How Many Days To Stay in Cat Ba island?The mistake most visitors make is just using Cat Ba Island as a hop on and off for the Lan Ha Bay cruises and not allowing enough time to explore the actual island. To comfortably fit in these things to do in Cat Ba Island, you want to allow yourself 2-3 days minimum.
How To Get Around Cat BaBefore we dive into all the awesome things to do in Cat Ba Island, I need to tell you that the best way of exploring it is by hiring a motorbike. If you haven’t hired a motorbike in South East Asia before, Cat Ba is good place to start.There aren’t many roads so it would be quite difficult to get lost. And the roads are quiet, save for the odd coach. They’re not in the best condition but fine if you pay attention, there’s just quite a few pot holes. Oh and some goats on the roads you need to watch out for.You can rent a automatic motorbike for around 100,000 VND ($4.50USD/£3.50GBP) easily from most hotels in Cat Ba Town. Helmets are provided and the bikes are in pretty good condition. The fuel for the day cost us roughly 60,000 VND ($2.60USD/£2.00GBP).Some of the inclines on the roads in Cat Ba are quite steep at times. So if there is going to be more than one of you on the bike, opt for a larger engine. We went with 145cc rather than a 115cc and were glad we did because we saw a few people struggling.Things To Do in Cat Ba IslandCat Ba National Park HikeTop of the list for things to do in Cat Ba Island. The thick green jungle of Cat Ba National Park covers almost half of the entire island. It was designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2004. And amongst many other wildlife is home to the endangered Cat Ba Langur.Cat Ba BeachIf you hire a motorbike you can find a few off the beaten track beaches in Cat Ba. But other than that, the main ones are located at the South of the island near Cat Ba town. Unimaginatively, they are called Cat Ba beach 1, 2, & 3.Lan Ha Bay CruiseCat Ba Hospital CaveTrung Trang CaveButterfly ValleyAn isolated area at the heart of the island, if you are planning on hiring a motorbike, Butterfly Valley or Liên Minh is well worth a mention for things to do in Cat Ba Island, Vietnam. And there are a few butterflies, just don’t expect the place to be inundated with them.
Viet Hai Fishing Village
Cat Ba Island ActivitiesCat Ba Rock ClimbingOwing to the abundance of overhung and steep limestone rocks, Butterfly Valley is is where to come for adventurous things to do in Cat Ba. It’s a playground for rock climbers. If you are an experienced climber, you can simply buy a permit, rent some gear if you don’t have yours with you and off you go.
Cat Ba Rock Climbing
The daily permits are around 60,000 VND ($2.60USD/£2.00GBP) and you can purchase them from The Hive climbing centre in Butterfly Valley or the Asia Outdoors office in Cat Ba town. Or if you’re more of a novice or first timer you can head out onto the crags with a guide.Cat Ba KayakingIf you are heading out on a Lan Ha Bay cruise, it’s likely that your tour package with include an option of kayaking. For some of the more secluded parts of Lan Ha Bay, going by kayak is the only way to reach them.Cat Ba SnorkellingThere is another stunning side to Cat Ba Island, Vietnam, that is not immediately visible when you arrive. And that is the underwater world. Just as majestic as the karst limestones protruding from the sea, they create a visual wonder below the surface.Monkey IslandSunset At Cannon Fort Cat BaWitnessing the magic of sunset from stop Cannon Fort Cat Ba was one of our all time favourite things to do in Cat Ba Island. Built in 1942, it was first used by the Japanese during World War II, then later by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War.It has a strategic position 177m above the sea and you can see right out across Lan Ha Bay. But it’s not just the commanding view that’s interesting at Cannon Fort Cat Ba. The site is quite expansive with lots of tunnels to explore and you can get a real sense of the history.The entrance fee is 40,000 VND ($1.75USD/£1.35GBP). Keep your ticket because you may be asked for it at various points. Get there in plenty of time to get a good spot before sunset. And carry on past the busy cafe and picnic area for the best views out over the harbour.
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According to many researches and evidences, the history of Cat Ba have lasted for nearly 6000 years. Vestiges of an early settlement called Cai Beo.These were unearthed in 1972, 1973, 1981 and 1983 by two French scientists. Hundreds of tools were found, such as pestles, grinding plates, wedging pieces, net leads and hatchets. Many were made from pebbles, or were rudimentary ceramic works made of clay and sand. Human remains were also found, along with evidence of their habitation. The Cai Beo settlement belonged to the ancient Halong culture that existed 6473-4200 years ago. These were perhaps the first people to occupy the north-eastern territorial waters of Vietnam that knew how to exploit the sea and to cultivate.Folk tale of the Women’s IslandCat Ba Island means ‘Women’s Island’. Legend tells that three women of the Tran Dynasty died and each drifted to a sandy beach on the island. Afterwards, the inhabitants built temples on each of the beaches and the island became called Cat Ba Island (Women’s Island) and the temples called Women’s Temples. Opposite Cat Ba Town is small Cat Ong Island (Men’s Island) which was once a secret place for soldiers to hide weapons.French Colonial PeriodThe French had a presence on Cat Ba from 1947 till 1955, as it was a strategic coastal island. Cat Ba was important to the French, but the local people fought strongly to keep the island theirs. During this time, the local people often fled to the valleys, the forest, or even the caves, fearing the French. There is now a monument to local people killed by the French on Cat Hai Island.US WarDuring the American War in Vietnam, Cat Ba (next door to Hai Phong, one of Vietnam’s largest port cities) figures prominently in the history books. During US bombing raids in the north, Cat Ba was targeted and bomb craters can still be seen in various place across the island. One of the key reminders of the war and its struggles for local communities is the ‘Hospital Cave’, which was turned into a key shelter in 1965 for those wounded in the war.TodayPeople live in Cat Ba island: 20,726. Cat Ba Town is 8,600 people, six villages: 12,126 on boats and floating villages: 4,000, and on Cat Hai Island. Two general groups of people of people live on Cat Ba Island. The ethnic Vietnamese, on Kinh people, moved to Cat Ba after 1979. The second group are the Viet-Chinese, who are descended from fishing communities that have existed on Cat Ba for many generations. Fisherman and farmers live in Tran Chau (the oldest and largest village on the island); in Gia Luan farmers, fisherman and some hunters; in Phu Long fisherman and salt farmers; in Xuan Dam farmers. In the smallest village, Viet Hai, 200 people live in simple, houses made of bamboo, wood, leaves and earthen walls. It is a fishing and farming village, where the people are sincere, simple minded and very hospitable.
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What To Do In Cat Ba At Night
Floating Barge Karaoke