Cat Ba Island was recognized as the World’s Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 2005. Thanks to the favor of Cat Ba geography and nature, the land has many beautiful landscapes which are very favorable for developing tourism.
Stunning view from Cat Ba Island.
Location and Geography
Belonging to Cat Ba Archipelago, which includes 367 islands, in the south of Ha Long bay, Cat Ba Island is only 30 km from Hai Phong city centre and 25 km from Ha Long city.
Not at all is it a random thing when Cat Ba is also called Pearl Island (Dao Ngoc in Vietnamese). With a 70m altitude, and the post to overlook Lan Ha lagoon, Cat Ba lures tourists by its heavenly captivation. With an area of 140 km2 and population of 9000 people, it is proud to be the biggest island among the 1,969 islands in Ha Long bay. If you are considering a fresh-air and beautiful place to travel, just pack your stuff, stand up and fly to this magic land of blue Sky and Sea!
Cat Ba weather is influenced by the tropical monsoon climate, the southwest winds in summer and the northeast monsoon winds in winter. The Island has two seasons in one year including hot seasons from May to September and cold seasons from November to March. The annual average temperature in the Island is 23oC. The hottest time in a year is in July with the average number of 28 – 29°C. On the other hand, the coldest time is in January with the number of 16 – 17°C.
Best time to travel
Summer is the best time to travel in Cat ba. You also should visit in Cat Ba island in normal days because in weekend and holiday, there are many tourists in the area and the price for service also increases.
What to see
As favorable conditions of geographic and climate, Cat Ba is one of few places in Red River Delta Geography zone having the diversity in ecosystem including tropical rain forests, mangroves, coral reefs, cave ecosystems, virgin forest and so on. Especially, Cat Ba National Park is another highlighted feature of the Island. Cat Ba National Park is a special-use forest in Vietnam, which has the relatively high biodiversity.
The mountain adjacent to Cat Co Beach has a tunnel and several fascinating caves and grottoes, such as Hang Luon, Khe Sau, Trung Trang, Gia Luan and Kim Cuong. Unlike the well-lit caves of Ha Long Bay, visiting these caves and grottoes give you a better feel of being an explorer or conqueror of natural wonder and mysteries.
What to do
Coming to Cat Ba Island, tourists can enjoy beautiful natural scenery of sea and island. There are many fun activities on the island such as beaching, snorkeling to gaze pristine coral reefs, cycling, visiting Cat Ba National Park and Viet Hai fishing village, etc. Cat Ba Island really is the paradise of relaxation in the Gulf of Tonkin.
How to reach Cat Ba Island?
Visitors can reach Cat Ba Island by two ways. One, by ferry from Hai Phong city, Binh ferry station or Dinh Vu ferry station. And two, from Ha Long bay. After visiting this Natural World Heritage Site, visitors can keep staying on boat and getting to the Island.
Exploring extremely hot destinations of Cat Ba island
Cat Ba beaches
No island would be complete without it’s beaches!
Cat Ba is home to some nice patches of each. The best accessible are near the town and known imaginatively as Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2 and Cat Co 3. They’re pleasant spots to cool off on a hot day, but don’t restrict yourself to just those. There are plenty of nice clean secluded beaches around the island. Most people don’t wander too far from town so you usually have the beach all to yourself. Finished swimming, relaxing on sandy beaches or enjoying drinks and seafood specialties, you’ll feel all the beauty of the sea, especially at sunset.
Cat Ba National Park
As the world’s biosphere reserve, Cat Ba’s beautiful national park is home to 32 types of mammal, including most of the world’s 65 remaining golden-headed langur, the world’s most endangered primate. There are some good hiking trails here, including a hard-core 18km route up to a mountain summit.
Cat Ba National Park (Photo: Internet)
Hospital Cave served both as a secret, bomb-proof hospital during the American War and as a safe house for VC leaders. Built between 1963 and 1965 (with assistance from China), this incredibly well-constructed three-storey feat of engineering was in constant use until 1975. Access is via a woodland path and some rickety steps and inside you will find a selection of concrete rooms. The cave is often included as part of an island tour and is also easy to reach from Cat Ba town by motorbike or motorbike taxi. It is a fascinating stop off, particularly for those who have not faced war in their lifetime.
Hospital cave (Photo: Internet)
The fort was built during the French war period as a look-out point and you will find the cannon bunkers and rooms containing memorabilia and a selection of paintings, photos and propaganda photos.
Well-labelled paths guide visitors past underground tunnels, and two well-preserved gun emplacements (one ‘manned’ by life-size Viet Minh mannequins), out to two viewpoints overlooking the island. There’s even a cafe (with more great views from its terrace) and a tiny museum.
Cannon fort (Photo: Internet)
Thien Long grotto
Thien Long Grotto is one of the most beautiful caves and grottos in Ha Long bay. As wide and deep with miraculously various shaped & colorful stalactites and stalagmites, and tree roots from the mount to the bottom, Thien Long grotto is admired by any tourist stepping inside. One even said: “It looks like a pretty and peaceful fairy land on the sea..!” after her tour here. Also, people can feel free to contemplate the coral system, salty lakes and ponds in and around, which are definitely rich of marine bio-diversity.
Mysterious beauty of Thien Long grotto
Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha bay is situated in the southeast of Cat Ba Island. It takes about 30 minutes to go there from Cat Ba by boat. The bay is large with arched shore. Getting inside, a number of islands and beaches are welcoming tourists.
Not only is it famous for beautiful beaches, but also for the imposing caves and ideal place for fishing. A lot of visitors who are fond of fishing do not want to come back once staying here for a while!
Lan Ha bay (Photo: Internet)
Viet Hai village
To switch into a new atmospheric space, tourists should now get to Viet Hai Village. It captures attentions by the precious retained hundreds-year traditional cultural values of Cat Ba. Viet Hai people still live in the simple house, built in bamboo, wood, leaves and soil.
If it gets late, we may stay overnight in the village in a simple and guest house at very reasonable price. You might be surprised as being treated in a friendly way, and served with special local cuisine seafood by the honest and hospitable local people. Believe me, you may not want to go back soon
Monkey island has become a popular tourist spot. As the name suggests this island is full of monkeys and the monkeys know that humans carry food. So if you are ticking this place of your list of things to do in Cat Ba I would advise being careful. That being said there is a lot more to Monkey island than just monkeys. A trek to the top of the peak and offers an amazing view of the bay.
Go swimming & entertain yourself, enjoy night scenery or you might regret!
Night scenery in Cat Ba island (Photo: Internet)
In conclusion, Cat Ba island is surely a ideal place for you and your friends in this summer. Just go there and have a great trip!
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