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Cat Ba Island – Hai Phong – Vietnam

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is the population consists of 367 islands including Cat Ba Island in the south of Ha Long Bay, off the coast of Hai Phong city and Quang Ninh province, the center of Hai Phong city about 30 km from Ha Long City about 25 km. Administratively, the islands belong to Cat Hai Island district, Hai Phong city. It has been recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in the world. Infrastructure is also quite developed with a combination of many hotels, motels, resorts, pagodas. As the island so the weather in Cat Ba is slightly different from the mainland, winter is less cold and summer is less hot. The rainy season of Cat Ba is mainly around July or August. The average winter temperature is about 15-20 degrees Celsius, and the summer is around 25-30 degrees Celsius.

A corner of Cat Ba town

Legend has it that the island is the Lady, the rear for the Got. In Cat Ba town, there is a shrine. The administrative maps of the French colonial period (such as the 1938 map) also recorded Ladies. Thus, perhaps, the names of the Ladies were read to Cat Ba.

Previously Cat Ba Island in Cat Ba district, in 1977 merged with Cat Hai district into new district Cat Hai. Previously in Quang Yen province, after the Hong Quang area, in 1956 moved to Hai Phong city. Cat Ba is now the district of Cat Hai district. Prior to 1945, Cat Ba Town was Cat Ba Street, then Cat Ba Agent in Cat Hai District, Quang Yen Province.

A floating village in Cat Ba island from above

After 1945, it became Cat Ba town. By 1957 Cat Ba town was renamed to Cat Ba town and newly established.

For northern tourists, the best time to go to Cat Ba is when the summer comes, the period from April to August in the North is also high temperature can be bathed. If you do not mind to go to the beach, you can go to Cat Ba in September to November, this weather is quite nice for some activities such as trekking, mountain climbing, kayaking.

Cat Ba island

How to go to Cat Ba island

From Ha Noi/Sai Gon to Hai Phong:

From Hanoi, you can choose high quality bus or train to Haiphong. Or, there are 4 flights at 6pm – 9h20-15h20-18h10 (train at Long Bien station, if traveling from Gia Lam station plus 15 minutes).

Got ferry to go from Hai phong city to Cat ba island

From Hai Phong City, you can go to Cat Ba through 2 ferry routes Dinh Vu – Ninh Tac and Ben Got – Cai Vieng. These ferries currently have six large ferries and six small ferries, totaling 37 daily trips. Ferries in Dinh Vu wharf operate from 6h30 to 17h (1h / voyage), ferry boat station from 6h-18h.

Gia luan habor – to go to Cat Ba by ferry

From the center of Hai Phong City, you ask for the way to Dinh Vu Port, if you go from Hanoi to go along the new highway, the expressway to Dinh Vu port. From here you buy ferry tickets, about 45 minutes  you will go to Cat Hai Districts, follow the straight road from the ferry about 20 minutes will go to Ben Got ferry, take another ferry turn about 20 you will to Cat Ba Island.

Alternatively, you can go to Tuan Chau Port (Quang Ninh Province) through Tuan Chau – Gia Luan ferry, operating at a frequency of 45 minutes per trip.

Hotels or homestay in Cat Ba Island

In Cat Ba, there are hundreds of hotels scattered all over the town, most of which are in the coastal area of ​​1/4. The number of rooms can meet tens of thousands of tourists. The price of hotel accommodation during the week (Monday to Thursday) is usually 50% lower than the price of the weekend (Friday-Sunday), hotel prices in the tourist season is twice as high as the normal season. Therefore, if you can arrange the time you should spend about 2 days normal to explore and travel Cat Ba Island, not both east and can save money. Another experience for you to take the initiative to rest is to book online early through the Agoda or, this is a fairly prestigious booking system in the world. However, to Cat Ba Island you also need to have a clear and detailed plan for your trip.

Cat Ba beach resort


Hiring boat to explore Lan Ha Bay:

If you are crowded, you can rent large boats to see the Bay, stop at a wilderness beach or a quiet area to swim or kayak. If you go the number of people can rarely rent the small boat of the people (you can easily find in the Cai Beo port) to the appropriate cost. Boat rental to Lan Ha Bay ranges from 400.000-600.000 VND, depending on the schedule of your departure.

Go kayaking in Lan Ha Bay

For the convenience of rowing, you are required to rent a boat to see the bay (or simply buy a kayak tour). Often the boat will take you to the calm area, near the shore easier for rowing (rowing on the waves are so tired). Some places to kayak such as Light & Dark Cave, Me Kong Cave, Ba Trai Dao beach…

Discover the water cave

Biking in Viet Hai Village

From Cat Ba Town, it takes about 1 hour to get to Viet Hai village by boat. At the pier there is a bicycle rental service for you, from here to the village only about 5km. You will be cycling between the four natural mountains, a coastal road, across the mountain. Come to the village, continue to bike to the end of the village and ask the way to the old house in the forest, a bit far but interesting. This is a private home so if you want to take a photo you need to ask permission. Tell more friends, in Viet Hai village has extremely mosquitoes and insects; you should apply the insect repellent before going.

Biking in Viet Hai village

Trekking at Cat Ba National Park

There are many trekking routes that you can explore depending on your own ability and strength. One interesting route you should consider is Ao Frog – Viet Hai village. This route is about 8km.

You will start with more than 2km ecotourism route, passing through May Bau Peak, where ancient Da trees pass through the primeval forests. Frog is the largest freshwater lake on the island, continue trek about 2km you will go to Viet Hai village. Come here, if you still have the ability to walk 5km to the pier, if convenient to go to the ship back to the docks.

Monkey Island

Monkey Island is about 1 km away from the Cat Ba town. To Cat Ba Island, tourists often take a boat from Beo wharf about 10 minutes to go through Cai Beo fishing village, through some small islands and then straight to Monkey Island. Previously, Monkey Island is called Cat Island because the island has many wild pineapple fruit looks delicious but not eat. People go fishing often take for soaking water for cooling or drying as diabetes drugs. The name of the island is now called Monkey Island. Because there are about 20 monkeys on the island, they often go down to the beach to play with tourists, eat the food by visitors like bananas, oranges, tangerines … fun monkeys play to visitors who come here once also feel unforgettable.

Nam Cat island resort

Fresh Seafood


When coming to Cat Ba, tourists not only get into the fresh nature, drop into the cool blue sea, lying on the fine white sand beach where you enjoy many specialties at the place here.

The dishes from clam are very nutritious and delicious. For the people of Cat Ba Island, with fresh clam just caught up from the sea to grilled chili sauce is a great thing. The cold days have a bowl of porridge clam is extremely warm. To serve visitors in some restaurants, eateries are usually steamed with other spices such as steamed with greens, steamed with beer, steamed peppers…

Mantis shrimp roasted with salt

The Mantis shrimp is also called crayfish or sea mantis … is favorite seafood. At first glance, it looks very much like a shrimp, but the mantis mantle is very hard. Mantis shrimp usually live in shallow coastal waterholes. Mantis shrimp roasted with salt is one of the characteristic dishes of this seafood, made from the fresh mantis shrimp, after processing the meat remains intact, not crushed, fragrant and crispy.

Green crabs

There are many types of crabs such as flower crab, red crab, crab dip … but green crab is considered to be more valuable both for big and sweet meat. Green mussels are popular in all seas of Vietnam.

Cat Ba island

Cat ba seafoods are alway famous in any restaurant

Let’s come to discover the pearl island to get the memorable experience.

Written by Tracy Nguyen



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