Cat Ba Monkey Island – Everything You Need To Know 2019

Monkey Island has become one of the must destinations whilst travelling on Catba island. 

Retains the perimeter of 3km, the island preserves mountain shape with the sandbank formed over millions of years. The wave and wind have brought the sand, rocks, coral and all shells of sea creatures to the beach of the island. 

Thanks to mother of nature, Monkey island seduces visitors with beautiful beaches and stunning viewpoint. 

You will have a chance to immerse yourself in the crystal clear water as well as go trekking to the stunning viewpoint on Monkey island. 

Playing with monkeys would be another fun experience for tourists.  

1, WHERE IS MONEY ISLAND? 

To locals, Monkey island was formerly called Cat Dua Island also known as Pineapple Island ( Dua is Pineapple in Vietnamese). There are a lot of pineapple trees. Those pineapples look delicious but they are not edible. 

Local fishermen collected those to ferment with alcohol in order to make pineapple wine or diabetes medicine 

Until 2010, The authority decided bring a few monkey families to the island. Since then, the island has been named as Monkey island. In total, there are 50 monkey species living here recorded in 2019. 

Monkeys on the island are not Cat Ba Langours

Being the most popular attraction, the beautiful place is the stop of most of sea tourist trips both day boat and overnight cruise trips

Located in Lan Ha Bay, which is in the East Gate – Cua Dong area in particular, visitors can easily get to the island by boat or kayak.  

cat ba monkey island _ kayak Lan Ha bay

2, HOW TO GET TO MONKEY ISLAND CAT BA? 

Monkey island is 3 km away from Catba town. If you are not on Catba island, In order to reach to Monkey Island, you will find the way to Cat Ba town on Cat Ba Island. 

Check below to figure out the best way to reach the island

2.1, The Way To Get To Monkey Island From Ben Beo harbour 

The most common way to get to Monkey island is by boat from Ben Beo harbour. From Cat Ba town, you can find on Google Map Ben Beo harbour location. It is 1,2 km approximately from Cat ba town. You can either reach here by bike, taxi or foot 

When you are by Ben Beo harbour, there are 2 ways to reach to the place 

Local slow boat: This is the most common choice to get to Monkey island. In the harbour area, there are a lot of local boats having different capacities from 8 – 45 people. 

The common price should be from 500,000 vnd – 2,500,000 VND for the return trip depending on the size of the boat. 

You should choose an appropriate boat size accordingly to the number of people in your group

It’d take around 20 – 30 minutes to reach to the island by local slow boat 

monkey island cat ba

Local Speed Boat: It has been a new way to get to Monkey Island. Only 5 – 10 minutes from Ben Beo to the island, the speedboat ride is an exhilarating experience. 

For this option, the price depends the number of people. The more people you are, the cheaper the price will be. 

Normally, the price is from 250,000 vnd – 500,000 vnd / person for the return trip. The maximum capacity of speedboats is from 8 – 20 people.  

2.2, The Way to get to Monkey island from Lan Ha Bay

If you are staying at a floating accommodation in the middle of Lan Ha Bay or at a resort on private beaches as well as at a homestay in Viet Hai Village, visiting Monkey Island would be a fun trip during a day. 

You can choose either slow boat or speedboat. In terms of the rate, you should ask your host about the price. The price will be different depending on how far your accommodation to Monkey island 

lan ha bay - mokey island - beach resort

2.3, You Should Keep In Mind 

  •  Apart from the return boat ride cost, you are expected to buy the entrance ticket at the ticket counter by the harbour. The ticket costs 50,000 vnd for Monkey Island visit. 
  • There is no public transport to the place from Cat Ba town. You would have either take a transport; or a tour in order to reach to Monkey island 
  • You can stay on the island, as long as you want. You could ask the driver for the pickup time from Monkey island back to your place. He / she will come back to pick you up by the time. 
  • Most of boat drivers are not able to speak English. Make sure that you have a translator or find someone to translate for you in order to avoid of miscommunication 
  • There are 2 ways reaching to Monkey island from Ben Beo. You should ask the driver to go on which has a floating village on the side. 

cat ba monkey island _ viethai village_ lan ha bay

You will pass by the ancient Beo floating village where local fishermen living on the water. 

It would be an amazing scene seeing how dense floating houses next to each other. You will like it!!! 

Furthermore, if you take a slow boat option, you can ask your driver to go into the village to visit. You would be asked to pay extra cost in order to visit the village during the trip 

You should always haggle with the boat driver to get a better price for the return trip. Keep in mind that to keep a smile and keep a gentle voice when bargaining. 

To locals, the price will be made depending on how you behave. Of course, they will try to get a better price for them.

But 

if you find a common ground between your preference and their will, you should probably take it. Haggle is good but too haggle would make an unpleasant behaviour of the driver. 

They will be a person coming along with you during the trip. If a bit more money could pay your good service and happiness, so why not!!! 

  • There is no public transport to Monkey island from Cat Ba town. You would have either take a transport or a tour in order to reach to Monkey island 
  • You can stay on the island as long as you want. You should ask the driver for the pickup time from Monkey island back to your place. He / she will come back to pick you up by the time. 
  • Most of boat drivers are not able to speak English. Make sure that you have a translator or find someone to translate for you in order to avoid of miscommunication 

2.4, Should You Tip The Driver After The Trip? 

In Vietnam, it is not mandatory to tip when you use any services. There is no official rule that you have to do it. 

If you find the trip pleasant and you feel happy with the service, maybe you can give some money to the driver. He will be happy about it. 

The common way to tip a small amount of money is to give a change after the payment. 

Otherwise, you can give a certain amount of money you are willing to give to the driver. 

 

3, OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ON MONKEY ISLAND? 

Exploring Monkey island is one of the most unforgettable experience when travelling on Catba island. The island has to offer swimming, hiking as well as kayaking. 

3.1, Go swimming and relax on the beach

There are 2 beaches on Monkey Island which are Cat Dua 1 – Cat Ba Monkey Island Beach and Cat Dua 2 – Monkey Island Resort. 

Monkey Island Resort is located on the other side of the island. You can reach here either by boat directly from Ben Beo harbour or go hiking from the top of the mountain once you are at Cat Dua 1 Beach.  

The most familiar beach to tourists is Cat Ba Monkey Island Beach. As soon as you arrive with a boat to the island, you will confront a white sand beach. The beach stretches roughly 400m. 

Swimming here is a chance to cool down yourselves in the clean and clear water as well as experience the best view of the bay from the island.

If it is possible, you should bring a waterproof shoes to go swimming.
There  are a lot of shape shells underneath potentially cutting your feet.

Besides, you can relax at a coconut leaf roof top restaurant on the beach. The island has to the best coffee view ever. Furthermore, you can play with monkeys here. Some monkeys are familiar to tourists. You can also take a photo with them 

Some monkeys here are aggressive. They would steal your food, belongings and intimidate you. Be careful if you don’t want to get bitten. 

If you have kids, keep your kids away from the monkeys.

3.2, Hiking on Monkey island 

Apart from swimming, visitors can hike to the top of the mountain in order to enjoy the view from there. The foot of the mountain is 150m on the left side from the restaurant. You should ask a local to show the way to get there 

In majority, most of tourists would choose to hike halfway up in order to be safe. The others choose to hike all the way up to the top of the mountain. 

The hike takes only 10 minutes from the foot to the middle point of the mountain and another 15 minutes to get to the top of the mountain. The halfway up is supposed to be really rocky and steep. 

Make sure that you will not go hiking with your bare feet or flip-flop to be safe .

Stay away from monkeys when hiking. You will not want them to attact when you are in the middle of the mountain.

From the viewpoint, you are able to see the panoramic view of Lan Ha Bay with hundreds of multi-sized limestone mountains standing up on the water.  

On the same trail, you can go through the mountain jungle to reach to Cat Dua 2 beach. Ask a security guy or a resort staff for the permission to visit Monkey Island Resort. 

3.3, Monkey Island Kayaking 

On Monkey Island Beach, you can also rent a kayak to explore the neighbourhood area. There are plenty wild sandy beaches in the area. 

The rental cost is $5 USD / person for a dual kayak. Normally, a rental kayak comes with life-vests 

From other accommodations in Lan Ha Bay, you can kayak to Monkey Island.
There is no entrance fee to get to the island by kayak.

Due to the location, getting to monkey island by kayak would be difficult.
The strong wind and wavy sea make the way to get here extremely rough.

If you are not a professional kayaker, maybe you can consider taking a boat.

4, WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU GET BITTEN BY A MONKEY 

Normally, those monkeys got vaccinated yearly but it is better safe than sorry, you should get vaccination if you are bitten. 

The best way to get vaccination is to go to the international hospital in Haiphong city or Ha Long city. These hospitals are high quality and doctors speak English in order to avoid of mistranslation. 

There is a hospital in Cat Ba Town but doctors and nurses there are extremely unqualified. They always try to get money from you but doing nothing.

I have witnessed a few cases when doctors doing nothing but they charged my guests extra money. It was horrible seeing it. 

Do not go to a private doctor in Cat Ba town. They will double or triple charge money from your pain

Although, it is more expensive to go to a city hospital but for your heath, I highly recommend you to do so. 

5, WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING TO MONKEY ISLAND 

Depends on how long and what you would do on the island, check list what you should bring to the island 

  • Swimming costume 
  • Sun-cream and sunglasses 
  • Insect spray 
  • A waterproof bag to keep your belongings 
  • Trainers / climbing shoes. If they are waterproof, it will be the best.
  • Some money to buy a drink or snack on the beach as well as to rent a kayak there. Drinks and food on the island are more expensive than regular prices due to the location. 
  • A towel and maybe a dry clothes to change after swimming 

I Hope that you find the article helpful. Hit me below if you have any questions. 

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