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Lan Ha Bay has been generously endowed by nature with over 100 small and secluded sandy beaches resembling “green sea straits”. Many of these beaches stretch between the rocky mountains, offering serene waters and no strong waves, making them ideal for swimming enthusiasts. In May 2020, the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club awarded Lan Ha Bay the certificate of being among the most beautiful bays. This is an unmissable destination for those visiting Cat Ba Island.

Seasons of Beauty

Lan Ha Bay experiences all four seasons typical of the northern climate. Generally, from May to August is summer, with calm seas, clear skies, abundant sunshine, and gentle breezes – perfect for swimming, yachting, and exploring the bay. This is also the peak tourist season. From September to November, the bay is tranquil, suitable for those seeking a peaceful resort experience. During this time, the weather is cool, and swimming is still possible. The remaining months are ideal for travelers interested in activities within the forest, enjoying the fresh air.


The means of touring Lan Ha Bay are various types of boats and ships. Travelers will reach Cat Ba Island and then purchase tickets at Beo Harbor in the center of the island to explore Lan Ha Bay. The one-way ticket prices are around 80,000 VND for adults and 40,000 VND for children.

For group travel, visitors can opt to charter a private boat. For groups of 10 to 20 people, charter prices range from 1.6 million to 5 million VND per boat. For groups of 25 to 50 people, charter prices range from 2.2 million to 7 million VND per boat. The rental price depends on the type of boat and the duration of the tour.

Some Lan Ha Bay tour routes include:

  • Route 1: Beo Harbor – Fishing village – Monkey Island
  • Route 2: Beo Harbor – Monkey Island – Turtle Island – Viet Hai Gate – Three Peaches Beach – Dark Cave – Bright Cave
  • Route 3: Got Harbor – Gia Luan – Tra Bau – Ang Ong Cam – Dark Cave – Bright Cave
  • Route 4: Central Cat Ba Tourist Pier – Cat Ong Island – Thien Ung Pagoda


Previously, Lan Ha Bay had numerous self-built accommodations on the islands. However, since the end of 2022, these places had to be dismantled to contribute to the conservation of the marine ecosystem.

Currently, tourists can choose hotels on Cat Ba Island with views of the bay. Premium accommodations include Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort and Hotel Perle d’Orient Cat Ba – MGallery. These two accommodations are 1 km apart, connected by a mountain road along Cat Co Beach.

Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort has three buildings overlooking Lan Ha Bay, with 756 rooms, located at Cat Co Beach 1 and Cat Co Beach 2. The resort features a skywalk, event and conference facilities, a four-season swimming pool, a high-speed water slide, and thrilling activities such as parasailing, water skiing, and kayaking. Room rates start from 2 million VND per night.

Hotel Perle d’Orient Cat Ba – MGallery is a boutique hotel with an Oriental style. All rooms have balconies overlooking Lan Ha Bay. It is the most luxurious hotel in the Cat Ba area, offering amenities such as a terrace restaurant, Japanese restaurant, bar, rooftop pool, spa, gym, and a private beach. Room rates start from 3.5 million VND per night.

Freedom Island Retreat on Freedom Island is a rare accommodation in the bay. It boasts beautiful spaces and a unique beach with two separate sides, connected by a small sandbar. Visitors can walk from one side to the other to enjoy different scenery. This destination attracts mainly foreign tourists and those who love untouched experiences.

Overnight cruises on Lan Ha Bay are diverse, with popular names like Doris Cruise, Erina Cruise… These cruises are modernly equipped, providing all services for tourists, including meals. The typical itinerary is 2 days 1 night or 3 days 2 nights, with prices ranging from 2.5 million VND per night per person.

Viet Hai Fishing Village is a suitable accommodation for nature lovers. In the village, there are no large hotels, and visitors can stay in homestays such as Viet Hai Lan, Lan, Lotus, Whisper Nature Bungalow, and Long Phuong Guesthouse. Room rates range from around 200,000 VND to 700,000 VND.

What to Do

Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park is located in Cat Hai district, one of the largest designated forests in Vietnam. The national park is conserving various ecosystems, including marine ecosystems, terrestrial forests, and rare fauna and flora. In 2004, Cat Ba National Park was recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve.

Travelers can choose to hike for 4-8 hours or take shorter routes of about 2 hours. Trekking, cycling, motorcycling, or driving for 2-3 hours are also popular choices. Visitors can explore the Kim Giao forest, climb to the Ngự Lâm peak for a panoramic view of the national park, observe nocturnal wildlife, and explore caves. The trekking route leads tourists to the Viet Hai village.

Entrance tickets are 40,000 VND for adults and 20,000 VND for children.

Viet Hai Village

Viet Hai Village is located in Cat Ba National Park, in Cat Hai Island district, opening to Lan Ha Bay. The village can be reached from the forest side as well as from the bay side. Due to its location in the forest, the winding road to the village was rarely traversed in the past. Viet Hai was almost entirely isolated from the outside world. Currently, Viet Hai is beginning to attract investment in tourism, becoming a destination for many tourists, both domestic and international. It is an ideal spot for cycling tours or trekking close to nature.

More: Biking on Viet Hai with Doris Cruise 3 days 2 night

Monkey Island

Monkey Island is the second-largest island in the Cat Ba archipelago, situated in the middle of Lan Ha Bay. Formerly known as Cat Dua Island due to the abundance of wild pineapple trees, Monkey Island now hosts over 20 monkeys. These monkeys often come down to the beach, where they are fed by tourists and are generally friendly. However, there is a risk that they might take belongings from visitors or, if not cautious, could cause harm.

Van Boi Beach

Van Boi Beach stretches along the protruding part of a mountain range, where many tourists come to explore activities such as kayaking and swimming. Van Boi Beach offers breathtaking natural scenery

with smooth white sandy beaches, clear blue seawater, and a tranquil, peaceful atmosphere.

Cai Beo Ancient Fishing Village

Cai Beo Fishing Village is located in the Cat Ba archipelago, in Cat Hai Island district. In 2009, Cai Beo was recognized as a national-level relic, being one of the largest ancient fishing villages in Vietnam, currently home to more than 500 households engaged in fishing and fish farming in cages in the bay. To reach Cai Beo Village, tourists depart from Cat Ba Island, traveling about 20 km to see the villages perched on the waves, closely packed like a small city.

Bright and Dark Cave

Bright and Dark Cave is situated on the water’s surface, stretching 70 meters through a mountain, about 12 km from Beo Harbor. To visit the cave, tourists usually have to paddle in a small boat or kayak. Bright and Dark Cave is an unmissable destination for tourists exploring and resorting in Lan Ha Bay, especially for those staying overnight on cruise ships. It is also a common stopping point for day trips to Lan Ha Bay.

Sports Activities

Rock climbing on the sea in Cat Ba is an attractive activity for tourists, especially foreigners. There are dozens of climbing points on the islands in Lan Ha Bay, on the mainland, and around Cat Ba. Here, there are cliffs for climbing, challenging those who enjoy adventurous sports.

Additionally, tourists can go swimming and kayaking. To find a convenient spot for kayaking, it is recommended to rent a boat for bay tours or buy a kayaking tour. Typically, the boats will take you to calm areas near the shore for easier paddling and to ensure safety. Some convenient locations include Dark Cave, Bright Cave, Secret Cave, and Three Peaches Beach.


The cuisine in the Lan Ha Bay area is mainly seafood, with popular choices including razor clams, horseshoe crabs, snapper, octopus, shrimp, and various types of snails. Additionally, seafood can be bought as souvenirs, with prices ranging from 500,000 VND to 700,000 VND for a pair of razor clams and 200,000 VND to 250,000 VND per kilogram for horseshoe crabs.

Previously, Lan Ha Bay had many seafood farms for visitors to dine on the spot. However, nowadays, visitors will have to eat on the shore, on Cat Ba Island, or organize BBQ meals on permitted beaches such as Monkey Island or Freedom Island.


When dining on seafood in the Lan Ha Bay area, it is advisable to inquire about prices before purchasing, especially during the peak summer months from May to August.

Only swim in permitted areas, and wear a life jacket when swimming far from the shore to ensure safety.