The bay's admission fee is often incorporated into the cost of tours.
Well-labelled paths guide visitors past underground tunnels, and two well-preserved gun emplacements (one ‘manned’ by life-size Viet Minh mannequins), out to two viewpoints overlooking the island. There's even a cafe (with more great views from its terrace) and a tiny museum.
The tunnels and gun emplacements here were first installed by the Japanese in WWII, but were also utilised by the French and Vietnamese during subsequent conflicts.
Army Hospital Cave
Cat Ba Island was actually once a fairly strategic lookout point during the war (hence Cannon Fort), but that also meant there was a lot of bombing around the place. This led to the construction of Hospital Cave. If it isn’t clear, those nifty Vietnamese built themselves a hospital… In a cave! Ingenious. It’s quite impressive how it’s done, however, there’s little to explain things if you go in without a guide. Without a guide, you’ll essentially be wandering through a multi-level cave building with a whole heap of empty rooms. Get a guide guys (you’ll get offers at the entrance).
The cave is located on the same road out to the national park, so getting there can be tricky. You’ll be paying 20,000 VND to get in.
Itinerary of Alova Gold Cruises pay a visit to this Army Hospital Cave.
Cat Ba Beaches
The first beach is called Cat Co 3 -- you can reach it by following the harbour road west until it ends, and then going over the headland (if you’re on a motorbike, they’ll charge you 5,000 VND to park it at the base). Here you’ll find Sunrise Resort, but the beach in front of it is open to the public.
→ Tung Thu beach.
With the amenities looking downtrodden, obviously Tung Thu Beach isn’t on any of the tourist maps. There were only a few locals when we went there. No motorbike parking fees, no touts, no crowds. The downside to being an abandoned beach is that no one picks up the trash. There were a few here and there, but not enough to mar the experience. It’s still a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of town.
The best way to get to Tung Thu Beach is by motorbike, as the electric buggies don’t venture out there. One can easily rent a motorbike anywhere for a few bucks a day. I can’t remember the exact way we got there, only that we headed west from town, entered the seemingly abandoned Cat Ba Amatina area, and rode toward the shore until we saw the welcome arch
→ Ba Trai Dao Beach
Much of Halong Bay’s landscape has some kind of folklore or legend attached, and indeed Ba Trai Dao Beach is no different. The tale goes that a fairy from heaven came down to this island where she fell in love with a fisherman. As a symbol of her love, she brought the fisherman a gift of three peaches straight from heaven. If he ate them, these peaches would give him eternal life, and therefore they could spend the rest of eternity together. However, when the King of the Heavens discovered that she has taken the peaches and given them to a mortal, he turned them to stone and recalled the fairy back from earth.
→ Nam Cat Beach
Nam Cat Island is a nice island located 1.3 miles from Cat Ba town. The beach here is small beach in large island of Lan Ha bay, while has many more beaches around Cat Ba Island. The sea water is so clean and emerald, the climate here is wonderful and nature are so beautiful island. In addition to the above main beach, visitors can rent a boat to visit Lan Ha Bay and had to shower at the beach in the islands in the Bay of Islands as Van Boi beach, or Ba Trai Dao beautiful beaches.
→ Monkey Island beach
Monkey Island is a small island located 2km from Cat Ba town. Beach is approximately 1 km in length, located on Monkey Island and beaches called the Pineapple Cat. This is really beautiful beach of Lan Ha Bay. Here, new visitors really feel the beach in Gulf by sea in this absolutely clear and clean. To reach Monkey Island, tourists traveling from station Beo boat, Cat Ba town about 2 km. In fact, at Monkey Island has a smaller beach called Pineapple beach. This beach is mainly for high-end tourists including visitors and international tourists Vietnam. It offers resort -style Resort - Monkey Island Resort with the traditional housing (thatch, bamboo, leaves). If you do not want loud, this is the ideal destination of Cat Ba Island.
→ Cat Ong Beach Cottage
Ocean Beach Resort is an eco-resort built along the private beach area on Cat Ong Island. It features mixed-dormitory bungalows as well as standard double rooms.
Made with all-natural materials, the fan-cooled bungalows are either mixed-dormitories with bunk beds, or standard rooms with queen-sized bedding. All en suite bathrooms are fitted with a shower. Fresh linen and towels are provided.
The property provides complimentary pick-up and drop-off services between Cat Ong Beach Cottages and Cat Ba town for a maximum of 6 guests.
Kayak Lan Ha Bay
Kayaking is one of the must-do activities when you visit Cat Ba. Due to the sheltered nature of the bay, the water remains calm and effortless to glide atop. Take the time to relax and refuel after kayaking at one of the remote beaches.
You can continue your journey to fishing villages and dive to see coral reefs with snorkels (inexpensive) or an oxygen tank (1-1.5 million/person.) Note: You can choose either rent a kayak or book a one-day tour of kayaking and diving with oxygen tank.
Renting a kayak is more suitable for those who fancy aimless exploration or searching for hidden gems. Booking a tour on the other hand, can take you to the most famous and beautiful spots in the bay as a base for sightseeing and kayaking. In addition to diving, a lunch is provided for the price of 500,000 VND
Sunset at Cannon Fort
Sunsets are always a mystical experience worth admiration and nothing short of this can be found at Cannon Fort. Watch the sun as it descends into the ocean, illuminating the scattered islands in an electrifying light.
Besides dried squid and groupers, Cat Ba is also famous for other sea food such as Mantis shrimp, octopus, blue swimmer crab, molluscs, scallop, oyster which you should try once in your life. However, note that the price with get the peak in summer for it’s the tourism season. You should ask for the price before you buy sea food. It will be joyful to have a BBQ on the beach with your friends and family.
Cat Ba Island Market
The market at the northern end of Cat Ba Town's harbour is a scruffy local affair with twitching crabs, jumbo shrimp and pyramids of fresh fruit.
For a cheap and cheerful night out, not to mention pretty great views of Cat Ba Town's harbour, head to this strip of open-air bia hoi (draught beer) stalls. You have options: Hanoi beer, Tiger beer, Heineken, Saigon beer........
This upper-floor bar has a real vibe and goes on until late most nights. It comes fully equipped with pool tables and harbour views.