THE TOP 11 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN CAT BA ISLAND

Situated amongst thousands of beautiful limestone karsts in the South đài loan trung quốc sea, Cat cha Island has an enviable location. It’s known as a cheaper location from which khổng lồ explore Halong Bay, but we were happy to lớn discover it has so much more khổng lồ offer than just this. There are so many cool things to do on Cat cha Island that you’ll wonder why this isn’t one of the most popular places in Asia!

There are lots of beautiful spots which are easy lớn reach but far away from the crowds of travellers who come to explore Halong on the cheap. After visiting Hanoi & Sapa (which can feel busy at times), it was refreshing to lớn get away to lớn a small town và see a truly beautiful and natural part of Vietnam.

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It’s the perfect place to lớn grab yourself a scooter & explore for a few days.


The best things to do on Cat tía Island

Whilst it isn’t worth lingering in Cat cha town, it is a good base for a lot of the best things to bởi vì in the area. From here you should be able to either hire a motorbike or find someone to help you with a boat for the following.


1. Kayaking around the stunning Lan Ha Bay

We came to lớn Cat bố Island having already done a Halong bay cruise but wanted the chance lớn see a less busy cất cánh in the area. Unexpectedly given we had already seen many beautiful karsts on our cruise, kayaking around Lan Ha cất cánh was our favourite thing to vị in the whole of Vietnam!

Being able to lớn rent a kayak in the middle of this stunning natural wilderness was one of the few times we could independently explore and take in one of the wonders of the world without anyone else around.

We knew Lan Ha would be quieter than Halong but we weren’t expecting to spend large parts of our day entirely alone, it was absolutely magnificent and reason enough lớn come to lớn Vietnam in itself! We think missing it would be one of the major mistakes lớn avoid when visiting Vietnam.


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You start by taking a boat from town khổng lồ a random floating house with several kayaks tied up. The people who rent them out are pretty chilled, not being too worried about how long you are going for, so there is no pressure lớn keep an eye on the clock. This means the whole of Lan Ha cất cánh is your playground! There are so many coves, bays và places lớn explore, that you can easily spend a whole day paddling around. We never got tired of staring at those beautiful limestone karsts, you feel dwarfed by them in your little kayak, magic.


What also makes it so enjoyable is that the water is pretty flat so the kayaking is easy. There’s the occasional boat who will pass by, but on the whole there are no waves, just a few currents khổng lồ help you on your way.

It is pretty straightforward khổng lồ organise as well. Most travel agents in Cat tía will be able khổng lồ help you, or you can chance your luck at the harbour. There’s a surly woman there who will promise the world, try lớn charge a fortune, not really deliver and get angry when you don’t think her service is very good. Her favourite line is “just 5 minutes more” which will be repeated for over an hour.

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You will need lớn purchase a conservation ticket from the harbour. This cost 40,000 dong per person ($2 USD) when we did it.

However, don’t let this put you off. It is one of the best things to bởi vì in Vietnam, so persist. Once you’re on the water you’ll forget all about her, especially if you bởi our next favourite thing on Cat cha Island….

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2. Find your own private beach paradise

Another reason we loved kayaking around Lan Ha bay was being able to lớn find paradise beaches with no one on them! Whilst this was something that was quite easy to bởi in Australia, it’s much more difficult in Southeast Asia.

Whereas Halong bay can be pretty crowded with every square inch of sand being taken, Lan Ha seems lớn be a world away.

We’d only expected khổng lồ paddle around a couple of bays, take in the views & head back. Instead we found the stunning Vanboi Island & the equally beautiful (but habited by backpackers) Freedom Island.

Vanboi Island

Vanboi island (location below) has a beautiful beach on the edge of a resort that no one goes to (we’ll explain that later, check out the “where lớn stay” section).