What to do in Cat Ba, Things to do in Cat Ba Island
Brief introduction of Cat Ba island
Cat Ba Island is an archipelago of Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. Located offshore and about 30 km from Hai Phong city. The North is Halong Bay, about 25 km from Ha Long City. If Ha Long is recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage, Cat Ba Island is recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Cat Ba is the largest island among a total of nearly 2 thousand large and small islands in the Halong Bay area. According to a local legend, the island’s original name was Cac Ba. Cat Ba is really a very beautiful, poetic island. If you have come here surely you will want to come back again many times.
The island also has primary forests on limestone mountains, which are being invested in the development of eco-tourism. The tourism potential here is evidenced by the investment in infrastructure, hotel, motel and restaurant complexes, etc across the Tan Vu – Lach Huyen overpass (Hai Phong) with a length of 5.4 km (the longest Vietnam) to shorten travel time to Cat Ba.
The best time to travel Cat Ba
Tourists can travel Cat Ba self-sufficient at any time of the year, but the most appropriate is still around May, June, July – the ideal time for vacation, escape the heat of sultry summer. However, there are differences between domestic and foreign visitors. International visitors usually like to visit Cat Ba around November to March, while domestic tourists prefer Cat Ba resort during the period from April to October each year.
In particular, visitors often come to Cat Ba on weekends or public holidays, if you have time, go in the middle of the week to avoid crowded, hotel rooms or service prices are much higher (usually 2-3 times higher) than usual.
Therefore, the suitable time for the trip to Cat Ba is at least 2 days 1 night so you can have enough time to have fun, admire, swim and enjoy many famous Cat Ba specialties.
How to get to Cat Ba
#1 Going to Cat Ba from Hai Phong
There are 3 main directions from Hai Phong to Cat Ba
- Take the bullet train at Ben Binh
The ticket price is from $10 – $ 12 / person, the train time is about 45 minutes to Cat Ba.
This vehicle is convenient, fast but the fare is quite high.
- Going to Tan Vu – Lach Huyen Bridge
This bridge connects the Hanoi – Hai Phong highway with Cat Hai district. Tourists go to Ben Got Bridge, take a ferry to Cai Vieng wharf, then continue to move to the center of Cat Ba Island. By putting the longest cross-sea bridge in Vietnam into operation, visitors will save time and cost of ferry travel, traveling to Cat Ba Island also becomes easier.
However, you should note that during the peak season, Got ferry is often in overload, especially congestion on weekends. Therefore, it is necessary to consider carefully .
#2 Going to Cat Ba from Hanoi
- Take a bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
Currently, there are quite a lot of buses from the bus stations in Hanoi to Cat Ba center for you to choose with the price of about $ 12 / person / one way. The inconvenience of this vehicle is when arriving at Dinh Vu, passengers have to change their cars to high-speed trains to arrive at Cai Vieng ferry (in Cat Ba), then you have to board another bus to move to Cat Ba center
- Go by train
Another option for you is to take a train from Hanoi to Hai Phong station. Next, you have to catch a taxi to Ben Binh (if traveling by high speed train). With this route, you have to go through Tan Vu Bridge – the longest bridge across the sea in Vietnam and the mainland of Cat Hai Island so it will cost a lot of money. Moreover, you will have to hire a taxi to go to each tourist destination in Cat Ba.
#3 Going to Cat Ba from Saigon
You need to buy a plane ticket to Cat Bi airport – Hai Phong.
From the airport, take the bus to Ben Binh, buy high-speed train ticket to Cat Ba.
Motels and hotels in Cat Ba
In recent years as tourism has grown, so the number of motels and hotels built is also increasing with all types from affordable to luxury. Usually single guests booking rooms will be more expensive than traveling in groups, tours. On weekends, booking is also about 20% – 50% more expensive than on the first day of the week, holidays are also much more expensive than weekdays.
The hotel is located far away from the beach but you can still walk to the beach or rent a tram for $ 0.5 per person. Therefore, tourists should travel to discover Cat Ba on weekdays, to avoid crowds, and to save costs.
Here, I will suggest some hotels near the beach with good service and cheap prices
#1 Catba Island Resort & Spa
– Address: Cat Co 1, Cat Ba Island, Cat Hai District, Bien Cat Ba Town, Cat Ba Islands.
– Cheapest room price: $ 49.72
Catba Island Resort & Spa is a 4-star hotel designed based on a harmonious combination between French architecture and Vietnamese traditions. It is rated by the customer as a place with a beautiful view, good service, very suitable for relaxation.
#2 Monkey Island Resort – 3 star hotel
– Address: Beach 2, Cat Dua Island, Cat Ba, Hai Phong, Monkey Island, Cat Ba Islands.
– Lowest price: 49.27 USD
According to the many visitors who have come here, this hotel has beautiful views, good food, and friendly staff, suitable for weekend and honeymoon travel. The hotel location is also very nice and convenient for you to go sightseeing, learn Cat Ba town at night.
#3 Catba Sandy Beach Resort – 3 star hotel
– Address: Nam Cat Island, Ben Beo, Cat Ba Islands.
– Lowest price: 42.43 USD.
Catba Sandy Beach Resort’s service is quite similar to other hotels. In addition, there are also many entertainments such as fishing, private beach, water sports, etc for visitors to comfortably experience.
#4 Hung Long Harbor Hotel – 3 star hotel
Address: 268, 4/4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Ba Islands.
Lowest price: 36.63 USD.
Hung Long Harbor Hotel is located about 10 minutes’ walk from Cat Co beach and Cat Ba main port, about 5 minutes drive. This will be the ideal stay you do not want to miss.
#5 Sentosa Hotel – 2-star hotel
Address: 182 Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba town, Cat Ba Islands.
Lowest price: $ 20 / person
Sentosa Hotel has a convenient location. It is about 5 minutes walk from Cat Ba port, about 10 minutes walk from Cat Co beach, market so it is very easy for you to visit and shop. This is also an affordable hotel for travelers with an economical travel trip.
What to do in Cat Ba?- Some places to visit in Cat Ba
– Beaches in Cat Ba
When it comes to Cat Ba beach in Hai Phong, it is impossible not to mention the beaches of Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3. They are all very close to the center, of which Cat Co 2 beach is the most beautiful. From the town center, you can take a motorbike taxi or tram to go to the beach.
If you do not bring a swimsuit, you can rent it right at the beach. According to Cat Ba travel experience of tourists and people here, you should go ashore before 06:30 pm because then the tide is strong and the waves are high.
– Monkey Island
Previously, Monkey Island was also called Cat Pineapple Island because on the island, there are many wild pineapple plants that people use to dried as medicine. Today, tourists are familiar with Monkey Island because about 20 small monkeys on the island often go to the beach to play and eat the food that visitors give. There are 2 beaches are Cat Pineapple 1 and Cat Pineapple 2, they are both ideal beaches for travelers.
There is no denying that traveling to Monkey Island is one of the things to do in cat ba, you can freely swim or take a scuba diving tour at a center here. There is a coach and the price is about $ 50 for 30 minutes.
– Visit Lan Ha Bay by Kayak
If you are thinking about what to do in Cat Ba, kayaking to explore Lan Ha Bay is a great choice. This activity is enjoyed by those who love adventure, climbing. You will have to sail on the waves to feel the full beauty of the limestone mountains, caves and the immense sky. Coming to this place, visitors also discover the stretch of white sand, the mountains growing on the sea, etc.
Not only can kayaking to explore Lan Ha Bay, but you can also boat to explore Cai Beo fishing village, monkey island, light cave, dark cave, etc if you have enough power.
– Cai Beo fishing village
Cai Beo fishing village is one of the oldest fishing villages in Vietnam. It is not as noisy as a pier to Lan Ha Bay, but there are many ships and boats ready to take you around to see the tranquility of the fishing village. Usually, if you go in groups, you should rent a large boat.
– Cat Ba National Park
This is the next place you should definitely visit when visiting Cat Ba. Cat Ba National Park is a world biosphere reserve with an extremely diverse ecosystem with about 741 different plant species, including many rare species. Therefore, this place is also one of the attractions for many tourists. With a ticket price of about $ 2 / person, you will be able to visit eco-tourism, landscapes inside the national park such as Bat cave, Trang Trung cave and some other famous caves.
This place is also known as high score 177. At the present, there are still two very large cannons with a weight of up to several tens of tons. In addition, high score 177 is also a place for you to admire many beautiful places in Cat Ba such as Hon Guoc, Lan Ha Bay, etc through the prism of the telescope, . It is very Ideal for photographers when traveling, especially watching the sunset in the afternoon in Cat Ba.
The food you should enjoy at Cat Ba
You can choose to eat at the restaurant or the hotel that you live in but the street food stalls or the Cat Ba market are also a good choice. If you want to be sure of the quality of the dish, it is best to go to the market by yourself and then go to the hotel chef to process it for about $ 5 to $ 7.
Tu Hai is a special seafood with high nutritional value, it is not popular like clams, oysters, snails, etc but if anyone has ever enjoyed it, they will never forget this unique flavor.
Sam is considered the most typical dish here, they are processed in many different ways to create extremely rich flavors such as stir-fried sam with lemongrass, sam grilled, sam steamed, fried sweet and sour sam legs, etc.
This is a dish of many regions across the country, most of Cat Ba green crabs are caught naturally, the rest are raised in brackish lagoons with many other seafood.
Dishes from squid
Squid is a fairly popular specialty in Cat Ba, depending on the interests of tourists that they require processing many different delicious dishes to enjoy.
Some note when traveling Cat Ba
- The night in Cat Ba is quite cold so remember to bring warm clothes.
- Be careful with introductions, invitations to night squid fishing if you are not sure, usually the price will be $ 25 for 6 people to go fishing and the booty can be brought to processing. or eat it directly by squeezing lemons, dipping it with mustard.
- Almost all services in Cat Ba have intermediaries, so be sure to research and consider carefully before renting or buying anything.
- Renting a motorbike in the wharf area is cheaper than renting a motorbike in a hotel.
- Maintain general hygiene, especially at the beaches, to protect the environment.
- You should go in large groups to save costs.
Hopefully, with the sharing in the article, you will be ready to plan for a perfect trip to Cat Ba.