With the primitive and majestic beauty, Cat Ba Island has long been called as a Pearl of the Gulf of Tonkin. Come to this destination you will have unforgettable experience with beautiful beaches, the extremely rich and diverse flora of the National Park, and many stunning attractions
Kayaking to explore Lan Ha Bay
As discovered by experienced visitors who have explored Lan Ha Bay before you, the best way to investigate the magnificence of the Bay is by kayaking since your kayak allows intimate access through karst formations and into covered lagoons, or along pristine shorelines skimming corners and cliffs where bigger boats can’t go. Renting a kayak costs about 100.000VND – 200.000VND/day. The kayaking is also included as a part of overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay from Cat Ba island.
Beautiful beaches in Cat Ba
Coming to Cat Ba, tourists should not forget to experience the Cat Co 1, 2 and 3 beach in the center of the island, in which Cat Co 2 is the most trip-worthy beach with clear water and white sand. Guests can go to the beaches by electric car or motorbike taxi for only 10,000 VND/ person from their hotels. The time for swimming in those beaches are before 18:30, after that the tide is getting high with strong waves, not safe enough for water-based activities
Cat Ba National Park
Cát Bà National Park is a World Heritage Site designated as a biosphere reserve in northern Vietnam. The park covers about 263 square kilometres (102 sq mi) and comprising 173 square kilometres (67 sq mi) of land and 90 square kilometres (35 sq mi) of inshore water.
The National Park is a world biosphere reserve containing an ecosystem of about 1,500 species of plants, in which 118 trees and 160 plants have medicinal properties. So far 282 species of fauna have been recorded. The island is on a major migration route for waterfowl which feed and roost in the mangrove forests. Here visitors buy tickets for 15,000 VND / person then go to visit the ecological beauty of the place.
Historical Cannon Fort
This place is very interesting because it is one of the highest vantages in Cat Ba Town and the best place to admire the beauty of the astounding panoramas of Cat Ba Island and surrounding sea. Head to Cannon Fort at 177 meters above water, you will be overwhelmed with the breathtaking views of Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay, so be sure to pack your camera.
Here visitors can see the mark of historic wars against the enemies with two guns weighing up to ten tons each which are associated with the heroic history of the nation. The ticket price of the Cannon Fort is 60,000 VND / person, visitors can take the motorbike taxi to the top of the Fort with the price of about 20,000 VND.
Monkey Island is also a destination when coming to Cat Ba Island. It is also known as Cat Dua Island (Sandy Pineapple) because there are many wild pineapple trees growing height up the house’s roof, wild pineapple here can be used to soak or as medicine. However, on the island now living more than 20 monkeys who every day play with tourists so the island is called Monkey Island.
There are also two extremely gorgeous beaches on this island which are Cat Dua 1 and Cat Dua 2 beach. Guests can take a boat from Cat Ba Island to visit Lan Ha Bay for about 1,200,000 VND – 1,500,000 VND / boat then visit Monkey Island
Cai Beo fishing village
This is one of the oldest villages of Vietnam, located about 1.5 km from the center of Cat Ba town. The quietness of the fishing village is extremely attractive to tourists. Coming here tourists are not only immersed in tranquil, peaceful and incredibly charming space, witness the dreaming nature, ascertain about the cultural life of fishermen but also directly instructed how to boat, spread the net, and catch the fish right in the fishing village. In addition, tourists are easily attracted by the beauty of the boats, the bamboo nets parking in front of the homes, the houses closely tying together against the storm, the simple-minded fishermen but extremely hospitable, kids with their cheerful and innocent smile. The gentle and peaceful scenery contains the pristine beauty of the fishing village on the waters.
Snorkeling and watching coral under the sea
Cat Ba Island is famous for its thick colorful coral reefs, flocks of fish swimming around small algae is definitely for you. This algae has a thin, long, mushroom-like body growing on the coral reefs, feeling like you are watching a tiny jungle shimmering under the magic sunlight. Guests can buy a kayak tour and watch coral for about 390,000VDN/person.
Climbing to discover Cat Ba
You can book a daily tour for easy climber or experienced climber with Asia Outdoors travel in Catba island. Their climbing guides are experts on the area and will help you with everything you need to climb on the island.
One of the best place for climbing is Butterfly Valley: the main and most popular crag on the island with over 60 climbs to choose from, ranging in difficulty form 4+ to 8a+. 20 minutes by motorbike to Lien Minh, the oldest farming community on Cat Ba. This crag, also known as The Hive, due to the delicious honey and honey related products that come out of it. Stay for lunch, cooked by the local farmers.
With this activity, visitors can have a very enjoyable experience when conquering the mountains to climb up to the top of the island to get the panoramic view of the bay.
Like most islands, beside tourism, Cat Ba locals are mainly earning their living by fishing. Fresh caught octopus, shrimp, crab, oyster, and many types of fish are always available at restaurants on and off the island and sold at the local market, just a short walk from the center of Cat Ba Town. The market is packed with vendors selling all types of sea products from fresh catch to dried seafood which can easily be packed as a souvernir.