This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Cat Ba Island. To help you make friends with Cat Ba Island before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Cat Ba Island, located in the northeast part of Vietnam, just west of Ha Long Bay, is the largest island in the archipelago; the main town on the island is Cat Ba Town and that's where you'll find a lot of the hostels. Cat Ba Island is just over one hundred kilometers away from Hanoi. It's a great alternative to getting a hostel in Ha Long Bay, as you can avoid part of the crowds from Hanoi.
In Cat Ba Town, you can find the main tourist spot on the island, including the most lively street on the waterfront, full of budget accommodation, restaurants, massage shops, and karaoke clubs. A few meters to the east, you will find the pier with some nice floating restaurants. While you are here, you can also enjoy a little bit of beach, so head to Cat Co 2, where is also possible to spend a night sleeping on the beach. This is a quiet beach and it's less than twenty minutes walking from Cat Ba Town to reach it. Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 3 are also beaches near the town. About half of Cat Ba Island is a national park that's really nice to explore, but get good advice and think about hiring a local guide as there are some stories of people getting lost in the park for a couple of days.
The only way to arrive in Cat Ba Island is by boat; it's thirty minutes' ride from the pier to get to Cat Ba Town. There are a few hostels in Cat Ba Island but in summer months, the area gets busy -– mostly with Vietnamese tourists -– so book in advance. Cat Ba Island hostels are concentrated along the waterfront in Cat Ba Town and have all the facilities you need.
Written by local enthusiast for Cat Ba Island hostelsCoffeeMarks