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Butterfly Valley

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Butterfly Valley Rock Climbing 

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Location: 20.7711, 106.9955 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ken H on Mar 18, 2011  with updates from Alee Rustle
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Butterfly Valley across the pasture.


Remember you are in Socialist Republic of Vietnam and everything is technically owned by the government. It costs 50 dong per day or you maybe able to get a discount buying the day passes at SloPony.

Butterfly Valley is an isolated area on Cat Ba Island with a one lane paved road to the "The Hive" the residence of the locals who work the land. Stop at The Hive and pay the local 50 dong per person or give them your day pass.

The wall tuffa covered steep limestone and some parts will stay dry in rain.

Getting There 

Pretty much the only way to get out here is to rent a motor bike in Cat Ba Town. This is pretty easy for around 70 dong per day and must come with 1 or 2 helmets. HELMET LAWS ARE STRICT IN VIETNAM AND YOU DON'T WANT TO TALK TO VIETNAMESE POLICE SO WEAR ONE. On the way out of town stop and get 1 liter of gas. Before you get off the bike get out 1 liters worth of dong (20 in 2011) and wave it in front of the attendant or he will try to fill your tank.

At this point you should have been to SloPony and picked up the newest edition of the guidebook which has good directions to the crag.

Climbing Season

Weather station 19.3 miles from here

59 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',22],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Butterfly Valley

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Butterfly Valley:
Elephant Man   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Center of the Universe
Cracker Jack   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Dragon Cave
Windchime of the Ants   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Pond Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Butterfly Valley

Featured Route For Butterfly Valley
Rock Climbing Photo: Anja finishing out Elephant Man. Butterfly Valley-...

Elephant Man 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  Asia : Vietnam : ... : Center of the Universe
A face climb through good holds and over a small roof. The crux starts at the undercling cross moving left and hard move continue until you move back right onto a corner....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Comments on Butterfly Valley Add Comment
Show which comments
By Leslie McG
Jul 27, 2012
RU kidding- stay AWAY from SLO PONY- they are NOT climbers- they are after MONEY ONLY.
By Tyler Quesnel
From: Eliot
Dec 6, 2012
I disagree with the comment above. It's been a couple years since I was in Vietnam, but I felt Slo Pony was helpful and what fees they did charge were nominal.
By Sander DiAngelis
From: San Luis Obispo, CA
Apr 14, 2014
"they are after MONEY ONLY." -> Not particularly. I mean, they're a western company operating in Vietnam ... not much money is to be made.

Slo Pony (now Asia Outdoors) is a legitimate organization. I had the opportunity to work with them for about 5 months and enjoyed my time. Ownership of the business has changed since me being there, so I'm unsure how that has effected the services. But, in my experience, they're friendly, passionate about climbing, and in business for the right reasons.
By fxct
Oct 27, 2014
I found the tour rate and gear rental rates fair. Took a DWS trip (very fun) and rented gear to go sport climbing at a nearby crag (BV). Its been said the grades are slightly soft here which may be so but there are some tricky starts and a couple slippery finishes here, or so it seemed to me anyway.

The staff all climb. Some quite well. As I observed, anyway, so I'm not sure what the issue from the earlier commenter was/is, but its two years on now. They keep whiteboards with all the latest beta on the tides for DWS, status of routes (issues with animals, nests, etc are updated frequently) and they are very engaged in keeping the routes up and clean as far as I could tell.
By waggledans
From: Vancouver, BC
Jan 30, 2015
The staff is OK, the crag is pretty good. I guess the annoying thing is that they charge about $2 for Butterfly valley access fee. One time donation should be enough for such a small crag. Otherwise, no complaints, just a regular climbing shop that is trying to make some money wherever possible.
By Nick Brennan
From: Jackson, WY
Dec 27, 2015
If you aren't going to add real, useful information to a mtproj area then why bother? For internet points irredeemable in the real world?

So is it true that if I want to climb in this area of Vietnam I have to pay a foreign-owned company $20/ day? I'm happy to buy a guide book, donate to a bolt fund, patronize a shop, buy a t shirt, some chalk, sign my parents up for a gumby tour, whatever but its counter to the spirit of climbing to monopolize information for your personal gain.
By Ken H
From: Granite, UT
Jan 4, 2016
Nick I'm not exactly sure where your comments are directed?

I have no personal interests in Vietnam. I visited Cat Ba in 2011 and wrote about my experiences about a country I visited once for 10 days. Maybe you think I shouldn't have posted anything about my visit because I lacked sufficient details. Well I'm pretty sure some of those who used these pages might disagree.

If you're looking for directions: I recall feeling the guidebook was required to find Butterfly Valley and do not wish to mislead anyone with poor information. After visiting once I found it fairly easy to return to but the first blast off on a motorbike into the jungle was an adventure when we were there.

Pay to climb: Yes when I visited you had to pay to climb. I saw no way around it.
-Butterfly Valley: From the comments it sounds like it will cost about $2/day/person to climb at Butterfly Valley. Plus the cost of a motorbike and gas (maybe $4/day).
-Ha Long Bay: Seems like Asia Outdoors is the only game in town still.
Website says 600,000 VND ($26 conversion at this time) for a seat on the boat if it is going out. I don't know how you'd find your way if you were not on one of their tours.

Asia Outdoors: clearly from the comments visitors have differing experiences with this operator. I can't say I find it surprising some visitors might have had a bad experience.

Many climbers find two items shocking visiting Cat Ba: Deep water soloing in the area is dependent on the tides AND you will have to pay money everyday you want to climb. After you experience the VISA process for a communist country this may be less shocking. If you find either of these items unacceptable you may want to skip visiting Cat Ba.