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“The most beautiful island in Vietnam”
Review of Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island
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US$94.00*
and up
2-day explore Cat Ba Island - Visiting Monkey...
Ranked #4 of 35 things to do in Cat Ba
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 April 2012

If you want to discover the amazing Ha Long bay, you should start in Cat Ba island (it's the biggest island of Ha Long bay), it is so much beautiful and green island with a nice national park (park covers the biggest part of island), many strange hills covered by jungle (it looks like in China), jungle is very, very noisy... The beaches are beautiful (close from Cat Ba town). You can rent motorbike (4 dollars per day), or bicycle and drive whole island (30km) and visit National Park and walk to one peak with beautiful view of many, many green hills...and you go through the jungle and listen the voices...you can visit on the west of island the crab farms and of course by ship the Ha Long bay for one day trip (I think that one day is enough!). I recommend to enjoy Cat Ba and Lan Ha bay, where you can drive the cayak... How to get to Cat Ba: from Hanoi by bus of Hoang Long company from LongYien bus station, you can drive ticket in station or in bus (about 190 000 dong per person to Cat Ba) and ticket is for bus - ship - bus (that means bus to Haiphong, ship from Haiphong to Cat Ba island, bus from port to Cat Ba town). In Cat Ba town there are many hotels with view of bay and are much cheap (8 dollars per room with view, but in April!), many restaurants... very nice place to be there 4-5 days. From Cat Ba you can by ticket to Ninh Binh by bus (200 - 250 000 dong).

10  Thank Marcela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"national park"
in 130 reviews
"halong bay"
in 241 reviews
"lan ha bay"
in 98 reviews
"the main strip"
in 11 reviews
"bus boat bus"
in 12 reviews
"nice beaches"
in 14 reviews
"place to stay"
in 8 reviews
"cannon fort"
in 33 reviews
"rent a scooter"
in 9 reviews
"outdoor activities"
in 10 reviews
"low season"
in 13 reviews
"seafood"
in 22 reviews
"day trip"
in 31 reviews
"overnight boat"
in 8 reviews
"rock climbing"
in 33 reviews
"speed boat"
in 10 reviews
"two nights"
in 8 reviews
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669 - 673 of 1,022 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2012

Asia Outdoors is an excellent agency located in Cat Ba City, on Cat Ba Island that organises rock climbing and boat trips with kayaking in the Ha Long and Lan Ha bay, North Vietnam.

And it's not only the organising of these activities (which they do very well), they also provide lots and lots of information to anyone who drops by, customer or not. The staff is very friendly, and always willing to help someone out.

But they show their best side when problems arise. In our case, our sons managed to drown a kayak! Playing around, they fell out, and when they tried to get in, it took water, and just sank. Now here Asia Outdoors showed that they are worth every single penny, ensuring we were allright, negotiating the compensation for the (local) kayak owner, producing the necessary paperwork for the insurance, and even offering a free night in a nice hotel in Hanoi.

Keep up doing the great job, and thanks for everything.

6  Thank hhulsman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

I had read how quickly Cat Ba Island was being developed and wasn't expecting a pretty sight when arriving to Cat Ba town. Yes, there are a lot of very quickly erected hotels on the harbour front but not as bad as I was expecting.

I wouldn't go here for a beach part of your trip (there are a few pretty, small beaches around Cat Ba Town but they feel like you are in someone else's hotel grounds), but it was a great place for a bit of adventure and seeing Lan Ha Bay. From photos I have seen of Halong Bay, it was so busy with tourist boats but Lan Ha Bay was peaceful with the same limestone carst scenery. In places the water was a bit dirty around Lan Ha Bay but generally confined to small pockets where there was not much flow of the water.

There are plenty of restaurants around Cat Ba Town Harbour front, many selling the freshest seafood you could imagine (choose it from the tanks outside) but not many had much individual character except Green Cat Ba and Green Mango.

Treks, kayaking and climbing with Slo Pony Adventures can all be recommended along with a visit to the Canon Fort which you can walk up to in about 20 minutes from Cat Ba Town.

We had 4 nights here and felt 3 would probably have been better in our trip of 3 weeks visiting Vietnam & Cambodia.

6  Thank VikkiR1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Went here for three days, Stayed in Cat ba town and went out on Halong bay cruise, water is very dirty with rubbish and sewage floating about. When we left all our clothes felt damp. Just dont understand the attraction to a very dirty part of Vietnam, Unesco needs to have a look at halong bay.

2  Thank Billy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2012

If you have any sense of adventure and like to travel independently DO NOT book a package tour of Halong bay from Hanoi. Travel independently to Cat Ba Island from the bus station for about $10 for a bus - boat - bus combination ticket, then book your adventure sports through Slo Pony Adventures when you arrive on the island which is absolutely amazing. I also highly recommend hiring a scooter and exploring on 2 wheels as the roads are very good, there is little traffic and the views spectacular. Mr Zooms street food is excellent for a cheap eat and La Pont Hotel have $3 dorm rooms.

7  Thank funkwart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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