Cat Ba Island is a stunning destination located in the Gulf of Tonkin in northern Vietnam. It is the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, which includes over 360 small and large islands. Cat Ba Island is part of Cat Ba National Park, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is known for its stunning natural beauty, limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and diverse wildlife.
Getting to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi is relatively easy, and there are several options to choose from depending on your budget, time, and preference.
- Public Bus and Ferry
The most popular and affordable option is to take a combination of public bus and ferry. The public bus departs from Hanoi’s Long Bien or Luong Yen Bus Station and takes around 2-3 hours to reach Hai Phong city. From there, you can take a ferry to Cat Ba Island, which takes around 45 minutes. The ferry departs from Ben Binh harbor in Hai Phong and arrives at the main pier on Cat Ba Island.
The public bus is an economical option, and the journey provides a glimpse of the rural life of northern Vietnam. The buses are air-conditioned and comfortable, and you can enjoy the scenic views of the countryside during the journey.
- Private Car and Speedboat
If you prefer a more comfortable and faster option, you can hire a private car or taxi from Hanoi to Hai Phong city. The journey takes around 2 hours, and from Hai Phong, you can take a speedboat to Cat Ba Island, which takes around 20-30 minutes. The speedboat departs from Binh harbor in Hai Phong and arrives at Beo harbor on Cat Ba Island.
The private car and speedboat option are more expensive than the public bus and ferry, but it saves time and provides more comfort and convenience. The private car allows you to travel at your own pace, and the speedboat ride is exhilarating and provides stunning views of the islands.
- Private Tour
If you want a hassle-free and convenient option, you can book a private tour from Hanoi Cat Ba that includes transportation by van or car, a speedboat to Cat Ba Island, and a visit to some popular attractions on the island. The tour operators can arrange everything for you, including hotel pick-up and drop-off.
The private tour option is the most expensive but provides the most comfort and convenience. The tour operators provide a guide who can speak English and explain the history and culture of the places you visit.
Once you reach Cat Ba Island, there are several ways to get around and explore the island. You can rent a motorbike or bicycle from the rental shops in Cat Ba town, which is the main town on the island. You can also hire a taxi or take a local bus to visit the nearby attractions.
Cat Ba Island has a lot to offer to its visitors. One of the must-visit places on the island is Cat Ba National Park, which covers over 26,000 hectares of land and sea. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including some rare and endangered species such as the golden-headed langur, a primate species found only in this region. You can hike through the lush jungle, enjoy the stunning scenery, and visit the various caves and grottos.
Another popular attraction on the island is Lan Ha Bay, which is located south of Halong Bay and is known for its pristine and less crowded beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning limestone formations. You can take a boat tour around the bay, visit some hidden lagoons and caves, and enjoy various water activities such as kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.
If you want to learn about the local history and culture, you can visit some of the traditional fishing
If you want back to Hanoi airport from Cat Ba, you can book bus Cat Ba to Hanoi airport with only 30$ included all