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Cat Ba island and attractions

Cat Ba island

Cat Ba island with a total area of 354 sq km rugged, craggy and jungle-clad; it's the largest island in Halong Bay, is emerging as Vietnam’s adventure sport and ecotourism. There is an energetic roll-call of activities, including sailing, birdwatching, cycling, hiking and rock climbing on the island of Butterfly Valley or Lan Ha Bay.

Almost half of Cat Ba Island and 90 sq km of the adjacent waters were declared a national park in 1986 to protect the island’s diverse ecosystems: subtropical evergreen forests on the hills, freshwater swamp forests at the base of the hills, coastal mangrove forests, small freshwater lakes and coral reefs. Most of the coastline consists of rocky cliffs, but there are some sandy beaches and tiny fishing villages hidden away in small coves.

Lakes, waterfalls and grottoes dot the spectacular limestone hills, the highest rising 330m above sea level; the island’s largest body of water is Ech Lake with 3 hectares. Most of the island’s rainwater flows into caves and follows underground streams to the sea, creating a shortage of fresh water during the dry season.

Except for a few fertile pockets, Cat Ba’s terrain is too rocky for agriculture. Most residents earn their living from the sea, while others work in tourism. In recent years, Cat Ba Town has experienced a hotel boom, but the rest of the island is largely untouched, and with spectacular Lan Ha Bay you’ll soon overlook Cat Ba Town’s over-development.

Lan Ha Bay, encompassing the southern seas off Cat Ba, is dotted with hundreds of jungle-topped limestone islands with many deserted beaches. At sunset, on the golden background of the horizon and the dark blue of the sea, the heaving islets become multiform, the white sea-gulls hover and sea-eagles make circles in the sky, all beautifying the immense and fascinating space.


Attractions

Lan Ha bay Lan Ha bay

Quite different to the scenery in Ha Long Bay, the mountain in Lan Ha Bay is one of the best examples of Karst landscape invaded by the sea in the world with many unique figures of the mountain on the bay. Most of the islands are from 50 to 100m with sheer vertical cliffs on all sides. Lan Ha bay is also the wonderful place to do the professional rock climbing and kayaking through spectacular caves right on the sea...
Monkey island Monkey island

Monkey island has a public beach with the scenery is spectacular, destination of lot Cat Ba island trips. It is probably the most beautiful beach in the region and there's some kayaking available.The island apparently has monkeys, and you can see a few around the accommodation...
Cat Ba national park Cat Ba national park

One of the main attractions of the Cat Ba island is Cat Ba National Park, that was established in 1986. The park included two different areas: 109 square kilometers on the island and an additional 52 square km of inshore waters and mangrove covered tidal zones. Cat Ba National Park was Vietnam’s first national park to include both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The trekking tour to Cat Ba National Park is a very popular activity for travelers when visiting this island.
Hospital cave Hospital cave

Hospital Cave served both as a secret, bomb-proof hospital during the War and as a safe house for leaders. Built in 1963, this incredibly well-constructed three-storey feat of engineering. The tour guide is a wonderful character though the available history is light. He will show you around the labyrinth of well-designed underground buildings, such as a large hospital and recovery rooms, as well as offices and planning rooms, ammunition storage, recreation rooms, a theater, and even a small swimming pool.

Time to visit Cat Ba island

- Cat Ba’s best weather is from late September to November, when air and water temperatures are mild and the skies are mostly clear.

- December to February is cooler but pleasant.

- From February to April is still good, but you can expect some rain.

- Summer (June to August) is hot and humid with occasional thunderstorms. This is also peak season and the island is packed with Vietnamese tourists.

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Cat Ba island
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          - Monkey island
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