Cat Co Cove

Cat Ba Island

A 10-minute walk southeast from Cat Ba Town, the three Cat Co Cove beaches boast the nearest sand to town, though all are being developed with hotel construction. Cat Co 3 is the closest, with a small and popular sliver of sand. From there a walking trail, cut into the cliff and offering gorgeous sea views, winds its way to Cat Co 1, dominated by a new resort, then onwards to the pretty white-sand swathe of Cat Co 2.

You can also follow the road uphill straight to Cat Co 1 and 2, or take the tourist 'train' (basically an oversized golf cart; 10,000d) that trundles over the hill during the summer months.

Kayaks and jet skis are available to rent at Cat Co 1. Note that the beaches get packed on summer weekends.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cat Ba Island attractions

1. Cat Co 1

0.06 MILES

Cat Co 1 has a decent stretch of beach but is dominated by a rather ugly resort. Don't expect much peace and quiet here during the summer months as it's…

2. Cat Co 3

0.21 MILES

Cat Co 3 is the closest beach to Cat Ba Town but its blink-and-you-miss-it sliver of sand isn't really worth stopping for. Head here just to take the…

3. Cat Co 2

0.22 MILES

By far the nicest beach in Cat Co Cove is Cat Co 2 with a pretty swathe of white sand.

4. Cannon Fort

0.44 MILES

For one of the best views in Vietnam, head to Cannon Fort, where there are astounding panoramas of Cat Ba Island's jungle-clad hills, the harbour and the…

5. Ho Chi Minh Monument

0.54 MILES

This monument stands up on imaginatively named Mountain No 1, the hillock opposite the pier in Cat Ba Town.

6. Cat Ba Market

0.71 MILES

The market at the northern end of Cat Ba Town's harbour is a scruffy local affair with twitching crabs, jumbo shrimp and pyramids of fresh fruit.

7. Lan Ha Bay

3.91 MILES

Lying to the south of Halong Bay off the north-eastern coast of Vietnam, the 300-or-so karst islands and limestone outcrops of Lan Ha are just as…

8. Hospital Cave

4.11 MILES

Hospital Cave served both as a secret bomb-proof hospital during the American War and as a safe house for Viet Cong (VC) leaders. Built between 1963 and…