Cat Ba is the largest island in Cat Ba Archipelago comprising 366 islands which makes up the sourtheastern edge of Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam. Half of Cat Ba area is covered by a national park and home to the highly endangered Cat Ba Langur. The island has a wide variety of natural ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, leading to incredibly high rates of biodiversity. The large majority of the population in Cat Ba Island is Cat Ba town, located at the southern tip of the island and is also the commercial center. The island is easily accessible and matches neighbouring Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay for stunning natural beauty. It also offers visitors the added options of relaxation, adventure and cultural exchange. In April 2005, Cat Ba was officially recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Cat Ba is known for its rugged limestone mountains, hot & cold springs, moist tropical forests and coral reefs, as well as its deserted beaches and casual island lifestyle.
Until now, Cat Ba has become a tourist hub which attracts a lot of local and foreign tourists because of its beautiful beaches named Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2 & Cat Co 3. Cat Co 1 is just near from the town center with numerous local tourist and fishing boats. Whereas Cat Co 2 & 3 are amazing with quiet ambiance, natural beauty and luxurious resorts.
How to get there
There are 2 ways to get to Cat Ba Island based on your real plan.
1/ If you visited to Halong Bay and want to travel to Cat Ba Island only, you can stay in Hanoi first. Then it takes only 2 hours on national highway to Ben Binh Pier, Hai Phong city for speed boat (45 minutes) to Ben Binh harbour, Cat Ba Island.
2/ Or you can do 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights on board in Halong Bay before going on a ferry (45 minutes) or day-cruise (3 hours) to Gia Luan wharf, Cat Ba Island.
Things to do
1/ Sailing and kayaking expedition
Sailing through Ha Long Bay is not only a fascinating experience, but is an adventure as well. Our sail boats take you to remote parts of the Bay and ensure you experience its tranquility away from the crowds of other tourist boats. Setting sail, lounging on the deck and having a quiet beer, while we take you to lagoons, untouched beaches, and amazing caves – what could be better? If needed, our sail boats are equipped with motors to take you anywhere, even on still days.
The calm emerald waters of Ha Long Bay are best explored by kayak. Cat Ba Ventures has a range of tours suited to beginners through to experienced paddlers. This exciting getaway combines the perfect amount of physical activity and relaxation. Exploring rock arch, hidden lagoons, and floating fishing villages, you’ll meet locals and discover a side of mystical this World Heritage Site that you can’t get from a tourist boat.
2/ Hiking in Cat Ba National Park
Hiking in Cat Ba National Park is the best way to discover the jungle here. Follow a local guide through the mountain rain forest and valley to Frog lake, climb up to the top of the mountain where you have a great view.
Enjoy bird watching, sightseeing in the pristine forest. Along the way you have a chance to see wild animals: Native cats, squirrels, spotted dear, snake, thousands of butterflies…and if you are lucky, a Cat Ba langur. Have lunch at a local house with home cooked food in Viet Hai fishing village and take a boat back to visit Lan Ha Bay and floating fishing village. Optional swim at a secluded beach.
3/ Rock climbing – DWS in Ha Long Bay
There are over 3000 limestone islands in the Ha Long bay region of Vietnam and we hardly scratched the surface in our two week quest to explore them. It’s unusual to spend an entire climbing trip on a boat, but then it’s unusual to do over 40 new routes without using a rope. It seemed pointless to mess around with a drill when we’d just found Deep Water Soloing paradise.
Le Pont Cat Ba Club
Green Bamboo Forest