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Top attractions in Cat Ba, Vietnam

Posted By: Christina Lee / Vietnam Travel Guides
Full meaning: "Things to do in Cat Ba Vietnam" refers to a keyword often used in search queries related to activities and attractions in Cat Ba, a stunning island located in Vietnam's Halong Bay. This keyword implies a desire to discover and explore the various exciting and enjoyable endeavors available in Cat Ba, including hiking, kayaking, cave exploring, beach relaxation, and exploring the local culture and cuisine.

Explore Cat Ba National Park

Things to do in Cat Ba Vietnam: Experience Adventure and Tranquility

Things to do in Cat Ba Vietnam: Experience Adventure and Tranquility - (Source: Collected)

Cat Ba National Park is a beautiful natural reserve located on Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the stunning Halong Bay region in Vietnam. The park covers an area of approximately 150 square kilometers and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Here are some activities you can enjoy when exploring Cat Ba National Park.

Trekking through the lush forests

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Cat Ba National Park is by going on a trekking adventure. There are several well-marked trails throughout the park that cater to different levels of difficulty. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced hiker, you'll find a trail that suits your preferences. As you trek through the lush forests, keep an eye out for exotic wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and reptiles.

Discovering the diverse ecosystem

Cat Ba National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, with hundreds of species of flora and fauna. The park is home to several endangered species, including the Cat Ba langur, a critically endangered primate found only in this region. As you explore the park, you'll have the opportunity to witness this incredible diversity and learn about conservation efforts in place to protect these unique species.

Stunning viewpoints

Throughout Cat Ba National Park, there are several stunning viewpoints that offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding landscapes. Climb to the top of Ngu Lam Peak or visit Kim Giao Forest to enjoy awe-inspiring views of the emerald-green waters of Halong Bay. These viewpoints provide the perfect backdrop for memorable photographs and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the park.

Visit caves

From exploring hidden beaches to kayaking through stunning landscapes, discover all the amazing things you can do in Cat Ba, Vietnam

From exploring hidden beaches to kayaking through stunning landscapes, discover all the amazing things you can do in Cat Ba, Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

One of the highlights of a visit to Halong Bay is exploring the magnificent caves that can be found in the area. These caves are natural formations that have been shaped by millions of years of geological activity. Here are some of the most popular caves to visit during a Halong boat tour.

Thien Cung Cave

Thien Cung Cave, also known as the Heavenly Palace Cave, is one of the most impressive caves in Halong Bay. Located on Dau Go Island, this cave is known for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites that create a mesmerizing underground landscape. The illuminated pathways inside the cave guide visitors through its various chambers, each displaying unique formations that resemble mythical creatures.

Sung Sot Cave

Sung Sot Cave, meaning Surprising Cave, lives up to its name with its immense size and striking rock formations. Located on Bo Hon Island, this cave is accessed via a steep staircase, leading visitors into a world of intricate stalactites and stalagmites. The large chambers and unique shapes contribute to the cave's mysterious atmosphere, making it a must-visit attraction in Halong Bay.

Luon Cave

Luon Cave offers a unique experience for visitors as it can only be accessed by small boats or kayaks. This hidden gem is located on Bo Hon Island and features a serene lake surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. Exploring the cave by boat or kayak allows you to immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance and marvel at the natural beauty of Halong Bay.

Bike ride around Viet Hai Village

Unlock the Hidden Gems of Cat Ba, Vietnam

Unlock the Hidden Gems of Cat Ba, Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

If you're looking for a unique way to explore the local culture and scenery, consider taking a bike ride around Viet Hai Village in Cat Ba Island. This picturesque village is nestled in a valley surrounded by limestone mountains and lush greenery. Here's what you can expect during a bike ride around Viet Hai Village.

Immersing in rural Vietnamese life

As you cycle through Viet Hai Village, you'll have the opportunity to observe the daily activities of the local residents. The village is known for its traditional farming practices, and you can witness farmers tending to their rice fields and vegetable gardens. The locals are friendly and welcoming, often greeting visitors with warm smiles along the way.

Discovering hidden trails

Viet Hai Village is tucked away from the usual tourist routes, making it a haven for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures. During your bike ride, you can explore hidden trails that wind through the spectacular countryside. The routes take you through dense forests, charming villages, and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Sampling local cuisine

After an invigorating bike ride, make sure to satisfy your hunger with some of the delicious local dishes in Viet Hai Village. From freshly caught seafood to traditional Vietnamese delicacies, the village is home to a variety of dining options. Don't miss the opportunity to indulge in the flavors of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

Visit Cai Beo floating village

Cai Beo floating village is one of the oldest and most unique cultural attractions in Halong Bay. Located in Lan Ha Bay, this village consists of floating houses, where local fishermen and their families reside. Here's what you can expect when visiting Cai Beo floating village.

Exploring the floating houses

Take a boat ride through the floating village to get a glimpse of the daily lives of the locals. The houses in Cai Beo are built on bamboo rafts and are interconnected by narrow waterways. As you cruise through the village, you'll see children playing, fishermen repairing their nets, and locals going about their everyday activities.

Learning about the fishing industry

Visiting Cai Beo floating village provides a unique opportunity to learn about the traditional fishing practices in Halong Bay. Many locals still depend on fishing as their main source of income, and you can witness firsthand the techniques they use to catch fish and other marine creatures. You may even have the chance to try your hand at fishing, under the guidance of the experienced fishermen.

Supporting local artisans

Cai Beo floating village is also known for its handicrafts made by local artisans. From intricately woven baskets to handmade wooden carvings, there are plenty of souvenirs to choose from. Purchasing these crafts not only supports the livelihoods of these talented artisans but also allows you to take home a piece of Vietnamese culture.

Admire sunset at Cannon Fort

From breathtaking hikes to mouthwatering local cuisine, get ready for an unforgettable adventure

From breathtaking hikes to mouthwatering local cuisine, get ready for an unforgettable adventure! - (Source: Collected)

Cannon Fort, located on Cat Ba Island, offers a spectacular vantage point to witness the mesmerizing sunset over Halong Bay. This former military base provides panoramic views of the surrounding islands and sparkling waters. Here's what you can expect when visiting Cannon Fort for a sunset experience.

Historical insights

Cannon Fort played a significant role in Vietnam's military history and offers insights into the country's past. Explore the fort's underground tunnels, artillery bunkers, and exhibitions that showcase the events that took place during the Vietnam War. Gain a deeper understanding of the strategic importance of the fort and its impact on the region.

Breathtaking sunset views

As the sun starts to set, make your way to the fort's observation deck to witness a truly awe-inspiring sight. The panoramic views of Halong Bay bathed in hues of orange and purple create a dreamlike ambiance. Capture the moment with your camera or simply savor the beauty of nature unfolding before your eyes.

Relaxation and serenity

The tranquil atmosphere of Cannon Fort offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling tourist areas. Enjoy the serenity as you sit back, relax, and take in the breathtaking vistas. The cool sea breeze and the calming surroundings make it an ideal spot to unwind and reflect on your Halong Bay adventure.

See langurs on Monkey Island

What to do in Cat Ba island Vietnam? Read the best things to do in Cat Ba island

What to do in Cat Ba island Vietnam? Read the best things to do in Cat Ba island - (Source: Collected)

Monkey Island, also known as Cat Dua Island, is a picturesque island located in Lan Ha Bay, near Halong, Vietnam. One of the main attractions of this island is the opportunity to see langurs, a species of endangered monkeys known for their distinctive appearance and unique behavior.

The Langurs of Monkey Island

Monkey Island is home to a population of white-headed langurs, also known as Cat Ba langurs. These langurs are indigenous to the Cat Ba Archipelago and are considered one of the rarest primates in the world.

The langurs are easily recognizable due to their white head and black furry body. They are known for their acrobatic skills, often seen swinging from tree to tree with ease. Observing these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unforgettable experience.

Conservation Efforts

Due to the rarity and vulnerability of the Cat Ba langurs, conservation efforts have been implemented to protect their population. Monkey Island is part of the Cat Ba National Park and is strictly monitored to ensure the langurs' well-being.

Visitors to Monkey Island are advised to maintain a respectful distance from the langurs and refrain from feeding them or engaging in any activities that may disrupt their natural behavior. This allows for the langurs to live undisturbed in their natural environment.

Visit Lan Ha Bay

Best Photos Cat Ba Island Resort / Monkey Island Resort Cat Ba island

Best Photos Cat Ba Island Resort / Monkey Island Resort Cat Ba island - (Source: Collected)

Lan Ha Bay is a hidden gem in the Halong Bay area, offering stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Located just south of Halong Bay, lan Ha Bay is the perfect destination for those seeking a more tranquil and less crowded experience.

The Beauty of Lan Ha Bay

Lan Ha Bay is characterized by its limestone cliffs, emerald waters, and countless small islands dotted throughout the bay. The landscape is breathtaking, with steep cliffs emerging from the water and lush greenery covering the islands.

The bay offers a range of activities, from exploring hidden caves and grottoes to swimming and snorkeling in the pristine waters. With its calm and peaceful atmosphere, Lan Ha Bay is the ideal place for relaxation and immersing oneself in the beauty of nature.

How to Explore Lan Ha Bay

One of the best ways to explore Lan Ha Bay is by taking a Halong boat tour. These tours typically include visits to various islands and attractions within the bay, allowing visitors to fully experience the beauty and tranquility of the area.

During the boat tour, you will have the opportunity to kayak through the gentle waters, discovering hidden lagoons and encountering the diverse marine life that inhabits the bay. You can also explore the numerous caves and grottoes, each with its own unique geological formations.

Go rock climbing in Cat Ba Island

Experience the Best of Halong to Cat Ba Island: A Must-Do Adventure

Experience the Best of Halong to Cat Ba Island: A Must-Do Adventure - (Source: Collected)

Cat Ba Island, located southeast of Halong Bay, is not only renowned for its natural beauty but also for its rock climbing opportunities. With its diverse landscape and limestone cliffs, Cat Ba Island offers a paradise for rock climbers of all levels.

Rock Climbing in Cat Ba Island

The island is home to a number of rock climbing routes that cater to both beginners and experienced climbers. The cliffs vary in height and difficulty, providing a challenge for climbers of all skill levels.

The most popular rock climbing areas in Cat Ba Island include Butterfly Valley, Moody Beach, and Tiger Beach. These locations offer a range of climbing routes, from easy slabs to challenging overhangs, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Guided Climbing Tours

For those who are new to rock climbing or prefer a guided experience, there are a number of climbing operators on Cat Ba Island that offer guided climbing tours. These tours are led by experienced instructors who ensure the safety of participants while providing instruction and guidance.

Guided climbing tours typically include all necessary equipment, such as harnesses and ropes, and can be customized to suit individual preferences and skill levels. Climbers can also enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscape as they ascend the cliffs.

Kayak through Dark & Bright Cave

What to do in Cat Ba Island | Vietnam Travel 2024

What to do in Cat Ba Island | Vietnam Travel 2024 - (Source: Collected)

Dark & Bright Cave, also known as Hang Sang Toi, is a unique cave system located in Lan Ha Bay, near Halong Bay. The cave is famous for its mesmerizing natural beauty and offers visitors the opportunity to explore its wonders by kayak.

The Cave System

Dark & Bright Cave is composed of two parts, each with its own distinct features. The dark cave is a narrow passage that requires visitors to paddle through using headlamps to navigate. As you venture further, you will be amazed by the unique rock formations and the tranquility that surrounds you.

Upon exiting the dark cave, you will enter the bright cave, which opens up to a stunning lagoon. Here, you can relax and take in the breathtaking views, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush vegetation.

Kayaking Experience

Kayaking through Dark & Bright Cave is an immersive and exhilarating experience. The calm and clear waters allow you to paddle at your own pace, taking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

As you navigate through the cave system, you will have the opportunity to observe the unique formations and wildlife that call the caves home. The tranquility of the surroundings makes it the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and soak in the beauty of the bay.

Go swimming at Cat Co beach

Cat Ba | Gecko Routes

Explore hidden gems, indulge in local cuisine, and make unforgettable memories - (Source: Collected)

Cat Co Beach, located on Cat Ba Island, is a popular destination for beachgoers seeking a relaxing and picturesque beach experience. With its crystal-clear waters and soft white sands, Cat Co Beach is the perfect place to cool off and soak up the sun.

The Beaches of Cat Co

Cat Co Beach is divided into three separate sections, namely Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, and Cat Co 3. Each section offers its own unique charm and amenities, allowing visitors to choose the beach that best suits their preferences.

Cat Co 1 is the largest and most developed beach, offering a wide range of facilities such as beach bars, restaurants, and water sports equipment rentals. Cat Co 2 and Cat Co 3 are smaller and quieter, ideal for those seeking a more peaceful beach experience.

Activities at Cat Co Beach

At Cat Co Beach, visitors can engage in a variety of activities to make the most of their beach outing. Swimming in the clear waters is a must, as the calm waves and pristine conditions make it a perfect spot for a refreshing dip.

In addition to swimming, visitors can also relax on the sandy shores, sunbathe, or indulge in beachside picnics. For the more adventurous, water sports such as kayaking and snorkeling are also available, allowing visitors to explore the marine life and vibrant coral reefs.

No matter how you choose to spend your time at Cat Co Beach, the stunning backdrop of towering cliffs and lush greenery will surely enhance your beach experience and leave you with lasting memories.

Join a diving tour to see coral reefs

If you're a diving enthusiast or want to explore the underwater world, a diving tour is a must when visiting Cat Ba Island in Halong, Vietnam. The island and its surrounding waters are home to vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, making it an ideal destination for underwater exploration. Joining a diving tour allows you to discover the beauty and wonder of these underwater ecosystems in a safe and guided manner.

Choosing the right diving tour

When planning your diving tour in Cat Ba Island, it's important to choose a reputable tour operator that prioritizes safety and conservation. Look for operators with experienced and certified diving instructors as well as a commitment to protecting the coral reefs and marine environment. Research reviews and ask for recommendations to ensure a memorable and responsible diving experience.

Exploring the coral reefs

Once you've selected a diving tour, you can look forward to exploring the stunning coral reefs around Cat Ba Island. Dive into crystal clear waters and be amazed by the vibrant colors and diversity of the underwater flora and fauna. Swim alongside colorful fish, spot vibrant corals, and maybe even encounter some unique marine creatures such as sea turtles or dolphins. The experience of diving in Cat Ba Island is sure to leave you in awe of the underwater world.

Explore Cat Ba nightlife

15 Awesome Things To Do In Cat Ba Island Vietnam

15 Awesome Things To Do In Cat Ba Island Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

When the sun sets on Cat Ba Island, the fun doesn't stop. The island offers a vibrant nightlife scene that caters to a range of tastes and preferences. Whether you're looking for a relaxing evening or an energetic night out, Cat Ba has something to offer for everyone.

Bars and pubs

Cat Ba boasts a variety of bars and pubs where you can unwind and enjoy a few drinks with friends. From beachfront establishments with spectacular views to cozy, intimate bars tucked away in the town center, there are options to suit every mood. Sip on refreshing cocktails, sample local beers, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere as you meet fellow travelers and locals alike.

Night markets and street food

For those who prefer a more laid-back evening, exploring the night markets and trying street food is a must. Wander through the bustling stalls, filled with an array of delicious local delicacies. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes, traditional Vietnamese street food, and exotic snacks as you immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the night market.

Why Cat Ba? Pros and Cons

Experience the best of Cat Ba, Vietnam with these must-do activities

Experience the best of Cat Ba, Vietnam with these must-do activities - (Source: Collected)

Cat Ba Island is a popular destination for travelers seeking a unique and diverse experience in Halong, Vietnam. However, like any destination, it has its pros and cons that are important to consider before planning your visit.

Pros of visiting Cat Ba Island

One of the main advantages of visiting Cat Ba Island is its stunning natural beauty. The island is home to lush forests, pristine beaches, and breathtaking limestone karsts, offering countless opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration. Additionally, Cat Ba Island is less crowded compared to the more famous Halong Bay, providing a more peaceful and tranquil experience for visitors.

Cons of visiting Cat Ba Island

While Cat Ba Island offers a unique experience, it is important to be aware of a few drawbacks. Due to its popularity, the island can become crowded during peak tourist seasons, which may reduce the overall tranquility of the destination. Additionally, the infrastructure on the island is still developing, which can sometimes result in limited amenities and services for travelers.

Things to Do at Cat Ba Island & Lan Ha Bay

From scenic hikes to exhilarating water sports, adventure awaits on this stunning island

From scenic hikes to exhilarating water sports, adventure awaits on this stunning island - (Source: Collected)

When visiting Cat Ba Island, there are numerous activities and attractions to enjoy. From exploring stunning national parks to cruising on Halong Bay, here are some top things to do during your stay.

National Park trekking

One of the highlights of Cat Ba Island is its national park, which is perfect for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Embark on a trekking excursion through the park's lush forests and stunning landscapes, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the island and discovering hidden gems along the way.

Halong boat tour

No visit to Cat Ba Island is complete without a boat tour of Halong Bay. Hop aboard a traditional junk boat and sail through the iconic limestone karsts, marveling at their majestic beauty. Explore hidden caves, relax on pristine beaches, and take in the panoramic views of the bay and its surrounding islands.

Day Trips from Cat Ba Island

While Cat Ba Island offers plenty to see and do, the surrounding areas also have much to offer. Here are some popular day trips from Cat Ba Island that allow you to further explore the beauty of Halong Bay and its neighboring destinations.

Sapa to Halong Bay

If you have additional time during your visit to Cat Ba Island, consider taking a day trip to Sapa and Halong Bay. Journey to Sapa, nestled in the mountains of northern Vietnam, where you can trek through stunning terraced rice fields and learn about the unique local cultures. Then, travel to Halong Bay for a cruise and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the limestone karsts.

Halong to Cat Ba

Another popular day trip option is traveling from Halong to Cat Ba. Begin your journey in Halong City, where you can embark on a boat tour to explore Halong Bay. Afterward, take a ferry to Cat Ba Island and spend the rest of the day exploring the island's natural wonders and enjoying its vibrant atmosphere.

With its diverse range of activities and attractions, Cat Ba Island in Halong, Vietnam, is a must-visit destination. Whether you're seeking underwater exploration, vibrant nightlife, or nature adventures, Cat Ba has something for everyone. Take part in a diving tour, explore the island's nightlife, and discover the beauty of Cat Ba Island and its surrounding areas for an unforgettable experience.


In conclusion, Cat Ba Vietnam offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that will surely make your trip memorable. From exploring the stunning landscapes of halong vietnam and embarking on a halong boat tour to immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Sapa to Halong Bay, this region has something for everyone. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a combination of both, Cat Ba Vietnam has it all. So, pack your bags, make your way from Halong to Cat Ba, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in this enchanting destination.

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