Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay, is nestled on the periphery of the Vietnam’s famous National Park. With an area of 356 square km, Cat Ba encompasses forested zones, coastal mangroves, freshwater swamps, beaches, caves and waterfalls. In 1986, the Northeast side of the island was designated a National Park and includes a protected marine zone.
While the vast majority of Halong Bay’s islands are uninhabited vertical rocks, Cat Ba has a few fishing villages, as well as a fast-growing town. The island is full of the usual tourist scenario; restaurants, bars and hotels; still Cat Ba’s locals have carried on doing exactly what their ancestors did for generations before – fishing. In addition to hotels and restaurants, the harbor road also features a handful of massage parlors.
The best weather on Cat Ba Island is from late September to November, particularly the latter, when the air and water temperature is mild and skies are mostly clear.