My 5: Cat Co Cove 3 Beach – Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.

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1. Cat Co Cove 3, April 2018. The trail to Cat Ba Town’s three beaches is just a ten-minute walk from the main drag. Interconnected via a gorgeous walking trail cut into the cliffs, I’d originally intended to visit all three, starting here at the modest sliver of beach known as Cat Co Cove 3. But on arrival I discovered that beaches and 2 and 3 were closed for renovation. Ah, nuts.

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My 5: Cat Ba Town – Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.

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1. Cat Ba Town, April 2018. At first glance, Cat Ba Island’s overdeveloped main drag is little more than an uninspiring stretch of toothy low-rises, beat-heavy bars, tout-inhabited tour offices and kebab carts. Easily the least impressive area of the island, I’m amazed that so many visitors choose to base themselves here. Having set myself up at a charming hostel out in the rugged countryside, it was nevertheless comforting to come into town for dinner at one of a handful of excellent cafes.

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