26 December 2015

A Winter Christmas in Cat Ba Island - Vietnam

What does Christmas mean to me?
 Christmas to me means a time to share some love with family and friends. The time where everyone come together to share the love and the joy of the one and only Christ. Just like in most countries if not all, Christmas back home in Botswana is family orientated, like it’s that one time in a year where families get to be in the same place at the same time, and when I say families in Africa I mean extended families where uncles and aunties that you haven’t seen in the longest time show up with half-brothers, half half of a distance cousin, that uncle and his wife that you hate and their kids and all. It’s the time were we all see each other all at once.

Christmas is normally celebrated in the country side (Village) where our grandparents are and there are the reason why most of us always travel back to the Village, most of us work in the cities and towns away from villages hence we seldom go home because of work commitments. I for-one used to at least go home 4 times or even less in a year because of my work schedule, I worked in a bank in finance department and worked 6 days in a week, so yah.
How is Christmas celebrated?
 In Botswana we celebrate Christmas by feasting ‘Cook outs’ with family and friends and of course later during the day and evening there are a couple of activities in the village from Football matches to Choir Performances as well as weddings, December is a wedding season in my country, I don’t know about yours. Well I guess I have and still missing the festive season from home again this year.

Cat Ba
I have celebrated many Christmases away from home, last year I was in Thailand and this year in Vietnam. This year through my travel, I made a few friends here in Vietnam and we took our Christmas out of the noisy city HANOI to a quiet Island CAT BA. Since we are all away from home we found it fit to treat ourselves to a little getaway from city and to the country side for the festive season. Cat Ba, which means a WOMEN’S ISLAND, is the largest Island in Halong Bay Northern part of Vietnam, which is 10km east of Halong Bay and half of it is a national park protecting endangered Eco-system. It has recently became people’s favourite destination to visit on their Ha Long Bay trips and the number of tourist increases every year, so who wouldn’t want to be part of the growing number.

So we took our holiday to this beautiful Beach Camp called Woodstock, a unique campsite located 10kms away from Cat Ba town, it's hippy and quiet hence you can do literally anything at peace, my friends and I built a fire man and blew the shit outta him. The place is a very great getaway for a tranquil vacation.

Woodstock Beach Camp (at night)
1. one of the Signs on the beach 2. Camp Bench 3. Artist Board 4. Bus Notice board 5.Food & Drinks Menu

Morning View from the Beach
More signs from the beach
Morning View from the Beach
Camping site - Tents

The weather in Vietnam PMS’s, it was beautiful day on the eve of Christmas and a shitty one on Christmas Day, we had to all stay indoors and not do any outdoor activities. Raining in winter such a mess.

The place itself i.e the beach camp, has a lot of services they offer and activities to do like Kayaking, trip to the monkey islands and other trips to Halong Bay, Hue and chose to use their bus service to head back to Hanoi.

How can to get to Cat Ba via Hanoi?

1.       You can rent out a motorbike or drive your private car to Hai Phong Ferry Centre- Catch A ferry which will drop you in the north of the Island and you’ll drive down south to Cat Ba town where you can navigate your way around the island

Or another Alternative is take a bus

2.      Head to Luong Yen Bus Station – 10 -15 minutes taxi driver from the Old Quarter (Depending which side of the OQ you are) – Buy a ticket from Hoang Long company, they will take you straight to Cat Ba ( You will however have 2 bus transfer and 1 ferry)

I’m very much happy that I took this trip and looking forward to visiting this island on a lovely summer day to catch the amazing view of the mountains and the sun shining down the blue waters.

I enjoyed my Christmas, Did you enjoy YOURS? Share your Christmas experiences with everyone.

Sending nothing but love
Signing out

Twitter @Mr_Orsen
Facebook: Nesro


  1. Merry Christmas! Reading you post has given me an idea that this season is celebrated the same everywhere in the world. However, in multi-cultural Malaysia, most families celebrate more than just Christmas, hence, we have more opportunities to get together throughout the year.

    1. Malaysia is really amazing and with some many family oriented gatherings (holidays) i love how many people there make it a point to visit home during those holidays

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Love the photos you share, never been there but glad to read it from here.

    1. Take a chance one day and visit, its amazing

  3. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas! You sure do had a splendid time in the pictures! Lovely place

  4. looks like an adventurous place to go, wish to go there when my kids are bigger

  5. sweet christmas experience.. i spent it with my family back here in Malaysia.. :)

    1. Its always best to spend your Christmas with your family and friends

  6. I miss Halong Bay! Such a lovely trip!~


About Us


A blog by an African Born and bred in Botswana, a peaceful country in the Southern part of Africa. I am somewhere wandering the continent of Asia.