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Cat Ba Island is the largest of the 366 islands spanning 100 square miles that make up the Cat Ba Archipelago. The island’s landscape is jungle-clad, rugged and dramatic with a wide variety of natural ecosystems – perfect for exploring by bicycle, motorbike or on foot!

While many of the Halong Bay Tours from Hanoi spend an overnight stop in Cat Ba Island (mainly sticking to Cat Ba Town and the pier for some cheap food and tacky karaoke!), visitors who linger for longer will be rewarded with quiet roads perfect for biking, uncrowded beaches and incredible views!

Best time to visit

This island, as in the north of Vietnam, has four seasons a year but as it is East Sea, it has a higher temperature and more rain


From December to February next year. It's cold and normally 10-15 degree Celsius. It is off-season time with cloudy sky and cold water. As the sea is quite calm, it's a good time for kayaking but not swimming.


From February to April. It's quite warm but sometimes wet and humid with spring rains. March- April is the best time to come as It's getting sunnier and sea water is warm enough for swimming and play sea sports


From May to August. It's the peak time of domestic travel so try to avoid this time if you don't like crowds and higher travel costs. This time is the best time to play sea sports like kayaking, windsurfing, swimming...


From September to November. It is the rainy season so there will be a lot of tropical storms. Don't come to Cat Ba this time if you don't want to be kept in the island for 1-2 weeks due to tropical storms. 

Not only the weather but you also need to pay attention on Vietnam public holidays and international vacation time to avoid the crowds and have the best moments in this island. Be aware of these following days:

  • International Labor day: Domestic and International Tourists will visit Ha Long Bay and stop by Cat Ba island during this time as they have quite a long vacation and the weather here is really nice.
  • Summer holiday (from June to July): it's the peak time of domestic holiday as families and companies often go here.
  • Vietnamese Independence day (September 2nd): It is also an important public holiday in Vietnam so try to avoid the crowds this day.

To sum up, the best time to visit Cat Ba island is from March to April when the rain is gone, the weather is warmer and the sea is clean and clear without the invasion of tourists.

Check the below table for the general idea of Cat Ba weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 18.8 15.7 13.3
Feb 20.8 17.8 15.6
Mar 22.4 19.9 17.8
Apr 26.7 23.4 21.1
May 30.6 26.9 24.1
Jun 32.4 28.8 25.9
Jul 31.9 28.6 25.8
Aug 31.4 28 25.3
Sep 30.7 27.1 24.3
Oct 29.3 25.3 22.3
Nov 26.1 22.1 19.1
Dec 21.7 18 15.2

Cat Ba’s current weather and 7-day forecast


Here are top things to do in Cat Ba Island:

1. Lan Ha Bay

It is located close to Ha Long Bay, east of Cat Ba Island, with an arc shape with more than 400 large and small islands covered with green leaves. Not many people know, so Lan Ha Bay is quite quiet compared to many other famous tourist destinations.

2. Monkey Island

The reason that Monkey Island is so-called is that there are fun monkeys here and is extremely suitable for groups with children. In addition. If you are someone who likes to mingle with the sea, want to try seeing life under the sea. You can also join a diving tour at a centre-right on the island for about 1 million VND / 30 minutes by coach.

3. Cat Ba National Park

It is recognized as a world biosphere reserve with rich and pristine flora and fauna as a tourist attraction that cannot be missed when travelling to Cat Ba Island. With a price of about 15,000 VND / person. Visitors can choose from ecotourism routes, admire the botanical landscape inside the national forest or visit some famous caves such as Trung Trang cave, Doi cave, ….

4. Cat Co Beach

In Cat Ba, there are 3 beaches, Cat Co 1, 2 and 3, with clear water and located near the town centre. So these 3 beaches gather a lot of tourists. In particular, Cat Co 1 beach is larger, with three sides almost surrounded by rocky mountains. Cat Co 2 and 3 beaches are smaller but quite peaceful, suitable for those who want to find a place with fewer people and more pristine. The beaches are connected by a small road along the mountain.

5. Cannon Fortress

It is located at an altitude of 177 meters. This is a historical relic built by the Vietnamese army in the 40s of the 20th century, and still holds two large cannons, each weighing up tens of tons. Besides visiting the fortress, visitors can also observe many familiar locations of Cat Ba island from above such as Lan Ha Bay, Guoc Island, …

6. Ben Beo Fishing Village

Not as exciting as a pier to Lan Ha Bay, but Ben Beo fishing village has a variety of ships. Boats ready to take guests to explore the serene beauty of the oldest fishing village in Vietnam.

Budget options

Cat Ba Rainbow Travel & Hotel 

Add: 19 Núi Ngọc, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Featuring a bar, Cat Ba Rainbow Travel & Hotel is set in Cat Ba in the Hai Phong Municipality region, 1.2 km from Tung Thu Beach and 1.2 km from Dau Be Island. Featuring a restaurant, the 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

At the hotel, every room is fitted with a wardrobe. At Cat Ba Rainbow Travel & Hotel all rooms come with a desk and a flat-screen TV.

The accommodation offers an American or Asian breakfast.

The area is popular for cycling, and bike hire and car hire are available at Cat Ba Rainbow Travel & Hotel.


Add: 74 Núi Ngọc, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Located within 1.2 km of Tung Thu Beach and 1.1 km of Dau Be Island, VENUS HOTEL provides rooms with air conditioning and a private bathroom in Cat Ba. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, room service and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge.

At the hotel, rooms come with a wardrobe. At VENUS HOTEL, every room is equipped with a seating area.

The accommodation offers a terrace.

Catba Oasis Bungalows 

Add: 254 Đường 1/4, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Catba Oasis Bungalows features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Cat Ba. All rooms feature a TV with cable channels and a private bathroom. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk.

At the hotel, all rooms come with a balcony. The units at Catba Oasis Bungalows feature air conditioning and a wardrobe.

The accommodation offers a continental or buffet breakfast.

Catba Oasis Bungalows offers a sun terrace. You can play billiards at the hotel, and bike hire and car hire are available.

Mid-range options

Sea Pearl Cat Ba Hotel 

Add: No 219, 1/4 Road, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Sea Pearl Cat Ba Hotel is located in front of Lan Ha Bay, a 5-minute walk from Cat Co Beach. It features a swimming pool and bar on the rooftop, as well as 2 dining options. Guests can enjoy free WiFi access.

Featuring sea view, the air-conditioned rooms at Sea Pearl are fitted with a flat-screen cable TV and minibar. Shower facilities and toiletries are provided in the en suite bathroom.

Guests can enjoy a body massage, relax in the sauna or rent a bicycle to explore the area. Local souvenirs can also be purchased at the gift shop.

The restaurant serves a variety of local dishes. Light snacks and refreshing beverages are available at the bar.

Cat Ba Thailand Hotel 

Add: 99 Núi Ngọc 99 nui ngọc -cat bà - hai phong, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Situated in Cat Ba, 1.2 km from Tung Thu Beach, Cat Ba Thailand Hotel features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi.

All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. At the hotel the rooms are fitted with a wardrobe and a private bathroom.

Guests at Cat Ba Thailand Hotel will be able to enjoy activities in and around Cat Ba, like hiking and cycling.

Cat Ba White Pearl 

Add: 282 Hà Sen, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Situated in Cat Ba, 2.4 km from Cat Co 3 Beach, Cat Ba White Pearl features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. This 3-star hotel offers room service, valet parking and free WiFi. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, a shared kitchen and currency exchange for guests.

An American breakfast is available each morning at the hotel.

Cat Ba White Pearl offers a terrace. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Cat Ba, like cycling.

Deluxe options

Catba Paradise Hotel 

Add: 231- 232 Street 1/4 Cat Ba Town, Hai Phong, Hai Phong, Vietnam

Catba Paradise Hotel features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar and garden in Hai Phong. Built in 2018, the property is within 700 m of Tung Thu Beach. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi throughout the property.

Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. At the hotel each room is equipped with a wardrobe and a private bathroom.

Guests at Catba Paradise Hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast.

The accommodation offers a terrace.

Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort 

Add: Cat Co Beach, Cat Hai, Hai Phong, Cat Ba, Vietnam

Situated in Cat Ba, Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort offers beachfront accommodation 1.8 km from Tung Thu Beach and features various facilities, such as a restaurant, a fitness centre and a bar. Featuring a private beach area, the 5-star resort has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and organising tours for guests.

At the resort, rooms are equipped with a desk and a flat-screen TV. The rooms will provide guests with a wardrobe and a kettle.

Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort offers an outdoor pool. Guests at the accommodation will be able to enjoy activities in and around Cat Ba, like skiing.

What to eat

Imagine that you’re traveling to a beautiful island without tasty food and specialties in that area. That sounds so boring, isn’t it? Not only tourists have chances to discover and explore the natural landscapes but also do they enjoy fresh seafood and specialties in Cat Ba Island. In the article, we’d like to recommend the best food in Cat Ba Island you should not miss when visiting Cat Ba Island. 

1. Horseshoe Crab – best food Cat Ba

The horseshoe crab can be processed into many delicious and nutritious dishes which have specific aromatic flavours of the ocean including the raw horseshoe crab, sweet and sour horseshoe crab, boiled horseshoe crab or grilled, in particular, grilled eggs of horseshoe crab have a greasy taste and contain a high level of protein. Besides, the meals made from the horseshoe crab are very healthy since it helps to relieve the body heat. 

Particularly, the horseshoe crabs always go together. Fishermen usually say that one crab dies between the two crabs going together, the other also dies. If one crab dies, the other doesn’t then the crab left will become a toxic horseshoe one and live alone forever. 

Horseshoe crabs are crustaceans and cold property seafood so when processing, it must be very careful. The head, legs, edge fins, and crab shells are discarded. The guts are cleaned carefully to avoid exposing to crabmeat. The crab meat is very tasty and has a distinctive flavour as the concentration of salt is quite high, the seafood in this area has a higher level of protein and nutrition than that of other areas. So the horseshoe crab is one of the best food in Cat Ba Island that you cannot miss. In recent years, the price of horseshoe crab has been high, about more than VND 500,000. 
Amongst the best food in Cat Ba from the horseshoe crab, the raw horseshoe crab is highly recommended for tourists. After being grilled until turning yellow color, the meat of horseshoe crab is torn into small pieces and then mixes with eggs of crab, persicaria, peanut and some herbs, which creates a sweet and aromatic flavour of the raw horseshoe crab. 

2. Vietnamese Geoduck Clam 

Vietnamese Geoduck Clam, which has another name called Elephant Trunk Clam, is known as rare and highly nutritious seafood with a special flavour. Recently, Vietnamese geoduck clam can be seen in many areas and regions but the best place to taste the geoduck clam is Cat Ba Island which is a suitable place for its growth.    

The geoduck clam is a two-piece molluscous which is considered as a wonderful remedy for men. It’s not common amongst tourists like cockles, shells, oysters, etc but when you’ve tried the dishes made from the geoduck once, probably you’ve forgotten this flavour. 

Vietnamese geoduck clam could be processed into different dishes such as raw geoduck clam, grilled geoduck clam, geoduck clam rice gruel, etc. You can soak the geoduck clam into hot water (about 80oC – 90oC) within 2-3 minutes, then clean the shell with water and finally, use a knife to slit vertically along the heliotrope of the geoduck clam. It’s a little hard to bite, tasty, soft and combined with various spices for cooking. 

Especially, steamed geoduck clam is notably recommended for tourists as the best food in Cat Ba Island. After steaming within 15 mins, the geoduck clam is displayed in the dish, its flavors combined with many spices make a perfect dish. 

3. Lobster – best food in Cat Ba

Lobster is considered as the king of seafood with a high level of nutrition and vitamin. The meat inside exoskeleton is firm and exquisitely sweet that you’ve never forgotten when eating once. You can eat all parts of the lobster, except for the shell and its stomach. The most delicate and sweet part of the lobster is the meat near the head and lobster’s tail rather than the meat in the claw and knuckle. The chunky meat of those tails is wonderfully tender and light in flavour. 

Lobster can be cooked many delicious meals including lobster rice gruel, grilled lobster, steamed lobster, boiled lobster, hot pot of lobster, roasted lobster with salt, raw lobster, etc. In addition to this, lobster can be variably processed into different dishes like stewed lobster with shiitake mushroom, seaweed roll lobster, steamed lobster with wine, etc. The lobster is really rare and valuable seafood that nature endows in Cat Hai District. So this is one of the best food in Cat Ba you should know as traveling to this island.

4. Sea Snake

Cat Ba Island has a lot of valuable and rare specialties from the ocean and sea snake is one of the best food in Cat Ba. The sea snake has a small and slim body with a length of 1 – 1.2 meters and has specialized in flattened tails which acts as a paddle for swimming. The smallish head has horns and its teeth are venomous. People usually say that the sea snake has a high value in gastronomy and medicine. 

The sea snake is simply prepared by washing with water and cutting from the throat to its tail and discarding its gallbladder and suet. You have to wash the blood snake by 90oC alcohol, not using water, then dry it. The sea snake meat contains a high amount of prostate and acid amine such as arginine, taurine, cysteine, tyrosine, etc. Besides, medicine from the sea snake helps to cure rheumatoid arthritis, bone degeneration, and spinal pain, etc. Moreover, the gallbladder will help to relieve the pain and act as a tranquilizer. With a high value of nutrition and medicine, the meals made from the sea snake are considered as one of the best food in Cat Ba Island. 

5. Fried Snail Hai Phong  

The snail is processed as the cooking manners of Hai Phong people, which is combined with fresh ingredients like coconut, chill, ginger, lemongrass, tamarind, etc. Those ingredients are harmoniously combined to make a perfect dish of a fried snail. One thing making Vietnamese dishes differentiate from other cuisines is the way people combine and mix different spices, herbs, and ingredients. 

Especially, the shell snail is kept while frying. When eating the snail, you have to use something like sewing needles to make the snail meat more accessible. Restaurants will mixture various snails for cooking so tourists can have a chance to choose which is your favourite. So fried snail Hai Phong is one of the best food in Cat Ba Island that travelers should try. 

6. Lobster Rice Noodles Cat Ba 

One of the simple and best food in Cat Ba is lobster rice noodle. Until now, lobster rice noodle has become attractive and famous for not only the flavor but its ingredients and unique cooking tips as well. 

The main ingredient playing an important part to make a great dish is fresh lobsters in Cat Ba. Those lobsters are steamed and cooked with other special herbs and ingredients. The lobster rice noodle is more tasty and delicious due to the aroma of fresh lobsters, exquisitely fatty bouillon, along with vegetables and spices. You can eat the noodles with some kinds of fresh and raw vegetables and a little chili. So all the things are harmoniously mixed to make it one of the best food in Cat Ba Island.

7. Garrupa 

Garrupa is known as a kind of grouper that has a great flavour of the ocean owing to its greasy skin and delicate and exquisitely sweet meat compared to other fish. On Cat Ba Island, there are 3 types of garrupa including greasy grouper, black grouper, and fox grouper. Garrupa can be processed into different dishes which are nutritious and yummy like raw garrupa, garrupa rice gruel, grilled garrupa, steamed garrupa, etc. So garrupa is one of the best food in Cat Ba Island. 

8. Toasted Mantis Shrimp With Salt 

When mentioning the best food in Cat Ba Island, toasted mantis shrimp with salt is always listed for tourists. The mantis shrimp could be processed into many dishes, especially being toasted with salt. In fact, there’s a huge number of mantis shrimps in Cat Ba which are usually big. 

When processing the toasted mantis shrimp with salt, the chef normally fries through a little bit of cooking oil, which makes it greasy but not too fat. This meal is elaborately cooked by combining harmoniously different spices, so it has a delicate and exquisitely sweet flavour. 

9. Oysters – best food in Cat Ba

One of the best food in Cat Ba that you should try is oysters, which can be processed into many dishes like a roasted oyster with tamarind, roasted oyster with salt, grilled oyster and oyster rice gruel. The roasted oyster with tamarind has sweet and sour flavour and should be tasted when it’s still warm. Fresh oysters and the mixture of tamarind, chili, water, sugar and fish sauce make it one of the best food in Cat Ba. 

The roasted oyster with salt which has a different flavour from the roasted oyster with tamarind is also the best food in Cat Ba. The meal is more spicy and salty. The grilled oyster is a specialty in Cat Ba as well. It’s extremely easy to cook and eat. You just need a stove, raw and fresh oyster and special sauce only used for the grilled oyster. After that, you’ll have a chance to taste the best food in Cat Ba. The oyster rice gruel is delighted guests with an aromatic taste and its highly nutritious value when traveling to Cat Ba Island. It should be eaten with some herbs and an amount of pepper.

Where to eat

We’d like to recommend to you some restaurants to enjoy the best food in Cat Ba: 

Bamboo Café

This restaurant is located on April 1st Road, is the best restaurant in Cat Ba for tasting fresh seafood both Vietnamese dishes and European ones. Price is from VND 80,000 – 120,000/ dish. 

Vien Duong Restaurant

No. 12 Nui Ngoc Street, is famous for its tasty seafood as well as a hot pot of seafood. Price is reasonable, from VND 100,000/dish. 

Phuong Nhung Restaurant

No. 184-185 April 1st Road, mainly serves noodles, pho, rice, and seafood.

Yummy Restaurant – Cat Ba

No. 180 Nui Ngoc includes noodles, fried rice, pho, nem, etc. which are quite similar to those dishes in Phuong Nhung Restaurant, but its price is cheaper.

Family Bakery

No. 194 April 1st Road, you should try different kinds of bread as Turkey styles and marzipan. Here has the best caramel in Cat Ba, price is from VND 80,000 – 120,000/dish.

From Hanoi

Take a bus from Gia Lam, Yen Nghia, Ha Dong bus station to the bus station of Hai Phong city (average price is about 100,000 VND / person). The second way is to depart from Hanoi in the direction of Ha Long to take Tuan Chau ferry (however it will take longer)

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via

From here visitors have two options: hydrofoil straight to Cat Ba for 220,000 VND in 45 minutes, or by road through 2 ferry costs 11,000 VND and 6,000 VND per person respectively.

Motorbike ride from Hanoi to Hai Phong with a distance of 140km then continue to take two ferries as usual.

Contact us to get more information


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