Monkey Island (Dao Cat Dua)
Just a short boat trip from Cat Ba Town, Monkey Island (Đảo Khỉ in Vietnamese) draws travelers on multi-day Lan Ha Bay cruises or day cruises from Cat Ba Island. But you can also spend the night in the Monkey Island Resort, swimming, kayaking, or enjoying its thatched bungalows and villas. Lan Ha Bay cruise ships vary widely, with options running from dormitory-style shared cabins to luxe modern junks with spas and fine dining.
Things to know before you go
- A stay on Monkey Island is a great family choice and a good alternative to the crazy of Cat Ba Town.
- Macaques are wild animals. Don’t feed them or carry food around them, don’t try to touch them, and keep an eye on their body language.
- An undeveloped island, Monkey Island is not a good choice for travelers who rely on wheelchairs.
How to get there
Monkey Island sits about two miles (three kilometers) east of Cat Ba Town, off the southern tip of Cat Ba Island in Lan Ha Bay. Ferries run from the ports of Tuan Chau and Haiphong to Cat Ba Island, but you need to be on a cruise or arrange a boat transfer to reach Monkey Island.
When to get there
The optimal time to visit Monkey Island and the Lan Ha Bay area is during the shoulder seasons—March to April and September to October. Summer can be hot, stormy, and rainy, while winter is often too cool to enjoy the beach.
Things to Do Around Cat Ba Island
If you’re visiting Monkey Island, it makes sense to explore Cat Ba Island, its much larger sibling. Highlights here include Hospital Cave, a complex of natural caves expanded and used as a hospital during the Vietnam War, Cat Ba National Park, home to the critically endangered golden-headed langur, plus white sand beaches, fishing, and farming villages, and a lively market.