Best Way to Get to Cat Ba Island [UPDATED]
The fact that several ways to travel to Cat Ba are now available may confuse us sometimes. Let’s have a look at the ultimate guide on how to get to Cat Ba Island to find out the best.
Cat Ba is the largest of the 367 islands spanning 260 km2 that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the Southeastern edge of Lan Ha Bay in Northern Vietnam. Due to its special location, scenic beauty, and a wide range of tourism spots, the island is known as a must-see place for visitors to the country. Each year, Cat Ba attracts thousands of tourists to come and spend their vacation.
Cat Ba Island
Therefore, when it comes to transportation, some people may think the island itself is a crowded tourist place that is hard to reach. Nonetheless, thanks to the diversity and advancement in means of transport, the question of how to get to Cat Ba Island appears to be addressed. Now, it is a piece of cake on how to get to Cat Ba. You can choose among many ways of transfers, which mainly depends on where you are staying and what you expect.
Usually, for a budget vacation, going by train, or bus may fit the bills; for a more adventurous way, ride a motorbike by yourself; if seeking a completely relaxing trip, you can choose to opt for a Halong Bay cruise. Transportation is extremely diverse and flexible. Besides, two of the most popular ways are Hanoi – Hai Phong – Cat Ba and Hanoi – Ha Long – Cat Ba. These two routes allow you to catch sight of many interesting things during your trip such as magnificent mountains, charming beaches, etc., which will make your vacation more enjoyable. As the off-shore island, Cat Ba gives visitors a sense of excitement right on the way to it. Traveling, sightseeing, and entertaining on the island might be worth-a-try experiences throughout your vacation, and before that, the feeling you get on the way to Cat Ba National Park will be an unforgettable one.
How to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi
It will take you 160km to travel to Cat Ba from Ha Noi. That is quite a long distance, so to get to the island from the city, you will have to divide the journey into small parts and use different means of transport for each one.
Hanoi to Cat Ba by Train and ferry/speedboat
- Travel route: You will have to go through a 133 km train journey from Hanoi to Hai Phong (122 km) and then to Cat Ba (11 km). Usually, when traveling on a Hanoi – Hai Phong train, you will go through Gia Lam, Hai Duong, Phu Thai, and eventually reach Hai Phong city. From Hai Phong, you can take a ferry or speedboat.
- Duration: Generally, it will take you about 3 to 3.5 hours. From Hanoi, many trains offer to bring you to Hai Phong. Each of them departs at a particular time, which is quite convenient and flexible. If you want to reach Hai Phong in the morning, you can choose to opt for train no.HP1, as it departs at 6 am every day. Alternatively, if you’d like to go in the afternoon, train no.LP5 may be a great idea. The train departs from Hanoi station at 5.20 pm. Besides, in the evening, there is train no.LP7 that departs at 6.27 pm. On getting to Hai Phong, Cat Ba ferries/ speedboats are always available for you to take. Usually, there is one every 1 hour.
From Hanoi, you can travel to Hai Phong by train...
...Then take a ferry route to Cat Ba Island
- Price: This is considered the cheapest way as you will have to pay about 2.6 to 4 USD per adult for a train journey and 3 to 9 USD for a speedboat/ ferry route. Also, there are discount policies for children (under 6/ from 6 to 10) and the elderly (over 60).
For Cat Ba Island ferry or speedboat tickets, it is recommended that you buy them directly at the port after reaching Hai Phong city.
If the booking work is quite strange to you, third parties are always available to help you. Usually, it is BestPrice Travel that offers to book tickets for foreign tourists. All you need to do is to contact us and enjoy your vacation.
Pros and Cons
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Hanoi to Cat Ba by bus and ferry/speedboat
Travel route: Traveling by bus, you will be taken through highway 5B and follow the route of Hanoi – Hai Duong – Hai Phong which is about 125 km. After reach arriving at the city, take an 11 km ferry route.
Duration: From any bus station around Ha Noi such as Yen Nghia, Gia Lam, Nuoc Ngam, etc., you can easily take a bus to Hai Phong. These buses include Anh Huy Dat Cang, O Ho, Hoang Long, Hai Au. When traveling by bus, you won't be afraid of being late because there is always one departing every 20 minutes from 5:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m everyday. However, it will take you longer (about 3 hours) to arrive in Hai Phong. If you are seeking a higher standard of tourist service during the trip, you can opt for shuttle buses or limousines as they will only take you 2 to 2.5 hours. On getting to Hai Phong, Cat Ba ferries are always available to take to the island.
Bus Hanoi to Hai Phong
Instead of a ferry, you can take a speedboat to Cat Ba Island
Price: For a local bus, as it now mainly serves the local, the ticket price is pretty low about 3.5 - 4.5 USD per person. Besides, if you choose to travel by shuttle bus or limousine, it can cost you more than 15 - 30 USD per person. Of course, the price tells what you can expect. On a local bus, you can only be provided with a seat option. Also, you will have to share space with many other people during the trip, which is quite inconvenient. Whereas, a shuttle bus or limousine will offer to pick you up at The Old Quarter and provide you with many tourist services. Before you go, just think twice and choose the one that fits the bill. Usually, the speedboat will cost about 9 USD per person. However, if you can easily get seasick, the idea seems to be unsuitable. Instead, you will have to go by ferry at a price of about 3 - 5 USD per person.
Pros and Cons
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Hanoi to Cat Ba by car and ferry/speedboat
Travel route: You can book a taxi or a private car for a quick plus private trip. Usually, a taxi will take you to a 100 km route from Hanoi, through Hai Duong, and eventually Hai Phong.
Duration: A taxi will take you 2 to 2.5 hours to get to Hai Phong. Then, to reach Cat Ba Island, you can spend 1 to 1.5 hours on a ferry or speedboat.
Price: Usually, it will cost you at least 40 USD/person for a taxi to Hai Phong. The prices may vary according to types of car (4-room, 5-room, 7-room, and 16-room). Also, there can be some extra fees during the trip. Though these fees are not much, bring more money with you to avoid undesired situations.
Hanoi to Hai Phong Taxis
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Hanoi to Cat Ba by motorbike and ferry/speedboat
Travel route: If riding a motorbike from Hanoi to Ha Long, you can follow the route of Hanoi – Bac Ninh – Ha Long which is 155 km.
Duration: Usually, it will take you about 3 hours. The schedule is completely up to you
Price: Riding a motorbike will not cost you much as all you need is a motorbike and some essential stuff. The budget is usually up to you.
Hanoi to Cat Ba by motorbike
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By seaplane and cruise
Duration: From Hanoi, a seaplane will take you only 45 minutes to fly through many stunning sceneries. For the cruise, you can choose among day tours, 2 or 3-day tours.
Price: As the way is the most convenient, it can cost you pretty much. Usually, a seaplane will cost you around 350 – 450 USD/one-way/person. The price can vary according to the season, time of day, ... Likewise, you will have to pay from 90 to 900 USD/person for a cruise, which depends on which kind of tour and cruise. However, there are some tour packages and combos available for you to minimize the budget but still have a great vacation.
You can get to know more about the Halong Bay seaplane cruise tour.
Hanoi to Halong Bay Seaplane
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How to get to Cat Ba Island from Halong Bay
Unlike Ha Noi, Ha Long Bay is just 19.6 km to the North East of Cat Ba and considered the neighbor of this island, so it will be a big regret when seeing Ha Long bay but missing the stunning scene of Cat Ba. For those who have plans to enjoy their vacation, a short excursion to Cat Ba will be a great idea. Also, there are plenty of choices offered for you to choose:
|Ferry from Tuan Chau||1 - 1.5 hours||7.30 am, 9 am, 11.30 am, 1.30 pm, 3 pm||$4 pp||Cheapest way; share space with many other peoples, which is quite uncomfortable for those who prefer privacy|
|Speedboat from Bai Chay||20 - 30 minutes||7.15 am, 8.30 am, 10.30 am, 1 pm, 2.30 pm, and 4 pm||$12 pp||Faster & comfortable, seasick should not choose this option, as the high speed will make you tired.|
|Cruise||day trip, 1-night, 2-night ...||Daily from 8:00 AM or 12:00||$90 - $600 pp||most interesting experiences, more enjoyable, best services|
You can learn more about the travel route Halong Bay to Cat Ba Island.
Above are the answers to your question on how to get to Cat Ba island, you can make up your mind to choose one that fits the bill. No matter what choice you choose, in every way, you will experience the peaceful atmosphere of the sea and admire the majestic beauty of the mountain, which will give you a sense of tranquillity.
Duc Anh Tran
Image Source: Internet