Why Cat Ba Island is the ultimate island getaway
Fancy a getaway? Sick and tired of staring at your computer screen all day? Stuck working the 9 to 5? Catba Island, Vietnam is the solution.
Cat Ba island is a tiny oasis, tucked away in Halong Bay, Vietnam. This haven is ready for you to dig your toes into the sand and escape life for a few days. Those who visit whisper about Vietnam’s best kept secret.
Stroll along the promenade, watch the fishermen bring in their haul past floating restaurants and make sure you catch at least one of the stunning sunsets.
Who can visit Catba Island
Anyone and everyone. This is your personal invitation. Join us on our 7 Night Northern Vietnam Adventure.
Geographical details of Catba Island
The island is huge – close to 350 square kilometres. It’s shaped like an upside down triangle, and is filled mostly with the dense national park.
Gia Luan Pier, where boats from Ha Long City and Tuan Chau dock, is on the northern coastline. From here a road runs through the centre to the southern point where the main town is located. This is where most of the islanders live and where most of the accommodation, tourism services and dining options are located. Most of the action is along the main thoroughfare (1-4 Street), which runs along the edge of the harbour.
When to visit Catba Island
Halong City and Bay generally has pleasant temperatures, making any time of the year appropriate to visit. April to September is Summer, with an average of 34 degrees Celsius. It can be very hot with the occasional rain. October to March is Winter, so it can be quite chilly and windy in the bay. The days are warm, but for night time, pack a sweater and long pants.
Getting to Catba Island
Cat Ba is located in Halong Bay, a glorious emerald bay off the northern coast of Vietnam. White sandy beaches, turquoise water and jade green forests create a getaway like no other. You can access Halong bay from Hanoi, it’s about a 4-hour drive. Most good quality tour companies will stop there, and most of the hotels on the island offer transfers from Hanoi.
It is very difficult to get to the island without a tour or transfers, and can be dangerous. Keep your wits about you.
Activities and sights on Catba Island
Catba Island has a wide variety of activities to keep you occupied. We highly recommend motor biking around the island. Not only is it an incredible way to see the island, but it gets the adrenaline pumping and the wind if your hair. You can join our tour (link) in Vietnam and motorbike riding on Catba Island is included! A 100 kilometre ring road takes you through the town and into the depths of the island. You will pass beautiful countryside and small villages. It’s a special insight into communities that are relatively untouched by the tourism boom.
If you’re an avid hiker, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the national park. It’s a great place for a close-to-nature trek among the mangroves, freshwater lakes and coral reefs along the coast. The treks can be challenging, so bring your trekking boots and be sure to tell someone your plans in advance.
You can also explore Hospital Cave on the main island, which played a large part in the war with America. It was a secret bomb proof hospital and a safe house. You can grab your motorbike and head there, before walking through a forest and some old steps.
Built atop a 177m high hill overlooking Lan Ha Bay is the historical site of Cannon Fort. The views from the top are magnificent. You will also find cannon bunkers, and a small museum with photos and memorabilia.
There are plenty of golden beaches at your disposal, but the most popular are one of the three glorious beaches near the township. Or you can have a private beach all to yourself if you come along with us on the 7-nights in North Vietnam Tour!
Food on Catba Island
We would never forget our fellow foodies. There are some incredible choices for food around the harbour. The most common is seafood, it’s fresh and delicious and we guarantee you’ll be hungry for more!
Author: Michelle Hyde