Cat Ba is the most beautiful island as well as the largest in Halong Bay. Lan Ha Bay is on the list of the most beautiful bays on the planet. Here, there are beaches with blue waters, the jungle, and the ancient Vietnamese fishing villages have remained untouched until now. A little paradise on earth.

I have been going there regularly since I have been living in Vietnam and I have written a detailed article to help you get an idea of what there is to see on site.

This island is worthy of your next destination this summer. The following activities constitute 10 must-do things on Cat Ba. You will never regret it!

1. Visit Lan Ha Bay

Village de pecheurs de Van Boi lan ha

As one of the most beautiful bays in the region, the old Lan Ha Bay used to belong to Halong Bay, but it is now separated. This allows Lan Ha Bay to preserve its primitive beauty. Visiting the bay is an experience not to be overlooked by tourists when traveling to Cat Ba.

Visit Lan Ha Bay: if you are traveling with a large group of people (children or adults alike, it is best to rent a boat to tour the bay (combine with swimming at Monkey Island). The price varies from 1.3 to 1.8 million VND for a trip.

If you are young, love the feeling of freedom and adventure, you can rent a kayak to explore Lan Ha Bay on your own.

2. Swim in Halong Bay

se baigner lan ha Vietnam

In the middle of hot summer, nothing is happier than diving into clean, blue water. In Cat Ba town, there are a few beaches, such as Cat Co, which are famous but very crowded. You can choose other pristine and deserted beaches, such as Monkey Island beach, Tung Thu beach… and the beaches located outside of Lan Ha Bay.

So, how to get to the uninhabited beaches of the bay? You can go to Ben Beo and rent a boat to go to the beaches for only 300,000 to 500,000 VND / 6 people. In addition to swimming, you can combine with a visit to the beautiful Lan Ha Bay.

For young people who like the feeling of adventure, of discovery, they can rent kayaks at Quang Anh or Xuan Hong for about 200,000 VND / kayak / day and go to Money Island by their own means.

3. Kayaking and Scuba Diving

kayak lan ha guide complet

You will never forget the feeling of kayaking here to a distant sea, where the waves hover, then return to the pristine islands of Lan Ha Bay to swim.

After swimming, you go through the fishing village, on the rocks of the bay. Kayaking is one of the experiences that has left many impressions on Cat Ba. Moreover, you can also watch the corals by using a snorkeling mask (cheap) or diving bottles (more expensive at 1 to 1.5 million VND / person / trip).

Note: there are two ways to kayak: one is to paddle alone with a rented kayak; the other is to buy a kayak tour (combined with snorkeling to observe coral) for a day.

Self-navigating will allow you to freely explore the island, but buying the tour will take you to the most beautiful places in the bay, and then kayaking there. Additionally, you can also participate in a snorkeling session to observe the corals and have a meal for 390,000 VND / person.

4. Swim and explore Monkey Island

que faire a cat ba vietnam

Located 3 km from Cat Ba, the private Monkey Island (also known as Cat Dua Island), with its unspoiled natural landscapes and its magnificent beaches, has attracted many tourists and visitors. According to many reviews from tourists and visitors, this island has the most beautiful beach of Cat Ba Island with deep blue sea water, the beauty of nature, and its magnificent climate.

You will find there, I give you a thousand, monkeys.

It has two sides, one is the station for foreign visitors, and the other is a beach for everyone. In addition to swimming, you can climb the high tower of Monkey Island and see a corner of Lan Ha Bay. To go to Monkey Island, you can manually kayak, or rent a boat or go by ferry.

5. Explore Cat Ba National Park

visiter parc national cat ba vietnam

Located in the northwest of Cat Ba Island, this archipelago is about 40 km from Hai Phong and is managed by this city. As an impressive biosphere reserve, Cat Ba National Park is recognized as a World Heritage site of Vietnam thanks to its cool atmosphere and rich biodiversity. It is not surprising that Cat Ba National Park attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Cat Ba National Park is home to rare species of langurs, listed on the red list, as well as lush vegetation. It is an opportunity for you to get closer to nature. In particular, in Cat Ba National Park, there is Ngu Lam mountain, from where you can observe rolling mountains, one of the most beautiful and unique views of Cat Ba.

6. Camping on a Deserted Beach

camping cat ba vietnam

One of the suitable experiences for groups of youths on their trips is to rent a boat in Cat Ba (or a kayak, indeed), then paddle to uninhabited beaches outside Lan Ha Bay to camp overnight.

The feeling of being ‘Robinson on the deserted island’ will surely be an unforgettable memory for every young tourist in Cat Ba.

7. Mountain Climbing

escalade a la baie Halong

One of the activities in Cat Ba for which adventure enthusiasts vote is climbing.

Climbing sites include Dau Be Island (after 2 hours by boat from Cat Ba port), Ben Beo cliff (about 2 km from the center of Cat Ba), Ba Trai Dao Island (about 22 km to the south of the tourist port)… However, if you do not like adventure, you can also climb the mountains directly at Monkey Island.

8. Visit an Old Fishing Village

visiter village cat ba vietnam

Maybe you’ve kayaked through or sailed around a historical village in Lan Ha Bay. In Cat Ba, there is the fishing village of Cai Beo, which is the oldest and most famous village in Vietnam. You cannot forget the calm kayaking through the floating village, the arranged barges, and the smile of the village women. They are very enthusiastic and may even invite you to visit their homes.

The fishing village of Cai Beo is located near Cai Beo port. It’s not difficult to start from here.

However, there is also the ancient village of Viet Hai in Cat Ba, which is also very popular with ecotourism. There are three ways to get to the ancient village of Viet Hai: take a boat for 300,000 VND / trip, hike through Cat Ba National Park, and kayak.

9. Cat Ba Hospital Cave

que voir a cat ba

Located 10 km north of Cat Ba and on the way to Cat Ba National Park, the Cat Ba Hospital Cave was used as a secret hospital built during the American war and then was a refuge for Cach Mang leaders who stayed until 1975 to avoid heavy American bombing.

Today, Cat Ba Hospital Cave is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Cat Ba Island as a relic of the Vietnam War. This bomb-sheltered hospital cannot be easily seen from the air or ground, which gives this cave a mysterious beauty.

10. Cannon Fort

fort canon a voir cat ba vietnam

Cat Ba, located in the north of Vietnam, is famous for its picturesque landscapes, beautiful sceneries, and many attractions. One of the must-visit tourist destinations on Cat Ba Island is the Cannon Fort.

Its entrance is about a 10-minute walk from Cat Ba town. Offering different viewpoints on Halong Bay, the Cannon Fort is considered one of the most popular observation sites on Cat Ba Island.

Price: 80,000 VND

Originally from Lyon, I swapped the cobblestone streets of my hometown for the mystical mountains of Northern Vietnam. Trained as a journalist, I settled in Hanoi five years ago and quickly developed a passion for the cultural richness of the region. A specialist in Lào Cai province, I am also an experienced hiker, sharing my trekking experiences in remote areas and my encounters with local communities.

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