Just like an adventurous movie, visiting the fishing village of Viet Hai makes up tourists as real explorers participating in a treasure hunt that was left secretly by the pirates. However, what we are really looking for neither gems nor jewelry, but a priceless beauty of the Mother Nature. Staying in the village, visitors could feel the tranquil life in which humans and nature are living harmoniously. Besides the breathtaking scenery of limestone mountains, tropical forests, and vast ocean, hundred-year traditional culture of locals will also impress visitors as unforgettable experiences.
The Fishing Village in the Midst of Cat Ba National Park
Viet Hai Village has a very special location that is entirely located in the heart of Cat Ba National Park, Cat Hai Island District, Hai Phong Province. This village, including only around 70 households living, is surrounded by high limestone mountain systems, wet jungles, and Gulf of Tonkin. Due to its location, it was hard to access the village, so it is relatively isolated from the rest of the world. If you want to go to this beautiful village, there are several options available.
• The most popular way many people choose is to take a boat. “Kill two birds with one stone”. Visiting Viet Hai Village is available for itinerary 3 days 2 nights of some cruises sailing on Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay. While you are enjoying a relaxing cruise, you have the opportunity to explore the amazing village.
• Another way to go there is trekking. For this option, you have to trek through the jungles in Cat Ba National Park. After walking about 8 km on the trail inside the primary forests, you will arrive in Viet Hai Village. It isn’t recommended only for everyone, because this way will challenge your health with sheer cliffs, deep gorges, and muddy pathway.
• The last choice is to go to the Cat Ba island by ferry first, then take a boat from Beo Pier to Viet Hai Pier, followed by an enjoyable walk to the village.
What interesting activities to do in the village?
Amazing trekking routes:
Of course, trekking is one of the ways to get into the village. As Viet Hai Village stays inside the Cat Ba National Park with high mountains and jungles, going trekking would probably challenge your efforts and energy. Nevertheless, it’s worth, you will be rewarded by spectacular views overlooking the sea. Along the 8 km “entrance”, there are many beautiful roads in the village to try if you get there by boating.
An ideal getaway:
Many visitors traveling to Vietnam are so surprised at a large number of motorbikes in Vietnam. On average, each adult has at least one motorbike as the main vehicle. However, there are dozens of motorbikes in Viet Hai Village among about 70 households. Therefore, if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of cities, there are few great places in this village. You can relax by staying in a homestay, admire the wonderful panorama of the peaceful village and rhythm of nature.
Community-based tourism development:
Several years ago, Community-Based Tourism (CBT) has initially developed in Viet Hai village from great potentials of nature, culture, and humans. As the primary strategy of CBT, the interaction between tourists and local peoples is enhanced by various activities.
Tourists can visit local houses in the area, some of which were made of mud, wood, and other local materials. Moreover, you have a chance to experience daily work as a farmer or a fisherman by learning to plow, making some food, fishing methods, so on. What interests many visitors are to take a slight ride on a bicycle around the village, enjoy fresh air, and observe daily lives of locals who always give a smile and say “Hello” when they see you.
Additionally, most houses in Viet Hai Village make food by themselves from their gardens and fishing, thus, local food is super delicious.
Why you shouldn’t miss visiting Viet Hai village?
Though the village is one of the poorest areas in Cat Hai District, people living here still seem completely satisfy their lives. It may not be rich in materials, but probably rich in spiritual life. Cheerful smiles aren’t likely to disappear in their face, life is not easy though. This will make you appreciate the real value of living.
As mentioned previously, there are a few motorbikes in the village. However, if you want to drive a motorbike around, feel free to ask to borrow, the owners are always willing to say “yes” without taking any fee.
The Strong community:
Due to the small size of the population, everyone seems to know well each other. Thus, if one person gets in trouble, the whole village will help immediately without hesitating. There is definitely no individualism existing in this small village
“Zero” social crime:
Don’t be surprised if you see houses around the village is unlocked all the time. Interestingly, in case of owners have to go away for a couple of days, their houses still welcome anyone without having fear of robbery. There are only two local police, and their job is mainly “chatting” with each other.
In the past, whenever the road was flooded during the rainy season, local people could freely take off clothes to go through without being wet. Mr. Hoang, a local resident, confessed at that time he brought medicine for sales when he came to the middle of the stream, he met a girl who was also naked as himself. Being so shy, the girl dropped her clothes and belongings into the water, so he had to voluntarily lend her the clothes he wore. After that, they fell in love with each other, they now have married for 10 years.
If you are visiting Vietnam, don’t miss this wonderful village. Additionally, if you tend to book a 2-day cruise to Lan Ha Bay, don’t hesitate to extend one more night into a 3-day cruise so that you can immerse yourself in Viet Hai Fishing Village.