For many tourists, Cat Ba Island is a less touristy destination compared to Halong Bay and in fact, it is a hot destination in the north for Vietnamese people to go on holiday during the summer holiday. Getting off from the ferry after a short journey from Hanoi to Hai Phong, Hai Phong to Cat Ba, the island was not looking so impressive. Or maybe it was the rainy day that made it look so dull. However, the longer you stay, the more you appreciate what this island offers.
Maybe Cat Ba is not a popular destination nor known for any certain beauty, you still find the inner beauty of the island somehow after filling your stay with full of wonders.
Rent a motorbike
It isn’t an island for you to take a drive around because its scenery wouldn’t be the best to be compared with anywhere else in the north of Vietnam. However, it is a great way to reach from one to another attractions. You can easily take a day trip to wander them all on that island so that your rental could cost only for one day.
Price for a motorbike for rent is about 60,000vnd.
Canon Fort, Hospital Cave and Cat Ba National Park
Probably those 3 attractions are the 3 main attractions on the island. However, what worth to see are Canon Fort and hike to Ngu Lam peak in Cat Ba National Park.
If you are a person who is interested in history, this place would be an interesting place to visit. It is a historic district sitting on the top of a hill with an elevation of 177m from sea level, including the cannons on the battlefield large marine and tunnel system, trench fortifications was built 40 years of the 20th century. Besides the historic theories, you will have a tremendously beautiful view from the hill looking over the bay.
Cat Ba National Park & Ngu Lam Peak
The national park itself is not an impressive place but it leads you to a hiking track to the top of Ngu Lam Peak which you have view over Cat Ba Island. Let me tell you, that view is awesome and worth the hike. 1km from the ground, through a slippery road and several rocky steps, you would be impressed by the top of the hill which you would look back and think the hike is totally worth it
Cat Ba Beaches
There are 3 beaches on the island: Cat co 1, 2 and 3. They are slightly small and most of the time very crowded. You wouldn’t have much space for sun tanning because the shore isn’t so long. However, as you wish, Cat Co 1 and 2 are better for sun tanning and it is quieter than Cat Co 3 due to the resort. Nonetheless, swimming on Cat Co is great because of the scenery around you.
A day tour to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Monkey island
If you don’t have the time to cruise around Halong Bay, there is another option for you to have a day tour to have a look at Halong Bay while you also see Lan Ha Bay and the Monkey island. Cruising around Halong is wonderful but it is not necessary to have a full day on a boat. This would minimise your time but still you see what need to be seen.
Book the tour in advance and leave at 8am. The tour takes about 10 hours and costs 250,000vnd.