Cat Ba – One of the most spectacular Northern Vietnam Islands

Located at 60 kilometers far from the center of Hai Phong City, Cat Ba is one of the most favorite Northern Vietnam islands of tourists. catbaisland thinks you should spend 2 to 3 days to visit it as well as enjoy the cool atmosphere of this island.


Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba seashore

1. When to visit?

The weather in Cat Ba is cool and healthy so tourists can come to the island anytime, in any season in a year. In most cases, domestic travelers will choose summer, which is from May to August, to pay Cat Ba a visit. On the contrary, foreign tourists are likely to go to the island in winter and spring from November to March.

It is usually very crowded on summer weekends. Therefore, if you can arrange the time, weekdays will be the most fantastic period to go for a travel on the island. Also, you will be able to avoid hotels running out of rooms or unsatisfied service quality. 

2. How to get to the island?

Hydrofoil Cat Ba

Hydrofoil Cat Ba

From Hanoi, you can take a coach from Gia Lam, Yen Nghia, or Ha Dong Station to get to Hai Phong City. 100,000 VND (about $4.4) is the average price for a ticket. And from Hai Phong City to Cat Ba Island, you will have two options. One is taking a hydrofoil and the other is getting on a ferry boat. Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you have a large budget and don’t want to waste time, a hydrofoil will be your perfect solution. Although you have to spend 220,000 VND (about $9.6) for a ticket, it will take you only 45 minutes to get there. Otherwise, you can get on two ferries and arrive at the island after 1.5 or 2 hours. But, they take only 17,000 VND (75 cents) in total.

Another way for you to visit the island is from Ha Long Bay to Cat Ba. It will be very convenient when you make Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba a tour because that is much simpler than when you travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba. You will not have to find your direction, coach, or starting-point.

A touring car will pick you up at your place and drive you directly to Cat Ba. The only thing you have to is to prepare 480,000 VND ($21.15) to pay for your ticket.

3. What to do for fun?


From the center of Cat Ba Town, you can take a walk, rent a motorbike or a tramcar to the beaches. There are three beaches for you to enjoy, including Cat Co I, Cat Co II, and Cat Co III. They are not so vast but relatively private. Especially, their crystalline water and long seashore will satisfy you.

Also, the beaches are connected by a small track running along the mountain slope. Cat Co I is quite substantial but very crowded. Meanwhile, Cat Co II and III are narrower and often have fewer tourists. One thing that you should note is that no one takes a sea-bath after 6.30 pm because the tide rises.


Red corals

Red corals

The corals in Cat Ba are very rare, unlike those in many other Vietnam islands. On the reefs under Cat Ba, you will find numerous groups of red corals and valuable seafood, such as abalones, pearls, and lobsters. Also, the colorful shoals of fish swimming in the blue water, making the borders of the island one of the most striking places in the world.

If you have a chance to try scuba-diving into the bottom of the sea under Cat Ba Island, you will be immediately blown away by the spectacular marine life. Those are the things that you can only imagine or see on Discovery programs. To experience this special form of entertainment, you can come to Cat Ba Monkey Island Resort Scuba-diving Center.

It charges 1 million VND (about $44) for 30 minutes scuba-diving under the instructions of a trainer.

Becoming one with the nature of Cat Ba National Park

The World Biosphere Reserve – Cat Ba National Park, which have an abundant flora and fauna, is definitely a must-visit destination. If you travel with your children, the park will be an ideal place for them to learn about nature. There are a great number of rare and valuable species still being preserved in the park, such as redhead monkeys, white-head langurs, magpies, and white-collared crows.

You can experience the feelings while walking in the forest and riding a bike along the tracks. The wind blowing through your hair and the fresh air slowly caressing your skin will be the most extraordinary memories of your life. Also, don’t forget to try some special treats of Cat Ba Park, including wild honey and hibiscus tea.

Kayaking to visit Lan Ha Bay

Kayaking is often considered the most exciting Vietnam cruise ever.

Visiting the caves in Cat Ba Island by a kayak will be the most appropriate activity for adventurous travelers. Don’t worry if you never ride a kayak before because it is not difficult at all. You will only need about 5-10 minutes to get used to it. It takes 50,000 VND (about $2.2) to rent a kayak and you can use it all day.

Lan Ha Bay is most stunning in autumn. The mild sunlight shining through the water combining with fresh breezes will make you incredibly relaxed. Most tourists are fond of Lan Ha Bay due to its neglected beauty and sexy peaceful seashore on the foot of the bay. It will make your trip to one of the most spectacular Northern Vietnam islands perfect.