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cat ba island

Top things to do in Cat Ba Island

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Cat Ba Island is located in Hai Phong Province, about 2 hours driving from Hanoi City. There are numerous beaches around the side of the island which are clean and smooth with crystal-clear blue water. Cat Ba is home to the largest area of tropical forests in Vietnam with the diverse and rare fauna and flora. If you intend to visit the island, check out our suggestions for top things to do in Cat Ba Island below.

 

      1. About Cat Ba Island:

Cat Ba Island belongs to Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong which consists of 367 small islands and is known as the most famous tourist attraction. With a fresh climate, an average temperature of only 25 Celsius degrees, many beautiful beaches and primeval forests, Cat Ba Island is both a great resort site and suitable for exploring lovers. Thus, when in the island, what are we going to do here? Keep on discovering with us:

cat ba island
Cat Ba Island – Photo from Toquoc

      2. Top things to do in Cat Ba Island:

      2.1. Swimming in the emerald water:

From the centre of Cat Ba Town, you can walk, rent a motorbike or take a taxi to Cat Co I, Cat Co II and Cat Co III beaches which are all beautiful with clear water. The beaches are connected by a small path along the mountainside. Cat Co I beach is quite large but often crowded, while beaches II and III are narrower and less touristy.

 

      2.2. Scuba diving to watch the coral:

coral watching in cat ba
Scuba diving and watching coral – Photo from Thao Minh Cat Ba Hotel

Under the reefs at the foot of the island, there is also a red coral cluster with a lot of valuable sea food such as abalone, pearls, dragon shrimp and the school of colorful fish giving this place a rare beauty. If you try diving into the ocean, you will go from this surprise to another surprise. In here, you will admire the stunning scenery of the sea that you normally see on TV or on the Discovery Channel.

 

      2.3. Wandering by the beach:

You can rent an electric car, bicycle or motorbike to run along the beach and enjoy the fresh air. However, the weekends are not allowed for all vehicles. Some tourists love walking along the mountain roads which connects the 3 main beaches to immerse into the chill of the night sea.

 

      2.4. Exploring the wonderful Lan Ha Bay:

lan ha bay
Lan Ha Bay – Photo from Arcady

Lan Ha Bay is a part of Cat Ba Island which owns hundreds of towering limestone islands and islets emerging from the jade-green water. The bay can allure any visitors thanks to its wild natural beauties and its enticing Lan Ha Bay floating villages. We have another article on what we can enjoy when in here on a Lan Ha Bay 1 day tour.

 

      2.5. Visiting Monkey Island:

Your children will love this place. Monkey Island also has Cat Dua Beach which is the most beautiful satellite beach of Cat Ba Island. In front of the beach undulates mountains that make the bay extremely special. However, before going to the island, you must pass a lot of sea waves about 2 km long, calculated according to the birds fly.

 

      2.6. Visiting Cat Ba National Park:

cat ba national park
Cat Ba National Park – Photo from yeudulich

World Biosphere Reserve – Cat Ba National Park with its rich and pristine flora and fauna is a must-see attraction when travelling to Cat Ba Island. You can experience the feeling of walking in the forest, cycling the forest road, immersing in nature to unexpectedly encounter rare animals such as red-headed macaques, langurs, etc. Coming to Cat Ba National Forest you will also enjoy some special natural products such as forest honey, rose tea.

 

      2.7. Mountain hiking:

This travel type attracts a lot of adventure lovers to Cat Ba. Popular climbing locations include: Dau Be Island after 2 hours by boat from Cat Ba tourist port, cliffs at Beo Port (2 km from Cat Ba centre), Ba Trai Dao Island (from tourist port 22 km to the south).

 

      2.8. Visiting caves:

Hospital Cave
Hospital Cave – Photo from Arcady

Da Hoa Cave located in the northeast mountain range, in Gia Luan Commune, to the north of Cat Ba island is a famous sightseeing spot. As situated far from the residential area, Da Hoa Cave is almost intact and is a familiar place in the research tourism itineraries. Other attractive caves include: Trung Trang Cave (located in Trung Trang Valley, 15 km northwest of Cat Ba), Quan Y Cave owning charming stalactites of various shapes.

 

      3. Best time to visit Cat Ba Island:

The average temperature in Cat Ba goes around 25-28 Celsius degrees and can reach 30 Celsius degrees in summer or drop to below 10 Celsius degrees in winter. Domestic visitors love visiting the island in summer especially in June and July to avoid the heat. Foreign visitors wish to travel to Cat Ba in winter, from November to March.

As a top famous tourist spot in Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay recently is considered as a great alternative for Halong Bay when UNESCO bay is getting more and more crowded. If you don’t have much time, a Lan Ha Bay 1 day tour is right fit for you. For more instant support, please contact us via our:

See you soon in a trip to the Wonderland with Arcady Cruise.

things to do in cat ba island
Cat Ba – Photo from truyenhinhdulich
arcady cruise - lan ha bay

Lan Ha Bay – Explore the untouched sister of Halong Bay

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Have you ever heard of Lan Ha Bay – a new attractive destination to explore the breathtaking limestone landscape in Vietnam. Located quite near Halong Bay, Lan Ha is less touristy and promises to be more well-known among those who prefer somewhere more untouched. Ready to explore the charming bay with us?

      1. Lan Ha Bay at glance:

A sister of well-known Ha Long Bay, is amazingly pristine, peaceful among the most beautiful bay in the world. Located at the south west of Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay means The Orchid Bay, compared with the beauty of Orchid Flower. The beauty of Lan Ha is unique with blue sea, clean water, imposing islands and islets. There are over 400 islands and islets and most of them have been given names by the imaginative locals, such as the Sandal Islet, the Bat Islet, the Candle Islet, etc. With 139 wild sandy beaches with crystal clear water, the stunning bay can delight any swimming lovers.

lan ha bay
Lan Ha Bay – Photo from Arcady Cruise

      2. Where is Lan Ha Bay?

Lan Ha Bay is located off the beautiful coastal city of Hai Phong and is about 30 km from the city center. The bay is on the east of Cai Ba Island and plays the role as the bridge between Cat Ba Island and the World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. From the pier of Cat Ba Island, it takes about 30 minutes by train to there. Lan Ha Bay looks like a lovely silk strip which is woven by clear blue sea to the bottom and green vegetation. It covers an area of over 7,000 ha with more than 5,400 ha is under the management of UNESCO-recognized biosphere reserve – Cat Ba National Park.

sunset on lan ha bay
Sunset on Lan Ha Bay – Photo from Arcady Cruise

      3. What makes Lan Ha Bay special?

Lan Ha doesn’t have a large number of karst islands as that in Halong Bay. The newcomer, however, has the highlight of having 139 small and pure sandy beaches surrounding. With the sand banks between two blocks of mountains, the gentle slopes of sand along with clear blue sea to the bottom like the “blue straits” will be safe beaches and extremely ideal for the passionate travelers. When visiting the bay, you can immerse yourselves into the clear blue water, lie and sunbathe on the stunning beaches like Ang Vem, Monkey Beach (Cat Dua Beach), Van Boi Beach or visit some amazing places on the bay. Let’s explore one by one with us:

 

      3.1. Luon Cave:

Luon Cave
Luon Cave – Photo from Wikimedia Commons

 

The cave is located on Bo Hon Island with Con Rua Islet in the front, Heaven Gate on the right. The cave features with some rocky cliffs and the clear blue water in four seasons bringing a unique beauty which can appeal any tourists when coming here.

 

      3.2. Nam Cat Island:

Nam Cat Island - Lan Ha Bay
Nam Cat Island – Photo from Vietnammoi

 

The island attracts visitors with its rustic and pristine charms of green forests and enchanting beaches. From Ben Beo, it takes about 15 minutes to reach Nam Cat Island. Visitors to Lan Ha Bay can admire the peaceful feeling and pristine looks of the island. Human intervention here on the island is severely restricted to preserve the natural values. With 3 large wooden stilt houses and 6 bamboo houses, we can experience the feeling of living in harmony with the nature. Besides, you can join some other watersports activities like kayaking, scuba diving, fishing or campfires.

 

      3.3. Monkey Island (Cat Dua Island):

Monkey Island
Monkey Island – Photo from baomoi

 

Also from Ben Beo, you can take a 10 minute boat to Monkey Island. Monkey Island was called Cat Dua Island in the past because there were many wild pineapples on the island with their good look but cannot eaten. Cat Dua Island now has changed its name to Monkey Island. The reason is that there are more than 20 monkeys brought here by the rangers of Cat Ba National Park here. They then often go to the beach to play with tourists, eat food of visitors such as bananas, apples, tangerines, candies. Some funny monkeys can play, climb to impress those who have come to the island and gradually the island has been renamed Monkey Island.

 

      3.4. Van Boi Beach:

Van Boi Beach
Van Boi Beach – Photo from baolau

 

This is a destination chosen by tourists to kayak and swim because it is located in the calm part of the bay with green water and beautiful landscapes.

 

      3.5. Rua Island (Turtle Island):

Located opposite Van Boi Beach, Rua Island or Turtle Island is small and looks like the turtle swimming on the water surface. The island is considered a masterpiece in the “forgotten paradise”.

 

      3.6. Hon Chuong Island:

Hon Chuong also has some other names: But Pen, Candle, Corn Banana. Is a small island on the way from Cat Ba to Cua Van fishing village.

cat ba island - lan ha bay
Cat Ba Island – Photo from Vietnamplus

     3.7. Floating villages:

Besides the scenic bay view, the enticing local life here also attracts a lot of visitors to come and discover the bay. On the way to visit Lan Ha, don’t forget to explore the some Lan Ha Bay floating villages like Cai Beo and Viet Hai.

cai beo floating village on lan ha bay
Cai Beo Floating Village on Lan Ha Bay – Photo from Getty image

4. What is the best time to visit Lan Ha Bay?

The visitors can travel to Lan Ha at any time during the year thanks to the cool and fresh climate here. Each season brings us different feelings and experiences. If you love swimming in the breathtaking bay, travelling to Lan Ha Bay in summer is such a great option. But don’t worry if you plan to visit the bay in winter. The cool atmosphere on the bay can bring us comfortable feeling and experience.

The incredible bay is waiting for you to discover. Join us in a Journey to the Wonderland with Lan Ha Bay 1 day tour. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information:

arcady cruise - lan ha bay
Arcady Cruise on Lan Ha Bay – Photo from Arcady Cruise