Planning the Ultimate 3-Day Trip to Cat Ba Island: A Comprehensive Guide

Hey there, fellow travelers! It’s Luffy Hoang Nguyen from Catba Local. If you’re looking to explore the stunning Cat Ba Island for three days and two nights, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, I’ll help you plan your trip, from transportation to accommodation, and outline the perfect itinerary for an unforgettable adventure.

Getting to Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is easily accessible from several popular spots in Vietnam. Here’s how you can get here: 
Plus 😉
, you can book your transportation directly here!!

  1. From Hanoi:
  • Bus: Direct buses from Hanoi to Cat Ba are available. Companies like Good Morning Cat Ba offer direct bus services that include the ferry crossing (generally changing the bus and going through by speedboat so that you do not have to wait for the ferry), and on the bus will be a “bus guide” with you making the journey hassle-free. Buses usually depart in the morning and take about 4-5 hours.Lịch tàu cao tốc Đình Vũ Cát Bà Giá vé cập nhật chi tiết
  1. From Halong:
  • Ferry: If you’re already in Halong, take a ferry from Tuan Chau Island to Gia Luan Pier on Cat Ba Island. The ferry ride offers scenic views of the bay and takes about an hour.
  1. From Ninh Binh:
  • Bus: Direct buses from Ninh Binh to Cat Ba are available. These typically take about 4-5 hours, including the ferry crossing.
  1. From Sapa:
  • Night Bus: Night buses from Sapa to Cat Ba allow you to travel overnight, arriving early in the morning. This option maximizes your time on the island.
  1. From Ha Giang:
  • Night Bus: Similar to Sapa, night buses from Ha Giang bring you to Cat Ba early in the morning, giving you a full day to explore. 
  1. From Hai Phong (Cat Bi Airport):
  • Taxi or Shuttle: International travelers, especially from Korea, can fly directly to Cat Bi Airport in Hai Phong. From there, it’s a short taxi or shuttle ride to the ferry terminal, followed by a quick ferry ride to Cat Ba.

Where to Stay on Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba offers a range of accommodation options to suit different types of travelers:

  1. Homestays:
  • Blue lagoon Catba: Experience local hospitality and culture. Ideal for budget travelers and those looking for a more authentic experience. Also the coffee there is superb 😉 !
  • Cat Ba Spring Garden Homestay:
    With sea views, Cat Ba Spring Garden Homestay is situated in Cat Ba and has a restaurant, room service, bar, garden, year-round outdoor pool and terrace. Both WiFi and private parking are accessible at the lodge free of charge. Thư viện ảnh của chỗ nghỉ này
  • Lan Ha Floating Homestay: Situated in Cat Ba, Lan Ha Floating Homestay offers beachfront accommodation 1.4 km from Monkey Island Beach and provides various facilities, such as a private beach area, a garden and a bar.Gallery image of this property
  1. Hostels:
  • Oversleep Hostel: A great option for backpackers, offering affordable dorm rooms and a lively atmosphere, and located right in Nui Ngoc Street, at the heart of the townThe Oversleep Catba Hostel, Cat Ba – Updated 2024 Prices
  • Republic Hostel: Known for its vibrant social scene, perfect for those looking to meet fellow travelers. There are also a swimming pool and other amenities on the hostel as wellRepublic Hostel Cat Ba
  1. Hotels:
  • Cat Ba Xanh: Cat Ba Xanh Spring Garden Hotel provides concierge services, allergy-free rooms, a garden, free WiFi throughout the property and a terrace. This 2-star hotel offers room service and a 24-hour front desk. The property has an ATM, a tour desk and currency exchange for guests.Gallery image of this property
  • Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa: A luxurious option with stunning views, offering amenities like pools and spas.
  • M Gallery: Located near Cat Co 3 beach, this resort provides a unique and secluded experience.
    Hôtel Perle d'Orient Cat Ba - MGallery - ALL
  1. Floating Homestays:
  • Lan Ha Floating Homestay: Situated in Cat Ba, Lan Ha Floating Homestay offers beachfront accommodation 1.4 km from Monkey Island Beach and provides various facilities, such as a private beach area, a garden and a bar.Gallery image of this property

Itinerary for 3 Days and 2 Nights

Day 1: Arrival and Exploration

  • Morning Arrival: If you’re coming from Sapa, Ha Giang, or Hai Phong, you’ll likely arrive in the morning.
  • Activity: Join a full-day boat tour of Lan Ha Bay. This tour includes kayaking, swimming, and exploring hidden lagoons and beaches. Enjoy a delicious lunch on board and take in the stunning scenery.

  • Afternoon Arrival: For those arriving from Hanoi or Ninh Binh in the afternoon, spend your first day exploring Cat Ba Town. Walk around, visit the local market, and get a feel for the island.
  • Evening: Book the glowing plankton tour, starting at 4 pm. Witness the magical bioluminescence of the plankton as they light up the water, creating a surreal experience.

Day 2: Adventure and Relaxation

  • Morning: Head to Cat Ba National Park for a hike. The park offers several trails, including a trek to the summit of Ngu Lam Peak, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island.

  • Activity: Alternatively, join Langur’s Adventure for deep water solo and rock climbing. Cat Ba’s limestone cliffs provide perfect conditions for these thrilling activities.
  • Afternoon: Visit Viet Hai Village. Take a boat or hike through the national park to this remote village. Explore the traditional Vietnamese way of life and enjoy the serene environment.

  • Evening: Relax at your accommodation. If you’re staying in a floating homestay, enjoy the unique experience of being on the water. Alternatively, unwind at one of the local restaurants or bars in Cat Ba Town.
    Lan Ha Floating Homestay, Đảo Cát Bà – Cập nhật Giá năm 2024

Day 3: Final Explorations and Departure

  • Morning: Take a leisurely walk along the beaches or explore the coastal areas. Enjoy the calm morning atmosphere and perhaps take a swim.
    Also the rock trail are awesome!
  • Activity: If you haven’t already, visit the Hospital Cave, a historical site that served as a secret, bomb-proof hospital during the Vietnam War.
  • Afternoon: Depending on your departure time, you can either relax at your accommodation or explore more of the island. Make sure to savor a final meal at a local restaurant before you leave.
  • Activity: Depart from Cat Ba in the late afternoon. Buses to your next destination, whether it’s Ha Giang, Sapa, or Ninh Binh, are available. Catba Local offers discounts on bus tickets if you book a tour with us, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

Best Times to Visit Cat Ba Island

Summer (June to August):

  • Pros: Enjoy fireflies at night, clear blue skies, and swimming with non-stinging jellyfish. The vibrant atmosphere with local tourists adds to the experience.
  • Cons: Higher accommodation prices and crowded transportation.

Fall (September to December):

  • Pros: Cooler temperatures, less crowded, clear blue skies. Perfect for hiking and outdoor activities.
  • Cons: Occasional rain, especially in September.

Winter (January to March):

  • Pros: Experience traditional festivals and cultural events. Less crowded, making it ideal for a peaceful visit.
  • Cons: Cooler temperatures and fewer water activities.

Tips for a Great Visit

  1. Book in Advance: Especially during peak seasons, booking your accommodation and tours in advance ensures you get the best options.
  2. Respect Local Customs: Be mindful of the local fishing communities and their way of life.
  3. Stay Hydrated: The tropical climate can be dehydrating, so always carry water with you.
  4. Hire a Local Guide: To enhance your experience, consider hiring a local guide who can provide insights into the island’s history and culture.

Post-Cat Ba Travel Options

After your visit to Cat Ba, consider heading to your next destination without returning to Hanoi! You can check bus schedule & book  here, and below are the common route:

  • Ha Giang: Known for its stunning mountainous landscapes and ethnic minority cultures.
  • Sapa: Famous for its terraced rice fields and vibrant ethnic communities.
  • Ninh Binh: Often referred to as “Halong Bay on land,” it offers breathtaking karst landscapes and historical sites.

Catba Local’s integrated system ensures excellent service, providing seamless travel experiences and discounts on transportation when you book tours with us.


Cat Ba Island offers a perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. With this guide, you’re ready to plan a memorable 3-day trip. We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful Cat Ba Island! 
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Most frequent asked questions

By choosing Cat Ba Local, you are not just booking a tour; you are investing in an authentic, hassle-free, and enriching travel experience led by locals who are passionate about sharing the beauty and culture of their homeland. Here are the key reasons:

1. Authentic experience
Our tour guides possess a unique understanding of indigenous cultures and the local history. Their deep knowledge and passion for the region ensure that you get an authentic and immersive experience. By booking with Cat Ba Local, you gain access to hidden gems and local secrets that typical tours might miss. Our guides are locals themselves, offering the warm of a family and and sincerity that make you feel at home while discover new perspectives of life.

2. A seamless experience
We keep our high standard for all of your touchpoints. We partner with the best service possible for any need of yours, from transportation, accommodations , and best restaurant for all destinaions. This guarantees a reliable and seamless experience for you.

3. Convenience and Time Saving
We handle all the arrangements, from flights and hotels to transfers and activities. This saves you significant time and effort, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vacation without the stress of planning. With everything pre-arranged, you can avoid the hassle of contacting multiple service providers. Our streamlined process ensures a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

4. Socialize Opportunities
Our tours are designed to foster social interaction, allowing you to meet and connect with people who share your interests. Whether you prefer family-friendly tours or adult-only experiences, we have options that cater to your social preferences.

5. Best Price Guarantees
By having an excellent logistic chain, we deliver you the best experience in a price that
We offer competitive pricing due to our ability to bulk buy package deals, passing the savings onto you. This allows you to enjoy a cost-effective travel experience without compromising on quality. Our packages often include all meals and trips, reducing uncertainty about additional costs. This helps you budget accurately for your trip, avoiding any unexpected expenses.

Travel with Local Experts” it is about the authentic local experience that make us different.

Our tour guides are natives with an intimate knowledge of the local culture, history, and landscapes. This local insight ensures that you experience the true essence of Cat Ba, beyond the typical tourist spots.
They also share unique perspectives; personal stories and cultural nuances that you won’t find in guidebooks, offering a deeper understanding of the region. One more thing, you will have a playful local friend after the trip.

Yes, we always trike towards to give you the best possible exprience contact us to design your vacation together for free

Yes, our tours are designed to be suitable for both children and older adults. We have several special offers for children as follows:
– Infants (under 2 years old): Free
– Kids (From 2 to 4 years old): just must to pay 25% tour value
– Child (From 5 to 9 years old): just must to pay 50% tour value
– Teenagers (From 10 to 13 years old): just must to pay 75% tour value

We are ready to provide special diets that suit your needs if you inform us when booking your tour. Most of our meals include seafood and local cuisine, so if you are vegetarian or have any allergies, please let us know in advance. This way, we can ensure your dietary requirements are met throughout your journey.

You have 2 options to pay: Online & Offline
For your convenience, we offer multiple payment options. You can pay in cash or by credit card (with a 3% service charge). Alternatively, you can use applications like PayPal or WISE, and we will cover the service fees for these apps – less fees transfer.
Please let us know your preferred payment method. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out.

In the event of weather-related issues, such as storms or heavy rain preventing boats from setting sail, we have the following policies:

– If the tour needs to be rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions and you’re still on Cat Ba Island during the rescheduled period, we will postpone the tour to the following day. If you’re no longer on Cat Ba Island during the rescheduled period, we will provide a full refund of the tour cost if you’ve already made payment.

– In the case of unexpected events originating from guests: If you cancel before 7 days prior to the tour, you are eligible for a refund. If you cancel 5 days before the tour, we will refund 80% of the deposit; if you cancel within 3 days, a 50% refund will be provided. Cancellations made after this period will result in forfeiture of the deposit.

In other special cases, our customer service department will provide individualized support to guests.

No, accommodations are not included in the experiential tours. However, our sales staff will assist you in booking accommodations if you provide them with clear descriptions of your room preferences, budget, and other requirements. Additionally, you will receive a discount voucher for accommodations when booking our experiential tours.

No, international flights are not part of the experiential tour package. However, our sales team will aid you in arranging international flights upon receiving clear descriptions from you.