Monkey Island, one of the several islands in the Ha Long region, becomes well-known for its resorts with private beaches, many dozens of monkeys, and stunning views of Lan Ha Bay. Smaller than the nearby Cat Ba Island, Monkey Island is preferred for day trips and weekend getaways.
Monkey Island emerges as the highlight of Ha Long tourism due to its stunning untouched natural beauty and fantastic beaches. It is also chosen as the first stop of the sightseeing route on the popular Lan Ha Bay cruise enticing visitors.
Have a look at:
- Titop Island Halong Bay
- Top-Rated Things to Do in Halong Bay
- What to do 1 Day in Halong Bay?
- Halong Bay 2 Day Cruises – Best 2-Day Tour for First Time Travelers
- Halong Bay Cruise Price: How Much Does a Cruise Trip Cost?
What makes Monkey Island unique?
- Only about 5 kilometers from the town center, Monkey Island is one of the attractive destinations that tourists should not miss when visiting Cat Ba Island.
- The only way to reach this stunning island is by boat, which departs from Beo wharf and travels for about ten minutes through Cai Beo fishing village and a few small islets. Almost all cruise ships make this stop so that passengers can admire the masterpieces that nature has bestowed on Cat Ba.
- Monkey Island is deserving of being the highlight of Cat Ba Island tourism, and perhaps the most attractive destination for tourists. Previously, the island was known as Cat Dua Island (“Dua” means pineapple). Tourists coming to Cat Dua island will observe a large amount of wild pineapples shading the area. This fruit looks delicious, yet it is inedible. The locals use them to make traditional medicines.
- Monkey Island is also an ideal place for swimming in the white-sand beaches with clear blue water. People nowadays give this island the name “Monkey Island” since it’s home to many dozens of monkeys. The monkeys love to play with locals and tourists. They grab food right from tourists’ palms and may bite if provoked. However, it is because this untouched uniqueness makes the island famous and draws so many visitors
- Visitors will have the chance to play with and comfortably take pictures of monkeys perched on tree branches here. Monkey Island has indeed become the highlight of Cat Ba island thanks to what the Creator favorably bestows. The bungalows on the island and tour companies will undoubtedly bring you the nicest trip with unique experiences
How to get to Monkey Island
- From Halong Bay: There is only 1 way to get to this area – Available for tourists who book charter boats only.
- From Cat Ba Island: Take a day boat or any overnight cruise on Lan Ha Bay (Available services for chartering or sharing boats with others).
- Transportation on the island : There is no transportation on Monkey Island since there are no roads. Instead, if tourists want to explore the island’s two beaches, resorts, and summit, they must walk. Even while hiking is not a must, it is recommended that you stroll around for sightseeing to fully appreciate the area’s natural beauty.
Best time to visit Monkey Island Halong Bay
The weather is a factor that can affect the tourist activities on Monkey Island. There are two seasons: rainy season and dry season.
- The rainy season, which runs from May to October, is extremely hot, muggy, and rainy. There are less foreign visitors during this time, but it is the peak season for domestic travelers.
- However, in the dry season, from November to April, foreign visitors favor visiting Monkey Island. As it is cooler and has fewer rainfalls, the dry season gives visitors more opportunities to explore the island.
Accommodation on Monkey Island
- A few lodging options are available on Monkey Island. Monkey Island Resort is a resort providing bungalows, villas, and accommodations with sea views. In addition, the resort offers a restaurant, a bar, and a number of water activities like kayaking and snorkeling.
- On the island, there are also a few low-cost lodging alternatives like homestays and motels. It is important to keep in mind, too, that accommodations on the island might not be as luxurious as those on the mainland
Activities While Cruising to Monkey Island
Despite its small size, Monkey Island has a lot to offer tourists who want to spend time trekking, swimming, and sunbathing. The island is especially well-known for its wild monkeys, with Lan Ha Bay being the main attraction.
Cat Dua Beaches 1 & 2
- Cat Dua Beach 1 is the island’s longest and most developed beach, and it was formerly under military control. On the opposite side of the military station, there is an uncrowded area where you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing. The resort is situated at the end of the beach and offers floats and kayaks for tourists to use.
- Cat Dua Beach 2 is undeveloped and surrounded by a lot of fruit trees. This beach is frequently deserted and is more wild than Cat Dua 1. To get there, visitors may walk along a cliff that protrudes from the coast and serves as a dividing part between the two Cat Dua beaches.
Exploring Sung Sot Cave
- There are a number of small caves on the island and the adjacent islands that you can explore.
Surprise Cave is one of the most renowned caves. Visitors may be attracted at first sight after passing the cave entrance due to how magical and alluring the wonderfully lit cave appears
Trekking to the island’s summit
- If you’re an adventure-lover, consider hiking to the island’s summit for a breathtaking panorama of Lan Ha Bay. You can climb to the top on a steep, winding road with the help of a local guide. The majority of the trail is flat, but there are a few places where you must climb over sharp rocks, which can be challenging for certain people.
- It is recommended to bring water, some snacks, and sport shoes because climbing in flip-flops can be risky.
Swimming and Sunbathing
- Swimming at Cat Dua 1 and Cat Dua 2 beaches is absolutely safe due to the shallow, clean water and mild waves. Additionally, the small coral reefs act as a wall to shield swimmers from bigger waves. Visitors can also bring goggles to the area near the shore to view the aquatic life that inhabits the coral reefs.
- On Cat Dua 1, you can hire loungers from the resort, or you can sit on the beach of Cat Dua 2. Both beaches have broad areas that are totally exposed to the sun’s rays, making them excellent for sunbathing.
>>> Read more: Swimming in Halong Bay: Best Tips for Swimming in Halong Bay
- There is a small reef off the island that you can explore by snorkeling.
>>> Read More: Diving & Snorkeling in Halong Bay
- You can rent a kayak and paddle around the island to explore the beaches and cliffs.
- You can try fishing with the locals and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch.
Playing with monkeys
- You should be aware that the island’s monkeys are accustomed to interacting with people and are allowed to roam the forests and beaches as they wish. They can become aggressive when provoked, so you should be cautious about approaching them too closely or feeding them. In addition, keep your possessions close by at all times since monkeys are cunning and sneaky and will take any object left unattended.
Tours to Monkey Island
Most tours of Halong Bay include a stop at Monkey Island. We’ll provide a list of several highlighted tours that already provide a few overnight itineraries that you could find appealing.
Traditional 2-day Cruise to Lan Ha Bay & Cat Ba Island
- Take a 2-day Lan Ha Bay cruise, which will take you through all the area’s top sights in a short time. Additionally, you can go to Cat Ba Island and Monkey Island, both of which are worthwhile stops.
- Don’t forget to try kayaking around the lagoons and small caves in the Ca Cave region. Don’t worry about food and drink. Your meal will be served on board. You can even enjoy a cocktail at the Ba Trai Dao island bar before heading back to your cruise ship.
>>> Let’s visit our website for different types of cruises available for every budget, from backpackers to luxury. Check out for the best deals on Halong Bay’s 2-day cruise.
6-day tour of Halong Bay – Sapa from Hanoi
This is a fascinating 6-day journey that visits many places in Vietnam’s northern region. Therefore, if you are looking for someone to handle every aspect of your trip in the North, this tour may be right for you. There are three notable destinations on the trip. The itinerary is as follows:
- Day 1 – Halong Bay – You get to swim, kayak and catch the sights in the area.
- Day 2 – Ti Top Beach and Sung Sot Cave
- Day 3 – Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba, Monkey island
- Day 4 – Sapa – Muong Hoa Valley – Hau Thao village
- Day 5 – Giang Ta Chai – Ban Ho Village
- Day 6 – Ban Ho – Su Pan – Sapa
As you can see, there is plenty of time on the tour for exploring and taking in the sights. For this reason, I included it here for you to consider.
Tips for visiting Monkey Island
- Monkeys are wild animals, so keep in mind that they might be unpredictable. Respect their space and avoid touching them or feeding them.
- Bring sunscreen and insect protection since the island may get hot and muggy and mosquitoes can be a big problem.
- Before you travel, check the weather forecast because storms and rough seas can have an impact on the island.
- If possible, bring cash to the island in case credit cards could not be accepted there.
- Plan your activities in advance because some could need reservations or have a cap on participants.
- Finally, make sure to have fun and enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience of visiting Monkey Island in Halong Bay.
Please get in touch with Hanoi Explore Travel if you’d like more information on Monkey Island or the Halong Bay tours that include it.