Cat Ba National Park 🏞

Day 4. The last couple of days were not very relaxing. I felt bad from the food I had eaten in Hanoi and there was a guy in my room who constantly snored like a truck. That’s why I decided to simply book a bus to Cat Ba.

Cat Ba is the biggest island located in the world-famous Halong Bay, east of Hanoi. At first I was unsure if I should just book a boat tour to the bay, but I heard different opinions on it. Some said it’s very overcrowded and dirty so I thought I might as well just visit its biggest island and maybe hop on a cruise from there. I felt that I needed some more space and rest after staying in a party hostel in Hanoi, so I booked a private room for about 6$.

A two hour bus ride and quick ferry later I arrived at my guesthouse, leaving shortly to visit the National Park on the island. It’s a beautiful big park full of green hills where careful observers would be able to spot rare red-haired langurs.

Ngu Lam

However my target here was something completely different and a lot simpler to achieve, something that most people who come here are striving for: climbing up to Ngu Lam, a mountain peak at the center of the park.

It was only about 150m to climb up the rocky path, but man did I sweat. If you’re not used to the humid Asian climate: it’s brutal for sports. 😓

The path to the peak is nothing too serious and doesn’t take very long, but there isn’t anything interesting to see until you reach the very top. On the summit however, I found the trek to be well worth it! Even though I looked as if I just had a shower I was treated to a 360° view of the surrounding area. So beautiful!

Me (out of focus but hey, I’m here) on top of Ngu Lam

On the top I quickly made friends with two Germans and a Swiss guy. Together we drove around the Island and explored some caves that were creepy as hell and packed with bats. After a look at the weather forecast I realized that my plan to go on a boat cruise the day after was probably not a good idea- heavy rain was about to hit the island. I decided it was best to take a rest day tomorrow and spend the evening walking around, exploring the town a bit.

Cat Ba Nationalpark


Cat Ba Town

The town itself on Cat Ba is nothing overwhelming. It’s cute and small and you can’t do too much there, but that’s good in a countryside place like that- it’s supposed to be relaxing. Unfortunately I read that they are planning to build a casino here within the next few years, what a shame!

After a few hours of hunting for nice photo spots I managed to find a great location just before sunset. There were boats floating silently in the harbour which made for a perfect, ghostly image.

Overall I would say Cat Ba was a nice location and well worth visiting. I can’t speak for the actual Halong Bay tours though, as I skipped that on my journey.

Floating Boats, Cat Ba

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