Things to Do in Cat Ba: Exploring the Pearl of Vietnam

Questions about Halong Bay

Cat Ba Island, often referred to as the "Pearl of Vietnam," offers an abundance of exciting activities and attractions for travelers of all interests. If you're wondering about the top things to do in Cat Ba, you'll be spoiled for choice with its breathtaking natural wonders and cultural experiences. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, Cat Ba has something special in store for everyone. Let's embark on a journey to discover the best things to do on this captivating island.

Cat Ba Island with a majestic landscape

Cat Ba Island with a majestic landscape

Cat Ba National Park: A Natural Wonderland

Cat Ba National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Boasting a diversity of flora and fauna, the park offers hiking trails through jungles and landscapes. Be prepared to encounter unique wildlife and be captivated by nature in this pristine sanctuary.

The park covers over 15,000 hectares, encompassing both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. It is home to numerous endangered species, including the Cat Ba Langur, one of the rarest primates on Earth.

For more information: Top 15 Best Things to do in Halong Bay - Exploring Its Beauty

Discover Cat Ba National Park

Discover Cat Ba National Park

For things to do in Cat Ba island, let’s consider embarking on a guided tour with a knowledgeable local guide. They can share fascinating insights into the park's biodiversity and conservation efforts.

Lan Ha Bay: Cruising through Paradise Vietnam cruises

A trip to Cat Ba would only be complete with exploring the picturesque Lan Ha Bay. Lan Ha Bay treats visitors to serene and crystal-clear waters, adorned with limestone islets. You can enjoy a leisurely cruise to fully appreciate the beauty of the bay. You don't miss the opportunity to kayak around the towering karsts for an up-close experience.

Lan Ha Bay is an archipelago of around 400 islands and islets, each offering its unique charm. The bay is famous for its diverse marine life. The lucky travelers may spot playful dolphins or elegant sea eagles soaring above. Explore the hidden lagoons and secluded beaches, where you can swim, snorkel, and revel in the untouched natural beauty such as Dark and Bright cave, Frog Pond

Discover: Weather Cat Ba: What You Need to Know Before Visiting the Island

Lan Ha Bay is wonderful in the eyes of tourists

Lan Ha Bay is wonderful in the eyes of tourists

For a more intimate encounter with the local fishing culture, consider joining a floating fishing village tour. Witness how the villagers make a living from the sea, and perhaps even try your hand at catching some fish or crabs. The tour provides a glimpse into the traditional way of life that has sustained generations in this coastal region.

Lan Ha Bay also offers ample opportunities for water sports enthusiasts, such as water skiing, wakeboarding, and paddleboarding. As the sun sets, watch the horizon change hues and experience the magic of the bay as the limestone formations are painted with warm golden tones, creating a picture-perfect moment.

Set sail on an adventure with Paradise Grand to uncover the beauty of Lan Ha Bay. Located in Cat Ba Island, it offers you an authentic glimpse into the rich local culture.

Find out more: National Park Cat Ba - A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Wildlife

Dark and Light Cave: An unique cave in Lan Ha Bay

Dark and Light Cave awaits those seeking an adventure of a lifetime. Take a boat ride through the cave's dark entrance to be rewarded with the sight of sunlight streaming. It's a surreal experience you won't want to miss.

Upon entering the Dark and Light Cave, you'll find yourself surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites. It creates an otherworldly atmosphere. The cave is named after the stark contrast between its two chambers. The first, Dark Cave, is a mysterious and narrow passage. The second, Light Cave, opens up into a spacious and sunlit grotto. Together, they create a fascinating contrast of light and darkness that leaves visitors mesmerized.

A Glimpse of Yin and Yang within the Dark and Light Cave of Lan Ha Bay

A Glimpse of Yin and Yang within the Dark and Light Cave of Lan Ha Bay

During the captivating boat journey to Dark and Light Cave by Paradise Grand, you might be fortunate enough to catch sight of local fishermen expertly navigating their boats through the cave's entrance. This boat journey ride allows you to witness the geological wonders of the bay with rich cultural elements.

Recommended reading: Explore Cat Ba beauty: Book Your Perfect Cat Ba Cruise today

Cannon Fort: Witnessing History

For history buffs, Cannon Fort is an attraction that offers a glimpse into Cat Ba Island's wartime past. This former military base, dating back to the 1940s, played a significant role during various conflicts. Perched on a strategic hilltop, the fort provides panoramic views of Cat Ba Island. The surrounding sea makes it an ideal vantage point to appreciate the island's geographical significance.

As you explore Cannon Fort, you'll step back in time while wandering through its well-preserved underground tunnels. These remnants of the past hold stories of battles fought on Cat Ba Island during different periods of history.

Steeped in History, Cannon Fort stands as a Silent Witness to the Past

Steeped in History, Cannon Fort stands as a Silent Witness to the Past

Hospital Cave: A Fascinating Underground World

Hospital Cave is a secret underground hospital utilized during the Vietnam War. As you descend into this hidden complex, you'll be transported back in time to a crucial period in Vietnam's history.

Hospital Cave served as a crucial medical facility for soldiers during the war. It provides a sheltered and secure location for medical treatment and surgeries. Delve into the labyrinth of interconnected rooms, each with its purpose.

Hospital Cave, an Enchanting Underground World of Wonders

Hospital Cave, an Enchanting Underground World of Wonders

One remarkable feature is the presence of a cinema hall inside the cave. The soldiers sought moments of respite from the stresses of war by watching movies. This detail offers a unique insight into the human spirit's ability to find solace and camaraderie even in the most challenging circumstances.

Explore further: Choose from the best cruise in Halong Bay and book your dream journey today

Explore Ao Ech

Ao Ech, or Frog Pond, is a charming and secluded bay that beckons travelers seeking tranquility amidst nature's embrace. Nestled away from the more frequented tourist spots, this hidden gem offers a serene ambiance and stunning scenery.

Ao Ech is located in the center of Lan Ha Bay, where the gentle waves caress the shore. What sets this place apart is the kayaking activity, offering captivating experiences amidst the grandeur of nature. Together, let's release the oars into the water's surface, immersing ourselves in the refreshing scenery and savoring the briny essence of the sea. It allows you to unwind and revel in the untouched natural beauty. The soft sandy shores provide a picturesque spot for sunbathing. You can soak up the warmth of the sun and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.

Exploring the Beauty of Ao Ech

Exploring the Beauty of Ao Ech

Ao Ech is also a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. You might spot colorful birds flitting among the branches or catch a glimpse of marine life swimming gracefully in the shallows. For a more immersive experience, consider exploring the bay's underwater world through snorkeling. The crystal-clear waters allow you to witness vibrant coral reefs and schools of tropical fish, creating a mesmerizing underwater spectacle.

Explore further: Escape to Paradise: Halong Bay Cruise 3 days 2 nights Experience

Visiting Ao Ech is a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It makes you fully embrace the beauty of nature and find solace in this hidden corner of Cat Ba Island.

During the voyage with Paradise Grand, you will have the opportunity to explore the stunning Ao Ech. The cruise helps you to discover a serene and secluded lagoon with towering limestone cliffs of Lan Ha Bay.

Join a cooking class

Cat Ba Island presents an irresistible treat for seafood enthusiasts, offering an opportunity to delve deeper into its culinary delights through a captivating cooking class. This experience goes beyond simple recipe-following, transforming into a culinary adventure that grants you a glimpse into the island's local life and its abundant seafood treasures.

Join a cooking class is a joyful experience

Join a cooking class is a joyful experience

During the cooking class, you'll have the chance to master the art of preparing various Vietnamese dishes. Using only the fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, you'll craft flavorful creations from scratch. The satisfaction derived from creating a meal with your own hands, infused with the essence of the island's bountiful offerings, is an experience that lingers as a cherished memory.  With the Paradise Grand Cruise, you will learn a cooking class to make Vietnamese rolling dishes. 

Cat Co Beaches: Relaxation and Sunbathing

Cat Ba Island boasts a collection of secluded and unspoiled beaches, making swimming an absolute must during your visit. Unlike more touristy beach destinations, Cat Ba's beaches offer a pristine and tranquil environment, perfect for those seeking a serene coastal retreat.

Among these serene coastal gems, the three Cat Co beaches, namely Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, and Cat Co 3, stand out as favorites for beach enthusiasts. Located next to each other, these beaches provide everything a beach lover could desire, including comfortable loungers for sunbathing, shaded umbrellas for relaxation, and stalls offering refreshing drinks to quench your thirst under the sun.

The Captivating Cat Co Beaches

The Captivating Cat Co Beaches

Notably, Cat Co 3 beach also offers an exciting opportunity to explore the waters by kayak. For a reasonable price of 200,000 VND per hour, you can glide across the tranquil sea and soak in the breathtaking coastal scenery. Whether you're a seasoned kayaker or a novice, this experience promises to be a highlight of your time on Cat Ba Island.

Rock Climbing: Conquering the Majestic Cliffs

For adventure enthusiasts seeking more than just ordinary activities, Lan Ha Bay offers an alluring opportunity with its thrilling rock climbing tours. Conquering some of the toughest crags in the region, these tours promise an adrenaline-fueled experience like no other.

Rock climbing can be enjoyed at various spots in Halong Bay, each with its unique charm and challenges. Offenheimer's Creation and Slo Pony Wall at Tiger Beach were the first areas to pioneer rock climbing activity in the region, and they continue to attract climbers seeking a rewarding ascent. Butterfly Valley and Ben Beo Wall are other popular spots where climbers can test their skills against the fascinating features of tufas, pockets, and water-sculpted rock formations.

Conquering the Majestic Cliffs - Where Courage Meets Nature's Grandeur.

Conquering the Majestic Cliffs - Where Courage Meets Nature's Grandeur.

If you're considering rock climbing in Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island, our detailed guide will provide you with all the essential information to make the most of this thrilling adventure. From climbing tips to recommended routes, you'll be well-prepared to scale the heights and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you. Get ready to push your limits and experience the exhilaration of rock climbing in these stunning natural settings.

Read More: Weather In Ha Long Bay - Best Time To Visit HaLong Bay

Cycling Tours: Discovering the Island's Beauty

Explore the picturesque landscapes of Cat Ba Island by joining a cycling tour. Wind your way through charming villages, lush forests, and coastal roads, all while enjoying the refreshing sea breeze and the island's laid-back atmosphere.

Kayaking: Paddling through Tranquil Waters

Dark and Bright Cave lies within the boundary of both Lan Ha Bay and Halong Bay. It makes it one of the most captivating caves in the entire region. This natural wonder showcases an abundance of stunning stalactites and stalagmites, formed over time, adding to its allure. The cave's clear waters further enhance the mesmerizing beauty of the surroundings. Dark Cave, as the name suggests, offers a longer and dimly lit passage, while Bright Cave is shorter and boasts a more illuminated interior. Both sections provide an idyllic escape for adventure seekers looking to savor the enchanting beauty of these underground formations.


Glide through Calm Waters - A Kayaker's Paradise.

Glide through Calm Waters - A Kayaker's Paradise.

Alternatively, visitors can opt to row a traditional bamboo boat through the cave. This provides a more leisurely and laid-back approach, allowing you to soak in the natural wonders at a relaxed pace. Whichever option you choose, exploring Dark and Bright Cave promises to be an extraordinary journey into the heart of these captivating geological formations.

Night Squid Fishing: An Exciting Ocean Adventure

Experience the local way of life and try your hand at night squid fishing. Join local fishermen on their boats, learn the traditional techniques, and enjoy the thrill of catching squid under the moonlit sky.

Going Night Squid Fishing on Cat Ba Island

Going Night Squid Fishing on Cat Ba Island

Viet Hai Village: Immersing in Rural Charm

For a cultural experience, venture to Viet Hai Village, a rustic gem nestled in the heart of Cat Ba National Park. Interact with friendly locals, cycle through verdant rice fields, and embrace the tranquility of rural life.


The simplicity of the village is enchanting. Houses built in the traditional style dot the landscape, creating a charming and harmonious ambiance that feels like a step back in time. As you stroll through the village, you'll witness scenes of daily life: children playing games, villagers tending to their crops, and elders sharing stories in the shade.

In the embrace of nature and the warm hospitality of the locals, you'll feel a deep connection to the land and its people. Take a moment to savor the fresh air, and admire the beauty of the surrounding mountains, and appreciate the simplicity of life in Viet Hai.

Visiting Viet Hai Village

Visiting Viet Hai Village

If you want to discover Vietnam's untamed beauty, let’s set sail with Paradise Grand for a longer time to explore the Viet Hai Village. Nestled deep in the heart of Cat Ba Island, this hidden gem offers an authentic glimpse into the local culture and traditions.

Monkey Island: Meeting Playful Primates

Located just off Cat Ba's coast, Monkey Island is home to a playful troop of monkeys. Enjoy observing these mischievous creatures in their natural habitat, but remember to respect their environment and follow the guidelines to protect both the monkeys and yourself.

Go sightseeing on the shores of Monkey Island

Go sightseeing on the shores of Monkey Island

Book an overnight cruise - Paradise Grand

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Lan Ha Bay, consider booking an overnight cruise on Paradise Grand. Sail through the serene waters, enjoy delectable cuisine, and experience the breathtaking sunrise and sunset views over the bay.

Cat Ba Island offers an extraordinary array of experiences, from natural wonders and historical landmarks to thrilling adventures and cultural encounters. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adrenaline-pumping activities, Cat Ba has something to offer every traveler, making it an unmissable destination in Vietnam.


In conclusion, Cat Ba Island offers an array of unforgettable experiences. It is a dream destination for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation. Engage in thrilling activities like rock climbing, kayaking, and night squid fishing, or simply unwind on the pristine beaches and indulge. Whether you're a nature lover, an adrenaline seeker, or a culture enthusiast, Cat Ba has it all. Embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the top things to do in Cat Ba.

The itinerary is subject to change at any time depending on the request of the Management Board Bay, safety conditions, and weather conditions. Please note that the itinerary provided is for reference only and may be adjusted based on the actual situation.


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