Cat Ba Island in Vietnam is the perfect place as a stopover for a Halong Bay tour. You will escape Hanoi and have the possibility to arrange a cheaper Halong bay tour. Cat Ba island is a chilled out place with a few small, though nice beaches, a rich history and there are some spots with a good nightlife, which are pretty cheap!
During the wars, the island was a strategic look-out point. During the bombing, local residents hide among the island’s many caves. The cave hospital is one of the impressive leftovers.
We’ve booked a day tour at Cat Ba Ventures ($25, lunch + water) which was a good company. They will visit less touristy areas that are maybe even more beautiful than the famous part of Halong Bay.
Around 8 AM you’ll take the boat from Cat Ba town through the floating villages, cruise through Lan Ha Bay and enjoy the hundreds of limestone islands.
The Halong Bay tour includes snorkeling gear, dry bags, kayaking, a great lunch and swimming at a deserted beach, all entrance fees into Halong Bay and an English speaking local guide.
Besides from the Halong Bay tours, Cat Ba Island has some more things to offer:
Visit a pearl farm Rent a scooter and explore the island. Visit the Canon fort (the old defense base) Go get the cheapest food at market in town Chill at the few beaches Visit the cave hospital Have a great night out
Visit Cat Ba Island to stay low on a budget to see Halong Bay. Make sure to get to Hanoi first!
Easily find the cheapest flights tickets to here!
From Hanoi, you will have to take the bus to Haiphong, which takes around 2.5-hour. From there, take the ferry to Cat Ba and the bus to Cat Ba town (1 hour). The ferry cost you 70K Dong (~ $3) for a one-way ticket. The boat timetable will change so now and then. Please check their website .