Caves of Cat Ba island, Vietnam
Vietnam is home to numerous magnificent natural sites, and among them, the caves of Vietnam hold a significant place. They are witnesses to ancient times and captivate visitors always in search of surprising discoveries.
The caves of Cat Ba Island may not be the most famous in Vietnam, but they undoubtedly deserve a visit during your stay on the island.
In this article, we present to you four caves that, in our opinion, are worth exploring.
Feel free to contact us for organizing your exploration of Cat Ba and Lan Ha bay
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Starting from the city center of Cat Ba (south of the island), this is probably the first cave you can visit. It is located in the national park along Xuen Dao Road, the main road traversing the island.
This cave holds significant historical importance. During the island bombings in the war against the Americans, the Viet Minh, assisted by the Chinese, set up a hospital inside this cave between 1963 and 1965.
The island residents could seek refuge here, and communist resistance fighters could receive medical treatment.
Today, 17 rooms have been replicated so that visitors can easily imagine the harsh reality of life on the island at that time. The reconstruction also highlights the ingenuity of the inhabitants who made the most of their environment in the best possible way.
We recommend visiting with a guide to immerse yourself in the history of Vietnamese resistance. You can either book the services of a guide through a tour or, if you are traveling independently, hire an English-speaking guide on-site.
Reconstruction of a room in Hospital Cave Cat Ba Island. Crédit : Mathieu Arnaudet
Trung Trang cave
You can then continue your journey to the Trung Trang Cave located in the largest valley of Cat Ba Island.
The cave is situated about 300m above sea level on the side of a mountain. From the cave entrance, you can have a superb view of the island’s tropical forest. You can leave your motorbike at a parking lot and then reach the cave entrance on foot via the main road.
Discovered in 1938 by French explorers, the stalagmites and stalactites inside took 6 million years to form. They are genuine masterpieces of nature and time that are truly worth seeing.
This cave is also called the “Bat Cave,” and you might playfully spook yourself inside! It’s possible that you won’t encounter many people inside the cave during your visit, and the cave is minimally developed.
View from the entrance of Trung Trang cave. Crédit: Mathieu Arnaudet
Inside Trung Trang cave. Crédit : Mathieu Arnaudet
Dong Hoa Cuong cave
To reach the Dong Hoa Cuong Cave, you’ll need to go all the way to the north of the island.
This cave, although secluded and quite distant from the city center of Cat Ba (20 km away), has been equipped with lighting to illuminate stalactites and stalagmites. When illuminated, these natural formations sparkle like diamonds. That’s why it has been nicknamed “Dong Hoa Cuong,” which translates to “diamond.”
Although less deep than Trung Trang Cave at 100m long, it remains a beautiful discovery. The cave is also 20m high, providing larger spaces to explore than in Trung Trang Cave.
A tourist group in Dong Hoa Cuong cave. Crédit : Senenity Cruise
Thien Long cave
Last but not least, the Thien Long Cave is located near the Phu Long pier.
This cave, the largest on the island, was only discovered in the year 2000 by the locals.
The cave is divided into three parts, each containing a large number of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. In the first part, there is a giant pillar that could be a tomb. The second part hosts the most beautiful stalactites, while the third part is a bit more challenging to access—you’ll need to climb onto a rock shaped like a turtle.
Plan on approximately 45 minutes of travel to get there from the city of Cat Ba. But the journey is well worth it!
Here the different caves placed on the map of Cat Ba island
Go and explore by yourself !
Or contact us to visit Cat Ba and Lan Ha bay
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