Cat Ba Island
Ha Long Bay

Cat Ba Island


Cat Ba Island is located south of Ha Long Bay. The island is 354 km2 and inhabited by 25 000 peole. Half of the Island and about 90 km2 of the surrounding water was declared a national park in 1986.

In the park, there's a special kind of trees called Kim Giao which was used to make chopsticks for the royal families as it has the capability to recognize poisons in food. In the water of the park, there's a kind of oyster-like creature called Tu Hai which is said to be endemic to the area. Besides there are the white-headed black monkeys inhabiting the rock cliffs on the edge of the islands. This type of monkeys is listed among the endangered species.



Floating Village near Cat Ba Island
Floating Village near Cat Ba Island


There are 7 villages on Cat Ba Island and floating villages on the surrounding waters of the island. The main town is located to the southern most point of the island. The town can be explored on foot in 30 minutes.

Nice places to see in Cat Ba are the national park which can be done on a sightseeing trip or safari or trekking trip; the tranquil powdery white sand beaches; the exotic fish market and the very relaxing walk on the waterfront.



Cat Ba Island Fish Harbor
Cat Ba Island Fish Harbor


Travel and Tours
Cat Ba Island offers the travellers eco tours, adventure tours and relaxing holidays. You can have a short hiking tour for an hour to Ma Yen Peak and get rewarded with the panoramic view of the surroundings. For those that want to have a hard adventure, then you can go trekking through the national park which takes a full day. It's recommended that you have hiking boots and insect repellents for the hiking and trekking trips. Alternatively you just want to get relaxed by the pristine beaches for the whole day. The beaches have white fine sand, but maybe crowded in the summer time when the Vietnamese travel.

The waters surrounding Cat Ba Island offer unreal paradise with towering islands and small patches of powdery white sand. You can take part in one of Private Vietnam Tours's discovery trips by boat or by kayak exploring the islands with secret lagoons and caves in the area. If you want to get wild, then sleeping on the deserted beaches could be an unforgettable experience.



Cat Ba Island Pier
Cat Ba Island Pier


There are many hotels on Cat Ba Island ranging from simple guest houses to luxurious 3 star resorts. Rooms and services range from simple to very good. Booking accommodation can be very difficult and expensive in the summer.
Getting there and away
By road: The town of Cat Ba is about 60 km by road from Hai Phong. The road trip takes a few hours and involves a ferry crossing which may take a long time. Only few Vietnamese tourists do this route and it is not recommended to the foreign travellers since it's not hassle-free some time.
 By boat via Ha Long Bay: This route is recommended as you can combine the trip to Cat Ba with a relaxing cruise through the most stunning area of Ha Long Bay. 
By speed boat from Hai Phong: there are speed boats running between Hai Phong and Cat Ba Island everyday. The trip takes an hour and require an overnight stay in Hai Phong. Alternatively you can take the local ferry which takes 3 hours. The sea can be very rough in summer time.
Getting around
On foot: You can explore Cat Ba Town on foot which takes 30 minutes or go trekking in the forest for the whole day.

Xe Om, Xa May (motorbike taxi or motorbike): This can be a very fun experience for the adventure travellers to explore different places on the island. You can get the fresh air and be amid nature riding the motorbike around.

Car: you can travel to the national park or explore the island by car from the town center. The road trip takes around 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Boat: traveling to Cat Ba from Ha Long Bay offers you a complete experience of this World Heritage Site. Otherwise you can hire a boat or kayaks and explore the surrounding areas and get exposed to one of the most pristine nature in the world.