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Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

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Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

I was staying in Hanoi and wanted to head to Cat Ba Island, but didn't want to sign-up for one of the 3 day Halong Bay cruises due to the lack of flexibility. So, I searched for how to reach Cat Ba Island on my own, but found a great deal of wrong/conflicting information.

I successfully arrived in Cat Ba Island 6 hours ago and thought I'd share my method.

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Trip takes about 5 hours and costs $15USD (February 2014).

1. Train from Hanoi to Haiphong

Hanoi Main Station (Early Morning)

A 3km south of Old Quarter. Suggest getting a Mai Linh Taxi

HP1: Departs 6:00AM / Arrives 8:15AM

OR

Hanoi Long Bien Station (Late Morning)

Far north side of the Old Quarter tucked inside an alleyway market. A bit hard to find. So, go there early and don't be afraid to ask the locals.

LP3: Departs 9:20AM / Arrives 12:00PM

You can buy the tickets on the same day at the station (70,000 dong/$3.50 USD). The train is a "tourist train" and slightly cleaner/nicer than the other trains.

2. Taxi to Ben Binh Harbor

Choose a Mai Linh Taxi. It cost me 34,000 dong ($1.60 USD) and took around 10 minutes to get to the harbor. There are two harbors! So, make sure you go to Ben Binh Harbor!

3. Hydrofoil Boat to Cat Ba Island North Port

Do not buy tickets from the ladies that will approach you when get out of your taxi! Go to the Hadeco ticket counter to buy your tickets. It will cost 200,000 dong ($10 USD), which includes the hydrofoil boat and a bus to take you to Cat Ba Town once you land. 45 minute for the boat and 30 minutes on the bus.

Hadeco Hydrofoil Boat Schedule

7AM, 8AM, 10AM, 1PM, 3PM, 4PM

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I took the 9:20AM train and caught the hydrofoil at 1PM, arriving at my hotel around 2:15PM.

Tours on Cat Ba Island (Prices):

3 Hour - Lan Ha Bay + Monkey Island with kayaking - $10-25 USD/PAX

One Day - Ha Long Bay + Lan Ha Bay with lunch, kayaking, snorkling, & caves - $20-25 USD/PAX

Two Day/One Night - Ha Long + Lan Ha Bay + Dau Be Island with overnight boat stay, kayaking, snorkling, caves, and food - $55-65 USD/PAX

Two Day/One Night - Same as above but overnight in Viet Hai Village Bungalow - $60-75 USD/PAX

Hotel Prices in February were ~$20/night at a nice hotel.

Cat Ba Island also has a National Park with mountains/caves that can be trekked. 10km north of Cat Ba town and can be reached by motorbike ($5 USD/day rental).

Hope that helps some people!

London, United...
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1. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

Thank you - very helpful.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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2. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

here is the way to reach to Cat Ba island. I find it cheapest way to go there. it takes about 5 hours.

From Luong Yen bus station, you buy a ticket at ticket booth of Hoang Long Company right inside. (210.000 VND per each).

1. From Luong yen stattion to Hai phong city (2 - 2,5 hours)

2. the bus will drop you at a house, then you move to another boat to the habor (30 minutes).

3. then tranfer to a ferry . it takes 30 -45 minitues to reach Cat ba island. you can stand outside to take pictures of wave and other boats also.

4. anther bus will pick you up after you get off the ferry. then it takes you to Cat Ba town. about 1 hour to get the center.

the way back is same. there is also a ticket booth near the beach.

there are some places that you shouldn't miss in Cat Ba island.

1. Lan Ha bay. you can hire a boat to see around the bay, and visit some floating villages where local people feed fish in a net. Kayaking is avalaible. hiring fee is about 1-5 to 2 millions but the boat is very big.

2. Cat Ba national Park. go trekking there is awesome. about 1 hours to reach on the top of the moutain. the view is great. air is so fresh.

3. Hospital cave where people build a hospital inside the mountain. there isa very interesting door that makes you manage to open for the first time but it is very if you know the rule. Chung Change cave has rocks like musical instruments. you will see a lot of bats inside the cave.

It's fun and challenging if go to national park and caves by bikes or motorbikes. don't worry about getting lost because there is only one way across the island.

4. beaches = wonderful.

hong kong
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3. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

very useful information, how about on the way back, have you got hydrofoil, train schedule?

Porto, Portugal
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4. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

Going from Cat Ba to Hanoi tomorrow. Every hotel and agency sells tickets for 210.000 dong (bus+boat+bus) directly to Hanoi.

hong kong
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5. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

Despite I have read the tripadvisor's advice that DO NOT buy boat ticket from the ladies at the Haiphong pier, when I got off the taxi at the pier, a lady approached me and sell me hydrofoil tickets that she claim can go straight to Cat Ba town (no need to transfer to shuttle bus). I bought those tickets (3 of us) and she led us to get on the speedboat operated by Hadeco. But the tickets she sold me refer to Cat Ba Island Resort and Spa. I notice that when the speedboat took off and I saw another passgenger holding a different ticket. The problem is when we got on the shuttle bus, we were told that our tickets are not valid on the shuttle bus, it's lucky that the men didn't require us to buy separate shuttle bus tickets (may be he knew we were cheated by that lady).

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

Does anyone know the actual Hydrofoil timings that goes directly to Cat Ba Town and back without any shuttle bus?

York, United Kingdom
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7. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

Great advice, thanks :-)

Kota Kinabalu...
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8. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

Hi Brian!

Thank you for taking the time to write up an accurate and informative review on how to get to Cat Ba Island

Could you kindly recommend which tour company you used for Cat Ba tours and which place you stay in Cat Ba for day tours. How many days would you advise to see the Cat Ba and surrounding place properly given the long 5 hours journey? We're planning to visit next month in August.

Much appreciated for your insight.

Mary

Hanoi, Vietnam
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9. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

So excited! I'm going to have a holiday vacation there next week. Hope the whether's still nice!

Tks!

Edited: 13 July 2014, 10:35
10. Re: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island - Cheap & Easy

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