Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best time of the year to visit Cat Ba?
The best time of the year will depend on the activities you wish to do.
The best time of the year for climbing is from October to April. During this time there is typically less chance of rain, and “sending temps” are normal (15-25C).
From May to September the weather is usually much warmer, with a greater chance of rain. Temperatures range from 25-35C. On sunny days during this time, deep water solo, boat, and kayak trips are ideal for the warm weather.
Note that weather forecasts for the island are notoriously unreliable. It is not rare for the sun to shine when rain is predicted and vice versa.
If it is raining, are there still places where it is possible to climb in Cat Ba?
Yes. The top of Hidden Valley and The Cave are overhanging. It is possible to climb almost all of the routes at both of these locations when it is raining. Even the easier routes are possible to climb as they are on the lower part of the cliff before the overhang. At Butterfly Valley, the overhanging routes will remain dry, but many of the easier routes will get wet.
It is rare, but if a heavy mist sets in, it’s possible for the moisture in the air to condense on all of the climbing routes. On these rare days, almost no dry climbing will be possible. We’ll let you know if this is the case when you pay us a visit.
Do I need to book trips in advance?
Generally we need to book trips the day before, to be able to plan for what each of our guides needs to do the next day, and prepare the equipment for you before we leave. We will accommodate last minute requests if it’s possible.
How do I get to you?
Our address is: No 25, Duong Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam. Find us on Google Maps here.
Do you rent Kayaks, Bicycles, or Motorbikes?
Kayaks – No, with the changing weather, fog, and difficulty navigating the waterways with many boats, kayaking is only offered as part of our tours.
Bicycles – Yes, we have two 24-speed mountain bikes available for rent on a first-come first-served basis.
Motorcycles – Yes, we rent automatic motorcycles including helmet. Previous experience required.
What accommodation would work best to do trips at Cat Ba?
The easiest accommodation to use is our hotel and hostel. See more information about our accommodation here.
Where can I book a trip from and where do they leave from?
All trips can be booked from, leave from, and return to our office at Cat By Climbing. See “How do I get to you?” for location.
I have a bus to catch after the trip. Will the tour arrive back in time for it?
Please let our staff know if you have a bus or other transportation you need to catch before starting the tour. We will make sure that you make it back in time. Otherwise it is not rare for us to extend trips slightly for example to allow everyone to climb a final route or get in a little extra kayaking, etc.
I’m vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/only eat dinosaurs/etc. Will I be able to eat during the tour?
Not a problem. Let us know before the trip and we’ll have something special made for you (dinosaur meat only available at extra cost, just kidding).
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash in Vietnamese Dong or US Dollars. It is also possible to pay via Mastercard and Visa credit cards (with 3% fee).
If it rains, will you cancel trips?
We only cancel climbing trips in the very rare case our routes are wet from heavy mists. As it does not rain on our routes due the overhang, climbing trips will not be canceled for rain.
Deep water solo and boat trips will only be canceled for hazardous conditions.
If a trip is cancelled, we will refund 100% of the cost.
What if I can’t swim?
We provide life jackets for every person on our trips. Please wear a life jacket while kayaking, deep water soloing, swimming etc., if this is the case.
Can I store my gear with you while I go on the trip?
Yes, just drop it off at our office when you arrive. We’ll keep it safe for you.
Is there a safe place to store valuables?
A locker and lock and key are included for guests of our hotel and hostel. Those going on trips with us can store valuables at our front desk.
What’s the easiest way to get around Cat Ba?
Cat Ba island has almost no public transportation. We recommend renting a scooter or motorbike, which are available from us for less than $4/day.
How do I book in advance with you?
Contact us via this weblink. We will arrange the tour in advance and you can pay upon your arrival.
What's The Difference Between Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay?
The Ha Long Bay region includes Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island, and Bai Tu Long Bay. Ha Long Bay has more established tourism and Lan Ha Bay is composed more of smaller fishing villages and generally has a more peaceful atmosphere than Ha Long Bay, with fewer tour large ships boats passing through it.
How can I help protect and clean up the Ha Long Bay area?
Visit our Get Involved page.