After about 4-5 hours of trekking through the forest and mountain, Viet Hai village appeared in the middle of the sea, surrounded by forests and mountains. For adventurous travelers, crossing Cat Ba National Park, following a trekking trail over many steep rocky slopes, caves, etc. in Viet Hai village will be a memorable experience.
The concrete road leading into the village will take tourists through a cave which is covered by many big old tree roots and rice fields of the local people. You can take a walk a tram to visit the village. However, the most enjoyable way is to book a cycling tour and you can bike through the narrow winding road, enjoy the fresh air, and admire the green nature around.
Cycling tour to Viet Hai Village
The night of Viet Hai is a bit boring due to the separation from the noisy life outside and wild space of nature, sea, and forest. At 10 o'clock, everyone turned off the lights. However, you should try to eat on a raft, swimming, and diving to see the coral in the afternoon, and squid fishing on board at night.
The tourism model in Viet Hai is eco-tourism, mainly foreigners come to explore and relax, so space here is very quiet, best for learning more about cultural activities and experience life of local people such as cooking rice with wood stove, growing vegetables, harvesting rice, etc.
Thanks to the beautiful natural landscape and friendly and hospitable people, Viet Hai fishing village has attracted a large number of domestic and international tourists. If you have the opportunity to visit this fishing village, you will really have an unforgettable experience.