Cat Ba Island

Introducing Cat Ba Island

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Dragon-back mountain ranges mass on the horizon 20km out of Hai Phong as you approach Cat Ba Island. The island, the largest member of an archipelago sitting on the west of Ha Long Bay, boasts only one settlement of any size – Cat Ba Town, a fishing village now redefining itself as a tourist centre. The rest of the island is largely unspoilt and mostly inaccessible, with just a handful of paved roads across a landscape of enclosed valleys and shaggily forested limestone peaks, occasionally descending to lush coastal plains. In 1986 almost half the island and its adjacent waters were declared a national park in an effort to protect its diverse ecosystems, which range from offshore coral reefs and coastal mangrove swamps to tropical evergreen forest. Its value was further recognized in 2004, when the Cat Ba Archipelago was approved as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. However, change is coming – at the time of writing, a huge resort was under construction outside Cat Ba Town, and may be the first of many.

Cat Ba island is in the South of Halong bay heritage. It includes 367 islands staying in unique beautiful Lan Ha bay. Cat Ba 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 Island is situated a mere 50 km east of Hai Phong city in the north of Vietnam. Cat Ba Island is part of a chain of 366 islands that lie within the larger area of Halong Bay. At over 200km2, Cat Ba is the largest island in Halong Bay. The island is easily accessible and matches neighbouring Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay for stunning natural beauty. It also offers visitors the added options of relaxation, adventure and cultural exchange. In April 2005, Cat Ba was officially recognized as Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Cat Ba is known for its rugged limestone mountains, hot and cold springs, moist tropical forests, mangrove forest , coral reefs as well as its deserted beaches, and casual island lifestyle. Cat Ba is now much sought after by both domestic and international visitors as a ready alternative to the city madness and bus tour boredom.

Why go

Cat Ba island is a beautifully dreamy island, is 70 m above the sea level. On the island there is Cat Ba town in the southeast (in the Lan Ha Bay) and 6 communes. In Cat Ba you can:

Embed yourself in the beach as Cat Ba has many beaches with white smooth sand, clear water like Cat Co 1,2,3… What’s more interesting is the fresh delicious seafood like crab, fish, squid, prawn…you can choose what you like and enjoy it sitting on the seaside itself.

Shrug off the noisy city life and work stress: Cat Ba is an ideal place to enjoy life, being in a peaceful and quiet atmosphere in the middle of cool sea wind with clear blue water and fresh air will help you have some minutes of relaxation.

Explore Cat Ba islands: Cat Ba has been recognized by UNESCO as a world Biosphere Reserve on 2nd December 2004. Take your time to visit some famous and interesting cave like Thien Long cave, or go trek in Cat Ba National forest or go to visit isolated islands where you can enjoy smooth white sand and clear blue sea water. Cat Ba National Forest is highly diverse and is home to the highly endangered langur.

The Biosphere reserve of the world!

The archipelago has a global significance thanks to its plentiful species found nowhere else. It is home to the golden-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), one of the top ten rare primates in the world due.

Besides, visitors can find several precious habitat types here, including fringing coral reefs, mangrove forest, sea grass beds, willow swamp forest and tropical limestone forest. Many of those are fiercely endangered.

With a major coastal fishing zone, and a karst seascape of outstanding beauty, a tremendous potential for agri-aqua culture and tourism is open to the area. Thanks to the special values, Cat Ba was acknowledged as the World Biosphere Reserve in 2004. So, are you curious to go?

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