Cat Ba Island Of Ha Long Bay In Northern Vietnam

Cat Ba Island Of Ha Long Bay In Northern Vietnam Cat Ba Island

Geography and History

Cat Ba Island which is on the south of Halong Bay, 30 km from Hai Phong city center and 25 km from Halong city, is included in Cat ba archipelago, containing 366 other islands, and belong to Cat Hai District. This island has total area of 26,000 ha, and is the largest island of all in Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. Other islands on the archipelago include Cat Ong, Cat Duoi, Hon May, Hon Quai Xanh, Hon Tai Keo, etc. The island includes Cat Ba Town and 6 communes: Gia Luan, Hien Hao, Phu Long, Tran Chau, Viet Hai, Xuan Dam.

The island is comprised in the tropical area and had similar climate as other areas in the North of Vietnam; but the weather is quite more comfordiv and advantageous for tourism as the summer is less hot and the winter is less cold.

Legend says Cat Ba means Island of Women (Cat means island and Ba means island). The name was originated when women used to supply logistics for men who were fighting with enemies in another island named Cat Ong (Island of Men).

Cat Ba island was recognized by UNESCO as The World Biosphere Reserve in 2004. It has 2 core zones (restricted area and no human activity allowed, except for scientific research and monitoring), 2 buffer zones (tourism and economic development allowed with restrictions) and 2 transitional zones (human activity allowed). This area comprises of diverse forest types: tropical rainforest on karst, mangrove forest, coral reefs, sea grass beds and caves. The area plays a significant role in the global reserve because of its large number of endemic species, especially golden-headed langur.


- By boat from Ben Binh (Binh Port), Hai Phong or from Halong Bay.
- By hydro foil from Hai Phong to Cat Ba Port
- By ferry from Tuan Chau Wharf (Halong, Quang Ninh) to Gia Luan Wharf, on the west of Cat Ba.
- By road from Hai Phong to Dinh Vu Ferry then head to Cat Hai and from Got Ferry in Cat Hai to Cat Ba.
- Another popular routine to reach Cat Ba Island is taking tours from a Halong Bay Cruise or Junk which is included overnight in Cat Ba (this tour type available for sale on request to Hanoi Imperial Hotel)


Cat Ba Island includes some main attractions:

   - Cat Ba National Park: total area of 15,200 ha, which is composed of both marine and terrestrial components. As a World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba National Park includes important tourism values and appeals more and more tourists globally to discover its biodiversity and spectacular landscape/ seascape. This place maintains archaeology relics, Halong cultural relics and ancient Vietnamese deposits. Cat Ba National Park reserves thousands of fauna and flora species which are useful for both research and economic purposes. Some of these, such as golden-headed langurs, are recorded in Vietnam and World Red Book for severe preservation needed due to its small population size and restricted range. These fauna and flora themselves create the charming and primitive beauty of this evergreen island.

   - Trung Trang Cave: situated within Trung Trang Valley, which has total area of 300 ha and is about 15 km from the town center and close to Cat Ba Road. This cave is 300 m long and features fanciful stalactites that had been naturally carved through thousands of years.
   - Hung Son Cave: lies right on Cat Ba Road, 13 km from Cat Ba Town, also called Military Hospital Cave because of its usage during Vietnam War.

   - Cat Co Beaches: including 3 different beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2 and Cat Co 3. Cat Co 1 is the largest and finest one lying along mountain foot. Cat Co 2 Beach is less touristy and cleaner. Cat Co 3 features the villas along the coast and entertainment venue in front of the seashore. Adventure-taking tourists can enjoy swimming in strong waves and take part in beach sports.

   - Cat Dua beach: found on Monkey Island. This wild and peaceful beach is 2 km long. Tourists can really enjoy sun-sea-sand time with blue clear and flat water here. There is a smaller beach called Cat Dua 2 on this island that especially make services for high-end tourists in Monkey Island Resort. Guests can stay in bungalow and enjoy the wonderful relaxing time away from the crowd.

  Travelling to Cat Ba is ideal because of not only its outstanding natural attractions but also its lodging capacity with wide price range and accommodation types, as well as distinguished culinary from its own native products. For those reasons, Cat Ba is considered as core tourism zone in the North to be invested and improved in services and to appeal more and more tourists to discover.

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