Photo: The view from Cannon Fort.

Things to see and do

Cat Ba National Park

Avid hikers should not hesitate to check out this beautiful national part, noted for its mangroves, subtropical evergreen forests, freshwater lakes and even some coral reefs down along the coast. While rich in flora, hikers often report seeing little in the way of fauna, though there are reportedly some animals running about -- we only saw goats. All the hikes here are pretty challenging to ... Read more about Cat Ba National Park .

Beaches

Cat Ba town has three beaches within walking – or golf buggy – distance. The first beach is called Cat Co 3 -- you can reach it by following the harbour road west until it ends, and then going over the headland (if you're on a motorbike, they'll charge you 5,000 VND to park it at the base). Here you'll find Sunrise Resort, but the beach in front of it is open to the public. If you head ... Read more about Beaches .

Boat trips around the Bay

As in Ha Long City, it's easy enough to book a boat trip out of Cat Ba Island to explore the Bay, either with a travel agent or direct at Beo harbour, 2 km from the centre of town. It's probably a better option than Ha Long: you're much closer to the action on Cat Ba so there's less time spent getting to the pretty bit. Also, tours explore beautiful Lan Ha Bay, which you won't get to if ... Read more about Boat trips around the Bay .

Hospital Cave

Hospital Cave was a secret, bomb-proof hospital built during the American War and was used as a safe house for VC leaders until 1975. Access is via a woodland path and some rickety steps and inside you will find a selection of concrete rooms. The cave is often included as part of an island tour and is also easy to reach from Cat Ba town by motorbike or motorbike taxi (around 200,000 VND ... Read more about Hospital Cave .

Cannon Fort

Build atop a 177 metre-high hill overlooking Lan Ha Bay, the historical side of Cannon Fort may not appeal to everyone but it's worth the trek up there for the views alone. The fort was built during the French era as a look-out point and you will find the cannon bunkers and rooms containing memorabilia and a selection of paintings, photos and propaganda photos. Entry is 60,000 VND payable at ... Read more about Cannon Fort .

Other activities

Rock climbing trips can be arranged in Cat Ba, led by experienced climbers. Talk to Asia Outdoors in The Good Bar building which can organise trips for all levels. Asia Outdoors can also organise kayaking, as can other agents in town. Expect to pay around $15 for a few hours, or combine kayaking with a boat trip for a full day experience. Small boats cruise the harbour looking for fares, so ... Read more about Other activities .




Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Cat Ba Island? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Vietnam.


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