The hospital cave of Cat Ba Island in Vietnam


Hospital Cave

Cat Ba Island

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 1965 (with assistance from China), this incredibly well-constructed three-storey feat of engineering was in constant use until 1975.

The cave is about 10km north of Cat Ba Town, on the road to Cat Ba National Park entrance.

The cave spans 17 rooms, including an old operating theatre (complete with patient mannequins) and a huge natural cavern that was used as a cinema (and even had its own small swimming pool).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cat Ba Island attractions

1. Trung Trang Cave

1.96 MILES

Within Cat Ba National Park but accessed from a separate roadside entrance 2km north of Hospital Cave, the multi-chambered Trung Trang Cave is fun to…

2. Cat Ba National Park

2.55 MILES

Cat Ba's beautiful national park is home to 32 species of mammal, including most of the world's 65 remaining golden-headed langurs, the world's most…

3. Cat Ba Market


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.

4. Ho Chi Minh Monument

3.68 MILES

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

5. Cannon Fort

3.91 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…

6. Cat Co Cove

4.11 MILES

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…

7. Cat Co 2

4.12 MILES

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

8. Cat Co 1

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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…