Cat Ba Island caves: Tales of mystery 

Located in the Gulf of Tonkin right next to Halong Bay Heritage site, Cat Ba Island has the perfect geography where pristine landscape and rare serenity combines. In 2004, UNESCO recognized Cat Ba Archipelago as a World Biosphere Reserve. And this island truly lives up to its title with the magnificent and mysterious caves in Cat Ba

An overview of Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Archipelago is in Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City. It is 25 km from Halong Bay and 30 km from Hai Phong. Cat Ba is an isolated island so whether you go to Cat Ba from Hanoi or Halong, it is required to go pass the sea by ferry or speedboat. 

With an area of 285km2, Cat Ba Island is the largest island of Halong Bay. This destination is famous for Cat Ba National Park, splendid islets of towering limestone, fishing villages, sandy beaches and amazing caves.

1. Hospital Cave (Hang Quân Y)

13 km from the center of Cat Ba Town, Hospital Cave is in Khe Sau, Hai Son, Tran Chau commune, Cat Hai District. This cave is located on the way to Cat Ba National Park, halfway up the mountain.

In the past, it was called Hung Son Cave. From 1963 – 1965, Vietnamese soldiers built this cave into a field hospital in the Vietnam War. That is why locals renamed it as Hospital Cave. Hospital Cave has 3 floors and 17 rooms including function rooms, rehab areas and cinemas. With an area of 2000m2, this hospital and cave could accommodate more than 100 people. Hospital Cave is considered as a wartime masterpiece of construction.

Until today, the original architecture of Hospital Cave is still kept untouched, making this Cat Ba cave an interesting and unique historical site attracting many tourists. 

2. Trung Trang Cave (Động Trung Trang)

15 km northwest to the center of Cat Ba town, Trung Trang Cave sits in the Trung Trang Valley – the largest valley of Cat Ba Island with an area of 300 hectares. This cave in Cat Ba Island is 300 meters long into the mountains. 

Trung Trang Cave is a natural cave without any human touch. It is described as a masterpiece of heaven and earth dedicated to Cat Ba. There are thousands of sparkling stalactites in the cave, reminding visitors of a place existing only in fairy tales. Thanks to its mysterious darkness, this cave on Cat Ba Island is home to a diverse ecosystem including many creatures like birds, bats, reptiles and insects. In the Trung Trang area, tourists can also visit Kim Giao forest with very old trees and vines.

Trung Trang is a representative cave of over 150 large and small caves in Cat Ba Archipelago. Many traits of prehistoric Vietnamese such as fossil bones and stone tools were found here.

3. Diamond Cave (Động Hoa Cương)

Diamond Cave belongs to the northeastern mountain range of Cat Ba Island, particularly in Gia Luan Commune close to the ferry port from Halong Bay. 

Diamond Cave is one of the most intact caves in Cat Ba Island. The cave has an altitude of 50 meters above sea level and 15-20 meters above where the residents live. It is approximately 10 meters high. The biggest spot is 25 meters wide and 100 meters long. Inside the cave forms impressive stalactites with colorful shapes of people and animals. They are like a painting filled with myth. There is a small lake, reflecting the light and creating a mysterious atmosphere.

In this poetic Cat Ba Island’s cave, Archaeologists found fossil teeth of ancient apes dating back 10,000 years ago. Since then, Diamond Cave has been a familiar destination for many researchers. 

4. Thien Long Cave (Động Thiên Long)

Another mysterious cave in Cat Ba Island is Thien Long Cave or Phu Long Cave. The cave belongs to Phu Long Commune, Cat Hai District. Besides impressive scenery created by nature, Thien Long Cave also attracts tourists because of its tales. Locals believe that Vietnamese ancients and pirates used to accommodate this place. 

The cave has a depth of 200 meters. There are huge stalactite pillars at the entrance of Thien Long cave, formed when the tree roots fall through the crevice. All of this creates a marvelous scenery of multi-colored rocks and iridescent stalactites inside this cave on Cat Ba Island.

There are stalactites that look similar to Guan Yin Bodhisattva with two hands placed against each other. Below are bizarre shapes of crocodiles, pythons and snakes. The cave owns a musical instrument made from stalactite and rock. With your hand or a wooden stick, you can play a song of unique sounds – exciting and holy with the sounds of water gurgling. 

Thien Long Cave includes 3 separate parts (First Cave, Second Cave and Third Cave). 

How to get to Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is considered as one of the largest islands in Northern Vietnam. This island is 350 km2 in area and consists of around 367 beautiful islets with diverse sizes creating an imposing scenery. 

There are many routes to reach Cat Ba Island. Transportation and the time might be different depending on your itinerary and even the styles of traveling. With the aim of helping tourists have better information, Heritage Cruises would like to provide different means of transportation to get to Cat Ba Island.  

1. Get to Cat Ba Island by air

Cat Bi International (HPH) in Haiphong which is the closest airport, is 10 km far from Binh Harbour. You’ll get to Cat Ba Town from Binh Harbour by a ferry or a speedboat. Using aerial transportation to Hai Phong is a smart choice for those who are now in HCM City, Da Nang, and other big cities and who are foreigners. 

– From Noi Bai Airport (HAN) (Hanoi), it takes 3h30 – 4h to get to Binh Harbour (Haiphong). Then, you’ll reach Cat Ba Town from Binh Harbour. 

– Boarding on the Seaplane (Noi Bai Airport – Hanoi) to Tuan Chau Island (Halong City), with a 45-minute flight. From Tuan Chau, a private car would be necessary to take you to Binh Harbour. Then reach Cat Ba Town. 

–  From Van Don Airport (VDO) (Quang Ninh Province), you’ll take a car on the new highway to get to Binh Harbour, about  2 hours and then, get to Cat Ba Town. 

2. Going to Cat Ba by road

Getting to Cat Ba Island by road seems to be the most common way for tourists. You can reach Cat Ba Island from Hanoi City and Halong Bay. 

* From Hanoi: 

#Option 1

– Tourists can get on the coach driving them directly to Hai Phong City. A new highway 5B Hanoi-Haiphong helps to reduce the time for traveling to Haiphong City to 1h30 instead of 4 hours as before. This has removed the inconvenience of traveling to a sinuous and narrow road passing through many villages.

– Pros: The price is quite cheap compared to others and there is more than one trip per day.

– Cons: The place for guests to get on is pretty far from the city center. You have to go to the coach station for departing. 

– Coach-provider: Hoang Long

  • Nuoc Ngam Station (Hanoi) – Cat Ba: 5h20 -7h20 – 11h20 -13h20 
  • Cat Ba – Hanoi:  7h15 – 9h15 – 11h45 – 13h15 – 15h15
  • Booking: 0225.3920.920 – 0904.225.177
  • VND 280,000/person/1 way.

#Option 2: 

– Taking on a shuttle bus (not local public buses) goes directly from Hanoi to Hai Phong. It takes nearly 2 hours thanks to the new highway. From Hai Phong City, you’ll get to Binh Harbour and then, reach Cat Ba Island.  

– Pros: The shuttle buses are comfortable, convenient and proper prices, compared to others. They’ll pick you at your hotel in Hanoi around the Old Quarter and then transfer you directly to Hai Phong City so it has no stress on the way regarding time and luggage stuff with little or no waiting time. 

– Cons: It takes time for guests to find car-providers. 

+ Departure time: Hanoi – Cat Ba: 7h30; 10h45; 14h 

Cat Ba – Hanoi: 9h; 12h30; 15h45

Cat Ba Express No 37B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 01248.244.999 VND 280,000/person
Good Morning Cat Ba No.13 Hang Huong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 0913.309.6281 VND 230,000/person
Daiichi Travel No. 85 Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 024.6654.7070 VND 250,000/person

# Option 3: You can go to Cat Ba Island in a private car. This option is suitable for those who are a group of travelers or for a family trip. The price of renting a private car, VND 2,600,000. 

  • Pros: Going with a private car makes tourists feel more convenient and comfortable. 
  • Cons: If going by a private car, you have to go by ferry to reach Cat Ba Island. It takes much time to wait due to the congestion. 

# Optional 4: Tourists can go by motorcycle to reach Cat Ba Island. 

  • Pros: It’s convenient and comfortable for guests and suitable for the young. 
  • Cons: The distance from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island is quite long, so tourists might feel tired.  

Getting to Cat Ba Island is more easier than before since our cruise will offer limousine service or a shuttle bus transfer from the city center of Hanoi capital, normally guests will be picked up around the old quarter areas.

* From Halong: 

You’ll take a bus/a taxi from Halong City (Quang Ninh Province) to Hai Phong City within 45 minutes as before. Private cars or taxis are the most convenient choice, but public buses are also available. Then, you’ll reach Cat Ba Town from Binh Harbour (Hai Phong). 

– Departure: Muong Thanh Hotel at Halong Street, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Quang Ninh. 

– Arrival: No 19, Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba, Hai Phong. 

– Price: 120,000 VND/person. 

3. Traveling to Cat Ba Island by train 

You can get on a train from Gia Lam Railway Station (Long Bien District) or Hanoi Railway Station (near the Old Quarter) to Hai Phong Railway Station (Hai Phong City). It lasts nearly 2 hours 45 minutes. Well, taking a train will help reduce the time of finding car service providers. From Hai Phong Railway Station, you’ll take a taxi or a bus to get to Binh Harbour. Then arrive at Cat Ba Town. 

Please note that the time might change marginally so check your itinerary carefully before you go. The price of train tickets is also various and depends on whether you’re traveling on the weekend or weekday and choose hard or soft seats. 

  • Departure: Hanoi Railway Station – 120 Le Duan, Hoan Kiem District

or Gia Lam Railway Station at Ngoc Lam – Long Bien – Hanoi. 

  • Arrival: Haiphong Railway Station – 75 Luong Khanh Thien, Luong Khanh Thien, Ngo Quyen, Hai Phong. 
  • Time for departure: 6h, 9h20, 15h20, 18h15
  • Price: 

+ Monday – Thursday: 65,000/person for a hard seat; 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. 

4. getting to Cat Ba Island by ferry

All routes lead the way to arrive at Hai Phong City, then you’ll take a taxi to get to Dinh Vu Port and reach Cat Ba Island by ferry. The ferry ticket is 15,000 VND/ 1 person. 

Apparently, taking a ferry is much cheaper than other ways but it takes much time and is more crowded. 

– From Dinh Vu – Ninh Tiep Port, you’ll take a ferry to get to Cat Hai Harbour, 45 mins. Then, you continue getting a bus/a car to reach Got Harbour. After that, you’ll get on another ferry to arrive at Cai Vieng Harbour (Cat Ba Island) within 20 mins, which is 20 km far from Cat Ba Town. Now, there are 37 ferries per day, 5 a.m to 5 p.m, each hour has one trip. 

5. By private speedboat

For speedboat, you can get to Cat Ba Island from Halong City (Quang Ninh Province) and Hai Phong City. Firstly, departing from Halong City, there are 2 options: 

Option 1: 

You can depart at Tuan Chau Island (Halong City) by taking a private speed boat to Gia Luan Harbour (25 km far from Cat Ba Town), 20 mins to get there. Then, taking a taxi to get to Cat Ba Town. 

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:  + 450,000 VND for less than 9 people 

           +  650,000 VND for 9 to 16 people 

# Option 2:

Departure from Hon Gai Port (Halong City) to get Cat Ba Island is properly the second choice for you. You’ll take a speed boat and go directly to Beo Seaport, 1.5 km far from Cat Ba Town. It takes about 40 – 45 minutes on the boat.  

Here are departure times: 

Hon Gai Port – Beo Harbour: 7h30; 13h 

Beo Harbour – Hon Gai Port: 8h30; 13h55 

Price: 150,000 VND/person

 – Secondly, after arriving at Hai Phong City, you’ll take a speedboat at Binh Harbour to get to Cai Vieng Harbour (Cat Ba Island). Then, taking a taxi/bus helps you arrive at Cat Ba Town. It costs 200,000 VND/1 person, 45 mins. 

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. 

6. By Hydrofoil

You can take a hydrofoil from Binh Harbour to go directly to Cat Ba Port, 8 – 10 mins. The price is 180,000 – 200,000 VND/1 person. Obviously, the time for transferring is quite fast so tourists who are seasick shouldn’t use this vehicle. 

Here are some details: 

Hydrofoil providers Time for departure Ticket fee
Mekong Hoang Yen Binh Harbor – Cat Ba: 9h VND 200,000/adult
Cat Ba Island

Binh Harbor – Cat Ba: 9h, 13h, 15h

Cat Ba – Binh Harbor: 10h, 14h10, 16h

VND 180,000/adult

Getting to Cat Ba Island is easier, isn’t it? Heritage Cruises has just helped you to look through all the possible routes from your home country, like Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hai Phong or other places to get to Cat Ba Island by different means of transportation. Each route has its advantages and disadvantages, travelers should take into account to choose the way, vehicles and the budget that is appropriate with your itinerary and present condition. If you need more detailed information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Cat Ba National Park: All you need to know before you go

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. 

  1. 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. 

Top 7 Cat Ba Beach Resorts

Cat Ba Island, known as the largest island in Halong Bay, is endowed with spectacular landscapes and seascapes and nice weather conditions. Obviously, this island has still remained pristine natural beauty and rugged features of Halong Bay. Many tourists recently have shifted to visit Cat Ba Island, which helps tourism on the island more and more to develop. Spontaneously, other services including accommodations, foods and beverages, tourism activities included, spa and so on also have been increasing. It can be noticeable that the accommodations in Cat Ba Island have developed a lot from basic accommodations to luxury ones. So with the aim of helping tourists get a memorable experience, Heritage Cruises will give you brief information on Top 7 Cat Ba Beach Resorts that you want to try when visiting Cat Ba Island. 

1. Cat Ba Sandy Beach Resort

Located on a  private island – Nam Cat Island in the middle of Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Sandy Beach Resort, one of the best Cat Ba beach resorts, offers distinctive wooden bungalows. It is endowed magnificent seascapes and surrounded by a wide range of limestones, white sandy beaches of pristine water and diverse flora and fauna. It takes around 30 mins from Cai Beo Pier by junk boat to reach Nam Cat Island. 

This resort distinguishes from others by its architectures and special experiences to the guests. The cozy bungalows are built on stilts and feature with classical wooden furniture and large windows. Those bungalows are quite suitable only for relaxing and nature lovers. Since it’s a remote area, the room facilities are simply basic, no wifi/internet connection and electrical power is limited. Therefore, when coming to Cat Ba Sandy Beach Resort, you absolutely can leave bustling lives and workload behind to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the island. 

Staff at the receptionist desk can arrange activities for guests including diving and visiting the island. Moreover, tourists can taste local dishes in the restaurant and light snacks and beverages served at the bar. The price of meals is reasonable. Lunch/dinner cost from $10/person (5 – 7 dishes), a can of soft drink costs $1.5, a bottle of mineral water – $1, a can of beer costs $2, etc. 

Regarding prices, it offers the best price, ranging from $55 to $95 (around VND 1,300,000 to 2,200,000) per night and the prices depend on the room’s type. 

To book bungalows, you can visit its website. 

Contact information: 

  • Location: Nam Cat Island, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba, Hai Phong Province, Vietnam 
  • Tel: (+84) 24 3926 2326 or (+84) 963 500 788 
  • Email: [email protected] 

2. Cat Ba Sunrise Resort

Cat Ba Sunrise Resort is the ideal island paradise featured by uniqueness, luxury and, breathtakingly natural beauties. Located on Cat Ba Island and settled in a sandy bay protected by marvelous karst cliffs, the gardening resort gives its guests panoramic views of a crystal clear water ocean and magnificent islets. It takes about more than 2km from Ben Beo Harbour to Cat Ba Sunrise Resort. 

All rooms have standard facilities and spacious balconies with distinctively sensational sea views. Moreover, outdoor facilities consist of a sparkling pool, Jacuzzis, beachfront bar – The Coco Bar Lounge, and easy access to a soft beach and a magnificent cliff-side walk away. On the other hand, for indoor amenities, the guests can enjoy VOCO Restaurant, 4-star restaurant serving Western cuisines and Asian foods, and fully immerse in spa services and completely relax in Vietnamese theme lounges. Besides, the place is appropriate for meetings and events as well. 

Regarding its recreation, this Cat Ba beach resort offers Karaoke, GYM room, and Kid’s Club. The Kid’s Club provides spaces for children including various toys, games, computers offering games’ offlines to maximize the child’s interests, so it’s a perfect place for family. 

Offering a swimming pool inside the resort and an interesting corner to play for children is the bonus point of Catba Sunrise Resort compared to others. Another thing is that the ideal location is in front of the beach. It must be great for guests to take a few steps to get the seashore and enjoy the sunrise as its name. 

Prices are ranging from around VND 2,700,000 to 4,700,000 for 2 people/night. 

To book rooms, contact via its website 

Cat Co 3 Beach, Catba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam

Phone: (+84.225) 388 7360 

Email: [email protected] 

3. Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa

Ideally located on a cove near Cat Ba Island, Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa is considered as a perfect place for tourists to experience relaxing ambiance and enjoy the natural beauty of Cat Ba Archipelago as well. Well, the ocean view resort attracts guests with magnificent beachfront views, the freshwater in swimming pools and sufficient facilities being ideal for a honeymoon, romantic weeks, family vacations and resting weekends.  

Generally, Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa offers 165 spacious rooms and suites designed the concept of island-inspired decorations and modern amenities. The guests can choose amongst rooms with varied views and different types including deluxe suites and condo-style suites. Additionally, all rooms are equipped with flat-screen televisions, free wifi connection and many of them feature private balconies to overlook ocean views or mountain views. Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa also offers friendly lodgings for those who’re traveling with their pets. 

Outside the door room, tourists can immerse rays of sunshine on the Cat Ba seashore or on the deck chairs near two beachfront swimming pools which separates space for adults and family. Besides, you can enjoy Jacuzzi Spa with unique experiences at the relaxing beachfront resort. The resort also invites guests to enjoy tropical cocktails at lively Pirate Bar. The guests are delighted by the 100-square-foot Fitness Center in the resort and some activities like beach volleyball. Moreover, they can enjoy a peaceful garden featured with a green grass cover and a reflecting pond. Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa also offers a shuttle service to reach the city center being famous for friendly local shops, bustling nightlife, and dining. Besides, if you want to discover Cat Ba Island, you can find all kinds of packages at the receptionist’s desk. 

Especially, Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa is a distinctive destination for meetings and events. The resort will overwhelm guests with 6,000 square feet of function rooms and different details creating signature events. Whether you’re planning to organize a conference over 200 guests or a close wedding near the beach, Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa certainly brings you unforgettable experiences. 

Each type of room offers a different price. Prices are from VND 2,500,000 to 3,700,000 for 2 people/night 

To book the rooms,  contact via website

 Here is some information: 

  • Location: Catba Island Resort & Spa Cat Co 1, Catba Island, Cat Hai, Haiphong, Vietnam.  
  • Reception Tel: +84 (225) 368 8686 Fax: +84 (225) 368 8989 

4. Monkey Island Resort

Monkey Island Resort is perfectly located on an isolated beach of Monkey Island (also called Cat Dua Island) in Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island. It’s about 3,2 km far from Cat Ba Town and it takes about 10 mins for guests to get to this resort by boat from Ben Beo Harbour. 

All rooms in Monkey Island Resort are equipped comfortably for your staying with full modern facilities combining with distinctive views from the rooms and private balconies to contemplate hundreds of islets in front. The restaurant’s Monkey Island Resort lying next to the beach and spectacular eco garden serves the guests with Vietnamese cuisines and Western foods. Additionally, there might be great to take part in a daily BBQ party on the beach. 

The unique feature is that Monkey Island Resort is located on a private island in which tourists can see easily and play with friendly monkeys. Playing and feeding for monkeys are absolutely distinctive experiences that the resort brings to the guests. When staying in bungalows, you can feel the cozy atmosphere and be familiar with Vietnamese architecture. Most bungalows and furniture totally made of wood, which brings exceptional feelings for the guests. If you’re interested in watching monkeys and immersing in the natural environment, Monkey Island Resort will certainly be a perfect choice for you. 

For pricing, it offers reasonable prices for the guests. With different types of rooms, it costs different prices which are ranging from around VND 1,400,000 to 3,500,000 for 2 people per night. 

To book rooms, contact via its website 

Location: 25 Lac Trung Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi 

Tel: 0981 222 029 – Reservation: 0981 222 028 

Email: [email protected] 

5. Cat Ba beach resorts on Nam Cat Island

Being totally isolated from the mainland, Nam Cat Island Resort certainly makes guests satisfied with the preference of discovering and traveling. After 30 mins on board from Beo Harbour, the guests are present at a beautiful islet to explore spectacularly natural sceneries and provided accommodations with wooden houses being surrounded by cliffs. 

For rooms, you can choose rooms with a sea view and no air-conditioning and rooms with sea view and air-conditioning. Rooms with no air-conditioning have big windows and doors which brings a sense of being closer to the environment for the guests.

Nam Cat Island Resort offers the guests a wide range of services including kayaking, submarine diving, firewood camping, fishing at waiting for houses overnight, visiting Viet Hai Fishing Village, exploring Monkey Island and Lan Ha Bay as well. In the evening, you can go to the mountain bar for drinking, singing karaoke with many friends from different places. Maybe you can enjoy dancing before going to bed until midnight or walking with your partner on the beach nearby. 

Regarding pricing, Nam Cat Island Resort offers appropriate prices for the guests. It ranges from VND 1,200,000 to 2,000,000. 

To book the resort, contact its website

Here are some details of the resort: 

Address: CatBa – Hai Phong – Vietnam 

Hotline: Mrs. Diu 0977.157 822 – Mr. Vuong: 0989 555 773 – Mr. Phong: 0989 555 811 

Email: [email protected] 

6. Cat Ba Eco-Lodge Resort

Cat Ba Eco-Lodge Resort (originally Suoi Goi Resort) is approximately 13 km far from Cat Ba Town and it takes 15 mins to get to Cat Ba National Park. This resort is an absolutely different world of tranquility, pure air, magnificently natural beauty, and biodiversity. 

Lying on the top of a private hill in Xuan Dam Village, Cat Ba Eco-Lodge Resort is the most out-of-the-way resort in Cat Ba featured by primitive forests and melodic songs of various wild birds. Moreover, it’s designed and comforted in mind and Muong Ethnic Culture with rooms that are arranged in three separate buildings around the restaurant. 

Rooms at Cat Ba Eco-Lodge Resort are designed as wooden stilt house styles, with a long corridor. The rooms in this Cat Ba beach resorts are spacious and pretty suitable for those who travel in a big group of friends and for a family holiday. It’s noticeable that the resort helps guests immerse themselves with natural landscapes which is totally different from other resorts. 

Tourists are appealed by its friendly-environmentally surroundings and Muong people’s architectures. The bungalows and restaurants have lied deeply in the forest which makes the surrounding temperatures cooler. This helps the resort differentiate from others. Obviously, this resort is constructed as a place of peace and tranquility, providing guests an opportunity to escape from a bustling daily life and the workload. If you’re an environmental lover and seeking for a luxury vacation, Cat Ba Eco-Lodge Resort is an absolutely perfect option. 

In terms of pricing, the resort offers quite competitive, ranging from nearly VND 1,000,000 to 1,900,000. The prices are pretty cheaper than other resorts. 

For booking, contact it via website 

Location: Xuan Dam, Cat Ba, Hai Phong, Vietnam 

Office: 136 Ngoc Tri Street, Long Bien, Hanoi

Phone: (+84) 225 688 966 – (+84) 973238686

Email: [email protected] 

7. Cat Ba Beach Resort

Cat Ba Beach Resort is situated in Cat Co 2 Beach which is known as the most beautiful beach on Cat Ba Archipelago and featured by a primitive landscape and seascape and stretching white sandy beaches. 

The resort consists of 21 bungalows including Seaview Bungalow and Seafront Bungalow which brings a private space and comfort for guests and Duplex Family which provides the guests with a cozy atmosphere and conveniences. 

Additionally, coming to Cat Ba Beach Resort, tourists have chances to enjoy special and fresh dishes of seafood at Rock and Sea which are front beach restaurants. 

Like other resorts in Cat Ba Island, Cat Ba Beach Resort is in front of the beach with clear water and white sandy beach. However, the resort offers a large area for guests to go on a walk and relax under the canopy of coconut trees. This area is full of coconut trees and the path is arranged skilfully by a different piece of rock. 

More interestingly, the guests will have an opportunity to visit The Cannon Fort. From The Cannon Fort at the highest point of 177 meters, you can look forward to farthest distance, the ocean, the high mountain, blue clouds, and the skylines. All huge objects now look tidy in your eyes. Especially, it’s extremely marvelous to see the sunset on the top of Cat Ba Island.

The prices are ranging from VND 1,200,000 to 2,800,000 for 2 people/night.  

To book rooms, contact it via website

Address: Cat Co 2 Beach, Cat Ba town, Cat Hai, Hai Phong 

Tel: +84 31 3888 686

Hotline: 098 659 6363 | Email: [email protected]

All resorts mentioned above offer a good location, rooms with modern facilities and high quality of accompanied service regarding accommodation, restaurant, spa and tourism activities included. So, how can you decide the best place to stay? If you want real comfort, you can also choose to go on a cruise from Hai Phong and have a chance to visit all the major destinations in Cat Ba Island, coming back to the comfort of your room afterward. Unlike other Cat Ba beach resorts, Heritage Cruises offers authentic experiences on the cruise ship with modern amenities in Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago. If you’re interested in living on our cruises, you can contact us for more detail. Hopefully, that information might help you to choose a place to stay for your fascinating holiday on Cat Ba Island.