Cat Ba Island: A New UNESCO Heritage To Explore In 2024

cat ba island

Cat Ba Island annually attracts an influx of Indian visitors who seek relaxation and the discovery of enchanting sceneries. With many resemblances to Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island has become an ideal tourist destination in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. 

In this article, we provide you with a full guide to travel to Cat Ba Island, including its location, when and how to get to the island, as well as top things to do on Cat Ba island. 

About Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba archipelago includes 367 islands located south of Ha Long Bay. Among them, Cat Ba island is an attractive destination for tourists. The island has an area of 153 km², with the highest mountain peak of up to 331m. This is a submerged tropical karst terrain area with a unique landscape similar to Ha Long Bay (in Quang Ninh province).

Cat Ba island boasts unique limestone mountains, crystal clear waters, many beautiful caves and karst valleys, as well as diverse flora and fauna ecosystems. On September 16, 2023, the Cat Ba archipelago, along with Ha Long Bay, was officially recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Cat Ba Island is from April to October. During this period, the weather on the island is pleasant and ideal for swimming and outdoor activities. From November to March, the island is quite deserted, suitable for Indian tourists seeking tranquility and relaxation.

cat ba island
The best time to visit Cat Ba Island is from April to October

How to Get There

From Hanoi to Cat Ba

Located 140 km from Hanoi, Cat Ba Island requires tourists to utilize various modes of transportation to travel between these two destinations. Initially, Indian tourists typically embark on a journey from Hanoi to the Cat Hai district of Hai Phong City, either by car or coach.

Upon reaching Cat Hai, travelers have two options for reaching Cat Ba Island: ferry or cable car. Both options offer a 10-minute journey, with one-way ticket prices set at 20,000 VND ($1) per person for the ferry and 100,000 VND ($4) per person for the cable car.

From Hai Phong to Cat Ba

For Indian visitors departing from Hai Phong city center, the express boat from Binh Wharf to Cat Ba Island is the optimal choice. The journey takes approximately 50 minutes, with a ticket price of around 300,000 VND ($11.8).

What To Expect On Cat Ba Island

Relaxing on the beaches

Cat Ba is renowned for its stunning beaches, boasting pristine sands and gin-clear waters. Here are some of the notable beaches on Cat Ba:

  • Tung Thu Beach: This is one of the best beaches on Cat Ba Island. The beach boasts a peaceful ambiance and crystal-clear water.
  • Cat Co Beaches: Cat Co beaches include three beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2 and Cat Co 3. Among these, Cat Co 1 is the most beautiful beach, encircled by majestic mountains while Cat Co 3 is renowned for deep water and big waves, suitable for experienced swimmers and thrill-seekers.
  • Tiger Beach: This is popular with rock climbing enthusiasts of all skill levels. Besides beautiful nature, the beach boasts unique rock formations ideal for climbing.
  • Moody Beach: This is another hotspot for water activities and climbing experiences. The beach is renowned for its rugged mountains and unspoiled landscapes.
  • Ba Trai Dao Beach (Three Peaches Beach): It is one of the most beautiful beaches on Cat Ba Island which is surrounded by three small mountains that resemble three peaches.
cat ba island
Cat Co Beaches


Cat Ba is renowned for its tranquil, crystal-clear waters and stunning limestone mountains, making kayaking a favorite activity among Indian tourists. There is nothing more wonderful than enjoying the fresh breeze and cool water while exploring the beauty of the island.

cat ba island


Cat Ba is famous for its diverse marine ecosystem, offering the opportunity to snorkel and admire vibrant coral reefs.

Fishing squid at night

Night squid fishing is a captivating activity on this island. Indian tourists shouldn’t miss the chance to experience the life of a fisherman during a night trip.

cat ba island

Visiting Cai Beo fishing village 

Cai Beo Fishing Village is a large ancient village offering beautiful sceneries, tranquil life, and local delicacies, especially fresh seafood.

cat ba island

Touring Cat Ba National Park

Known as the world’s Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba National Park is an exciting tourist destination for Indian tourists. The park is home to thousands of ancient trees and many marine ecosystems, submerged forests, terrestrial forests, and also rare species of flora and fauna.

cat ba island

Trying local cuisine

Coming to Cat Ba Island, Indian visitors should take a chance to enjoy fresh seafood here. There are many specialties for your choice, such as lobster, clam, sea crab, snails, squid, and more. The price ranges from 200,000 VND ($8) – 2,000,000 VND ($78) per kilogram, depending on the type and season.

cat ba island


Top Cruises To Cat Ba Island

A luxury cruise trip on Cat Ba Island offers a unique and exciting experience. These cruises typically combine routes through Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Cat Ba Island, allowing tourists to admire magnificent limestone mountains and calm, clear waters.

cat ba island

Several 5-star luxury yachts operate in the area, providing full amenities for an overnight stay. These include plush rooms, rooftop decks with sun loungers, and additional facilities like restaurants, spas, swimming pools, mini-golf courses, and yoga sessions.

Here are some famous cruises you can choose from for an enjoyable trip!

Cruise Price Range (USD/night) Website Departure port Route
Indochina 340 – 430 Tuan Chau Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island
La Regina Classic Cruise 350 – 800 Tuan Chau Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island 
Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan  400 – 600 Tuan Chau Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island
Nostalgia Cruise 260 – 500 Tuan Chau Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island
Paradise Grand Cruise  340 – 500 Tuan Chau Cat Ba Island – Lan Ha Bay
Stellar of the Seas Cruise 600 – 2000 Tuan Chau Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island – Ha Long Bay

Useful Tips When Visiting Cat Ba

  • Wear a life vest properly and sit still on the boat.
  • Be cautious, especially when you go with children and the elderly.
  • Be aware of protecting the environment.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats.
  • Wear comfortable clothing suitable for outdoor activities, but also bring a jacket in case of windy conditions.
  • Keep track of the weather forecast to avoid rainy days during your stay on Cat Ba Island.
  • Never swim alone, regardless of your age or swimming level.
  • Obey warning signs and flags on the beach.
  • Warm yourself up and drink enough water before swimming.
  • Go with a local guide to have a safe and efficient journey to Cat Ba Island. Contact, and our team is happy to serve you.

Cat Ba Island stands out with gin-clear waters, majestic limestone mountains, and breathtaking natural sceneries. Along with Ha Long Bay, The island is one of the most attractive destinations for Indian tourists in northern Vietnam. Don’t hesitate to contact us to book the best tour for exploring this beautiful island! 

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