The New York-based travel site Thrillist has included Cat Co 2 beach on Cat Ba island, northern Hai Phong city, and Thom beach on Phu Quoc island, southern Kien Giang province, on its list of the best seaside getaways in Vietnam.
Situated 45km to the east of Hai Phong, Cat Ba boasts crystal-clear waters, jungles and ancient fishing villages, but has managed to keep a relatively low profile despite being just south of the world-famous Ha Long Bay.
The travel site described Cat Co 2 as “the most relaxed of Cat Ba’s three beaches” and a place where travellers can take in a panoramic view of the amazing island surrounded by spectacular limestone mountains.
It described Thom beach on Phu Quoc island as “Nested in the forest that dominates this island, Thom beach is too far off the beaten track for coach tourists but brings in enough intrepid backpackers to sustain the local snack shacks and their surprisingly delicious homebrewed beer.”
Cat Ba island is set to become an eco-smart island and a national tourism site, according to Hai Phong’s tourism development plan period 2017-2020.
Located 150 kilometres from Hanoi, Cat Ba consists of 366 large and small islands, beaches and limestone mountains. In 2004, Cat Ba island was recognised by the UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve
Meanwhile, Phu Quoc, 40km west of southern Kien Giang province, is dubbed the “pearl” island.
Phu Quoc features a monsoon tropical climate. It has two seasons, the dry season from November to April and the rainy season from May to October. The average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius, allowing visitors to enjoy the island’s beauty at any time of the year.
The Phu Quoc National Park is one of the most attractive places in the district. It is home to 929 plant species, of which 42 are listed in the Vietnamese and world red books of endangered species. The park is part of the Kien Giang biosphere reserve, which was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2006.