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Experience one of Vietnam’s most stunning coastal roads

Friday, April 30, 2021, 19:37 GMT+7
Experience one of Vietnam’s most stunning coastal roads
An aerial photo captures the coastal route to the center of Cat Ba Island, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The coastal route from Got-Cai Vieng Ferry Terminal to the center of Cat Ba Archipelago is considered one of Vietnam’s most spectacular coastal roads by travelers from around the world.

Cat Ba consists of 367 islands off the coast of Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City in northeastern Vietnam. The largest island, Cat Ba, is surrounded by gorgeous natural sandy beaches and clear blue waters.

In years past, tourists would travel to the island by speedboat, hydrofoil, or car via the Dinh Vu and Got ferries.

A bird's-eye view picture shows the five-kilometer Lach Huyen Bridge, Vietnam’s longest bridge. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
A bird's-eye view picture shows the five-kilometer Lach Huyen Bridge, Vietnam’s longest bridge. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

In 2017, the Dinh Vu ferry was replaced by the 16km Lach Huyen road. Now only the Got ferry remains. On the 16km route, the Lach Huyen Bridge – Vietnam’s longest bridge – stretches for about 5km. After reaching Cat Ba, visitors can travel the coastal road to catch stunning views of the Gulf of Tonkin.

The 25km coastal road runs along the coast and features gentle cliffs and evergreen trees rising out of Cat Ba National Park. It takes about 40 minutes to travel from Cai Vieng to the center thanks to a recent road expansion project.

Vehicles move on the 16km Lach Huyen road in Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Vehicles move on the 16km Lach Huyen road in Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Traveling on the coastal road, tourists can witness the dramatic growth of Hai Phong harbor - one of the biggest harbors in northern Vietnam, as well as the growth of the Dinh Vu - Cat Hai economic zone.

In a conversation with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Do Tuan Anh of the Hai Phong project management unit of regional transport works, said that there had been three projects in the recent years aiming to upgrade and expand the coast road from Cai Vieng to Cat Ba.

Lan Ha Bay, home of Cat Ba Island, is seen from above. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Lan Ha Bay, home of Cat Ba Island, is seen from above. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
An aerial view picture captures the spectacular beauty of Lan Ha Bay in Ca Ba National Forest, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
An aerial view picture captures the spectacular beauty of Lan Ha Bay in Ca Ba National Forest, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

From 2017 to 2018, Hai Phong City spent a fortune improving the quality of the coastal road. Every transportation project, coastal highway, or route that runs through Cat Ba National Forest has been blacktopped.

Apart from the coastal route, visitors can also travel to the center of Cat Ba Island through the center of Cat Ba National Park to enjoy the fresh air and stunning forestscape.

Tourists contemplate the magnificent beauty of Lan Ha Bay on a boat in Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Tourists contemplate the magnificent beauty of Lan Ha Bay on a boat in Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The island is also home to many historical relics and beautiful caves including Trung Trang, Gieng Ngoe, Quan Y, Tien Duc, Da Hoa, and Phu Long.

According to Vu Thi Thanh, deputy head of the culture, sports, and tourism office of Cat Hai District, visitors have plenty of options to travel to Cat Ba Island. Still, since the coastal road got invested and expanded, tourists have only been able to use the road for backpacking.

“Backpackers often admit that the coastal road to Cat Ba island is the most gorgeous road in the Gulf of Tonkin,” Thanh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Lan Ha Bay, home of Cat Ba Island, is seen from above. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Lan Ha Bay, home of Cat Ba Island, is seen from above. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

To have a perfect trip on the Cat Ba coastal road, tourists should consider riding the road in the afternoon after the sun has peeked out from behind the mountains. During this time, the sun shines directly on the road and hills, creating an extraordinary kaleidoscope of lights and colors. On the way back, tourists can catch the magnificent sunset on the Cat Ba coastal road.

A tourist jumps into the water at Lan Ha Bay, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
A tourist jumps into the water at Lan Ha Bay, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
In the photo, tourists travel to Lan Ha Bay by speedboat. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
In the photo, tourists travel to Lan Ha Bay by speedboat. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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