|Cat Ba Island
View of Cat Ba Town bay.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO DEEP WATER SOLO CHECK THE TIDE INFORMATION OR YOU MAY GO WHEN YOU CAN'T DWS!
Cat Ba is an island about 4.5 hours from Hanoi by bus and boat. It has weather similar to the north coast of California.
In 2011 good accommodations on the main strip could be easily found in person for less than $10/night. I believe this doubles to reserve ahead and maybe more like $40/night in the summer months when the Island is full of Vietnamese tourists.
It will cost you 300 Dong and take about 45 minutes from the airport to the:
Ben xe Luong Yen (Luong Yen station) bus station
1 Nguyen Khoai, Hanoi, Vietnam
For those staying in the old quarter the bus station is a short ride away.
Your cab should bring you down into the front parking lot of the bus station. Things should be easy from here if you are big and white as everyone will say "Cat Ba" and point back; I assume this is because that is the only reason white folks come to this run down bus station. Enter the building in front of you and buy a ticket (170 dong in 2011) to Cat Ba Town from the Hoang Long Transportation Company on the right as you enter the building. Buses leave at 5:15 am, 7:15 am, 11:15 am, and 1:15 pm. The trip will take about 4.5 hours www.slopony.com has very detailed information about this and is very accurate. The trip will take you by 2 hour bus, wait 30 minutes on curb, 45 minute bus, 45 minutes on ferry motor boat, and 30 minute bus drops you in the middle of Cat Ba town. The one 170 dong ticket will cover it all.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Cat Ba Island:
Featured Route For Cat Ba Island