During the wars, the island of Cat Ba was a strategic lookout point. During the bombing, local residents hid among the island’s many caves. The cave hospital is one of the impressive leftovers.
Cheap Halong Bay Tour from Cat Ba Island
We’ve booked a day tour at Cat Ba Ventures ($25, lunch + water), which was a good company. They will visit less touristy areas that are maybe even more beautiful than the famous part of Halong Bay.
Around 8 AM, you’ll take the boat from Cat Ba town through the floating villages, cruise through Lan Ha Bay, and enjoy the hundreds of limestone islands.
The Halong Bay tour includes snorkeling gear, dry bags, kayaking, a great lunch and swimming at a deserted beach, all entrance fees into Halong Bay, and an English-speaking local guide.
What to do on Cat Ba Island
Besides the Halong Bay tours, Cat Ba Island has many more things to offer:
- Visit a pearl farm
- Rent a scooter and explore the island.
- Visit the Canon Fort (the old defense base)
- Go get the cheapest food at a market in town
- Chill at the few beaches
- Visit the cave hospital
- Have a great night out
How to Get to Cat Ba Island
Visit Cat Ba Island if you want to see Ha Long Bay but you’re traveling on a cheaper budget. Before heading to Cat Ba, make sure to get to Hanoi first!
From Hanoi, you will have to take the bus to Haiphong, which takes around 2.5 hours. From there, take the ferry to Cat Ba and the bus to Cat Ba town (1 hour). The ferry costs you 70K Dong (~ $3) for a one-way ticket. The boat timetable will change every now and then.
After visiting the island, take the bus + boat + bus to the beautiful Tam Coc, Ninh Binh.
Where to Stay
Make sure to stay near the pier in Cat Ba Town; this is where the food and drinks are in Cat Ba. From homestays on private beaches to big rooms for very affordable prices, there are plenty of options to choose from when traveling to Cat Ba Island.