Cat Ba town is not only an administrative, economic and social centre but also a tourism centre of Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city. The town has a total population of 12,000 people, and an area of 335.93 ha, with about 314 hotels, and resorts; 117 households having rooms for rent during the peak season. The number of restaurants serving tourists is 70 restaurants. The number of cruise ships for the day and overnight boat is 156. In 2019, Cat Ba town welcomes more than 2.8 million visitors including both domestic and international visitors.
Cat Ba is a small town, but there are a lot of things for you to do. You just relax on the beach, climb the Canon Fort to enjoy the sunset or sunrise, or shop in the market, try delicious seafood in the best restaurant. If you are interested in history, come to visit Monument to Heroes and Martyrs in Nui Ngoc. If you do not have plenty of time for all, the below are the top 3 things you should not miss when you are in Cat Ba town
Cat Ba Town
Clusters Cat Co beaches (Cat Co 1, 2, 3) are a mere 5 to 10 minutes walk from the main town of Cat Ba, making it become the familiar address of tourists when they want to immerse in the romantic and charming natural scenery in Cat Ba town. Three beaches have things in common: they are not too large, surrounded by the clear blue sea, calm and windy waves. These three beaches are connected by a small path along the mountain. Cat Co Beach 1 is the most beautiful, surrounded by mountains, waves all year round, with fresh air and clear water, where many visitors come to rest and sunbathe. Cat Co Beach 2 is peaceful and quite mysterious, it is narrower and more secluded. Cat Co Beach 3 is owned by Cat Ba sunrise resort, which has a bar and array of sun loungers for hire across the curved shore. The beach is small but it is good to avoid peak hours, ideal for swimming in the deep sea, resting and eating.
Cat Ba market is a short walk from the center of Cat Ba town. The market is divided into 3 main areas: seafood market, vegetable market, and meat market. Coming here, you will be able to find specialities of Cat Ba here such as dried squid, Cat Hai fish sauce, Mantis shrimp…as well as find good food or souvenirs in the food court, souvenir shops, clothing departments… The seafood here is very fresh, diverse, and abundant with many types from small to big. This market opens from early morning when fishing boats dock at the port and transfer all seafood caught to the market to serve the needs of people until late at night. Visiting the market, you will experience the very simple and intimate life of the locals and love the land and people here more.
For one of the best views in Vietnam, head to Cannon Fort, which is about 177 m above the small town, built by the Japanese during World War II. To reach the peak of Cannon Fort, you need to walk about 10 minutes from Cat Ba town, or take around 15000 VND motor-taxi, climb about 20 minutes to the fort. When on the fort, you will be able to see gorgeous karsts of Halong bay and Lan Ha bay dotted the horizon, green island blended together resembling a lush mountain range, fishing boat rocked in the waves down below, tiny but bright amidst green islands Cat Ba town…
Cannon Fort Cat Ba
By Ferry: It is easy to get to Cat Ba from Hai Phong by taking the hydrofoil at Binh pier. It takes 45 minutes to get to the centre of Cat Ba.
By road: From Hai Phong city, follow the highway to Dinh Vu and continue to Cat Hai island on the new bridge. From the Got pier, you can either take the ferry to Cat Ba island or use the cable cars to Phu Long.
By bus: There are many buses departing from Hanoi Old Quarter to Cat Ba town such as Good Morning Cat Ba, Cat Ba Express, Daiichi Travel, Full Moon, Cat Ba Discovery, etc. All of the buses are equipped with comfortable seats, water, and wet tissues. The earliest bus starts at 7:30 AM, and the latest is between 2:00 PM to 2:30 P.M. The bus runs on the Hanoi- Hai Phong Highway to Got pier in Hai Phong, then get on the speedboat Cai Vieng harbors in Cat Ba. From Cai Vieng, you will continue using the bus to Cat Ba town.
By train: Take a 2.5-hour train from Hanoi to Haiphong train station. Then you can follow our instruction of how to travel from Haiphong to Cat Ba town. Traveling by train is great for those who want to experience local life.
You can take a 45-minute ferry trip from Tuan Chau (Quang Ninh province) to Gia Luan. Then get yourself a transfer to the centre of the town for about 20 minutes. Please note that the last ferry leaves Tuan Chau at 3.00 PM.
Hotel Perle d'Orient Cat Ba by Mgallery is the newly-operated 5-star hotel since May 2020, nestled between towering limestone karsts and lush island mountains at the less busy beach of Cat Co 3. As a member of the MGallery collection, it features over 120 well-equipped Indochine -styled rooms and suites, signature restaurants, bars, banquet venues, and a wellness center. The hotel provides its guests with sublimes views of Lan Ha Bay and the nearby Cat Ba National Park.
Address: Cat Co 3 Beach Cat Ba Town, Hai Phong
Flamingo Cat Ba Beach is a 5 stars’ beachfront resort nestled on the most stunning beach in Cat Ba. The Flamingo Cat Ba complex with over 1000 sky villas connected by a skywalk offers a panoramic view over Lan Ha Bay. It features various facilities, such as a restaurant, a fitness center, a bar, a private beach area, an outdoor pool. Popular points of interest near Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort include Cannon Fort, Cat Ba Ferry Station, and Ben Beo Harbour. The nearest airport is Cat Bi International, 36 km from the resort, and you can easily order the airport shuttle service provided by the resort.
Address: Cat Co 2 Beach, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai, Haiphong
With 165 spacious guest rooms and suites and a well-appointed ocean view, Cat Ba Island resort is a retreat with island-inspired decor and contemporary comforts. Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa is a 4 stars beachfront accommodation, located 500m from Cat Ba town center. The resort has 2 outdoor swimming pools, an on-site dining option, and a private beach area on Cat Co 1. Tourists staying in this resort can enjoy various spa treatments, many other facilities such as tennis court, games room, and children’s playground, chilling out at Pirate Bar with choices of refreshing cocktails and drinks…
Address: Cat Co 1 Beach, Cat Ba Town, Cat Hai, Hai Phong.
Nestled in a sandy cove, Cat Ba Sunrise Resort is a secluded and luxurious island retreat. Visitors can explore the diverse fishing community of Catba Town just a short walk away, or take a tour to the must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a relaxing evening, you can take a stroll on Cat Co Beach with clear blue water and golden sand. Rooms at Cat Ba Sunrise provide views of the sea, pool, or garden. Guests at the resort can enjoy a full-service spa with an outdoor pool, try both international and Asian dishes, as well as a long wine list in an outdoor setting.
Address: Cat Co 3 Beach, Cat Ba Town, Hai Phong.
Hung Long harbor hotel is 3 stars’ waterfront hotel. Rooms in the hotel have oversized windows and scenic views, with backdrop tropical hillsides. From the hotel, tourists can explore the scenic beauty of Cat Ba on a bike. Harbour Restaurant in the hotel serves Asian and Western cuisine both indoor and outdoor. You can enjoy cocktails at the bar after the meal. Staffs at the hotel always try to make guests feel comfortable.
Address: No. 268 1-4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Hai Phong City.
When in Cat Ba town, a marine tourist area, do not forget to try the delicious dishes and famous specialities in Lan Ha Bay such as lobster, sea crab, seaweed, mussels at different types. Below are some recommendations for the best restaurants in Cat Ba town.
The restaurant has a varied menu and caters for vegans and vegetarians. Although the price may be slightly higher than others, it is a really good, quiet and high-quality restaurant. The restaurant serves both European dishes and Vietnamese dishes. Pho seafood and cocktail are highly recommended.
Add: No 236, 1 April Street, Cat Ba town, Vietnam.
Yummy restaurant is a great place to enjoy seafood and it concentrates on Asian food, especially Vietnamese food such as Pho, Fried Rice, Salads, Spring rolls, and other fresh seafood dishes in Cat Ba. The price is reasonable, the food is good and the location is great.
Add: No 180, Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba town, Vietnam.
Quan Cat Ba restaurant provides excellent value at an affordable price. It has a good location with a great view of the Bay. The restaurant serves Vietnamese, Asian foods, and fresh seafood dishes from breakfast to late dinner. When in the restaurant, try noodles.
Add: No 195, 1 April Street, Cat Ba town, Vietnam
My Way Café & Restaurant is an open-air place with a beautiful view of the Bay. The menu includes Asia to Europe dishes, Pizza, and delicious coffee, there is no traditional Vietnamese food. The restaurant has options for Vegan foods and serves all day from breakfast to late dinner.
Add: No 184, 1 April Street, Cat Ba town, Vietnam.
(Image source: Internet)