In recent years, Cat Ba Island has become one of the most visited destinations by both Vietnamese and international tourists. The visitors not only contemplate the beaches with pristine waters and white sandy but also have a chance to see spectacular attractions of this place, Cat Ba National Park.
An overview of Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is located in Tran Chau Commune, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. It takes 60 km from the city center of Hai Phong and 15 km from Cat Ba Town. In total, the protected area of Cat Ba National Park consists of 15,200 hectares including 9,800 hectares of forests and 4,200 hectares of the seashore. This national park which is considered as one of the biosphere reserve areas in the world comprises of the marine ecosystem, tropical rainforest ecosystem, coral reef ecosystem and so on.
Furthermore, situated in the northwest of Cat Ba Island, Cat Ba National Park makes a contribution to an ecologically diverse ecosystem of Vietnam in terms of plants and animals. Regarding flora, there are 745 kinds of plants consisting of rare wood namely Lat Hoa, Tri Ly, Lim Set, De Hoa, Kim Giao and white wood which are needed to put under strict conservation.
Interestingly, Kim Giao wood is the material used to make chopsticks for the Kings and nobles in the ancient times since it is stated that the chopsticks will turn into a red color when exposed to poisoned dishes. Regards animals, they can easily find 20 species of mammals, 69 kinds of birds, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians as well in Cat Ba National Park. Many of them are listed in the Vietnamese Red Book and put under solid protection. Especially, Vietnamese langurs or golden-headed langurs ( “Vooc” in Vietnamese) which might be only found on Cat Ba Island, are one of the most seriously endangered primitives on the planet.
Another interesting thing in Cat Ba National Park is a highly toxic type of fruit, called Ma Tien. If a normal person bites a small piece of Ma Tien fruit, he will absolutely die in a short period of time; however, langurs can survive by eating leaves and fruits of Ma Tien.
In addition, some archeological researches reveal that human beings have probably lived on these island for over 6,000 or 7,000 years. With a natural magnificence and various system of flora and fauna, Cat Ba National Park was recognized as one of the four Biosphere Reserves in Vietnam by UNESCO in 2004.
2. How to get to Cat Ba National Park
In this article, we recommend you some route options to get Cat Ba National Park. First of all, for those who go by airplane, you can land at Noi Bai Airport and take a taxi directly to Hai Phong City (about 130 km from Noi Bai Airport to Hai Phong).
Another way is taking a bus or a taxi to get Hanoi’s city center and then you catch the shuttle buses or coaches at the city center that transfer you to reach Cat Ba Island within 1 hour and a half. So whether you start from Hai Phong City or Cat Ba Island, you can easily access to Cat Ba National Park by a few available choices such as a private car, a bus, and a taxi.
Secondly from Hai Phong, tourists can take a speedboat from Binh Port (“Phà Bính” in Vietnamese) to Cat Ba Island and continue getting to Cat Ba National Park on the bus. The second option from Hanoi is taking a train from Hanoi Railway Station to Haiphong Railway Station. Then, you will go to Cat Ba National Park as mentioned before. If you go by a private car from Hanoi, you will go along the new highway 5B to get Got Harbour (“Bến Gót” in Vietnamese), then get to Cat Ba Island and keep going a 15 km journey until to reach Cat Ba National Park. In short, traveling from Hanoi to Cat Ba National Park takes about 3 – 3,5 hours without traffic jams.
If you are at Cat Ba Town, it takes 15 km to get Cat Ba National Park. Probably, you can rent a motorcycle and stop anywhere you want to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of this park. The budget from renting a motorcycle is quite reasonable, ranging from VND 70,000 to VND 100,000 per day.
Finally, from Halong City, you will take a Tuan Chau ferry, 45 mins from Halong City to get Gia Luan Harbour and then take a 10 km journey by bus to reach Cat Ba National Park. There have been 5-7 ferries every day.
If you want to know more information about transportation, you can see this article for more details.
3. Weather conditions in Cat Ba National Park
In Cat Ba National Park, the average temperature is 25 – 28oC. In summer, the temperature can be up to 30oC; however, in winter, it can go down, maybe around 10oC.
Tourists can go to Cat Ba National Park at any time throughout the year. For Vietnamese people, they normally visit Cat Ba National Park in the summer, mainly in June and July which is a great time for them to avoid a scorching hot of summer. International tourists usually go to Cat Ba National Park in their winter holiday, from November to March. Apparently, with a huge number of tourists visiting Cat Ba Island every summer, this would lead to overcrowding at Got Harbour and increasing the price of transportations and accommodations, especially on the weekends and special occasions as well.
If you are planning to visit Cat Ba Island and Cat Ba National Park in particular, we highly recommend that you should go there on weekdays in order to avoid overcrowding, reducing waiting time for transports, running out of hotel rooms and increasing prices for other stuff.
4. Accommodations around Cat Ba National Park
Recently, due to a substantial increase in tourism patterns in Cat Ba Island, the number of hostels, homestays, hotels, and resorts which offer tourism services from low to high quality has shown up a lot. Since Cat Ba National Park belongs to protected areas, so you have to go to some places near Cat Ba Town to find proper accommodations.
If you prefer low priced accommodation but good quality, hostels will be quite suitable for you.
- Cat Ba Hostel, at 160 Nui Ngoc and 300m from Cat Ba Island. It has comfortable rooms, a great restaurant serving Vietnamese specialists and international dishes. The price is reasonable, ranging from VND 70,000 – 280,000.
- Cat Ba Central Hostel, No.204, ¼ Road, Cat Ba and 1.9 km from Dau Be Island. It has a beautiful view of a garden and a good restaurant. The price is ranging from VND 100,000 to VND 160,000.
About homestay where you can know more cultures of local people, we highly recommend some homestays.
- Cat Ba Central Homestay, 1.4 km from Dau Be Island and No.6, Cat Beo Street. It provides a good quality of accommodation and excellent service from owners. The price is from VND 570,000 to VND 690,000 for King Room with a large double bed.
- Cat Ba Santorini Homestay, at No. 12, 4 Lane, Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba. It provides good accommodation and accesses to a garden with children’s playgrounds. The homestay offers reasonable prices, from VND 50,000 for a bunk bed to VND 1,000,000 (10 people) for 5 double beds with a private bathroom.
Actually, there are many hotels located around Cat Ba Island, here are some suggestions that may be helpful for you.
- Cat Ba Oasis Bungalows, 2-star hotel, at No. 254, ¼ Road, Cat Ba Town. The location is extremely convenient, near Cat Ba Ferry and Beo Harbour. It has an excellent quality of service and facilities, with a garden and terrace. The price is pretty proper, ranging from VND 180,000 for a single bed to VND 728,000 for a deluxe double room with a balcony.
- Hung Long Resort, a 3-star hotel, is at 268, ¼ Road, Cat Ba Town, Hai Phong City. This hotel is convenient for tourists because it’s near Cat Ba Port, 10 mins for walking and 15 mins walking for Tung Thu Beach and it takes nearly 5 mins to get the seafood market by car. The price is ranging from VND 350,000 – 450,000 for a twin room.
- Sea Pearl Hotel, a 3-star hotel, is at 219, ¼ Road, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai, Phai Phong City. The price is VND 600,000 – 700,000. This hotel is quite convenient for guests because of its location, in front of Lan Ha Bay, 5 mins walking from Cat Co Beach and also a 5-min walking to Cat Ba Market. It features a magnificent view, good facilities in the hotel room and nice staff as well.
Last but not least, resorts have been developed a lot to focus on high-end class. Heritage Cruises will suggest some resorts highly recommended by guests.
- Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa, a 4-star hotel, is at Cat Co 1 Beach, Cat Ba Island, Cat Hai District, Haiphong City. The normal price is USD 50. This hotel is designed according to the combination of French and Vietnamese traditional architectures. It has been received many positive feedbacks from guests.
- Monkey Island Resort, a 3-star hotel, is located in Monkey Island, Cat Hai District, Haiphong City. The minimum price is USD 49.5. The hotel is delighted guests in a beautiful view, professional and friendly staff and is pretty suitable for a long journey.
5. Cuisines and restaurants around Cat Ba National Park
When traveling to marine places, like Cat Ba Island, the seafood dishes are the thing that tourists cannot be missed. In this article, we would like to recommend for travelers some must-try dishes around Cat Ba National Park.
Firstly, geoduck is the kind of meal possessing a high amount of nutrition and sophisticated taste; however, the source of geoduck is quite hard to find as well. Actually, there have been many techniques to cook geoduck but steaming geoduck with aromatic components is the best one.
The second meal is about Song Fishes which normally have more than 30 species of Song Fishes in Vietnam. In particular, three of them are found in Cat Ba Island namely Song Deo, Song Mo, and Song Cao. This kind of fish might be cooked into varied dishes with its own flavor including salad, streamed, sauce, grilled dishes and so on.
Another dish suggested for tourists is superb specially King-Crab. Normally, the residents in Cat Ba Island can process King-Crab into seven distinctive dishes. So if you have an opportunity and time, please don’t hesitate to try all kinds of those dishes to taste its superior flavor.
The food cooked from the sea snake is the next dish. The sea snake is not only famous for its distinct seafood but an effective cure for sick people as well.
Last but not least, rice vermicelli cooked with shrimp has a unique sense of taste by the harmonious combination of fresh shrimp, the broth, exclusive smell of betel leaves covering pork balls. This dish is also tasted with some herbs and some pieces of chili that makes a bowl of rice vermicelli with shrimp more colorful and appealing as well.
Along with dramatically increasing the development of accommodation, the restaurant system on Cat Ba Island is also developing in recent years. Here are some suggestions about the restaurants around Cat Ba National Park.
Firstly, Quang Anh Restaurant which is known as one of the best floating restaurants offers an extraordinary experience for tourists, well-cooked seafood. The address of the restaurant is Cai Bao Bay, Cat Ba Island, Haiphong city.
Next is the restaurant highly recommended by local residents, called Phuong Phuong restaurant. The restaurant has a varied menu and expansive space for guests to enjoy the meals and the surrounding atmosphere. Phuong Phuong Restaurant is located in 232, 1 thang 4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai, Hai Phong City.
Additionally, if you want to try some restaurants that offer Vietnamese cuisines along with a variety of Western dishes, The Good Bar and Green Mango will be suitable for you. Those places are usually opened to serve breakfast for tourists. The Good Bar and Green Mango lie in 1 thang 4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai, Hai Phong City.
6. Different ecotourism patterns in Cat Ba National Park
With a breath-taking beauty of the natural landscape, Cat Ba National Park has appealed a wide range of tourists by diverse biologies and the harmonious combination of land and ocean. Whenever you reach Cat Ba National Park, you might choose the varied ecotourism patterns that are offered by the conservation management of the park. Those patterns in Cat Ba National Park include forest ecological ecotourism, marine ecotourism, biological ecotourism, community-based ecotourism (CBT) as well as volunteer tourism. Regarding each ecotourism platform, there will be some tourism activities for tourists to get involved in.
6.1. Forest ecological ecotourism
For forestry ecological tourism, you have a chance to choose amongst various trekking routes of distinctive forest ecosystems including tropical primitive rainforest, mangrove forest and karst in Cat Ba National Park. With those geographical features, lots of trekking trails are exploited for tourism purposes such as Kim Giao Forest – Phu Lam Peak; Trung Trang Cave – Uy Ban Grotto; National Park’s Headquarter – Frog Pond; May Bua – Quan Y Cave; Frog Pond – Viet Hai Commune.
If you are interested in enjoying sceneries from the peak, the trekking route from Kim Giao Forest to Phu Lam Peak won’t be missed. It takes 30 mins on the 1.5 km route. You can start from the headquarter of the park to Kim Giao Forest to see the rare and endangered animals in the jungle and then get to Phu Lam peak to enjoy a marvelous landscape of the park and surrounding areas.
Besides, Trung Trang Cave – Uy Ban Grotto routes will satisfy you with a variety of mysterious stalactites and shelters of bat residents. National Park’s Headquarter – Frog Pond will help you to explore the flooded willow jungle and then reach Frog Pond, the largest freshwater area on the island. With the route from Frog Pond to Viet Hai Commune, tourists can explore the astonishing forest ecosystem and the culture of local people in Viet Hai Commune.
6.2. Marine ecotourism
Besides forest ecological ecotourism, the seascapes of Cat Ba National Park also have a unique magnificence. With the aim of discovering enormous marine resources, visitors might choose to get involved in some activities such as going sightseeing, going kayaking to explore the gulf and bay systems namely Lan Ha Bay, Viet Hai Bay, Tra Bau, climbing to the cliffs of some marvelous islands, diving under the seawater to see coral reef systems, going fishing and sunbathing near magnificent seashores and beaches and final, participating in several delighting water sporting activities. Each aquatic tour will last about 2 – 6 hours which depends on which activities that tourists take.
For instance, challenging with deep water soloing which is executed on the slide of hazardous cliffs on the sea is the activity that travelers should try once when they have the chance. The average height for beginners is 10 meters; however, it’s up to 30 meters for the master. It is essential for climbers to have their courage, strength and brilliant calculations. People state that falling deep under the sea brings them a sense of freedom and comfort. Some say that deep water soloing also helps them to find the limits and try to break their own physical barriers. That sounds very exciting.
6.3. Biological research ecotourism
Cat Ba National Park is known as for diverse biologies, both flora, and fauna. Therefore, the biological research ecotourism pattern has been promoted actively in recent years. Most international visitors coming to Cat Ba National Park would like to see these rare and endangered animals like langurs, red crabs, deers, butterflies and so on.
Especially, Cat Ba National Park has an endemic original, golden-headed langurs. The thing is that tourists have a little chance to see these langurs due to tight conservation policies. Nevertheless, travelers can easily see other originals, for example, red monkeys in Nam Cat Island, Eo Bua, Me Con, Dong Co or other islands and islets.
6.4. Community-based ecotourism (CBT) in Cat Ba National Park
This kind of ecotourism pattern will be suitable for those who want to explore the cultures of local people living in Cat Ba National Park. In this tour, visitors will have a chance to stay at a homestay with local residents in one or two nights.
Moreover, they can enjoy the daily routines of residential people including learning how to make the meals, working and relaxing activities in order to understand more about local cultures as well as appreciate beautiful sceneries on the island. Thereby, community- based ecotourism brings benefits in terms of conservation on the island and economies. In detail, it helps to raise awareness of tourists about conserving the natural environment and cultural values of residents in Cat Ba Island and in surrounding areas and improves the living standard of local people.
6.5. Voluntary tourism
For those who are environment lovers, voluntary tourism can be an ideal choice for them. Involuntary tourism, tourists can not only discover natural landscapes of the park but get involved in protecting and conserving the natural environment such as collecting garage, working as volunteers at the conservation center of the park and other activities related to conservation. Nowadays, taking voluntary tourism has become a trend for the youth and therefore, so many people come to Cat Ba National Park for this type of tour.
7. All the things that you need to prepare before coming to Cat Ba National Park
In this article, we provide you with something that you might prepare before going to Cat Ba National Park. First of all, due to frequently changeable temperatures on Cat Ba Island, tourists have to ensure that they take a waterproof and windproof jacket with themselves. When you decide to stay overnight on the island, mosquito spray is also a must.
Secondly, a lot of Cat Ba Island activities normally occur around or underwater areas; therefore, taking a quite dry towel is necessary. Moreover, waterproof bags are also needed to keep electronic devices safe.
In addition, if you are planning to visit a cave or a grotto, a head torch is essential as well. Last but not least, you should bring refill bottles helping to avoid using plastic bottles and keep the environment clean.
Visiting the national park this summer, what do you think? Cat Ba National Park has appealed a huge number of visitors because of its magnificent beauty and biodiversity in recently.
For this article, Heritage Cruises provides the information that travelers need to know before they go to Cat Ba National Park. It includes biological features, transportations to get Cat Ba National Park, weather, accommodations, cuisines and restaurants, ecotourism patterns and necessary items when traveling. Hopefully, this information above would be helpful for you when visiting Cat Ba National Park.
Cat Ba Island is one of the largest islands in Northern Vietnam. It’s not only famous for its magnificently natural beauties but also lively nightclubs and bars to visit on this island. Heritage Cruises would like to give you an overview of Cat Ba Island nightlife regarding best bars, nightclubs and amazing places for leisure moments as a whole.
The Bigman Bar Cat Ba (The Good Bar)
Address: 2nd Floor, The New Noble House, No. 222 1/4 Road, Cat Ba Town
📞 +84 934 674 899
Time: 7 AM – 2 AM for every day; happy hour: 9 PM – 12 AM.
Since December 2018, The Good Bar changes a new name, called The Bigman Bar. It’s located in the most bustling area, Mot Thang Tu Road in Cat Ba Town. The Bigman Bar will absolutely give guests the best experiences of Cat Ba Island nightlife in terms of cozy atmosphere but also lively, funny moments. You can enjoy quality live music meanwhile relaxing and chatting with your friends and others coming from all over the world.
The Bigman Bar offers different kinds of drinkings like wine, beer, cocktail, etc and some types of food like pizza, noddle, etc. The music is good and run by two or three DJs per night, playing different genres. Especially, the Bigman Bar serves the combo of balloons and beer with lots of attractive promotions.
Moreover, the Bigman Bar has an area for guests to play some fun games such as billiards and hockey. If you prefer a quiet area for relaxing, it also offers a wide balcony equipped with tables and chairs for chatting and having fun with friends and families. Watching the sunset is an elegant pleasure indeed when coming to the Bigman Bar. The guests love to watch the sunset not just because it’s so beautiful, but fleeting as well. It can be said that the nature in Cat Ba Island paints it for us and allows us to indulge in the magnificent sunset just a little bit day after day. The Bigman Bar plays a vital role in creating a lively Cat Ba Island nightlife.
Oasis Bar in Cat Ba Island nightlife
Address: No 228 & No 254, Mot Thang Tu Road, Cat Ba Town.
📞 096 377 11 55
Time: 7 AM – 2 AM.
Since 2012, Oasis Bar which is the first bar in Cat Ba Town, has friendly waiters, fresh food and amazing music. That absolutely brings good moments for the guests when coming to this beautiful island. It belongs to the series of restaurants, hotels, bars, gardening coffee, and supermarkets which have been established since 2011. There are 2 branches of the Oasis Bar in Cat Ba Town. The first bar is located at 228, Mot Thang Tu Road. The second one has been opened since March 2018, with an area of 1000m2 including gardening coffee, bar, and outdoor swimming pool.
The Oasis Bar has a spacious area and combines with other kinds of services like restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and etc. So it can meet various needs of customers as a whole. Moreover, the Oasis Bar is suitable for gathering, meeting as well as organizing outdoor parties for large corporations thanks to its large space. The cuisines and drinkings served in the Oasis Bar are diverse from Vietnamese cuisine to the Western one. Like other bars, the Oasis Bar also has the space for playing fun games and tables and chairs to chat with friends.
Address: No. 210 Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai, Hai Phong.
📞 84 94 859 88 59
Time: 6:00 PM – 4:00 AM
Sunday Open 24h – Monday – Friday 5pm – 3am – Saturday 5pm – 12am
Rose Club is located in Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Town. It’s considered one of the best bars on Cat Ba Island because of its nice staff, awesome people and great prices on drinkings. Like other Cat Ba Island nightlife clubs, the Rose Club also serves different kinds of drinkings like beers, wines, etc and laughing gas at reasonable prices.
Rose Club has limited spaces for guests to sit down and chat with their friends like others. It just has space for playing some funny games and for dancing and drinking as well. Rose Club also has a DJ to delight the guests with lively music and remix tracks. Rose Club is more lively and limited spaces compared to other Cat Ba Island nightlife clubs and bars.
Which bar do you choose amongst Cat Ba Island nightlife clubs? If you want to choose a medium bar for your happy hours with sufficient drinkings and spaces for gathering, the Bigman Bar is a proper choice. The Oasis Bar has more spaces and combines with other kinds of services that might be interesting for you. The Rose Club has a smaller space but is more lively and sparkling than other bars. Those bars and clubs will bring you distinctive experiences of Cat Ba Island nightlife.
Imagine that you’re traveling to a beautiful island without tasty food and specialties in that area. That sounds so boring, isn’t it? Not only tourists have chances to discover and explore the natural landscapes but also do they enjoy fresh seafood and specialties in Cat Ba Island. In the article, we’d like to recommend the best food in Cat Ba Island you should not miss when visiting Cat Ba Island.
1. Horseshoe Crab – best food Cat Ba
The horseshoe crab can be processed into many delicious and nutritious dishes which have specific aromatic flavours of the ocean including the raw horseshoe crab, sweet and sour horseshoe crab, boiled horseshoe crab or grilled, in particular, grilled eggs of horseshoe crab have a greasy taste and contain a high level of protein. Besides, the meals made from the horseshoe crab are very healthy since it helps to relieve the body heat.
Particularly, the horseshoe crabs always go together. Fishermen usually say that one crab dies between the two crabs going together, the other also dies. If one crab dies, the other doesn’t then the crab left will become a toxic horseshoe one and live alone forever.
Horseshoe crabs are crustaceans and cold property seafood so when processing, it must be very careful. The head, legs, edge fins, and crab shells are discarded. The guts are cleaned carefully to avoid exposing to crabmeat. The crab meat is very tasty and has a distinctive flavour as the concentration of salt is quite high, the seafood in this area has a higher level of protein and nutrition than that of other areas. So the horseshoe crab is one of the best food in Cat Ba Island that you cannot miss. In recent years, the price of horseshoe crab has been high, about more than VND 500,000.
Amongst the best food in Cat Ba from the horseshoe crab, the raw horseshoe crab is highly recommended for tourists. After being grilled until turning yellow color, the meat of horseshoe crab is torn into small pieces and then mixes with eggs of crab, persicaria, peanut and some herbs, which creates a sweet and aromatic flavour of the raw horseshoe crab.
2. Vietnamese Geoduck Clam
Vietnamese Geoduck Clam, which has another name called Elephant Trunk Clam, is known as rare and highly nutritious seafood with a special flavour. Recently, Vietnamese geoduck clam can be seen in many areas and regions but the best place to taste the geoduck clam is Cat Ba Island which is a suitable place for its growth.
The geoduck clam is a two-piece molluscous which is considered as a wonderful remedy for men. It’s not common amongst tourists like cockles, shells, oysters, etc but when you’ve tried the dishes made from the geoduck once, probably you’ve forgotten this flavour.
Vietnamese geoduck clam could be processed into different dishes such as raw geoduck clam, grilled geoduck clam, geoduck clam rice gruel, etc. You can soak the geoduck clam into hot water (about 80oC – 90oC) within 2-3 minutes, then clean the shell with water and finally, use a knife to slit vertically along the heliotrope of the geoduck clam. It’s a little hard to bite, tasty, soft and combined with various spices for cooking.
Especially, steamed geoduck clam is notably recommended for tourists as the best food in Cat Ba Island. After steaming within 15 mins, the geoduck clam is displayed in the dish, its flavors combined with many spices make a perfect dish.
3. Lobster – best food in Cat Ba
Lobster is considered as the king of seafood with a high level of nutrition and vitamin. The meat inside exoskeleton is firm and exquisitely sweet that you’ve never forgotten when eating once. You can eat all parts of the lobster, except for the shell and its stomach. The most delicate and sweet part of the lobster is the meat near the head and lobster’s tail rather than the meat in the claw and knuckle. The chunky meat of those tails is wonderfully tender and light in flavour.
Lobster can be cooked many delicious meals including lobster rice gruel, grilled lobster, steamed lobster, boiled lobster, hot pot of lobster, roasted lobster with salt, raw lobster, etc. In addition to this, lobster can be variably processed into different dishes like stewed lobster with shiitake mushroom, seaweed roll lobster, steamed lobster with wine, etc. The lobster is really rare and valuable seafood that nature endows in Cat Hai District. So this is one of the best food in Cat Ba you should know as traveling to this island.
4. Sea Snake
Cat Ba Island has a lot of valuable and rare specialties from the ocean and sea snake is one of the best food in Cat Ba. The sea snake has a small and slim body with a length of 1 – 1.2 meters and has specialized in flattened tails which acts as a paddle for swimming. The smallish head has horns and its teeth are venomous. People usually say that the sea snake has a high value in gastronomy and medicine.
The sea snake is simply prepared by washing with water and cutting from the throat to its tail and discarding its gallbladder and suet. You have to wash the blood snake by 90oC alcohol, not using water, then dry it. The sea snake meat contains a high amount of prostate and acid amine such as arginine, taurine, cysteine, tyrosine, etc. Besides, medicine from the sea snake helps to cure rheumatoid arthritis, bone degeneration, and spinal pain, etc. Moreover, the gallbladder will help to relieve the pain and act as a tranquilizer. With a high value of nutrition and medicine, the meals made from the sea snake are considered as one of the best food in Cat Ba Island.
5. Fried Snail Hai Phong
The snail is processed as the cooking manners of Hai Phong people, which is combined with fresh ingredients like coconut, chill, ginger, lemongrass, tamarind, etc. Those ingredients are harmoniously combined to make a perfect dish of a fried snail. One thing making Vietnamese dishes differentiate from other cuisines is the way people combine and mix different spices, herbs, and ingredients.
Especially, the shell snail is kept while frying. When eating the snail, you have to use something like sewing needles to make the snail meat more accessible. Restaurants will mixture various snails for cooking so tourists can have a chance to choose which is your favourite. So fried snail Hai Phong is one of the best food in Cat Ba Island that travelers should try.
6. Lobster Rice Noodles Cat Ba
One of the simple and best food in Cat Ba is lobster rice noodle. Until now, lobster rice noodle has become attractive and famous for not only the flavor but its ingredients and unique cooking tips as well.
The main ingredient playing an important part to make a great dish is fresh lobsters in Cat Ba. Those lobsters are steamed and cooked with other special herbs and ingredients. The lobster rice noodle is more tasty and delicious due to the aroma of fresh lobsters, exquisitely fatty bouillon, along with vegetables and spices. You can eat the noodles with some kinds of fresh and raw vegetables and a little chili. So all the things are harmoniously mixed to make it one of the best food in Cat Ba Island.
Garrupa is known as a kind of grouper that has a great flavour of the ocean owing to its greasy skin and delicate and exquisitely sweet meat compared to other fish. On Cat Ba Island, there are 3 types of garrupa including greasy grouper, black grouper, and fox grouper. Garrupa can be processed into different dishes which are nutritious and yummy like raw garrupa, garrupa rice gruel, grilled garrupa, steamed garrupa, etc. So garrupa is one of the best food in Cat Ba Island.
8. Toasted Mantis Shrimp With Salt
When mentioning the best food in Cat Ba Island, toasted mantis shrimp with salt is always listed for tourists. The mantis shrimp could be processed into many dishes, especially being toasted with salt. In fact, there’s a huge number of mantis shrimps in Cat Ba which are usually big.
When processing the toasted mantis shrimp with salt, the chef normally fries through a little bit of cooking oil, which makes it greasy but not too fat. This meal is elaborately cooked by combining harmoniously different spices, so it has a delicate and exquisitely sweet flavour.
9. Oysters – best food in Cat Ba
One of the best food in Cat Ba that you should try is oysters, which can be processed into many dishes like a roasted oyster with tamarind, roasted oyster with salt, grilled oyster and oyster rice gruel. The roasted oyster with tamarind has sweet and sour flavour and should be tasted when it’s still warm. Fresh oysters and the mixture of tamarind, chili, water, sugar and fish sauce make it one of the best food in Cat Ba.
The roasted oyster with salt which has a different flavour from the roasted oyster with tamarind is also the best food in Cat Ba. The meal is more spicy and salty. The grilled oyster is a specialty in Cat Ba as well. It’s extremely easy to cook and eat. You just need a stove, raw and fresh oyster and special sauce only used for the grilled oyster. After that, you’ll have a chance to taste the best food in Cat Ba. The oyster rice gruel is delighted guests with an aromatic taste and its highly nutritious value when traveling to Cat Ba Island. It should be eaten with some herbs and an amount of pepper.
In the article, we’d like to recommend to you some restaurants to enjoy the best food in Cat Ba:
1. Bamboo Cafe, which is located on April 1st Road, is the best restaurant in Cat Ba for tasting fresh seafood both Vietnamese dishes and European ones. Price is from VND 80,000 – 120,000/ dish.
2. Vien Duong Restaurant, No. 12 Nui Ngoc Street, is famous for its tasty seafood as well as a hot pot of seafood. Price is reasonable, from VND 100,000/dish.
3. Phuong Nhung Restaurant, No. 184-185 April 1st Road, mainly serves noodles, pho, rice, and seafood.
4. Yummy Restaurant – Cat Ba, No. 180 Nui Ngoc includes noodles, fried rice, pho, nem, etc. which are quite similar to those dishes in Phuong Nhung Restaurant, but its price is cheaper.
5. Family Bakery, No. 194 April 1st Road, you should try different kinds of bread as Turkey styles and marzipan. Here has the best caramel in Cat Ba, price is from VND 80,000 – 120,000/dish.
Besides, there are some places serving drinkings for tourists:
1. Green Mango, April 1st Road, VND 15,000 – 220,000 offers many drinkings like wine, cocktails, espresso and other European food.
2. Flightless Bird Cafe, April 1st Road has New Zealand’s style of decoration.
3. The Good Bar Cat Ba, April 1st Road also serves excellent drinkings.
Amongst the ton of best food in Cat Ba, which one do you choose for your trip? Heritage Cruises has just listed out the best food in Cat Ba as well as specialties from seafood regarding horseshoe crab, garrupa, lobster, geoduck clam, sea snake, mantis shrimp, oyster and etc which cannot miss when visiting this magnificent island. Besides, we also suggest some restaurants taste and enjoy the best food in Cat Ba. Now we have the best food in Cat Ba, how about a detailed package for tourists to travel any corner of Cat Ba Island? So you can read more about Heritage Expedition – Cat Ba 2N1D, contact us now, please!
Find a luxury cruise in Cat Ba Island, what do you think? Recently, people have tended to choose Cat Ba Island over Halong Bay owing to many reasons. Tourists are seeking for exploring something new or even they prefer the place quieter and less polluted yet sharing the same geographical features with Halong Bay. In this article, Heritage Cruises will provide you some information on how to find a cruise in Cat Ba.
An overview of Cat Ba Island
Nestled on the edge of Vietnam’s magnificent Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island is the largest among 367 islands spreading out 100 square miles making up Cat Ba Archipelago. Cat Ba’s landscapes are rugged and spectacular with a wide range of natural ecosystems which are totally perfect for exploring by bike, motorbike or boat.
Cat Ba Island is home to 6 communes with a population of about 13,500 inhabitants. This beautiful island encompasses two distinctive parts regarding Cat Ba Town with a concentration of tourism services and Cat Ba National Park featured by dense forests and its biodiversity.
The national park and its surrounding area of Cat Ba Island are naturally and internationally recognized for the importance of biodiversity preservation. In 2004, Cat Ba Archipelago was declared as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Area to protect the multiple terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Especially, Cat Ba Langur (Golden-headed Langur) which has only 60 individuals living in the park is the existing population of the primates in the world.
Why go on a cruise in Cat Ba Island
Recently, there have been hundreds of cruise ships which are operating in Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island are designed with different concepts and styles of service from 3 stars to 5* stars or more. Regarding the facilities, each vessel has suites from standard to luxury, restaurants, bars, lounge, etc and sundeck, balcony with a beautiful view where guests can watch the sunset or sunrise, sunbathe and simply relax. Additionally, the ship also provides guests with other services like spa & massages and professional staff are always ready to meet any requests from the guests with a smile on their faces and good All are considered as a floating hotel on the ocean.
Instead of looking for a hotel to stay, transportation and destinations to go sightseeing, nowadays, you just need to book a cruise. So thanks to cruise ships in Cat Ba Island, Halong Bay, and Lan Ha Bay, the relaxation combined with experiences becomes more convenient and easier for the guests than ever.
How to choose luxury cruises in Cat Ba Island
The number of international and domestic tourists traveling to Halong Bay have been increasing and even experienced in a stable situation, so there are too many people in Halong Bay and surrounding areas leading to overcrowding in tourism spots. Why don’t you find a luxury cruise in Cat Ba Island for yourself to discover and immerse instead of Halong Bay? Here are some details to help you find a luxury cruise in Cat Ba Island.
1. Best time to go on a cruise
So how to know what is the best time to go on a cruise in Cat Ba Island, we need to have a look over Cat Ba weather through each season of the year. In general, Cat Ba weather is typical of the tropical monsoon climate, so there are 2 main seasons including wet season and dry season. It’s more likely to be a hot and humid climate with many infrequent summer storms between May and September, but it seems dry and cool from October to March. The weather in Cat Ba Island is pretty easy to separate into different seasons with its climate.
Cat Ba Island in the spring is featured in a foggy sky and a high level of humidity. This kind of weather seems perfect for plants and flowers to grow and develop, however, some tourists might find it hard to be convenient and keep their clothes dry.
Spring falls into February to April. The weather in February can be hazy in the morning so it’s hard to go sightseeing and the temperature is a bit cold and cool for tourists to join in water activities. Domestic tourists travel to Cat Ba Island in March is fewer due to office stuff and it’s warmer than the previous month. So this is a great chance for tourists who want to get out of the crowding. Usual rains and storms start in April so the weather is a little humid and wet for people. Spring will be a great time for traveling to Cat Ba Island if you want to avoid congestion and overcrowding.
Summer starts from May to July when the general weather is hot, moist and more regular rains and storms. If you are interested in beaches and water activities, Cat Ba Island will be an ideal place for you. It is probably too hot and moisty for international tourists yet Cat Ba Island in summer is still attracting clear skies and cool water. As reaching Cat Ba Island in summer, you should be aware of the possibilities of storms and rains.
Besides, the demand for traveling and entertaining in June and July is quite high, so it’s considered a high season for the domestic market. Through its landscapes under summer are pretty nice, not many foreigners want to deal with a high volume of Vietnamese travelers.
Autumn from August to October is warm and has irregular rainstorms. The weather makes Cat Ba Island more attractive than Spring & Summer, especially for foreigners. It starts the high season. So the time between August and October is the best for tourists traveling to Cat Ba Island. The weather is featured in slight temperature and blue skies which are ideal for water activities such as scuba-diving, watching coral reefs, kayaking, fishing and so on. Moreover, you’ll have chances to enjoy perfect moments on the beach and stunning sceneries on the island.
Winter regularly ranging from November to January is mainly featured in a little cooler, but still slightly warmer and clear skies. If you prefer cooler and temperate weather, you should visit Cat Ba Island during this time. The weather becomes more satisfying with little rain and moisture, so makes it perfect for relaxing on the beach. However, water becomes colder so it’s hard to swim or engage in some water activities. Due to the convenient conditions of the weather, tourists have a high demand for traveling to Cat Ba Island in winter. As a result, the high season would lead to overcrowding on transportations, hotel rooms, and increasing prices.
You can read more about Cat Ba weather: Everything you need to know
2.How to get there
Many kinds of transportation that transfer you to get to Cat Ba Island regarding by air, by road, by train, by ferry, and by hydrofoil. In this article, we’ll advise all of you the most convenient and suitable way to embark on the cruise in Cat Ba Island. In recent years, cruise services in Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Cat Ba Island are more and more developing and have attracted lots of tourists. Each cruise will decide which harbour they choose to escort their guests to go onboard. So if you book a cruise in Cat Ba Island, the cruise always offers limousine services from Hanoi to the harbour at Hai Phong City for cruising. It’s the easiest way to go on a cruise in Cat Ba Island.
If you live in Hai Phong City or surrounding areas, you can go to the harbour in Hai Phong by car on your own. It’s quite convenient for those who have own vehicle and go with a group of people. In case, you’re foreigners or currently living in other provinces along Vietnam, the fastest and easiest way is by plane and then get to the harbour in Hai Phong for cruising.
You can get more information about how to reach Cat Ba Island, visit How to get to there
3. What activities are included in a cruise in Cat Ba Island
Staying overnight in a cruise in Cat Ba Island helps you to get closer to the natural environment as well as engage in various water activities like swimming, kayaking, scuba-diving, etc. In the article, we suggest what activities should be included in a cruise in Cat Ba Island. However, those activities will depend on your itinerary and the day of your cruise.
Most of the cruises will escort you to visit famous destinations in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay including Cat Co 1,2,3 Beaches, Monkey Island, Cat Ba National Park, Dark and Bright Cave, Quan Y Cave, Three Peaches Island which has magnificent beaches, Ba Ham Lake, Da Chong Islet, Cannon Fort, Ngu Lam Peak, etc. Most beaches on Cat Ba Island still keep its untouched beauty so swimming or simply sunbathing along those beaches will bring unforgettable moments for the guests. Those feelings are something that makes you more relaxing, be closer to nature and a bit private, no one’s here but you.
Kayaking is a must-try activity in Cat Ba Island. Going on a kayak helps you to discover and explore every corner of this beautiful island, even you can touch and immerse yourself amongst spectacular sceneries here.
Besides, the cruise crew takes the guests to visit the fishing villages in Cat Ba Island where you can have a chance to know more about the culture and daily lives of residents. For example, you’ll find how they can build a floating house and understand their daily activities like fishing, cooking, etc. That will bring you lots of interesting experiences.
Moreover, watching the sunrise or sunset on a cruise in Cat Ba Island is another must-have activity. Imagine that the shallow of the sun above the water makes you feel peaceful and tranquil or even something that can’t describe by words. All things will be combined to make a memorable experience for your trip.
4.How to book a cruise
Many online channels helping you to book a cruise in Cat Ba Island including Bestpricevn.com, Booking.com, Expedia.com, Agoda.com, Tripadvisor.com, etc. Those online platforms show you the number of cabins or suites available when booking time, the prices, what is included and excluded in the package, types of suites, etc. It’s easy to use and follow the online platforms but in case, travelers want to get more advice from the cruise operators or they need to set up for a special occasion so it’s hard for them to do that.
Besides, you can book a cruise in Cat Ba Island via travel agents. They play as sales of the cruise ship who’ll provide you advice and information if needed but it takes a little time for you to find a travel agent that you can trust.
You can book directly at the cruise operators without any online channels or travel agents via their websites. If you have any decorations or advice or recommendations from them, just ask. It takes less time than before.
5. How long do you want to stay on a cruise
Cruise operators in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay or Halong Bay chiefly offers 3 main types of cruising packages regarding a day cruise, 2 days 1-night cruise (2D1N), 3 days 2 nights cruise (3D2N), and some cruises offer 4 days 2 nights cruise (4D3N). Even when you want to have the cruise package more than 4D3N cruise, it’s OK. The cruise operators will design the package that meets your demand if you ask them.
A day cruise is a short journey designed to help you have a little taste of feeling immersed in the natural landscapes and seascapes of Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay. You can book the day cruise trip with no overnight accommodation on the cruise.
Overnight cruises have become more common and classic choices for travelers and allowed them to have more time to truly discover and immerse amongst the spectacular sceneries in Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island. You’ll get to sleep on board among the natural wonders and then wake up in the early morning to watch the sunrise that’s absolutely a gorgeous view. The 1 day 2 nights package exactly lasts 24 hours which allows tourists to visit and travel to the main spots in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay so it’s quite suitable for most travelers who have not much time. Longer cruise itineraries are recommended for those who have time and are seeking for unwinding and tranquility and explore more isolated areas in the gulf. The 3D2N and 4D3N cruises allow travelers to explore closely to the residents, the natural landscapes here. In the longer packages, you’ll be moved to a small speedboat to visit other places and engage in other activities, back the cruise ship in the evening.
How long you stay on a cruise depends on your time, you need/want to explore the gulf and your budget as well. The longer you stay on board, the more time you have for navigating the areas far from the crowds and still keep unspoiled beauty and engaging in outdoor activities.
Recommendations for a luxury cruise in Cat Ba Island
– Heritage Cruises, 20 luxury suites, and other contemporary facilities.
Launching in 2019, the cruise offers unique and authentic experiences and overnight accommodation on an architecturally designed vessel. The cruise differentiates with others from high-end services and distinctive concepts derived from a historic character in Vietnam and describing the lives of Vietnamese in the North dating back to the last century.
– ERA Cruises, only luxury 18 suites, and modern amenities. The cruise offers cruise tours that will show you a different side of the beautiful country that is Vietnam. This is a luxurious cruise ship boasting state-of-the-art modern design features. It’s famous for its elegance styles.
If being crowded in Halong Bay, let’s look for a luxury cruise in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay for yourself, which belongs to the further parts of Halong Bay still keeps its pristine beauty. Hopefully, this article somehow helps you have an overall picture of how to find and book a cruise in Cat Ba Island for your trip. Let’s discover, explore and immerse in Cat Ba Island with Heritage Cruises – Vietnam’s first boutique cruise, contact us now.
With geographical features and incredibly natural landscapes similar to Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island has become a rising trend as a pristine heritage site that there are not many tourists stepping on. When visiting Cat Ba Island, you can stay at some resorts and enjoy magnificently pristine waters, white sandy beaches under the sun. More interestingly, if your hands really want to touch upon marvelous beauties of the island, hiring a kayak never makes you feel disappointed. Beside contemplating natural sceneries, taking a kayak to visit every corner of Cat Ba Island on your own makes you have an unforgettable adventure during the holiday. The article below will give you the details about how to hire a kayak in Cat Ba Island.
1. The best time for kayaking
As we know that Cat Ba Island – the range islands of the farthest end of Halong Bay – now is taking into consideration as the World Natural Heritage about diverse biologies. So, the natural landscapes and climate features of Cat Ba Island have close similarities to that of Halong Bay. If Halong Bay – one of the new seven world natural wonders, is too crowded and cramped, why don’t you move into Cat Ba Island for relaxation?. People are always asking that what is the best time to travel and take part in a kayaking tour on Cat Ba Island? That absolutely depends on how you define a perfect vacation. Since visiting Cat Ba Island at any time throughout the year inevitably brings different feelings and experiences. However, if you go to Cat Ba Island for kayaking, you should pay attention to weather conditions carefully.
The time from June to August starts summer and also is the outbreak of the domestic tourism market in Cat Ba Island. Traveling to Cat Ba Island at that time, it’s extremely crowded and accommodations always run out of. In addition, between June and July, it’s time for storm seasons in some Northern Vietnam coastal provinces. The unexpected storms coming and going have a significant impact on your journey in terms of transport and sightseeing. Especially, kayaking services on Cat Ba Island might be prohibited by local government due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Except for the months that have the potential for storms, other months are always an ideal time for you to visit Cat Ba Island. Domestic tourists normally travel to Cat Ba Island from April to October since this time overlaps with many holidays of Vietnamese. However, international tourists usually come to Cat Ba Island from November to March as it’s the best time for them to go traveling. Furthermore, at this time Cat Ba Island is quite deserted, you can comfortably choose to take a kayak trip on Cat Ba Island to explore fully the heritage site by yourself.
2. The places that you can’t neglect when kayaking
Cat Ba Archipelago, an area of 345 km2 and including 367 islands with different sizes, creates a limestone area emerging from the ocean. Cat Ba Island is the biggest island as well as has the largest number of residents living on. Most tourists coming to Cat Ba Island always seek for an extraordinary experience like going kayaking. Certainly you would never forget the feeling that you take a kayak and go out to sea on your own where there are many breaking waves. Those surging waters will lead to some islands or even isolated beaches for sunbathing, swimming or just relaxing. If not, you can sail your boat to reach fishing villages, ravines in the gulf. Some professional tourists state that: “Lan Ha Bay and Dark & Light Cave are the two most ideal spots to go kayaking on Cat Ba Island”. Besides, there have been magnificent destinations for kayaking that you can’t neglect such as Lan Ha Bay, Dark & Light Cave, Three Peaches Beach, and Vem Cave.
Lan Ha Bay – the coquettish primitive pearl on Cat Ba Island
Lying in the south of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay has been attracting plenty of tourists to go sightseeing because of its pristine beauties. Lan Ha Bay is considered as a neglected paradise in the Gulf of Tonkin, taking a kayak in Cat Ba Island to discover Lan Ha Bay is the fascinating experience that you should have once in your entire life.
With different routes of going kayaking around Lan Hay Bay, you will have a chance to visit Cua Van Fishing Village featured by an interesting reef system. From this place, you’ll come across a small ravine, called Luon Cave (“Hang Luồn” in Vietnamese) which is considered as one of the most narrow caves in Vietnam for visiting. With stalactite architectures and turquoise waters, Luon Cave always brings a tranquil feeling for those who want to go kayaking by themselves on Cat Ba Island. There are other islands and islets, characterized by varied cliffs with unique shapes that all are waiting for you to visit on Cat Ba Island. The price for sightseeing on Lan Ha Bay is VND 40,000.
Dark & Light Cave – Sung Sot Cave underwater of Cat Ba Archipelago
Dark & Light Cave belongs to the cleft palate cave with the cave floor submerged in the water; however, the ceiling above the water. To discover Dark & Light Cave, you will take a kayak in Cat Ba Island instead of climbing up slippery stone steps. When going on kayaking, you’ll get a chance to get accessed to the base of the mountain and understand more about an interesting phenomenon that the base of limestones is corroded by water. Besides, you are likely to contemplate various vegetation around the base which makes you exclaim that why the greenery can survive under a strange and harsh limestone topography. As tapping the stalactites ceiling in the cave, you can see different classes of stalactites on the ceiling and on the cliffs. Certainly, you will be impressed by magnificently natural beauties featured by the stalactites and limestones system in the cave.
Three Peaches Beach – A pristine place on central Cat Ba Island
Although Three Peaches beach belongs to Halong Bay, it’s pretty close to Cat Ba Archipelago. This place includes 3 small mountains with a height of 20 meters like 3 giant peaches petrified close together. That’s why people normally call it’s Three Peaches. That’s so amazing if you are able to go kayaking to go around blue beaches and natural mountains in the middle of the ocean or suddenly startle when there are waves splashing slightly on the boat.
Discover Vem Cave, Ang Thinh Linh
If you are planning to go kayaking on Cat Ba Island, certainly that you shouldn’t miss the area around Vem Cave – Ang Thinh Linh (“Hang Vẹm – Áng Thình Lình” in Vietnamese). According to local spoken-language in Cat Ba Island, people usually use “Áng” for valley area lying amongst ranges of mountains in the distinctive regions. More especially, the lake in Vem Cave – Ang Thinh Linh area brings the biological features of brackish water. Undoubtedly, some of you must have understood the feeling when adventuring amongst special valleys on kayaking by yourself, aren’t they? If you’re a big fan of kayaking, please don’t miss a chance to go kayaking in Vem Cave – Ang Thinh Linh on Cat Ba Island.
3. How to rent a kayak in Cat Ba Island
3.1 Coming to Cat Ba Island and rent a kayak on your own
Going kayaking on Cat Ba Island on your own is an amazing experience to discover the entire island. Nevertheless, if you want to do this by yourself, you should go with a group of people; otherwise, you must have detailed information about Cat Ba Archipelago. This helps to ensure tourists’ safety since Cat Ba Archipelago lies in the Gulf of Tonkin and the East Sea where there are a few waves suddenly crashing or limestone reefs might crash into your kayak. Moreover, you may get lost in a cave or on an isolated island. All those things can put tourists in danger. However, If you are an adventurous person, certainly that going kayaking on Cat Ba Island will bring an extraordinary experience for you. The price of renting a kayak depends on the number of tourists in your group. Most service providers of the kayaking concentrate on Beo Harbour.
* If you go with a large of people (>15 people), get to Beo Harbour to buy a ticket and then, hire boats to reach floating-house in Lan Ha Bay so as to go kayaking. Normally, the price for hiring boats from Beo Harbour to Lan Ha Bay is ranging from VND 1,000,000 – VND 4,000,000. At the floating-house in Lan Ha Bay, you can rent a double kayak with VND 50,000 – VND 100,000 and there is no limitation for using time. However, if you go with a large of tourists, the time for using a kayak will be limited due to the time of the tour package.
* If you go with a small of people, hire a big kayak will cause waste. So from Beo Harbour, there are many fishers’ small boats transferring tourists to Lan Ha Bay. The price of a boat is VND 200,000 – 300,000. Please note that there is no life jacket for tourists in the boat of fishers. When reaching Lan Ha Bay, you can hire a kayak to visit the whole island. Otherwise, you can go around Beo Harbour and make an offer with a group of people to share a big boat. Of course, when getting the island, you freely discover the gulf by a kayak.
3.2. Kayaking tour combined with other experiencing patterns on Cat Ba Island
If going on kayaking is only one of the tourism experiences that you want to explore on Cat Ba Island, you should take part in a kayaking tour combined with other tourism activities such as swimming and scuba diving to watch coral reefs. Let’s spend a whole day on Cat Ba Island to enjoy various experiences and relax for relieving the pressures of a normal life.
- Kayaking tour 1 day on Cat Ba Island:
- Price: VND 350,000 – VND 700,000; depending on the attached services and activities.
- Several prestigious travel agents offering a kayaking tour:
|Cat Ba Express||+84 84 824 4999|
|Du lich Canh Dieu (Kitetravel)||+84 038 999 8081|
|Goodmorning Cat Ba||+84 914 607 571|
Kayaking tour (2 days 1 night): If you have much time and want to go on a kayak, you should take part in some kayaking tours offered by travel companies or kayaking services on Cat Ba Island via hotels, homestays or hostels.
- Price: VND 1,500,000 – VND 2,500,000 depending on the attached services and activities.
- Some prestigious travel companies:
|Vietsense Travel||+84 916 172 338|
|Du lich Canh Dieu (Kitetravel)||+84 038 999 8081|
|Du lich Khat Vong Viet||+84 962 70 5533 – +84 934 507 489|
3.3. How to rent a kayak on Cat Ba Island via Heritage Cruises – offering accommodations in the gulf
Tourism on Cat Ba Archipelago has become trendy as the second heritage site in Northern Vietnam. Cat Ba Archipelago possesses a primitively natural beauty which is not less than Halong Bay. Finding the cruise that offers overnight accommodation on Cat Ba Island is quite easy since all of the cruises operating on Cat Ba Archipelago provide kayaking service to visit and contemplate the natural landscape around the gulf. They usually offer the kayaking service for free or if have, it’s only a little free so you don’t need to worry. You just need to choose the cruise that you like and enjoy your vacation. If you pick Heritage Cruises as your partner along the trip, you will probably have an unforgettable experience since we’ll help you go back with Vietnamese nautical stories of the early 20th century or you can touch completely the heritage.
1. An overview of Cat Ba Island.
Cat Ba Island, the largest island, is featured in breathtaking landscapes and seascapes and a good condition of climate. The beautiful island still keeps its pristine beauty and many tourists have shifted to visit Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay rather than Halong Bay. That helps to stimulate other services regarding accommodations, food, and beverages, tourism activities, etc have been developing. With the aim of bringing visitors unforgettable and fascinating experiences in Cat Ba Island, Heritage Cruises will you some information on how to choose Cat Ba Island hotels when coming to the island.
2. How to choose Cat Ba Island hotels
Being considered as the pearl of the Tonkin Gulf, Cat Ba Island possesses the untouched and impressive beauty so recently, Cat Ba Island has appealed thousands of visitors from both the domestic and international markets. Moreover, it has a cool and fresh climate so tourists can visit Cat Ba Island all-round years, in any season và time. Domestic tourists mainly travel in summer but international ones visit the island from December to March. So you should go to Cat Ba Island on weekdays to avoid overcrowding and running out of hotel rooms or even lowering in service quality.
2.1 Criteria for choosing Cat Ba Island hotels
When choosing Cat Ba Island hotels, it’s essential for you to consider the following criteria.
* Location of Cat Ba Island hotels.
You should stay at the hotels that are located in or around Cat Ba Town and not too far from the center of town. Since Cat Ba Town area concentrates lots of tourism services and is convenient for you to move around the destinations. Some tourists want to stay in hotels that are near the beach, the seaport. etc.
* Facilities and amenities in Cat Ba Island hotels
If you want to check the facilities and amenities of that hotel, go to the website or ask the reservation department. It depends on which types of the hotel that you choose and you should check with hotels before booking.
* Service quality
Service is delivered by human beings. It is different from different hotels and hard to check. If you want to know whether the service quality of this hotel is good or not, you should revise via the feedback on the website or social media. However, there’s no certainty that all of the feedbacks are true, so let be a clever customer.
2.2 Website providing essential information on Cat Ba Island hotels
Due to the non-stop development of the internet, tourists now can book directly hotel rooms through some online channels such as booking.com, Agoda, Hotel84.com, etc rather than through travel agencies as before. So those websites will provide necessary information on hotels in terms of room types, room rates, facilities and amenities, location, benefits included, etc. Tourists can revise and compare the prices amongst those websites prior to booking online or booking directly with Cat Ba Island hotels. Your holidays would be never easy and convenient without the presence of online platforms. They’ll help tourists to choose a good location as well as the price that is suitable for your payment ability, just only login in the website and review the information and finally, book the rooms. Hotel84.com, Agoda, Booking.com, Trivago, My tour, Ivivu, and chudu24, etc.
Besides, you can go directly the website of hotels and make reservations with that hotel. The bonus point is that you can leave your information and the staff will give you some advice based on your case or maybe you can chat straightforward with the online staff for more details.
2.3 How to book online Cat Ba Island hotels
Most of the online platforms provide the same service but the price and supporting services make the difference. Agoda and Booking also have a competitive price yet do not support the customers as much as local booking services in Cat Ba Island. Cat Ba Island hotels have various standards from low to high. Sometimes, tourists will find a better price on online platforms than other sources.
How to use online booking services
The online booking services on the website will provide a variety of information that is objective and sincere for the users. That information is based on the data that previous customers provided.
Hotels on the online platforms are categorized in terms of prices, locations, customers’ evaluations, etc. The images and feedbacks provided by previous customers would help new customers to evaluate the quality of the hotel.
Read information about hotels and conditions and terms
Locations and policies of hotels can make a big difference amongst hotels. When booking hotel rooms, you also have to acknowledge the hotel policies since they can be different, for example, the extra fee for the children. The feedback from previous customers on the booking platforms or the hotel websites will provide useful information for those who want to book.
Booking process and payment
Booking services require the guests to make full payment after making a reservation, which makes sure that you’ll be held bookings until time for check-in. Ensuring the booking process is completed, you need to use an exact email address and phone numbers.
The promotions that offer attractive prices usually go with complicated cancellation processes. For instance, you have to deposit about 50% of the price and then finish your payment before 10 days for departure. It’s highly recommended that you should read carefully cancellation policies and payment procedures of the booking service providers and hotels before making your bookings and make sure that your payment is made on time.
Comparing prices of different hotels
With lots of online booking services in recent years, tourists will not know which platforms they should use amongst various online booking websites. Besides, the websites used to compare the prices, locations and services of hotels have been developing very fast to deal with this problem. You can search for information on hotels’ prices provided on Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc on HotelsCombined to find the best price for your trip.
2.4 Name some Cat Ba Island hotels that you should know
In this article, Heritage Cruises names some Cat Ba Island hotels that have a good location and service, a reasonable price as well as receive lots of positive feedbacks from customers.
* Heritage Cruises – 5 stars
Heritage Cruises provides accommodation services, together with spa, restaurants and outdoor activities for the guests around Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay. The cruise ship offers 1,2 or 3 nights options which bring the guests an opportunity to discover and contemplate the natural landscapes and seascapes here. With modern facilities and high-end services, Heritage Cruises is considered one of the luxurious cruises in Lan Ha Bay, which creates unforgettable and unique cruising experiences for tourists.
* Catba Island Resort & Spa – 4 stars
- Location: Cat Co 1, Cat Ba Island, Cat Hai District, Cat Ba Town.
- Price: VND 1,500,000 – 3,000,000/night
Catba Island Resort & Spa, which is a harmonious combination of the architectures between France and Vietnam, has a good location and a great view and restaurant as well. The Cat Ba Island hotel consists of 165 rooms with an ocean view, which are equipped with wooden and bamboo interiors and modern facilities and furniture regarding mini-bar, offices table, sofa, wardrobe, safe, etc, creating a cozy atmosphere.
Besides, staying at Catba Island Resort & Spa, tourists can contemplate the sea and taste yummy dishes from the restaurants combining between Asian and European gastronomies. Moreover, they can enjoy wines at Fun Pub and Bar or cocktails and relax with professional spa services and other entertaining services. Last but not least, Catba Island Resort & Spa also organizes meetings, events, and conferences. You can search for more information on its website.
* Sea Pearl Hotel – 3 stars
- Location: No. 219, 1.4 Road, Cat Ba Island
- Price: VND 700,000 – 1,500,000/night
Next, we’ll introduce the next Cat Ba Island Hotels is Sea Pearl Hotel. This hotel is near Cat Ba seaport and 800 meters far from Cat Co Beach on foot. The price of Sea Pearl Hotel is a medium-range compared to that of other Cat Ba Island hotels but in terms of facilities, it’s fully-equipped and has a small room space, with an area of 20 – 35m2.
Beside an outdoor swimming pool, the Cat Ba Island hotel also provides guests with other services such as massages, spa, night club, sauna, and other entertainment services.
You can read more on its website Sea Pearl Hotel
* Hai Long Cat Ba Hotel – 2.5 star
- Location: No. 234, 1.4 Road, Cat Ba Town.
- Price: VND 600,000 – 1,300,000/night.
Hai Long hotel has been received lots of compliments from customers due to a good location that is near Cat Ba seaport, a magnificent view and great food. You can book hotel rooms on Agoda without a credit card. There’s an outdoor pool in the Cat Ba Island hotel, along with other services like massage, sauna, etc. However, this hotel is near the main road and crowded with many tourists so sometimes it causes a little bit of noise.
* Cat Ba Green House – 3 stars
- Location: No. 249 Nui Ngoc, Cat Ba Town
- Price: VND 500,000 – 800,000/night
Cat Ba Green House – one of the Cat Ba Island hotels, is known for its reasonable price and beautiful hotel rooms. The hotel rooms in Cat Ba Green House are fully-furnished with modern facilities and amenities including cable TV, air-conditioner, fridge, etc, which brings the guests the feelings as they are home.
* Hai Son Hotel
- Location: No. 27 Tung Dinh Street, Cat Ba Town
- Price: VND 300,000 – 500,000/night
Hai Son Hotel, which focuses on those who have a low and average income, is highly recommended by the tourists due to service quality and hotel rooms. Although this Cat Ba Island hotel isn’t located near Cat Ba seaport or Cat Co Beach, it takes a few minutes from Hai Son Hotel to those places. Interestingly, you will be received warmest greetings from the well-trained staff at the hotel. All rooms are spacious ranging from 20m2 to 28m2 yet cheap.
Do you know how to choose Cat Ba Island hotels? The development of the internet encourages to book Cat Ba Island hotels more convenient and faster through online booking platforms such as Booking.com, Agoda, etc. In this article, Heritage Cruises will give you some useful information about how to book Cat Ba Island hotels online and list out some hotels that are highly recommended by tourists. Hopefully, it will help much with your trip.
Cat Ba Island is considered as one of the largest and most visited destinations in the northern of Vietnam, along with Halong Bay. This island is 350 km2 in area and consists of around 367 beautiful islets with diverse sizes creating an imposing scenery and appeal a huge number of tourists annually. Cat Ba Island is separated from the mainland, faces up with East Ocean in the South, surrounded by Halong Bay in the North East and final, in the West covered by Hai Phong City. Therefore, there has been different routes to help you travel to Got Harbour. Transportation and time might be different depending on your itinerary and even the styles of travelling. With an aim to helping tourists have a better information, Heritage Cruises would like to provide you with different means of transportation to reach Got Harbour.
- The closest airport is Cat Bi International (HPH) in Haiphong, it takes 30 mins for you to get to Got Harbour (“Bến Phà Gót” in Vietnamese) to embark on Heritage Cruises. Using aerial transportation to Hai Phong is a smart choice for those who are now in HCM City, Da Nang and Buon Ma Thuot.
- From Noi Bai Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, it takes about one hour and a half by the new expressway to get to Got Harbour (Haiphong).
- Getting on the Seaplane to Tuan Chau Island (Halong City) is also an option, with a 45-min flight. From Tuan Chau, a private car would be necessary to take you to Got Harbour where Heritage Cruises is always present to assist you, approximately 45 mins away.
- At the new Van Don Airport (VDO) in Quang Ninh Province and wanted to visit another destinations that have beautiful landscapes like Halong Bay but still keep its seclusion. Cat Ba Island is something that cannot be missed. Your job is just taking a car on the new highway to get to Got Harbour, about 2 hours.
Getting to Got Harbour by road seems to be the most popular way for tourists in terms of prices and convenience. You can reach Got Harbour from 3 places: Hanoi, Halong Bay and Cat Ba.
1. From Hanoi:
– The travellers can easily take a bus around the Old Quarter which drive them directly to Hai Phong City.
– Operating the new expressway 5B helps cuts down the time traveling to Got Harbour to 1h30 instead of 4 hours. This has removed the main inconvenience of travel to the other regions, which is usually a sinuous and narrow road passing through many villages.
– With desires helping you receive best services, Heritage Cruises offers daily limousine (DCAR) shuttles from Hanoi’s city center to Got Harbour, supplied with Free Wi-Fi, comfortable leather seats and professional drivers. Besides, we might arrange private cars for tourists on demand. It can be seen that the private car tends to be a more affordable and comfortable option compared to a taxi as usual, especially it is recommended for family trip with children.
– Getting onto the coaches (not local public buses) goes directly from Hanoi to Got Harbour. The travel time of Hanoi-Got Harbour journey has been reduced to nearly 2 hours. At Got Harbour, our Heritage Cruises will take you go around and enjoy the incredible beauty that nature endows for Cat Ba Island.
– The advantages of sharing tourist coaches are comfortable, convenient and proper prices, comparative to others. The coach will pick you at your hotel in Hanoi around the Old Quarter and then transfer you directly to Hai Phong City. Therefore, it has no stress on the way in terms of time and luggage stuff with little or no waiting time.
– Here are some details of how to get Got Harbour from Hanoi by coach: + Departure: At hotels around the Old Quarter, 1st Cho Gao Street or 13 Hang Huong, Hang Ma Street, Hanoi.
+ Arrival: Cat Hai, Cat Ba
+ Hanoi – Got Harbour: 7h30; 10h30; 14h
+ Got Harbour – Hanoi: 9h; 12h30; 16h
+ Price: VND 150,000/person
+ Car provider: Good Morning Cat Ba
2. From Halong
– You take a bus or a taxi from Halong City (Quang Ninh Province) to Hai Phong City within 45 mins compared to before. Private cars or taxis are most convenient choice, but public buses are also available. This route is pretty suitable for those who are at Halong City and want to enjoy other destinations.
– Here are some details about how to reach Haiphong from Halong: + Departure: Muong Thanh Hotel at Halong Street, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Quang Ninh.
+ Arrival: No 19, Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba, Hai Phong.
+ Price: VND 120,000/person
3. From Cat Ba:
For those who are already in Cat Ba Island or would like to visit further after the cruise, there is the Got Harbour, departing/arriving from the harbour as Heritage Cruises in Cat Hai (Haiphong), 20 – 30 mins. We recommend a private car as well, since Cat Ba Island is quite large and the distance amongst each destination can be significant.
Please note that the time might change marginally so check your itinerary carefully before you go. The price for train tickets is also various and depends on whether you’re traveling on the weekend or weekday and choose hard or soft seats.
Here are several details about how to get Got Harbour by train:
+ Departure: Hanoi Railway Station – 120 Le Duan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
+ Arrival: Haiphong Railway Station – 75 Luong Khanh Thien, Luong Khanh Thien, Ngo Quyen, Haiphong.
+ Time from Hanoi to Haiphong: 06.00, 09.17, 15.20 and 18.15
+ Price: Monday – Thursday: VND 65,000/person for a hard seat;
VND 70,000/person for a soft seat.
Friday – Sunday: VND 75,000/person for a hard seat;
VND 80,000/person for a soft seat.
You’ll get to Got Harbour from Cat Ba Island by ferry. The ferry ticket costs VND 15,000/person through Cai Vieng Port in Cat Ba Island to reach Got Harbour, 20-30 mins, not including the bus to/from the centre of the island.
Apparently, taking a ferry is much cheaper than other ways but it takes much time and is more crowded. You can go to Got Harbour from Cat Ba Island by hydrofoil.
Departing/arriving at Got Harbour, the hydrofoil ticket costs VND 60,000/person to Phu Long Port (“Bến Phù Long” in Vietnamese), not including the bus to/from the centre of the island. After 8-10 mins journey, you will be at Got Harbour. Obviously, the time for transfering is quite fast so tourists who are seasick shouldn’t use this vehicle.
Firstly, you can depart at Tuan Chau Island (Halong City) by taking a private speed boat to Gia Luan Harbour (25 kms far from Cat Ba Town), 20 mins to get there. Then, taking a taxi to get to Cai Vieng Port. Finally, you can get to Got Harbour through Cai Vieng Port. Time and price are presented above, in the 4th part.
– Here are several departure times:
+ Tuan Chau Island to Gia Luan: 7h15; 8h30; 10h30; 13h; 14h30; 16h
+ Gia Luan to Tuan Chau Island: 8h; 9h15; 11h; 13h; 15h30; 16h30
+ Price: VND 450,000 for less than 9 people
VND 650,000 for 9 to 16 people
– Departure from Hon Gai Port (Halong City) to get Got Harbour is properly the second choice for you. The only thing that you have to do is take the speed boat and go directly to Beo Seaport, 1,5 km far from Cat Ba Town. It takes about 40 – 45 mins on boat.
– From Beo Seaport, you can reach Got Harbour via Cai Vieng Port. The information about price and time is shown in the 4th part – how to get Got Harbour by ferry.
– Here are departure times:
+ Hon Gai Port – Beo Harbour: 7h30; 13h
+ Beo Harbour – Hon Gai Port: 8h30; 13h55
+ Price: VND 150,000/person
Please note it down, the times for departure may change without notification. Make sure that you contact with service providers before your comings. Obviously, the speed boat is more convenient and time-saving for you, especially in high season. In a urgent situation, Heritage Cruises can help you to book a private speedboat to get Got Harbour on time for boarding on our cruise.
In conclusion, Heritage Cruises has just helped you to look through all the possible routes from your home country, Hanoi city, Halong Bay, Hai Phong city or Cat Ba Town to get Cat Ba Island by different means of transportation. Each route has own its advantages and disadvantages, travellers should take into account to choose the way, vehicles and the budget that are appropriate with your itinerary and present condition. If you need more detailed information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Authenticity is the buzzword for Cat Ba Archipelago and Lan Ha Bay. Traveling to Cat Ba by road only takes 1.5 hours from Hanoi by the 5B Highway. Nowadays, travelers are switching from Halong Bay to Cat Ba and Lan Ha Bay in increasing numbers.
This place is now firmly in the development phase; everything is just getting started. Lan Ha is so small that you can rent a cruise boat to explore the bay by yourself. This is perfect for Cat Ba’s based travelers who are self-confident and experienced and want a whole new kind of adventure.
Cat Ba is the largest of the 366 islands spanning the 260km2 that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam.
Cat Ba island has a surface area of 285km2 and retains the dramatic and rugged features of Halong Bay. This island belongs to Haiphong City – an important industrial city which, together with Hanoi and Halong, forms an important economic triangle in North Vietnam.
Approximately half of Cat Ba Island is covered by a national park, which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba Langur.
The island has a wide variety of natural ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, leading to incredibly high rates of biodiversity.
The types of natural habitats to be found in the Cat Ba Archipelago include limestone karsts, tropical limestone forests, coral reefs, mangrove and sea-grass beds, lagoons, beaches, caves, and willow swamp forests.
Cat Ba island is one of the only populated islands in Halong Bay, with roughly 13,000 inhabitants living in six different communes, and 4,000 more inhabitants living on floating fishing villages off the coast.
The majority of the population can be found in Cat Ba town, which is located at the southern tip of the island (15km south of the national park) and is the commercial center. Cat Ba’s fish sauce is particularly famous and one of the main industries on the island and travelers can visit the factory in Cat Ba town.
Halong Bay is understandably popular and crowded, but if you want to experience it without other tourists, be sure to book our private charter boat that will sail where you want, cruising on your own itinerary.
Go deep into the bay, explore the caves and grottoes, head over to Bai Tu Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay, trek in Cat Ba National Park, go rock climbing, kayaking, and watching some of the most amazing sunsets that you’ll ever set eyes on.
Heritage Cruises can help you to take up his challenge with three experiences: Dream Cruise for one day, Discover Cruise for two days, Explorer Cruise for three days and Expedition Cruise for four days. In addition, we arrange private charters for four or five day expeditions in the Gulf of Tonkin.