When we got to Cat Ba Island it was raining on and off and it stayed that way our first day there. We were reconsidering our choice to stay, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all… But the second morning it was sunny! Time to rent a motorbike and go exploring! We drove around the island for a few hours, went to Cannon Fort and had a really good time.
We rented a scooter at our hotel, Cat Ba Palace for 80.000 Dong (about $3.50). They asked 100k but when we said that we could rent one down the street for 80k they easily agreed to the same price. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great bike. After a bumpy ride around the island, we discovered the bike had a flat back tire. As storm clouds were gathering, Mau dropped me and Jace at a shelter at the entrance of Cannon Fort and drove back to the hotel to get another bike. He was back just in time to shelter from the massive downpour. We had picked up some sandwiches along the way and had a nice picnic while it was raining cats and dogs around us. When the rain stopped we visited the Cannon Fort.
Cheapest way to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island seemed like an interesting place to stay for a few days, but it turned out it was quite expensive to get there. The combination of private car and speedboat was just as expensive as booking a 3 days/2 nights budget tour to Halong Bay with one night on a boat and one night on Cat Ba island for the three of us. Not many people know this, but if you book a Halong Bay cruise, you can choose to stay on Cat Ba Island after the second night and return whenever you wish with the same tour. One of the booking agents told us about this and so that is what we decided to do. We wrote a separate post about our Halong Bay experience.
Our pictures of Cat Ba Island
Since we were traveling with our toddler, we only saw a small part of what the island has to offer. There are actually many things to do on Cat Ba Island. We hope to go back one day! Here are some of our favorite pictures we took during our Cat Ba Island tour.