Monkey Island

Monkey Island, Cat Ba: Address, Monkey Island Reviews: 3.5/5

Monkey Island
Monkey Island is a very beautiful island in Catba beach town, Hai Phong city, Vietnam. This island has 2 beautiful beaches for swimming and there is mountain for go up to take nice pictures of Lan Ha bay with thousands of islets around.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Monkey Island and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

862 reviews
Very good

Josie H
153 contributions
We decided to stay away from the tour groups and make our own way to monkey island at our own leisure.

We agreed a 600 000 vnd return cab journey from our hotel in nha trang to the ferry port called Long Phu where you can get the ferry over to monkey island. It was a 30 minute journey to the port, and the boats leave every 30 minutes from 9.30am and return from monkey island every 30 minutes too. The return journey was 120 000 vnd for the ferry per person, so although doing it this way may be more expensive than a tour, we preferred it as we could walk around at our own leisure and we wanted to be back at the hotel for 2pm for another activity. We found The tours tend to go from 9am until 4pm although we're about 500 000 vnd per person.

First of all we watched a dog race, the dogs were being 'ridden' by monkeys. The monkeys have basically been chained to the dogs so they have no choice but to sit on their backs, even when they need to 'release themselves' They just had to do it on the dogs backs.
There were around 6 dogs which were chain to the fences inside until they were taken to the end of the race track where they were howling and barking until they were let free. Both the dogs and monkeys were obviously unhappy and I felt it was a little cruel.

We then watched the animal show which shows as 10 am, 2.15 and I think another around 4pm. They bought out puppies making them jump through hoops and sit on miniature school desks and the staff (also called mentors) made them count numbers and do silly things. They too looked unhappy and scared of the mentors, apart from the little ginger one who was obviously loving it.

Next came the monkeys who were dressed in circus outfits and made to do tricks like push ups and pull ups and riding a minature bike around the ring with different outfits on and tight rope walking blindfolded, throughout They are chained to the objects they are performing the tricks on. Again there was one monkey who was loving it and the others seemed to hate it. The best part about the show was when one of the monkeys escaped when the 'mentor' let go of the chain for a split second. He managed to escape the ring and headed for the trees.Fantastic move monkey!! Fantastic move.

Moving on from that, the island itself is fantastic with beautiful beaches and hundreds of 'free' monkeys and it was fascinating to watch the monkeys in their own habitat and experience the animals first hand in the wild. Be warned, the monkeys will stalk you and remember they are wild so don't wind them up. We took a bunch of bananas that you can buy from the ferry port and also got some nuts whilst we were on the island. I would advise breaking the bananas off their stem and keeping them loose in a bag inside your own bag. The moment my hand went into my bag to break a banana off for the monkeys I would be surrounded by them! Also open the nuts and pour them into your pockets, these monkeys know a rustling bag means food.
As another review said, there is obviously a 'queen' monkey for each section and when you give bananas or nuts to one of the monkeys down the chain the queen monkey gets angry and we started a couple of riots between the monkeys doing this. 
It can be quite overwelming when you are surrounded by 10 wild monkeys so just keep on walking and they soon fall back. Try and find a monkey that's on its own and give it a banana or let it pick nuts from your hand. The ones on their own are normally quite placid and we got some Fantastic pictures.

For the first hour of the morning I was a little traumatised and it was pretty depressing so I feel you have to go here with an open mind if you want to watch the dog racing and the animal show, this is definitely animal cruelty and in the UK this kind of thing would be shut down.
As I said the island itself is beautiful and if you want to come here to experience the beautiful beaches and beautiful monkeys in their own habitat monkeying around then you have the option to do that as well. 

Written December 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK4 contributions
Dec 2017 • Friends
Did monkey island by taxi boat rented from the Cat Ba wharf. We came there and there were many boats and tourists there. We even saw some of them were attacked by the aggressive red-bum monkeys and they had to run away to the beach. Did a little hiking to the top hill and it was quite risky with sharp stones even the view was amazing. Not much thing you can do here, and we couldn't recommend !
Written December 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Donna M
Ottawa, Canada14 contributions
Mar 2015 • Friends
Very pleasant boat ride there. Nice to visit the monkeys that are roaming the island. Had lunch as well and very nice beach. There was a show with the monkeys and dogs that I found difficult to watch because especially the monkeys seemed to be mistreated. We visited another island, this time with a bear and elephant show that we found even more distasteful, especially the treatment of the bears!!!
Written April 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cheltenham, England10 contributions
Dec 2019
Nothing special about this place. There's a charge to use the toilets, 10,000 dong, collected by a surly man who rubbed his fingers together to indicate what he wanted. The monkeys are just as aggressive and will approach you and attempt to take what they want. The climb to the viewpoint is over sharp and slippery rocks so wear sensible shoes. Why risk cutting your feet?
A few nice views but not a great place to relax. Wouldn't go again.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

J Bester
1 contribution
Sep 2020 • Couples
Beautiful spot, warm water and pristine views. Rooms are air conditioned, clean and comfortable. Shout out to Lee who really made an effort to make our stay more enjoyable. Highly recommended.
Written September 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Delhi, India302 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
There is nothing but a restaurant serving fast food, few monkeys and a Pebble beach.

There are much better beaches in Cat Ba. I would rather pick beach 2 as it has very good shower facility and swimming gears on rent
Written May 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simon J
Cygnet, Tasmania, Australia15 contributions
Aug 2013 • Solo
Look I enjoyed the go-carting and other activities, be wary of the monkeys they will bite. Now if you do not like animals performing under strict discipline and doing things for human entertainment do not go. This is, if I was to hazard a guess, the way the west treated animals in the late 1800's. They will beat animals in-front of the public to make them behave or perform. Now I do not generally write negative reviews, but I was on a package deal and this was an eye opener. I grew up on a farm and used to shoot so if I find it upsetting you probably will also. I wouldn't take children. I think its cultural, in Australia we think animals have feelings too sort of thing, here animals are a commodity or product with no feelings.
Written June 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Catherine B
1 contribution
Apr 2014
I loved the first part I the trip, the monkeys are roaming free and are so friendly. It's so beautiful to see. Then they take you to the monkey show. It's so horrible I almost cried. They make he monkeys wear costumes and do tricks and he monkeys clearly hate it. The monkeys are on chains and get hit. Then you go to a dog race where they tie the monkeys onto dogs an take bets and race them. I walked away at this point as I couldn't bear to watch it.
Written April 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Netherlands15 contributions
Dec 2018 • Solo
Nobody really warns you for them but the monkeys here are among the most agressive I have met in SE Asia. The tourist spoil them by feeding them. I visited Monkey Island at the beginning of the low season, which makes them agitated, as they don't get as much food from the tourists as they are used to.

Even though I am always VERY careful around monkeys, I got attacked by two of them and this changed my whole trip, as I had to go through a rabies post-infection treatment and from that day on, had to stay close to hospitals for the multiple injections.

When I spoke the doctor in Hanoi, he told me that many people get attacked at Monkey Island. The tourguides tell you that they are safe and that they are vaccinated against rabies themselves, but the doctor could not confirm this. If one bites or scratches you, you really need to go to the hospital in Hanoi. Let no-one tell you different, as the touroperators are simply protecting their name, and you should protect your life. People still die from Rabiës in Vietnam. After a bite or scratch, you have to visit a hospital as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. Rabiës, once the virus becomes active, WILL kill you.

One more warning: I saw people let their children feed the monkeys, This is very, very dangerous. One look at their teeth says enough.

Aside from the agressive monkeys, the only thing on Monkey Island is a view after a big exhausting climb, and some lazing on the beach.
Written December 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1 contribution
May 2015 • Solo
I went to monkey island with tourist group. The monkey island was ok becouse of the wild monkeys. But the animal shows was very disapointing. Little monkeys tied in a dogs collars in a dog race. Dogs was starving in the sun without water all the time and yhen they have to run. Also bears walking in a two feet all the time was terrible to see. Stop the animal shows and start use the Power of the nature for tourist.. I don't ever wanna see again that kind of animal torturing.
Written May 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 425
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Monkey Island

We recommend booking Monkey Island tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Monkey Island tours on Tripadvisor