Halong Bay – a natural wonder and Cat Ba Island – an UNESCO world heritage are two attractive places to visit.
Cat Ba Island is the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago and is one of the only populated islands in Halong Bay. Fresh climate, average temperature of only 25 degrees Celsius, a lot of beautiful beaches and primeval forests make Cat Ba Island a wonderful destination for those who love to not only relax but explore as well.
Halong Bay is a famous tourist destination of Vietnam, located in the Northeast sea of Vietnam. With thousands of wonderful islands, Halong Bay has been recognized as a natural heritage of the world. Halong tourism has the advantage of beautiful scenery that attracts domestic and international tourists.
There are a lot of ways to travel to Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island as following:
From Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba island is one of the most attractive destinations in the northern Vietnam to spend time during holidays or weekends. Nomarlly, the Vietnamese visit Cat Ba Island in the summers while the foreigners prefer to visit in the winters (between November and March).
There are many ways to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island:
Bus and boat
Tourists can take the bus from Gia Lam or Ha Dong bus station to Hai Phong city. Otherwise, visitors could take Hoang Long bus with the ticket fee of 230,000 VND/adult/way, approx. 9.2 USD/adult/way (except for children under 120 cm) or Cat Ba Express with the ticket fee of 275,000 VND/adult/way, approx. 11 USD/adult/way to Hai Phong city. After reaching Hai Phong city, visitors will take speed boat to Cat Ba town for more convenience. The prices above of Hoang Long and Cat Ba Express include bus and speed boat service.
Bus contact and schedule:
• Hoang Long bus:
Contact: 28 Tran Nhat Duat, Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi – 0243 9282828.
Schedule: 07:30 am, 11:30 am.
• Cat Ba Express:
Contact: 37B Nguyen Huu Huan, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi – 01248.244.999.
Schedule: 07:30 am, 10:45 am, 14:00 pm.
Train and boat
Another option to travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island is by train and boat. Visitors could buy train ticket directly from Long Bien train station or purchase online via Vietnam Railways official website (dsvn.vn) from Hanoi to Hai Phong city. The train ticket is 65,000 VND/person/way (approx. 3 USD). It takes nearly 3 hours from Hanoi to Hai Phong city, with the departure time is 08:25 am, 09:17 am, 15:20 pm and 18:15pm.
From Hai Phong train station, visitors could take 2 minute taxi ride or 15 minute walk to the Binh pier to get hydrofoil to Cat Ba Island. The hydrofoil ticket is 200,000 VND/person (approx. 7.5 USD).
Private van and hydrofoil
Travelling from Hanoi city to Cat Ba Island by private van is suitable for family. The private van could pick up tourists anywhere in Hanoi such as hotel, airport, station… then depart to Hai Phong city. After arriving Binh pier in Hai Phong city, tourists will connect with a hydrofoil to get to Cat Ba Island.
The price for travelling by private will be much higher than usual transportation. It costs about 80 USD (nearly 2,000,000 VND) for a 4-seat car but it’s much more convenient than other transportations.
From Halong to Cat Ba Island
Passenger could take the following route to Cat Ba Island: Taking taxi from Bai Chay pier to Tuan Chau Island with the fee of 130,000 VND (approx. 6 USD) – catching ferry from Tuan Chau Island to Gia Luan pier with the fee of 80,000 VND per guest (3.2 USD) – catching public pus from Gia Luan pier to Cat Ba town with the fee of 20,000 VND (1 USD).
Ferry follows Tuan Chau Island – Gia Luan (Cat Ba) route. If you go to Cat Ba beach, you have to follow the 30-km-road on the island through Cat Ba National Park gate, via Trung Trang cave, Quan Y cave… to Cat Ba town.
Tuan Chau – Cat Ba ferry has 5-7 trips (45 minutes per trip). The ferry is well-equiped to ensure safety for each trip.
Ferry departure time is 07:00 am, 09:00 am, 11:30 am, 13:30 pm and 15:00 pm in high season and 08:00 am, 11:30 am and 15:00 pm in low season.
A lot of the young prefer to travel by motobikes to experience the adventure. The route could start from Tuan Chau Island to Gia Luan pier through the center of Cat Ba Island. The ticket price for the ferry from Gia Luan pier to the island is 80,000 VND per guest (3.2 USD) and 90,000 VND per guest with motobike (3.6 USD). The cost for renting motobike is about 5 USD per day. Prices will fluctuate upon the seasons. Don’t pay more than 50,000 VND (2 USD) for a 1.5 liter bottle of petrol, which can be bought in some of the small towns as well as near the port area. You can receive a photocopied map of the island which will help you with planning from the motobike rentee.
From Cat Ba Island to Halong
Visitors could take the ferry from Gia Luan pier to Tuan Chau Island, then take the taxi from Tuan Chau Island to Bai Chay pier. Bus service is available from Cat Ba town to Gia Luan pier with the price of 15,000 VND (nearly 1 USD). The bus depature time is between 6:50 am and 16:15 pm every 20 minutue. In addition, from February, 2017 to March, 2020, there is free EV bus service on route 13 and 14 from Cat Ba town to Gia Luan pier with the depature time between 6:30 am to 18:30 pm daily. T he free bus service is one of the key projects by Hai Phong People’s Committee in cooperation with Kitakyushu city, Japan. Moreover, visitors could book 4-16 seat private car with the price of 25-40 USD for travelling from the town to the pier.
The ferry ticket from Gia Luan pier to Tuan Chau island will cost 80,000 VND per guest (3.2 USD). The depature time is 09:00 am, 11:30 am, 13:00 pm, 15:00 pm and 16:00 pm in peak season and 09:00 am, 13:00 pm and 16:00 pm in low season.
From Hai Phong city to Cat Ba Island
It is easy to travel from Hai Phong city to Cat Ba Island by hydrofoil or speed boat. Visitors could purchase ticket at Binh pier to the island.
The hydrofoil schedule is 09:00 am, 09:30 am with the ticket price varies between 180,000 VND – 200,000 VND/adult/way (approx. 8 – 8.8 USD). Children under 5 can get the free trip to the island.
Hydrofoil depature time: 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 13:00 pm, 15:00 pm and 16:00pm.
Be aware of anyone at Binh pier who tries to sell a trip to Cat Ba Island that doesn’t have a legitimate stand, you might get a ticket for a boat at another harbor.
By Speed boat
There are a lot of speed boat company options for visitors to travel from Binh pier to Cat Ba Island such as Mekong Hoang Yen, Cat Ba Island resort and spa and Hadeco.
Mekong Hoang Yen
Visitors could take speed boat from Binh pier to Cai Vieng, then take the bus from Cai Vieng to Cat Ba Island.
Speed boat depature time is 08:45 am.
Cat Ba Island resort and spa
Take direct route from Binh pier to Cat Ba Island.
Speed boat depature time is 09:00 am, 13:00 pm and 16:00 pm.
Take the same route as Mekong Hoang Yen company (Binh pier – Cai Vieng – Cat Ba Island)
Speed boat depature time: 7:00 am, 08:00 am, 10:00 am, 13:00 pm, 15:00 pm and 16:00 pm.
Bus depature time: 07:45 am, 08:45 am, 10:45 am, 13:45 pm, 15:45 pm and 16:45 pm.
The speed boat by these company costs 240,000 VND/adult/way (approx. 11 USD).
If travelers want to save money, they can choose Hoang Long company (depature time is 09:00 am and 14:30 pm) or Thong Nhat company (depature time is 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm). The boat varies from 110,000 to 120,000 VND/adult/way (approx. 5 – 6 USD).
From Cat Ba Island to Hai Phong city
The hydrofoil schedule is 14:00 pm and 16:00 pm with the ticket price varies between 180,000 VND – 200,000 VND/adult/way (approx. 8 – 8.8 USD). Children under 5 can get the free trip to the island.
Hydrofoil depature time: 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 13:00 pm, 14:10 pm and 16:00 pm.
Visitors will have various options of speed boat companies to travel from Cat Ba Island to Hai Phong city. Mekong Hoang Yen, and Hadeco are top choices for passengers to get the bus from Cat Ba to Cai Vieng, then from Cai Vieng to Binh pier, Hai Phong city.
• Mekong Hoang Yen
Speed boat depature time: 08:45 am
• Hadeco boat
Bus depature time from Cat Ba to Cai Vieng: 7:00 am, 08:00 am, 10:00 am, 13:00 pm, 15:00 pm and 16:00 pm.
Speed boat depature time: 07:45 am, 08:45 am, 10:45 am, 13:45 pm, 15:45 pm and 16:45 pm.
If visitors take the boat through Cat Ba Island resort and spa, they can go straight from Cat Ba to Binh pier, Hai Phong city. The depature time by this company is 09:00 am, 13:00 pm and 16:00 pm.
The speed boat by these companies above costs 240,000 VND/adult/way (approx. 11 USD).
In additions, visitors could take the bus from Binh pier to Dinh Vu pier to get to Cat Ba by speed boat through Hoang Long company. The speed boat depature time is 09:00 am and 14:00 pm and costs 120,000 VND/adult/way (more than 5 USD).