Cat Ba island is known as one of the prominent tourist attractions in the south of Halong bay, just around 25km from Halong city and 30km from Hai Phong city. Cat Ba has been recognized as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in the world.
With 367 islands, beautiful Lan Ha bay, national park, isolated beaches, fishing villages, Cat Ba is really an ideal destination for tourists and has long been a perfect option to extend Halong tour.
How to get there?
To get to Cat Ba island, tourists can take the bus to Tuan Chau island - Halong city then take the ferry (around 1 hour) to Gia Luan pier in Cat Ba before taking another 30 minutes drive through Cat Ba national park to the town. Ferry ticket is around US $ 3 per person.
You can also take hydrofoil boat trip from Tuan Chau to Beo pier in Cat Ba town for around 40 minutes. Ticket is around US $ 7 per person.
Our highly recommended option is to hire a private wooden boat to cruise through Halong bay to Cat Ba which takes around 4 hours, it is more expensive, but you can see beautiful bay and thousand islands on the way.
For other tourists departing from Hanoi or Ninh Binh, the best way is to come to Hai Phong and take hydrofoil boat at Binh pier to Cat Ba town. The ticket is around US $ 9 per person.
What to to do in Cat Ba?
Swimming: There are some nice beach in Cat Ba like Cat Co 1, 2 and 3. If it is too crowded, let's hire a boat to Monkey island's beach.
Kayaking: Lan Ha bay in Cat Ba is actually the extension of Halong bay, but can be nicer because of not having too many tourists and there are many lagoons, caves, beaches for tourists to explore by kayak.
Cycling: Viet Hai fishing village and Cat Ba national park are places for cycling to see the fisherman's daily life and the jungles.
Trekking and hiking: If you love, the trekking tour through the national park or hiking trip to Navy peak at Viet Hai village is a challenge.
Overnight cruise: There are some wooden boat cruises in Cat Ba offering overnight stay on boat from 1-3 nights. The boat is private, not as luxury as the ones in Halong bay, but comfortable enough. The good thing is you will not see many tourists here.
Best time to visit Cat Ba?
It is from April to October when it is warm to swim and the weather is nice.
Hotels in Cat Ba
There are so many hotels in Cat Ba from budget to luxury, but it is recommended to avoid the hotels where Vietnamese stay as it is too noisy.
Our recommended hotels in Cat Ba:
1. Cat Ba sunrise resort
2. Cat Ba island resort
3. Cat Ba sandy beach resort
4. Money island resort
5. Cat Ba beach resort
Tours to Cat Ba
Day 1: Hanoi - Halong bay
Day 2: Halong bay - Cat Ba island
Day 3: Cat Ba island
Day 4: Cat Ba island - Hanoi/Hai Phong
Day 1: Hanoi - Hai Phong
Day 2: Hai Phong - Cat Ba island
Day 3: Cat Ba island
Day 4: Cat Ba island - Halong bay - Hanoi