One of the most rewarding ways to explore the area is by boat from Cat Ba Town, passing through the labyrinth of Lan Ha Bay, a miniature version of neighbouring Ha Long Bay but one which receives fewer visitors. There are floating villages and oyster farms in the area, which can be included in tour itineraries. Other options are kayaking, rock-climbing and visits to isolated beaches where the water is noticeably cleaner than elsewhere in the bay. Be warned, though: Cat Ba is by no means undiscovered and during the local summer holidays (June to mid-Aug) hotels and beaches in the area can be swamped.

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