Not only possessing a diverse ecosystem including: limestone islands, terrestrial ecosystem, mangroves, lagoons, tidal flats, marine ecology,... Cat Ba National Park Vietnam also owns many beautiful and unique landscapes such as: Trung Trang cave, Lan Ha bay, Viet Hai ancient village, Flower valley,...This place stands out in the form of karst terrain that is eroded by the sea. There are many limestone mountains and treacherous mountains with an altitude below 500m. A narrow valley interspersed among the mountains runs in the northeast-southwest direction.
I - How to get to Cat Ba National Park?
The national park has a total area of 17362.96ha, of which 9800ha is forest, more than 4200 ha is the coastline. The national park is located in Cat Ba Archipelago, Tran Chau Commune, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City, Hai Phong Province, about 15km from Cat Ba Town to the West, 60km from Hai Phong City Center, 25km from Halong Bay to the North and 140km from Hanoi.
From Cat Ba Town, you have 3 choices of getting to Cat Ba National Park Vietnam, including travelling by taxi, motorbike and bike.
Travelling by taxi
Travelling by taxi takes about 200,000đ/4-seater car and you can refer to the following taxis in Cat Ba Town
- Cat Ba taxi: 031.3 688.699 - 031.3 688.699
- Golden swallow taxi (En Vang taxi): 0225 3777 999
Travelling by motorbike
Motorbike rental fee is from 200,000 - 250,000đ/day (~ $8.6 - 10.8) and you can contact the following motorbike rental shops in Cat Ba Town for a motorbike to the Cat Ba National Park:
- Cat Ba motorbike rental shop: Phone: 0974 986 107
- Mr Hai motorbike rental shop: No.206 Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Town; Phone: 0985 028 938
- Sunshine hotel: No.7, Lane 5 Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Town; Phone: 0963 247 618
Travelling by bike
You can easily rent a bike from your accommodation with the price from 100,000đ/day (~ $4.3). You can refer to the following hotels:
- Cat Ba Dream hotel: No.226, 1/4 Street, Cat Ba Town; Phone: 097 836 7371
- Cat Ba Palace Hotel: No.180 Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Town; Phone: 02253696030
- Sea Pearl Hotel: No.219, 1/4 Street, Cat Ba Town; Phone: 0225 3696 128
II - Cat Ba National Park entrance fee
The entrance fee to the national park is 80,000đ/person (~ $3.5)
III - Weather information
The national park, located in a tropical monsoon climate zone, is directly influenced by the oceanic climate (hot, humid and rainy). There are four seasons: spring (April), summer (May to September) autumn (October) and winter (November to March). The annual average temperature here is about 23.6oC; the average rainfall is 1,500 - 2,000mm/year and the average humidity is about 86%. In general, the weather is so pleasant and suitable for sea tourism, sightseeing activities... all year round.
The most ideal time for Cat Ba National Park hiking and trekking tour is from April to October thanks to the favourable weather. However, these months coincide with the peak season for domestic tourists and you should make reservations in advance. International tourists should visit the national park from November to April for more adventure tours such as trekking, mountain climbing,..
IV - Cat Ba National Park activities
1 - Explore the marine ecosystems
According to the Institute of Oceanography of Hai Phong province, the marine ecosystem of this national park has a total of 900 species of fish, 500 species of molluscs and 400 species of crustaceans. There are some rare species such as: Little Dolphins and Big Dolphins,...
Along with that, the benthic fauna in this Cat Ba Island National Park is quite diverse. Some ideal places that you should visit to explore the marine ecosystem include such fishing villages as Van Boi, Tra Bau, Van Ta, ... Interesting activities that you can experience here are: fishing, swimming, scuba diving to watch corals and marine ecosystems, kayaking, enjoying local cuisine, fish catching...
2 - Cat Ba National Park trekking activities
Some most outstanding spots in the national park suitable for trekking tours including:
Ech pond (frog pond)
Ech pond - Source: Internet
This is the largest freshwater pond (3.2ha and 60-80cm deep) on Cat Ba Island, located on the walking route through the forest to Viet Hai commune. The water here is cool in summer and warm in winter. This is home to many species of frogs, bullfrogs, puntius brevis, crabs, …
Ngu Lam peak
This is the hardest peak to conquer in the national park and is suitable for Cat Ba National Park hiking tours because of the steep steps, the narrow and slippery dirt track, barely fit for one man to slip through. The higher the road is, the more difficult it is.
Ngu Lam peak, 210m above sea level is like a natural observatory, from where you can admire the panoramic view of the majestic and green of the national park.
Kim Giao forest
Kim Giao forest, covering an area of more than 7ha, is the home of many-year-old nageia fleuryi (Kim Giao in Vietnamese). There are even 100-year-old and more than 10m tall trees here. The discovery journey of this forest is full of challenges with long slopes and sharp rocks.
Trung Trang cave
Trung Trang Cave - Source: Yougovn
The natural Trung Trang cave in Cat Ba National Park Vietnam is located in Trung Trang valley - the largest valley in Cat Ba island with an area of up to 300ha, about 15km northwest of Cat Ba Town. This cave is 300m long and was formed thousands of years ago. Go further into the cave, you can admire the sparkling stalactite system with many unique shapes such as: crown, robe, Fu, Lu and Shou Gods (Gods of happiness, wealth and longevity),..Trung Trang cave, also known as Bat cave, because this is home to many species of bats, reptiles and insects ...
In particular, Trung Trang cave in Cat Ba National Park stores many fossils of human bones, working tools of the prehistoric Vietnamese 6000 years ago. Not only is it a natural monument but the cave is also the place that the Vietnamese army used it as a military base in the period of 1964 - 1968. You can visit some remaining monuments such as: water tanks, meeting rooms, ...
Suggestions for one day Cat Ba National Park trekking tours provided by the management of the national park:
Kim Giao forest - Ngu Lam peak
- Vehicle: motorbike or bike
- Time: 2-3 hours
Trung Trang cave - Uy Ban cave
- Uy Ban cave is on the opposite side of Trung Trang cave on the same mountain.
- Time: 2 - 3 hours
Ech pond - Viet Hai ancient village
- Route length: 8km
- Time: 4 - 8 hours
V - Cat Ba National Park map
In 2014, UNESCO recognized Cat Ba National Park Vietnam as a world biosphere reserve with a rich and unique biological population. This place is really suitable for sea tourism and sightseeing tours.