Cat Ba is a big island of Hai Phong City. During your travel in Cat Ba Island, you can enjoy a broad range of enjoyable activities such as swimming on three Cat Co beaches, cruising around Lan Ha Bay to see islands, visiting Monkey Island, trekking Cat Ba National Park, visiting Viet Hai village, kayaking around mountainous islands of the bay and so on.
1. Experiences for your trip in Cat Ba Island
+ If you want to go by coach, the simplest way is to buy a ticket for Ha Noi – Cat Ba route of Hoang Long Company (including a bus ticket to go from Ha Noi to Hai Phong and a ticket for Hoang Long high-speed boat).
Besides, you can choose to go by high-speed boat at Binh port. From Ha Noi, you go by Anh Huy coach to Lac Long Bridge in Hai Phong. And then, you just need to walk for about 5 minutes to arrive at Binh port.
At the port, you can buy a ticket for the high-speed boat to go to Cat Ba Island.
+ If you want to go by motorbike, when you arrive in Hai Phong City, you should ask the way to Dinh Vu ferry terminal. It will take you about 2 to 2.5 hours to go by ferries.
You can bring motorbikes, cars on the ferries. And you need to go through 2 ferry terminals: Dinh Vu – Ninh Tiep and Got – Cai Vieng.
These two ferry terminals have had six large ferries and six small ferries used for the total of 37 routes per day and with the capacity of 2000 passengers.
Ferries at Dinh Vu ferry terminal are available from 6:30 a.m to 5 p.m, 1 hour for each route. Ferries at Got ferry terminal are available from 6 a.m to 6 p.m, 30 minutes for each route. It is about 20 kilometers from the ferry terminal to the town center. The road is winding with one side of Mountain and one side of Sea.
+ From Ha Long, you can go by Tuan Chau Ferry through Ha Long Bay to Gia Luan port.
Going by Tuan Chau Ferry has both pros and cons. If you go on tourist season from May to August, you will have to wait for a long time because the ferry is overloaded. If you want to bring your car, you will have to go early to queue. If you go late, your car will have to be arranged for 1 – 2 following routes (you go without your vehicle).
There is another time-saving solution for people who go to Ha Long Bay and then continue to go to Cat Ba. It is transshipment. Because the last Tuan Chau ferry to Cat Ba is at 3 p.m, you will have to wait and go the following day if you want to visit the Bay in the afternoon.
There are two options. The first is when you hire the ship to visit Ha Long Bay, you should ask the ticket price if the ship will go to Cat Ba as well. The second is that if you book a tour for Ha Long, you can ask the tour guide about the transshipment to Cat Ba.
2. Hotels in Cat Ba Island
In Cat Ba Island, there are two tourist seasons. In the low season, the price for hotels is about 150,000 VND – 300,000 VND. In the tourist season of summer, the price fluctuates from 300,000 VND to 500,000 VND for one day and one night.You should call some hotels before you go to ask about the price. If you go in the low season, you just need to go and ask about the price later on.
Huong Ly Hotel (500 meters from Cau Cang). Contact Mr. Hieu 0977894883.
This is a small hotel with reasonable price and in this hotel, four people can stay in one room.
Thuy Duong 01687991908 on Nui Ngoc Street (500 meters from Cau Cang).
There are about 40 rooms and a canteen. Price at the weekend is from 600,000 VND to 800,000 VND.
Phu Thanh 0973636878 (20 rooms).
Hoang Ngoc Hotel, near Holiday View Hotel
My Ngoc Hotel, 031.3888422//3888199 – Fax: (84) 031. 3888199.
Thuy Anh 0912237980 or 0313888132
Dragon Sea 0313 887468
Tra My 0313 888 650.
Dung Ha Hotel at 15 Nui Ngoc Street / 01669268572 (this hotel is suitable for a small tourist group from 10 to 20 people and six people can stay in one room). Price at the weekend is from 500,000 VND to 700,000 for one night.
Note: Price at the weekend is from 600,000 VND to 800,000 VND for summer and about 350,000 VND for low season. Price for weekdays is just half of these above prices. If you go to Cat Ba Island on weekdays, everything will be cheap and convenient.
Regarding the food, there are a lot of options in the town. Ask the price before you eat. It is advised that you should not eat in fish rafts at sea because the price is usually high and you may be cheated.
There is a seafood restaurant with reasonable price which is near Holiday View Hotel and on the road to Cat Co Beach.
In the afternoon, if you like beer, go to some beer houses near Port Market. Drinking beer with peanuts and Nem is quite delicious.
If you want to eat cheap and average food, you can go into areas near the market. Food in these places is more affordable.
4. Destinations in Cat Ba Island
Visiting Lan Ha Bay and Monkey Island
If you go with a large group, it is recommended that you hire a private ship and go around the Bay, visit Viet Hai village, then go to Monkey Island for swimming and climbing the mountain. Price for a ship is about 1,200,000 VND – 1,600,000 VND. It is also depended on where you go.
If you go with a small group, you should get a motorbike taxi for the price of 15,000 – 20,000 VND to go to Beo Port and buy sightseeing ticket, then hire a canoe to go to Monkey Island. You can deal with the owner about the price if you want to go more and visit the aquaculture village.
When you visit Monkey Island, you should bring swimsuits and crucial things (the service will be expensive in the tourist season).
If you want to hire a motorbike, you should ask motorbike taxi drivers. Do not ask in the hotel. If you go by motorbikes or bikes, you can visit Military Medicine Cave (should go) and walk into the forest to explore Cat Ba National Park. Driving motorbikes around the island, stopping at a beach or somewhere beautiful in the island will be amazing experiences. The road on the island is easy to go, so you can use a map to go around the island.
In the evening, you can choose to go to Cau Cang, sit together and drink something or go to the beach to see the beach at night. You should go and leave early. Besides, you can have another option of night fishing. You can contact your hotel and ask inhabitants to know more.
Adventurous journeys in Cat Ba Island
You can sail the Kayak in Lan Ha Bay, climb the mountain. However, the price is quite high. If you want to attend Kayak tour, you can find out the information at the information desks in the town center. Or you can go to Beo Port to ask at the ticket desk about how to hire a Kayak.