Cat Ba Island: Exploring Natural Wonders

Amidst the captivating limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island emerges as a hidden gem, boasting an enviable location that goes beyond being just a budget-friendly gateway to Ha long. With its own unique charm, Cat Ba Island attracts travelers with a plethora of captivating experiences, making it a standout destination in Asia. In this guide, we’ll delve into the wonders that await you on this Vietnamese paradise.

What to do in Cat Ba Island

Kayaking through the Serenity of Lan Ha Bay

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If you prefer a non touristic place than Ha Long Bay, you can embark on a kayaking adventure through the pristine Lan Ha Bay. Rent a kayak from Cat Ba town, where a short boat ride takes you to a floating house with kayaks available for hire. The untouched beauty of Lan Ha Bay, adorned with limestone karsts, offers a serene escape where you can independently explore the wonders of this world-class destination.
Securing a kayak is straightforward, with most travel agents in Cat Ba Island willing to assist. Alternatively, I suggest trying your luck at the harbour. You can acquire a conservation ticket at the harbour for a nominal fee, ensuring your passage to an unrivalled kayaking experience.

Discover Your Private Beach Paradise

Escape to Secluded Bliss: Navigate the waters around Lan Ha Bay to stumble upon hidden paradises, including the stunning Vanboi Island. Here, a beautiful beach adjacent to a tranquil resort invites you to savour the solitude. Capture the essence of paradise with a Vietnamese iced coffee, basking in the untouched beauty of a beach all to yourself.
Freedom Island Exploration: Explore Freedom Island, with its breathtaking karst views and pristine swimming spots. While a rowdy hostel occupies part of the island, the untouched beach on the far side offers a spectacular setting for those seeking solitude.

Hike to Ngu Lam Peak for Panoramic Views

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Sweat and Scenery Unleashed: Embark on a sweaty yet rewarding hike to Ngu Lam Peak, a vantage point providing a panoramic view of Cat Ba Island’s wilderness. The trail, marked by a restaurant serving cold drinks, weaves through the jungle and culminates in a rugged rock ascent. The second viewpoint unveils a 360-degree panorama, offering the best view of Cat Ba Island.

Scenic Cruise on the Public Ferry

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Embark on the public ferry from Tuan Chan, treating yourself to one of the most picturesque journeys through Halong Bay. Although a cargo boat, the ferry offers stunning views rivalling those of private cruises in Lan Ha or Halong Bay. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery at a fraction of the cost.

Explore the Historical Hospital Cave

War Remnants Unveiled: For a glimpse into the historical significance of Cat Ba Island, visit the Hospital Cave, a testament to its role during the war. Witness the conditions faced by those treating the wounded, gaining insight into the resilience of the Vietnamese people during challenging times.

Sunset at Cannon Fort and Mona Restaurant

Dazzling Sunsets at Cannon Fort: If you are a sunset lover, head to Cannon Fort for a sunset experience with a view. While the main viewpoint offers a panoramic sight of the surrounding bays, a secondary viewpoint provides an ideal spot to witness the sun setting over Cat Ba Island.
Alternative Sunset Spot at Mona: If the climb to Cannon Fort seems daunting, head to Mona Restaurant on the main high street for a slightly lower yet equally stunning sunset view. Savour the moment with a sun downer, soaking in the beauty of the island.

Overnight Cruise in Tranquil Lan Ha Bay

Escape the Crowds: For an enchanting overnight cruise, choose Lan Ha Bay over the bustling Halong Bay. Experience the spectacular scenery with fewer boats, cleaner swimming sites, and lower prices. Indulge in the tranquillity of Lan Ha, a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

Discover Monkey Island

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Cliff-top Hike and Unexpected Delays: Embark on a short boat ride to Monkey Island, a small paradise just minutes from Cat Ba. Opt for a cliff-top hike for a stunning sunset viewpoint, but be wary of delays in boat departures. Exercise caution around the resident monkeys, and consider it a captivating day trip.


Cat Ba Island lives up to its reputation as a budget-friendly alternative to Halong Bay. With its natural wonders, historical landmarks, and hidden gems, this island beckons travellers seeking an authentic Vietnamese experience. From kayaking in Lan Ha Bay to hiking Ngu Lam Peak, every moment on Cat Ba Island promises a unique adventure. Don’t miss the chance to explore this uncharted paradise and create memories that linger long after you leave.
Ready to embark on your Cat Ba Island adventure? Plan your journey with YESD Travel today and uncover the magic that awaits this enchanting Vietnamese gem!
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