Cat Ba Island Vietnam Travel Guide

Cat Ba Island Travel Guide
A Vagabond Life

Cat Ba Island Vietnam Travel Guide A Vagabond Life

Cat Ba Island Vietnam is the perfect place to explore Ha Long Bay without the maddening crowds. The island is the the largest of the 367 islands spanning 260 km2  that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Lan Ha Bay.

We loved our time on Cat Ba Island Vietnam where we cruised the islands (without seeing another boat) canoed among amazing Krasts and generally had a relaxing time. When we were there it was very much the backpacker scene and the infrastructure was a bit hit and miss – think frequent power cuts – however for us this just added to the authenticity.

MIni buses and buses run from Hanoi, Hai Phong and Ha Long regularily, the last ferry leaves the mainland to Cat Ba Island at 3pm.

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Cat Ba Island Vietnam

Things To See & Do In Cat Ba Island Vietnam

Cruise Cat Ba Island Vitenam


There are multiple options for cruising Lan Ha & Ha Long Bays out of Cat Ba Town. Many cruises carry canoes allowing you to paddle around, and even into the centre of the Krast which is an amazing experience. Many will also stop at one of the fish farms, which are a collection of shanty huts and fish pens out in the middle of bays where families live and work.

Visit a Floating Village & Fish Farm

Visit a Floating Village & Fish Farm

Dotted around Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay are numerous floating villages where families live and work farming fish.The houses are very basic shacks where entire extended families live.

Many of the boast cruising the bays stp at a fish farm to give visitors an isight into how the peple live and how they farm the fish. 

Rock Climb

Rock Climb

Rock climbing is enormously popular with dedicated climbers coming from all over the world to challenge themselves on the limestone cliffs on Cat Ba Island and the surrounding islands. There are many climbing outfitters organising climbing excursions in the main street of Cat Ba Town. 

Cannon Fort

Cannon Fort was built in 1942 by the French to protect Viet Nam coast during WWII. Visitors can explore underground tunnels & gun emplacements. Perched at the top a hill at 177m Cannon Hill offers spectacular views of the jungle, harbour and krast filled bays. Cannon Fort is a 20 minute steep walk from Cat Ba Town or catch a xe om (motor bike taxi

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park is a stunning National Park and home to the world’s most endangered primate the golden-headed langur, There are numerous walking trails in the park of varying degrees of difficulty, and while a guide is not necessary it is a good idea as there local knowledge adds to the experience.

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