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Cat Ba Island information

Cat Ba island is located on the southeastern side of the UNESCO Heritage of Ha Long Bay, in Hai Phong City,  which has long been seen as an overlooked destination for the locals yet a stunning must-visit spot for all sorts of travellers to Northern Vietnam.
Cat Ba Archipelago comprises of 367 islands, with Cat Ba Island remaining the largest and only populated of all, and it’s well-known for its widespread limestones and karsts above the ocean, dramatic grottoes, rocky hills, diverse natural ecosystem, and hidden sandy beaches.
Its untouched and wild natural beauty is such a charm that you will be surprised to find many foreigners who locate here for months to travel, to explore the island completely. Whether you are an adventurous solo traveller, go with your couple or your family on a leisure trip, find below the best things to do in Cat Ba.
1. Touring around Lan Ha Bay in Cat Ba island
Though most tourists only stop by Lan Ha Bay as an overnight stop or part of a tour through Ha Long Bay, this 7000 ha area is certainly one of the greenest and most exquisite bays of Vietnam. The wide variety of limestones covered by rainforests around the bay are very similar to Ha Long, but the water is calmer, cleaner, and greener due to fewer tourist crowds outside of summer months.
How to get to Lan Ha Bay?
From Ben Beo Port, purchase entrance ticket for the bay and rent or share a boat with other tourists to see the bay according to different routes. You will be passing beautiful floating villages and tons of islands to pick from. Visiting the bay can take up to 3 hours,  5 hours or even the whole day.
How much does it cost for Lan Ha Bay?
Fee: Most tours through Lan Ha bay cost between 15 USD to 20 USD. Do not be afraid to bargain a bit. Going with a local boat through the bay costs around 200.000 VND per person, including entrance ticket to the bay. Kayaking fee is 100.000 VND (5 USD) per person.
Best things to do in Lan Ha Bay Cat Ba islandCat Ba Island is home to the floating village
Best places to visit in Lan Ha Bay
Cat Ba’s monkey island
Cat Ba’s Monkey Island is only ten minutes away by ferry from Ben Beo Port. There are about 20 monkeys living on this island. Many visitors would stop by to feed and play with them. The monkeys here are funny and friendly but watch out as they may steal your food before you could notice.
Nam Cat Island
Nam Cat Island is about 15 minutes away from Ben Beo by boat. The famous island known for stilt house is a perfect get-away location in the middle of the ocean.
Van Boi Beach
Kayaking, swimming and sunbathing on Van Boi beach is typically included in any itinerary of a Cat Ba day tour.
2. Sunbathing on breath-taking sandy beaches
Not only around Lan Ha bay but also within the island that you would be surprised to find many quiet and hidden beaches next to each other such as Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, Cat Ong, Cat Trai Gai, and Duong Danh. Come here to relax outside peak summer season to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beach all for yourself.
3. Trekking through Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is home to 282 animal species, 741 types of trees and plants, along with many hills, ponds, and rainforest spread through a total area of over 16,000 hectares. Trekking through the park takes between 2 to 3 hours. Going with a guide through the park is not necessary, but for safety reasons, you should not go alone.
How-to: Wear your most comfy shoes and outfits for climbing. Take plenty of water, as little luggage as possible and be ready for the long track.
Things to do in Cat Ba island VietnamCat Ba National Park on Cat Ba Island
4. Cycling around Viet Hai village
Trek through Cat Ba National Park to reach Viet Hai Village and enjoy the beautiful and quiet local town by bicycle or by foot. There’s a small 5-kilometer path leading to the port, surrounded by mountain cliffs and clear river path nestling beneath. From here, you can take a boat through the floating village to Ben Beo port on the island.
How-to: Renting a small boat that can take you back to Ben Beo costs around 100.000 VND (5 USD).
5. View the whole Cat Ba island from the Cannon fort
Looking for a great panoramic shot of the island? You do not need to spend hours climbing up the mountains of the national park, but few minutes driving from the town center to the Cannon Fort of the island. There’s also a cafe up there for visitors to sit and chill whilst waiting for a majestic sunset scenery over Cat Ba.
How-to: It may get windy up there from the fort. Take your warm clothes to enjoy the sunset comfortably.
6. Try Outdoor Sport Activities
Kayaking in the bay: Floating through the bay on a kayak is the best way to enjoy different corners of the bay. To rent a kayak costs only around 100.000 VND (5USD) per kayak for 2 people.
Rock climbing: There are two main areas in Cat Ba Island for rock climbing. Look for a professional guide before going for the adventure above the limestone karsts.
Snorkeling to see coral reef: The ideal time to dive under and be allured by the beautiful vivid coral reef hidden in one island only in Cat Ba is between May and September.
How to get to Cat Ba island
There are many options to reach Cat Ba Island, we recommend the following:
From Hanoi via Ha Long: You can take a bus from Hanoi to Ha Long. Next, from Tuan Chau Marina you can take a ferry to Cat Ba and then taxi, motor taxi or bus from Cai Vieng Port in the north of the island to Cat Ba town.
From Hanoi via Hai Phong: From Hanoi, you can take a bus or train to Hai Phong. Next, from Pha Binh Port you can board a speedboat that takes only about 45 minutes to get you to the tourist pier in Cat Ba town.

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