We had four nights to spend on Cat Ba island in Halong Bay Vietnam. Definitely more than enough time to explore the place and definitely enough time to unwind and relax! It was on one of these lazy days that we decided to head out to see the Butterfly valley in Cat Ba. Not many people talk about it on blogs and when our host told us about it we were surprised.


We picked up our helmets, got on our motorbike, checked the map and headed out. The road however was not at its best. There were parts that were under construction. Little Cat Ba had provided us with the motorbike (which was free with the room!). Shawn has a lot of experience and the roads were no match for him. After years of riding/driving through Bangalore roads that man could navigate through the craters on the moon!

The other issue was that our bike was old and the inclines were steep. Well not always but at times they were. This meant that I had to get down and chase the bike up a slope. It was funny and a number of the locals had a good laugh.


We expected to see butterflies everywhere in the butterfly valley and I guess that was the reason why we were disappointed. At first the butterflies were hard to spot. Then we noticed a few flitting about. Don’t get me wrong. There were butterflies around but just not in the numbers that we expected them to be in.

butterfly valley in Halong Bay Vietnam

Our Mascot and guide!

The trip was not entirely futile. We met a mascot who guided us from and to the valley. He was an extremely affectionate brown dog. We later learned that he was the welcoming committee. Almost everyone who had been there before knew of him.

butterfly valley in halong bay vietnam

The ruminating bull!

I had a run in with a bull who was not too pleased to see me walking near his calf. After he realized that I meant no harm he went back to ruminating. Talk about a close call!

butterfly valley in halong bay vietnam

Oh the fearless explorer!

A steep rock face borders the valley on one side. My explorations brought me to a small cave which I bravely tried to explore. A slithering noise however sent me running back out while Shawn kept laughing out loud!

Getting inspired!

Lastly we met a few interesting people who were rock climbing. I’m usually afraid of heights but after talking to them I must admit that I am tempted to try it on my own. Just a piece of information for people who love to rock climb: Butterfly valley has a small rock climbing club of sorts called the Hive. You can rent equipment from them or bring your own. Hooks are already placed on the rocky wall so it makes your climb easier. At least that is what I was told.

Honestly after talking to the duo I was highly inclined to try rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since I write this in retrospect I can add that I have given it a shot. It is a long and arduous journey but one I am determined to keep at!

butterfly valley in halong bay vietnam

This was the best photograph we got.

We chased a few butterflies in hope of getting a good butterfly snap but our efforts were futile! In the end we gave up and made our way back to the motorbike. It was time to move on and time to search for more interesting places to see.

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  • Sure Butterfly valley does have butterflies but it is definitely not worth making the arduous drive there to see them. There are more butterflies at the bottom of the hospital cave that there were in the valley. Then again we may have gone at the wrong time of the year.
  • The Butterfly valley has a lovely place to rock climb. They even rent the hiking equipment.
  • Butterfly valley is a peaceful and pretty spot if you don’t mind making your way to it. If you have plenty of time, take a picnic lunch with you. Just don’t go expecting hordes of butterflies that’s all.