Cat Ba Island Vietnam: History, Weather & Best Time to Visit

Cat Ba Island (Vietnamese: Đảo Cát Bà) is the biggest island in Lan Ha Bay and is a home to plenty of hotels, Resorts, Bars and Restaurant. Just about every travel company in Hanoi offers daily tours to the island, attracting travelers looking to enjoy a day of sightseeing during their vacation. The Island is located off the coast of Hai Phong City, its two beaches (named Cat Co 1 & Cat Co 2) are a great place for sunbathing and swimming during the summer time. If you’re not a fan of crowds on the sand beach, you can charter a boat or rent a kayak to go to Monkey Island and Lan Ha Bay, where the beaches are much cleaner and quieter.

Cat Ba Beach

Cat Ba (historically called Cac Ba) Island means "Women’s Island" (Cac meaning 'all' and 'Ba' meaning women). Legend has it that many centuries ago, three women of the Tran Dynasty were killed and their bodies floated all the way to Cat Ba Island. Each body washed up on a different beach and all three were found by local fishermen. The residents of Cat Ba built a temple for each woman, and the island soon became known as Cat Ba.

Cat Ba Island Weather and Climate

Cat Ba Island has a “Humid subtropical, dry winter” climate. The highest temperature is about 30.4°C (86.72°F) and the lowest is about 15.9°C (60.62°F), with an average yearly temperature of 24.2°C (75.48°F). Annual rainfall averages nearly 1708.3 millimetres (67.26 inches).

Historical monthly average weather conditions for Cat Ba Island.


High / Low (°C)



18.9° / 15.9°

8.0 days


19.8° / 16.9°

4.9 days


22.0° / 19.4°

9.3 days


24.8° / 22.1°

11.0 days


28.5° / 25.8°

18.0 days


30.2° / 27.4°

24.3 days


30.4° / 27.5°

26.5 days


30.2° / 27.2°

25.9 days


29.9° / 26.6°

20.3 days


27.5° / 24.0°

11.6 days


24.6° / 21.2°

7.8 days


20.4° / 17.1°

5.5 days


When is the Best Time to Go to Cat Ba Island?

The best time to visit Cat Ba Island is during the summer weather, from April and November, when temperature is warmer. It’s also busy tourist season in Halong Bay, with numerous tour boats stopping on the island. The beaches here can be very crowded with fellow tourists so we recommend you heading there early to find a good spot. Make sure to book accommodation well in advance as hotels are usually pricier this time of the year. For better deals, you visit from September to November as crowds are usually smaller as the climate on the island transitions into monsoon season.

Cat Ba Isalnd

How to Get to Cat Ba Island?

Getting to Cat Ba Island by boat is very easy, as there are plenty of travel agencies in Hanoi that offer one-way or round trips to the island. Priced at about US$18 upwards per person one way, includes hotel pickup in Hanoi by minivan and a speedboat trip to Cat Ba Town. Alternatively, you can buy a local bus ticket from Luong Yen Bus Station, which costs about VND 250,000. After about three-hour bus ride to Hai Phong City, you can board a hydrofoil to Phu Long Pier which takes about 30 minutes. From there, it’s another hour-long local bus ride to the Center of Cat Ba Town.

Cat Ba Island

How and What is the Best Way to Get Around Cat Ba Island?

It is relatively easy to get around Cat Ba Island as motorcycle taxis are very affordable. If you stay near the harbor, you’ll find that many hotels, restaurants, bars and shops are easily accessible on foot or bicycle. Renting a motorcycle is recommended if you’re planning to explore remote areas such as Cat Ba National Parks. Daily fare cost between VND 80,000 and VND 100,000 – just make sure you have to have a valid driver’s license and travel insurance.

Cat BA Island

What is the Best Tourist Attractions on Cat Ba Island?

Cat Ba Island’s expansive beaches are relatively clean although the growing numbers of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tourist facilities. Swimming, snorkeling, trekking/hiking and diving are the most popular things to do on the island. Travelers can enjoy a day of trekking/hiking, caving, and rock-climbing on Cat Ba Island, specifically at Cat Ba National Park. There is also an old Cannon Fort on a hilltop housing several bunkers and rooms filled with Vietnam war remains and propaganda posters.

Cat Ba Island Vietnam

What Food to Eat and Best Restaurants on Cat Ba Island?

Local Seafood is a must-try when you visit Cat Ba Island. There are plenty of local reataurants nearby the ferry terminal, serving a variety of local specialty food such as mantis shrimp, geoduck clam, and oysters at very affordable prices. Alternatively, you can make your way to Nui Ngoc Street to find restaurants that cater mostly to foreign travelers. Local beers cost about VND 15,000 and imported labels are from about VND 45,000.

Cat Ba Restaurant

Some Best Affordable Restaurants that serve Vietnamese, Vegetarian, Indian, Italian Food in Cat Ba Island: Yummy Cat Ba, Green Mango Cat Ba, Buddha Belly Vegetarian Restaurant, Indian Restaurant Ganesh, Mona Restaurant, Casa Bonita Restaurant , My Way Café & Restaurant , Anh Nguyet Restaurant , Full Moon Restaurant , Quan Cat Ba Family Restaurant.

How is the Nightlife Activities on Cat Ba Island?

Nightlife Activities is understandably limited on Cat Ba Island as it is well-known for rest and relaxation. However, there are several best local and expat-owned bars, Clubs and bistros in the main town, where you can still enjoy drinks and live music until late.

Cat Ba Night Life

Some of the Best Bars and Pubs for Night Activities like: Rose Club Cat Ba, The Cat Bar, Cat Ba Sky Bar, Cat Ba Oasis Bar & Restaurant, Lan Ha Sky Bar, Wyndham Grand Cat Ba Sky Lounge, Quiri Pub Cocktail & Restaurant, Marigold Karaoke Cát Bà, The BigMan, Marigold Restaurant Cat Ba, Tiep Xi Draft Beer, Biển Xanh Beer Club, Mojito King, Casa Bonita, Sea Pearl Hotel Cat Ba, LoHi Sky Lounge,

Adventure Journey

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Cat Ba Island Vietnam: History, Weather & Best Time to Visit Cat Ba Island Vietnam: History, Weather & Best Time to Visit

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