Cat Ba Island
Many travelers visit Cát Bà Island while on a cruise of Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay, gliding through emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rain forests. Choose a full-day or multi-day cruise that includes land-based activities in Cát Bà National Park, such as climbing, hiking, and swimming in pristine lagoons. Some tours offer extras such as onboard cooking classes, bike adventures, sea kayaking, scuba diving, and stops at fishing villages.
Things to Know Before You Go
Cát Bà Island is an ideal getaway for those who love nature and enjoy local culture.
Much of the island is accessible to wheelchairs, and most buses and ferries have ramps.
Take local currency with you, as some ATMs on the island don’t accept foreign cards.
Take sun protection, insect repellent, and comfortable shoes and clothes, as well as a lightweight waterproof jacket for chilly nights and caves.
How to Get There
Cát Bà Island is located in Lan Ha Bay. Most visitors get there on an organized day trip from Hanoi or as part of a larger tour of the bay. Alternatively, drive east from Hanoi for about two hours to Hai Phong or Halong, then take a 30-minute ferry ride to Phu Long pier on the island. From there, hop on a bus to Cát Bà town.
When to Get There
Peak season on Cát Bà Island is April through November, when the weather is cooler and less cloudy. Monsoon season is September through November; although the threat of rain is present, crowds are fewer and the weather is generally pleasant.
The Caves of Cát Bà
A hidden bombproof hospital and safe house for Viet Cong leaders during the American War, the 3-story Cát Bà Hospital Cave is a remarkable feat of engineering. Abandoned since 1975, the cave is now a museum showcasing the dark history of the region. In addition, don’t miss the nearby 740-acre (300-hectare) Trung Trang Cave, covered in sparkling stalactites and stalagmites.