Cat Ba is the largest island in the Bay and approximately half of its area is covered by a National Park, which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba langur. This golden-headed langur is rarely seen, as fewer than 60 specimens are thought to survive in the wild, although it is the subject of a well-organised conservation programme; the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Program, an international NGO that has its office at the National Park Head Quarters. The Park covers both land and marine areas and has a high biodiversity, although it is at risk from too rapid an increase in tourism. Other mammals in the Park include civet cats and oriental giant squirrels.
Outside of Cat Ba town is a beautiful island with much to explore.
- How to get there
- From Hanoi to Cat Ba: you can catch a taxi, a bus or private car to Halong (Tuan Chau port) then catch the ferry from here to Cat Ba Island. There will have 05 times a day from Tuan Chau to Cat Ba and return.
- From Hai Phong to Cat Ba: catch a ferry at Ben Binh to Cat Ba Island. The local ferry
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.
- Place should go
- National Park
One of the most interesting destination travelers to Vietnam will not miss the opportunity to visit is Catba Island located next to Halong Bay. If Halong Bay is famous for one of the World Heritages, Cat Ba Island is a national park of Vietnam. The island was honorably recognized by UNESCO in December 2004 as a Biosphere reserve of the world.Cat Ba is the largest island in the Bay and approximately half of its area is covered by a National Park, which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba langur. This golden-headed langur is rarely seen, as fewer than 100 specimens are thought to survive in the wild, although it is the subject of a well-organised conservation programmer.
There are a lot of caves around the island, though none of them are particularly impressive. Some cost money and may have optional guides. You can find them using the map or signs on the island. You have to walk through some forest to some of them.
Southwest side of the island (Accessible from the road). Don’t expect surfable waves, though! Free.
- Monkey Island
Monkey Island is an ideal place for swimming for those tourists come to Cat Ba island. The water here is so clean and there are monkeys on the island for tourists to come to take pictures. There are two beaches here. The big one is crowded in summer holiday with hundreds of Vietnamese Tourists, the small one has Monkey Island Resort bungalow for tourists to stay overnight.
- Hospital Cave
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. The cave is about 10km north of Cat Ba Town on the road to the national park entrance.
- Cannon Fort
Located in populations world-famous scenic Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba island is considered the jewel of Vietnam. It is famous as one of the legends of the island jewel of thousands were cast into the sea forming Ha Long Bay. Cat Ba is the place between the forest and the sea blend to create a one of a kind landscapes.
- Lan Ha bay: you can rent a boat or join a group tour to come to visit Lan Ha bay. Monkey Island Resort has small boat for small group of 02 people up and price is reasonable. Most of tourists come to Lan Ha bay say that they love this place as it is not crowded and nature here is so beautiful with sandy beaches and thousands of islets around. Time to visit Lan Ha bay is about 3 – 4 hours is allright.
- Viet Hai fishing village: the village is in the middle of Cat Ba national park. There are two ways to come, one is going on foot with hardtrekking through forest about 6 km. This is often for adventure tourists. Other way tourists often do is going by boat from Ben Beo harbour to Viet Hai harbour by going through Lan Ha bay. You can go by motobike, bicycle or now they have electrict taxi to travel around the village.
- Cai Beo floating village: this floating village is just closed to Cat Ba town, it is located at Ben Beo harbour which is about 2 km from Cat Ba center. You can rent a small boat to travel around the village or go by kayaking around in about 1 hour.