Cat Ba Island Vietnam

cycling cat ba hai phong

Cat Ba Island cycling is one of primary outdoor activities in Vietnam which offers the chance to explore the biggest island in Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Island, its white sand beaches, fishermen villages, the Cat Ba national park, and the local community.

Cat Ba Island is the largest of the 367 islands spanning 260 km2 that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Lan Ha Bay in Northern Vietnam. It has a surface area of 285 km2 and maintains the dramatic and rugged features of Ha Long Bay.

Cat Ba is the largest island in the Bay and approximately half of its area is covered by a national park, the Cat Ba National Park which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba langur. The island has a wide variety of natural ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, leading to incredibly high rates of biodiversity.

How to get to Cat Ba Island?

Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by private car

If you travel in a small group, renting a car with driver is the fastest way to get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi. The car will pick you up in Hanoi, and take you directly to your hotel in Cat Ba town, Cat Ba island. The journey takes about 3 hours, depending on the ferry passage.

Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by train and speed boat

Taking a local train from Hanoi to Hai Phong consume much time. But this will enrich your Vietnam travel experience! The train leaves Long Bien train station in Hanoi, taking approximately 2.5 hours. Upon your arrival at Hai Phong train station, you will need to take a cab to reach the speed boat pier. The speed boat – hydrofoil takes about 45 minutes to Cat Ba.

Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by bus and speed boat

Taking local bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong will save! There are several buses departing from Gia Lam bus station, My Dinh, Giap Bat and Luong Yen. The bus journey takes 2 – 2.5 hours, dropping you off at Hai Phong bus station. From there you will need to take a cab to get to the speed boat pier.

Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by bus and ferry

Another option is taking a local bus from Hanoi to Halong city (not Hai Phong). Once you arrive in Halong city, take a taxi to Tuan Chau island, where you will take a ferry to Cat Ba island. There are about 5 – 7 departures a day. It takes about 60 minutes per way. After the ferry drops you off at Cat Ba Island, there will be about 20K left to get to Cat Ba town.

Hanoi to Cat Ba Island by seaplane and cruising boat

Instead of spending a half day in a shuttle bus with traffic-clogged streets, you can hop on a seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay, which only takes 45 minutes of flying. This is a perfect solution for a quick, comfortable, fun-filled and luxury trip. The plane lands in Tuan Chau Island, from there you can hire a private boat for cruising Halong bay, Lan Ha bay, Cat Ba island.

When to go cycling in Cat Ba Island

bike, cycle cat ba island vietnam

The best time to visit Cat Ba Island is October and early November. The weather is best during this time of the year. It used to be sunny, dry with non-frequent little rain. During these two months the island experiences a pleasant weather for several activities such as taking a bike ride, hiking in the national park, relaxing on the beaches…

Temperatures drop from December onward thus having a chilly weather. Cycling and hiking are still available. But this is cool for water activities including swimming and kayaking.

March and April are another two great months for cycling in Cat Ba island.

June, July and August are hot with a high percentage of humidity. Besides this is the peak travel season of domestic travelers. Beaches and hotels use to be crowded and overbooked. Cycling will be very tough during this month due to the uncomfortable weather and the lack of cycling infrastructure.

What to explore in Cat Ba Island?

Cat Ba National Park

cat ba national park

Cat Ba National Park is a World Heritage Site designated as a biosphere reserve in northern Vietnam. The park is part of Cat Ba Island in Hạ Long Bay and is administered by the city of Haiphong. The park is located approximately 30 kilometres east of Hai Phong, covering about 263 square kilometres and comprising 173 square kilometres of land and 90 square kilometres of inshore water. Take a bike to discover the park centre is located about 15K from Cat Ba town.

Viet Hai Village

The small village of Viet Hai is covered by high mountains range of the Cat Ba National Park. The village can be only reached by either foot or boat. The hiking trail takes approximately 6 hours through the national park. Taking the boat is more relaxing.

Monkey Island

Monkey Island is located about 2K east of Cat Ba Island. It is an ideal place for those looking less touristy beaches. There are two small beaches and a beach resort on the island.

Cat Ba self-guided bike tours

If you prefer taking a self-guided bike tour than joining one of our all-inclusive cycling tour, the Cat Ba Island has many things for you to discover by bike. You will need at least one day for cycling the half part of the island that is accessible to bicycle. The other half which includes Viet Hai village and some other small islands should be discover by boat.

It’s possible for you to rent a bicycle in Cat Ba town where you will find some bike shops near the downtown square. You should better rent a hybrid bikes that have different speed gear since the roads are hilly and these bikes will be very helpful. Single speed bikes are available for rental in Viet Hai village, at the boat pier.

Cat Ba cycling routes

Cycling route: Phu Long – Cat Ba town

Cycling route: Phu Long - Cat Ba town

Cycling route: around Cat Ba island

Cycling route: around Cat Ba island

Cycling route: Cat Ba island to Thai Binh

Cycling route: Cat Ba island to Thai Binh

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Cat Ba cycling tours

Vietnam Cycling has been organizing bicycle tours in Cat Ba Island for many years. We love cycling and want to show you the best way to discover Cat Ba Island as well as its surrounding attractions.

bike, cycle cat ba island, vietnam

All our guided bike tours will be led by our experienced guides who are licensed by VNAT (Vietnam National Administration of Tourism). They are cyclists. They have passion for cycling and they have friendly local contacts in the area.

Our guided cycling tours are provided with support vehicle from Hanoi, and reliable bicycle hire – Trek mountain bikes, Giant Anyroad bicycles that are in both men and women frames. Electric bicycles, and children bike trailers for kids can also be arranged in advance in our bike garage in Hanoi.

Read more: Cat Ba cycling tours

Additional questions about cycling in Cat Ba Island?

Do you have any questions about bicycle touring in Cat Ba Island that you want to ask us? Is there anything you think I should discuss about cycling in Cat Ba Island that we left out… that we should include in future updates to this article? Looking for other Vietnam destinations for great bike rides?

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