Cát Bà Island


Cát Bà Island is the largest of the 367 islands spanning 262.41 km2 that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Lan Ha Bay in Northern Vietnam and maintains the dramatic and rugged features of Ha Long Bay. The archipelago has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2004[1] and a part of Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago World Heritage Site since 2023.
Cat Ba terrain is famous for its karst topography. This kind of topography, characterized by limestone mountains, stunning caves and smooth white sandy beaches, contributes to the unique beauty of this island.

When is the best time to visit Cat Ba Island?

Cat Ba has 4 to 4 seasons: Spring (from March to May), Summer (May to August is hot and humid), Autumn (from September to November is cooler), Winter (from December to February when it is cold and foggy but It is beauty)
The best time to go to Cat Ba Island should be Autumn and Spring. Especially from March to middle of April. It is warm and you can enjoy the beach break. The winter is cold and there are not many tourists in Cat Ba Town, it is also an ideal time to see another beauty of this peaceful Island. Just note that, you cannot swim in this season as it is cold.
– In the summer is the time for domestic tourists come to enjoy beach break in this island. Especially, in the weekend or some holiday occasions such as the Reunification day ( 30 April) May Day ( 1 May) and Children day ( 1 June) or Independence day ( 2 Sept). It is crowed. Summer is the time for domestic tourists come to enjoy beach break in this island.
– From November to April, visitors can expect clear skies and bright sunny days. The fair amount of sunshine means fantastic photo opportunities!

How to get to Cat Ba Island?

How to get Cat Ba island from Hai Phong? 

To travel to Cat Ba Island, you will first have to reach Hai Phong. Your options include flying into Cat Bi International Airport, taking a train to Hai Phong Railway Station, or using a bus service from other cities in Vietnam.

*** 1. Hai Phong to Cat Ba from Dinh Vu Port
Dinh Vu Port is a popular choice among travelers seeking to explore this captivating destination. However, it involves navigating two ferry routes, one from Dinh Vu to Ninh Tiep and one from Ben Cat to Cai Vieng, before reaching Cat Ba Island. To reach Dinh Vu Port from Hai Phong’s city center, then you can take a bus or taxi or private car.
*** 2. Hai Phong to Cat Ba from Binh Wharf
Binh Wharf is the preferred choice for many tourists, offering an average travel time of approximately 60 minutes from Hai Phong to Cat Ba Town. Note that travel times may vary depending on weather conditions.

To reach Cat Ba Island from Binh Wharf, this is the main departure point for boats and ferries to Cat Ba Island. You can take a taxi or a local bus to reach the pier. The journey usually takes around 15-20 minutes, depending on the traffic.

How to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi?
***1. Traveling from Hanoi to Cat Ba by train: Although there is no direct train route to Cat Ba Island, you can take a train from Hanoi to Hai Phong, which is the closest major city to Cat Ba. The train journey from Hanoi to Hai Phong takes approximately 2.5 – 3 hours. From Hai Phong, you can proceed with a ferry or bus ride to reach Cat Ba Island.
***2. Traveling from Hanoi to Cat Ba by bus: For a convenient and straightforward Hanoi to Cat Ba bus journey, there are some bus companies depart from Hanoi to Cat Ba island. The bus journey takes approximately 3 – 3.5 hours, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free way to reach this beautiful island destination.
***3. Traveling from Hanoi to Cat Ba by car: This is a fantastic way to explore the scenic route at your leisure, giving you full control over your itinerary. This journey takes approximately 2.5 – 3.5 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.

How to get to Cat Ba Island from Ha Long Bay?
***1. Traveling from Ha Long Bay to Cat Ba by ferry: One of the most popular and economical options is by taking a ferry to Cat Ba Island. Ferries regularly run between Tuan Chau Island in Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island. This picturesque journey typically takes around 1.5 – 2 hours, offering travelers breathtaking views of limestone karsts and emerald waters.
***2. Traveling from Ha Long Bay to Cat Ba by cruise: If you want to turn your journey into an unforgettable experience, consider booking a cruise that includes a visit to Cat Ba Island. Numerous cruise companies offer packages that let you explore the natural wonders of not only Ha Long Bay but also Cat Ba Island. This comprehensive excursion typically spans over multiple days, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of both destinations. 

Tour Cruise in Lan Ha Bay

Ferry from Tuan Chau to Cat Ba island

Attractions in Cat Ba Island

*** 1. Exploring Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park is located in Cat Hai District, about 30 kilometers to the South of the city center. With an area of 26,240 hectares, this is one of the largest special-use forests of Vietnam, where the world’s biosphere is stored.
Cat Ba National Park is home to many marine ecosystems, terrestrial forests, submerged forests as well as rare species of flora and fauna, which makes it deserving of the world’s Biosphere Reserve. If you love trekking, this is your spot. It is worth noting that trekking through this park is only suitable for adults who are fit, as the path can be tough. There are 3 way to trek in Cat Ba National Park.
– Kim Giao – Ngu Lam Summit Route: For the adventurous youth, this is a hit. Ngu Lam Peak is 220 meters high, and the path is about 1 kilometer long. Kim Giao Peak, at 300 meters, is a climb of over 700 meters away.
– Frog Pond – Viet Hai Village: For trekkers up for a challenge, the Frog Pond to Viet Hai Village route is perfect. It takes about 5 hours through bushes, slippery rocks, and dry leaves – a real adventure.
– Trung Trang Cave – Quan Y Cave: If you want an easier path that still shows you the beauty of the park, try the Trung Trang Cave – Quan Y Cave route. It is less tiring but still lets you experience the park’s vibe.

Ngu Lam Summit

*** 2. Kayaking Cat Ba
If you are fond of water activities, kayaking is an experience you cannot miss. In the midst of the scorching summer heat, there is something truly magical about gliding on the clear sea while gazing at the untouched islands in Cat Ba. Just imagine yourself on the way to explore the remote hidden lagoons and deserted islands on your little kayak. It would be so adventurous!

*** 3. Visiting Cai Beo Fishing Village
Cai Beo Fishing Village is one of the largest ancient fishing villages in the country, dating back to about 7000 years ago. Heading to the South, about 2 kilometers from Cat Ba Island, tourists can find hundreds of houses lining up close together like a miniature city. Coming here, tourists can have a chance to contemplate the beautiful scenery, enjoy the fresh seafood and experience the local life.

*** 4. Cycle around Viet Hai Village
Viet Hai Village (Viet Hai Fishing Village) is an small ancient fishing village, located on Cat Ba Island. Viet Hai Fishing Village has a relatively small area of only about 15,000 m2, with a population of fewer than 100 households living in simple houses built of bamboo, wood, leaves, and earth. Some people also go to work on the mainland, far away, so Viet Hai Fishing Village is quieter.
To deeply admire the beauty of Cat Ba National Park and Viet Hai Village, you can ride a tram on the concrete road leading to the village. However, most tourists coming here will choose to ride bicycles to enjoy the fresh air and sea breeze blowing at sunrise or sunset through caves, old forests, and ripe golden rice fields.

*** 5. Go swimming
Cat Ba Island is home to several beautiful beaches that offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Here are some of the most popular beaches on Cat Ba Island:
– Cat Co Beach – The most populated beach in Cat Ba Town
Set location by the coastline of Cat Ba Town, Cat Co Cove is a cluster of 3 small beaches, named Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, and Cat Co 3. While Cat Co 1 beach is the most beautiful one with year-round waves and surrounded mountains, Cat Co beach 2 features an oasis of serenity and mystery. Unlike the calmness in Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2 beaches, the deep sea and big waves in Cat Co 3 are only for good swimmers.
All are mesmerizing places to take a rest and tan yourself. Try walking from beach to beach through a narrow cliff-edge path with spectacular ocean views. You can find umbrellas, lounges, chairs for rent, as well as restaurants by the sand coast.
While the popular Cat Co beaches can get crowded, there are secret spots for a more peaceful swim. Tourists can hire boats to move to Monkey Island or Tung Thu Beach to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and gentle waves.
For the adventurous, the wild beaches at Lan Ha Bay offer a chance to connect with nature. Whether it is tranquility or excitement you seek, being immersed in the sea here will definitely be one of the most unforgettable experiences in your Cat Ba trip.

*** 6. Monkey Island
Monkey Island is protected by Cat Ba National Park because of the rare monkeys and primitive beauty of the island which is charm of Cat Ba island. It is 1km and take around 10 minutes by boat from Beo part.
Monkey island used to be called Cat Dua Island (Pineapples island) because there were a lot of wild pineapples in the island. The fruit is not edible but local people usually used the plant as an ingredient to make tea or dry it to make medicine for diabetes. The island late was named Monkey island when people saw a lot of monkey coming down to the beach and playing with tourist. They eat fruits, cakes and candies given by tourist.
The monkeys in the island are friendly and love tobe around people so that becomes the highlight for the island. Monkey island is a beautiful beach that connects with Lan Ha Bay. After making friends with the monkeys, you can wallow into fresh water and white sand.

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