If you intend to visit Hai Phong during your travel journey in Vietnam, you should not miss out on the opportunity to explore Cat Ba Island. For those who have never traveled to this beautiful island, the following list of the best things to do in Cat Ba is invaluable for ensuring a delightful first-time travel experience. If you are planning your travel journey to Vung Tau, read on.
1. Go swimming
On a scorching summer day, one of the most exciting things to do in Cat Ba is diving into the clear, blue waters of Cat Ba Beach. While the popular Cat Co beaches can get crowded, there are secret spots for a more peaceful swim. Tourists can hire boats to move to Monkey Island or Tung Thu Beach to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and gentle waves. For the adventurous, the wild beaches at Lan Ha Bay offer a chance to connect with nature. Whether it is tranquility or excitement you seek, being immersed in the sea here will definitely be one of the most unforgettable experiences in your Cat Ba trip.
2. Paddle a kayak
If you are fond of water activities, kayaking is an experience you cannot miss. In the midst of the scorching summer heat, there is something truly magical about gliding on the clear sea while gazing at the untouched islands in Cat Ba. Tourists can easily rent a double kayak for around 50,000 VND per boat. It is worth noting that when you go solo, there is usually no time limit. You are free to explore to your heart’s content. However, if you decide to paddle with a group, the rowing time might be a bit more constrained.
3. Take a boat cruise in Lan Ha Bay – Among the best things to do in Cat Ba
A boat cruise through Lan Ha Bay offers travelers a serene escape into its calm, blue waters. Lan Ha is a proud member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club (MBBW). Starting at Cai Beo Wharf, you can get sightseeing tickets for just 30,000 VND per person. Private boat rentals range from 2.2 to 5.7 million VND for various durations and group sizes. For a budget-friendly option, visitors should buy tour tickets for 200,000 to 350,000 VND per person, lunch included.
4. Watch the sunset at Cannon Fort
One of the most popular things to do in Cat Ba is watching the sunset from Cannon Fort. Situated on a strategic hill, it offers a stunning 360-degree panorama, especially during sunrise and sunset. The hill’s historical importance adds depth to the experience. You can reach the fort by motorbike, car, or a short walk. The fort is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, with an entry fee of 40,000 VND per person.
5. Observe langurs’ life in Monkey Island, Cat Ba
Monkey Island, once known as Cat Dua Cat Ba Island for its wild pineapples, offers a chance to observe langurs in their natural habitat. With unspoiled beauty and over 20 friendly monkeys, it is rightly called Monkey Island. Here, you can play, feed, and watch these intelligent creatures perform tricks. It is a unique and enchanting experience that brings you close to nature and the island’s inhabitants.
>>> Let’s explore how to get to Cat Ba Island!
6. Trek through Cat Ba National Park – One of the best things to do in Cat Ba for adventurers
Cat Ba National Park, set up in 1986, is a safe haven for many animals and birds, including the rare Cat Ba langur. Its dense jungle is a real gem. If you love trekking, this is your spot. It is worth noting that trekking through this park is only suitable for adults who are fit, as the path can be tough. Here are the popular routes:
- Kim Giao – Ngu Lam Summit Route: For the adventurous youth, this is a hit. Ngu Lam Peak is 220 meters high, and the path is about 1 kilometer long. Kim Giao Peak, at 300 meters, is a climb of over 700 meters away.
- Frog Pond – Viet Hai Village: For trekkers up for a challenge, the Frog Pond to Viet Hai Village route is perfect. It takes about 5 hours through bushes, slippery rocks, and dry leaves – a real adventure.
- Trung Trang Cave – Quan Y Cave: If you want an easier path that still shows you the beauty of the park, try the Trung Trang Cave – Quan Y Cave route. It is less tiring but still lets you experience the park’s vibe.
7. Try squid fishing
Trying squid fishing at night in Cat Ba adds an interesting twist to your entertainment options, though it can be a bit pricey at around 500,000 VND for a short trip. To give it a shot, you can ask your hotel to set it up or approach the local rafters and boat folks at the town’s main wharf. As the sun sets, the waters come alive, offering a unique chance to enjoy the serene beauty of the nighttime sea and perhaps even catch some squid.
8. Visit Cai Beo fishing village
While in Cat Ba, Cai Beo fishing village is a must-visit. It may not be as bustling as the Lan Ha Bay pier, but Ben Beo offers a mix of boats and ships ready to show you the tranquil beauty of Vietnam’s oldest fishing village. If you are traveling with a group, big boats are popular, but for a closer look at coastal life, sitting in a small boat is unbeatable. As you drift through Cai Beo’s scenic waters, the boatman’s stories paint a vivid picture of the village’s history. You can also pause at different homes to check out the variety of seafood, from everyday favorites to more exotic catches.
9. Experience rock climbing – Among the most thrilling things to do in Cat Ba Vietnam
Cat Ba Island offers tourists some great spots to experience Cat Ba rock climbing. Among the favorites are Dau Be Island and Ben Beo Mountain Cliff, conveniently located near the town center. For a unique experience with stunning sea views, it is suggested that you check out the cliffs at Ba Trai Dao Island, a bit further down. You can rent climbing gear here, but if you are new, it is smart to have a certified guide. They will make sure that you are safe and have a good time.
10. Explore mystic caves in Cat Ba Island
Another activity that attracts numerous tourists is discovering the mysteries of Cat Ba Island’s enchanting caves. Two remarkable ones, Hospital Cave and Trung Trang Cave, have stories to tell. Quan Y Cave was a wartime field hospital built from 1963 to 1965. Inside, you will find a surprising layout with 17 rooms across three floors, including treatment and rehab areas and even a movie room. The bomb-proof door design is a relic from those times.
Trung Trang Cave, in the same direction, stretches about 300 meters through the mountain. You will be in awe stepping into a world of sparkling formations made by dripping water over 6 million years. Plus, there are fascinating stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes. The cave also holds ancient Vietnamese remnants that add to its allure.
11. Enjoy a feast of fresh seafood
When on Cat Ba Island, tourists should not miss out on the seafood feast. There are a bunch of yummy options like geoduck clams, lobster, snapper, and more. You can get them grilled, stir-fried, or steamed at the restaurants, or you can savor these tasty dishes at Cat Ba Market. For a special experience, you can try dining on rafts by the sea. Imagine enjoying seafood while feeling the sea breeze – it is not just a meal, it is a whole island vibe on your plate.
>>> Don’t forget to check Cat Ba weather in advance!
12. What to do in Cat Ba at night? Explore local nightlife
When night falls on Cat Ba, the vibe changes. You can find couples strolling along the beach and friends having a blast riding around while the island quiets down. Yet, the most iconic way to explore Cat Ba’s night scene is aboard mini-cyclos. It is not just for kids; even adults find joy in this form of transportation. You can rent one and cruise the main road for about 2 kilometers in the town center.
13. Cycle around Viet Hai Village
Nestled in Cat Ba National Park, Viet Hai Village is Vietnam’s largest floating village, inviting visitors with its natural beauty and friendly locals. To truly soak in its charm, tourists should hop on a bike and explore. To reach this village, you can rent a private boat from Cai Beo Port or take a 45-minute boat ride (40,000 VND/person). If you are within Cat Ba National Park, a 6-kilometer trek offers an adventurous route, though it demands endurance and the right gear like good shoes and insect repellent.
Besides Cat Ba, Vietnam has a myriad of charming provinces for travelers to explore, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Long. These attractive destinations offer a wide range of accommodations for visitors to choose from, from homestays, motels, and hostels to 5-star resorts.
Among those, the luxurious and all-inclusive hotels and resorts of Vinpearl provide the perfect places to stay on your trip. You will have the opportunity to experience world-class accommodations and all sorts of amenities, such as outdoor swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, babysitting services, restaurants, bars, gyms, and so on.
In addition, it is recommended that you visit the amusement complexes of VinWonders to experience thrilling games and impressive performances. These recreational centers promise to bring you and your loved ones unforgettable memories.
The charming island of Cat Ba is an extremely attractive destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. This place offers a wealth of experiences and attractions for every visitor, from its stunning natural landscapes to its numerous adventurous activities. Hopefully, the above suggestions of things to do in Cat Ba will help you decide what to do in Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.