Cat Ba island known as the island of ladies according to the history when Vietnam was invaded by foreign invader, men were at the front to fight, and ladies on this island became the backup supporters. After the war, the island was name island of Cac Ba or ladies. Now, Cac Ba is pronouced Cat Ba.
Cat Ba is considered as the pearl island of the north and belong to Hai Phong city. This island is actually the extension of Halong Bay and just 25km from Halong city, 30km from Hai Phong.
Tourists on a Vietnam travel package normally know about Halong and plan their Vietnam trip to take the boat trip on Halong bay for 1- 3 days, but it will be a big regrete if Cat Ba island is skipped over.
How to get to Cat Ba island
1. The expressway from Hanoi to Hai Phong takes you 1 hour, then the speed boat (Hydrofoil) takes you another 45 minutes to get to Cat Ba town. The private car from Hanoi - Hai Phong costs around US$80 and the Hydrofoil's ticket is US$10 per person. Local bus is a cheap option, but not recommended.
2. From Hanoi, tourists can travel to Halong first, after having seen Halong, it is possible to take the ferry from Tuan Chau island in Halong to Cat Ba island.
Best time to visit Cat Ba island
Cat Ba is beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. However, it is great to swim if you go there during Summer, but for trekking, the dry season (Autumn or Winter) will be best.
Things to do and places to visit on Cat Ba island
1. Lan Ha Bay - People who have been to Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha bay agree that Lan Ha bay of Cat Ba island is more beautiful. There is no beautiful cave as Halong bay, but Lan Ha bay has fishing village, floating village, and several mini white sandy beaches for swimming and the water is cleaner. No long ago, Quang Ninh authority banned on kayaking tour on Halong Bay, Lan Ha bay of Cat Ba is the best alternative for this interesting tour activity. Another good thing is Lan Ha is less crowded than Halong bay, and overnight cruise on Lan Ha bay gives you peace of mind.
2. Cat Ba town - If you stay in town, it is highly recommended to choose Cat Ba sunrise resort. This resort has private beach and swimming pool, good for family with kids and people who are on luxury tour in Vietnam. During your stay in town, Cannon Fort is an nice place to visit. Tourists can both learn about the history and enjoy spectacular view of the town, national park and Lan Ha Bay. Sit down with a cub of coffee, relax and have a good time!
3. Viet Hai fishing village - Located inside the Cat Ba national park, this small fishing village is good place to take a walking and cycling tour to visit families here. There are few homestays and tourists can stay one night here. In the village, there is navy peak, climbing to this peak takes one hour, but fun! Amazing view is waiting for you there!
4. Cat Ba national park - Recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba national park has nearly 60 species in Vietnam and the world's Red Book. A trekking tour through the park is unforgettable, but you need to be in good health and well- prepration. In the park, there are few caves to explore like Military Hospital cave, Hung Son cave, Phu Long cave. Cycling and motorcycling are highly recommended because hiring the bike or motorbike is cheap, and it is good way to disover the island on your own.
5. Beaches - There are few beaches near the town such as Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, but full of Vietnamese tourists in Summer. For international tourists, it is best to take the boat trip to Lan Ha bay, beach at money island and many small beaches around are ideal for swimming or relaxing.
6. Cat Ba island tour - Hai Phong city is now having a big plan to make Cat Ba island a attractive destination for tourists and a master plan has been given out. At the moment, Vivutravel advises tourists to contact us for a customized tour as we know what to see, how to save your travel cost and how to have great trip there.