We have just gone to Cat Ba Island and Lan Ha Bay on the weekend. We split into 2 teams: car team (3 people) and motorcycle team (2 people). Car team is for anyone who is lazy and afraid, and the motorcycle team is for anyone who is healthy, wants to watch beautiful scenery and wants to explore the travel time. If you go 3 days 2 nights then this is the cheapest trip.
Transfer to Cat Ba island
You should buy tickets from Hoang Long car, the price both ways is 500,000 VND, the car will take you to the center of Cat Ba island. The direction is from Hanoi to Hai Phong to Dinh Vu wharf to Hoang Long high speed boat. After 45 minutes on the train to Cai Vieng port of Cat Ba, there will be cars directly to the center of Cat Ba. It is 12:00 a.m, you will arrive the center of the island.
At 6:30 a.m, we started to go Vinh Tuy bridge through Highway 5 to go to Hai Phong. The distance of 100 km if traveling quickly takes 2 hours. We arrived at 9:00 a.m and had breakfast in central Hai Phong. Rest and continue to run to Dinh Vu wharf to take the ferry across Ninh Tiep wharf of Cat Hai island (sitting on the ferry about 1 hour). You will have to go by ferry 2 times to reach the island, every 1 hour there is a ferry to catch the island.
When coming to Cat Hai Island, ride another 6 – 7 km to another ferry (Got Port) and then take the ferry for 30 minutes to Cat Ba Island (Cai Vieng port). After reaching the wharf on Cat Ba island, ride 27 km to the center. View from the pier to the center is beautiful, you will run across the mountain pass, one side of the road is the sea. The next step is to run into the forest (forest of Cat Ba National Park) with two sides of pines. Ferry tickets from Hai Phong to Cat Hai are VND 41,000 / 2 persons / motorbike, from Cat Hai to Cat Ba is only VND 26,000 / 2 persons / motorbike.
Hotels in Cat Ba Island
We had 2 nights in Cat Ba. In the first night, we slept on Cat Ba Island, our group 5 people stayed in one room, at the Dung Ha Hotel at the port (15 Nui Ngoc – Mrs. Dung 01669268572). Room price is 250,000 VND per room per night for 5 people.
On the second night we slept on the deserted island. Rent a tent on the net, price is 235,000 VND/ 3 days includes a 4-person tent, a sleeping bag, a canvas, a lamp. And one tent, one sleeping bag we carried our own.
Destinations in Cat Ba
On Cat Ba Island there are many places to explore. You should rent a motorbike to get around the island. We rent for 120,000 VND / day /unit (not including fuel). If you rent a motorbike, you should rent it when you are on Cat Ba Island from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m to get use of the money for gasoline.
Destinations should not be missed when arriving at the island:
Cannon Fort: Visit ticket price is 40,000 VND, you can see the whole view of Lan Ha bay, Cat Ba island, there is a guide for information, a place for drinking water, sightseeing with binoculars. We drank 2 coconuts, 1 coke for 116,000 VND.
Bathing at Cat Co beach: Cat Co 3 is the largest but farthest from the center. Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2 is closer but narrow. Tourists can walk through the beaches by the mountain road to take pictures. If you ride a motorbike, it costs VND 10,000 to park.
Some places need motorcycles to travel such as: Thung Trang cave, Cat Ba National Park for mountain climbing and forest view, Military cave.
In the evening, if you like, you can go to bar club. We went to Marigold Club on Nui Ngoc Street. Vinahouse EDM is also good. We went in group of 4 and spent 280,000 VND / person.
Food on Cat Ba Island
We ate at the restaurant for the main meals on Cat Ba island. We ate two meals at two different restaurants. The set is rice, soup, 2 seafood dishes, 1 meat or egg dish, stir-fried vegetables. Lunch at the restaurant in the front of the hotel is 530,000 VND. Dining at the coastal restaurant is 540,000 VND, food is very good.
Visit Lan Ha Bay
Early morning at 6:30 we started packing, ate breakfast and then call the electric car to go to Beo pier. We rent 200,000 VND / person for carrying loads and climbing so it is more expensive. Before some days we called Manh Nu boat (uncle Manh 0985 33 22 82) outside the bay.
To the boat, we began to put bags and thanks to local people to save them and took the kayak to visit the bay. The rental price is only 50,000 VND /kayak/ day (in the summer is 100,000 – 150,000 VND). Kayaking out to the bay and then to Van Boi beach to swim and play for a while. At 11:30 a.m, the group came back by the raft to eat lunch.
We spent 1 million VND for lunch, seafood is very delicious and fresh, eat with rice, boiled watercress, vegetable juice, tomato scrambled eggs, boiled squid, grilled apricot. At 5:30 p.m, the host took us to the island to camp overnight. The island is Prince Island, no electricity, no fresh water. We had to buy fresh water on Cat Ba Island 3 bottles of 5 liter to bathe and eat, bought seafood in the raft to grill on the island.
We set up tents, cleaned up, ate and played on the island. In the morning after 6:3 0 am, the host came and took us return to Cat Ba island. We paid 700,000 VND for the boat including boat raft, boat from island to wharf and kayak rental.
– Motorcycle team: 1.2 million VND / person
– Car team: 1.7 million VND/ person
If you are looking for a weekend holiday but still have not found a destination, then Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island are probably the ideal destinations for you. For more information about essential tips in Halong bay, please visit our website.