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8 Things to Do on Cat Ba Island


To celebrate our new tours in Cat Ba, we want to let you know all there is to do on Halong Bay’s largest island.

Cat Ba is a really amazing way to experience Halong Bay and has a lot more to offer than just the usual multi-day cruises (amazing though they are). Travelling on Cat Ba allows you to dig a little deeper into this unique corner of Vietnam and soak in all the beauty on offer.

Read more: All the reasons to explain why Vietnam is a good place to visit for foreigners?

Here is our pick for 8 amazing things to do on Cat Ba Island.

Relax on Cat Ba’s Beaches

Cat Ba’s beaches are rather uncreatively named beach 1, 2 and 3 but they are anything but boring. Gorgeous golden sand fringes clear, turquoise water and looks out over the Halong Bay horizon. These 3 main beaches are easy to walk to from Cat Ba town and offer plenty of options for food and drink. The only downside to the beaches on Cat Ba is that they are pretty small and therefore get very busy, very quickly. The day-trip cruisers will always make a stop here but if you time it right, then you can enjoy quiet early mornings and late evenings.

There are also two other beaches on nearby islands like Monkey Island that you can take a short boat ride to. They may also be busy – it’s a popular area – but they are very beautiful.

Trek in Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National sprawls across more than half of Cat Ba Island and is an absolute must-see. There is one main trail through the park that is very easy to stick to and runs through the thick jungle and up into the hills. From the peaks you’ll have unbeatable views of the whole park – you’ll be amazed at the endless hills and lack of ocean views in this huge national park!

The park is home to many of Halong’s native species and you may be lucky enough to spot them!

Check out our trekking tour in Cat Ba

Visit Viet Hai Fishing Village

The joy of spending time on Cat Ba Island is that you get to experience the day to day life of the locals in Halong. One special place to learn about life around the bay is in the fishing village of Viet Hai. Wander the streets here, exchange smiles with the locals and stop by one of the small restaurants to enjoy a lunch of freshly caught seafood.

Take a Cruise in Lan Ha Bay

Make the most of Cat Ba’s incredible location and head out into Lan Ha Bay, on the edge of UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. Day cruises from Cat Ba are very reasonably priced and if you choose a smaller, fishing boat, then you can enjoy the area with fewer people. Book one of these three tours to add a Lan Ha cruise to your Cat Ba experience.

Enjoy the View from Cannon Fort

Climb up above Cat Ba Town to Cannon Fort and you’ll be afforded incredible views of the surrounding islands and glittering oceans. The best time to do this is in the early afternoon and then you can stay to watch the sunset. There is a little place to buy drinks and snack at the top, so stick around for a few hours and soak in the beauty all around you.

Go Kayaking from Cat Ba

Walk around Cat Ba Town and you’ll be inundated with offers to experience Lan Ha and Halong Bay. We think kayaking is the best way to experience the ocean around Cat Ba and really helps you understand the scale of those towering limestone islands.

Remember, when booking tours in Vietnam, you really do get what you pay for. Don’t blindly trust the first, cheap company you see as they are likely offering more than they can give.

Our Lan Ha Bay Day Cruise includes kayaking and a trip to Van Boi Beach

Explore Hospital Cave

Cat Ba Island is home to a few hidden caverns and coves but none is more famous than Hospital Cave. This incredible 17-room complex of caverns was used as a safe house and medical facility during the Vietnam War and today is still full of equipment and paraphernalia from the time. We recommend visiting Hospital Cave with a guide to get the most out of the experience.

Celebrate with Delicious Seafood BBQ

Find your favourite restaurant on the island – preferably with sea views – and treat yourself to a fresh seafood BBQ! Sit back, relax and toast to your amazing time on Cat Ba Island…

Get in touch to book your trip and learn about more amazing things to do on Cat Ba Island!

Read more: Vietnam top attractions: One thing you should know before making your journey

The best center Vietnam tour: Tour in Vietnam

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