About Cat Ba

50 km east of Hai Phong city, Cat Ba is the largest of the 367 islands spanning 260 km2 that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam. Cat Ba island has a surface area of 285 km2 and maintains the dramatic and rugged features of Ha Long Bay. This island belongs to Haiphong city - the most famous city of industry in Vietnam.

Catba island map

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. The island has a wide variety of natural ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, leading to incredibly high rates of biodiversity. Types of natural habitats found on Cat Ba Archipelago include limestone karsts, tropical limestone forests, coral reefs, mangrove and sea grass beds, lagoons, beaches, caves, and willow swamp forests. Cat Ba Island is one of the only populated islands in Ha Long Bay, with roughly 13,000 inhabitants living in six different communes, and 4,000 more inhabitants living on floating fishing villages off the coast. The large majority of the population can be found in Cat Ba town, which is located at the southern tip of the Island (15 km)south of the national park) and is the commercial center on the Island. Since 1997, Cat Ba town has grown rapidly and has become a tourist hub for both the Island and greater Ha Long Bay. Especially, almost all surface of this island is deployed free wifi access points as well as 3.75 generation mobile networks, which can make visitors can easily work when traveling.

In some recent years, Cat Ba town has seen a small explosion of tourism service from hotels, resorts, restaurants to local transportation, which has made it easier for tourists to each and enjoy the island. In summer, the island turns into a heaven for those who love the sun with various beaches around the town. You will not be able to avoid the crowd, but be ready to take some swimming, tanning and sport activities on beach. In April 2005, The Cat Ba archipelago, recognised as world biosphere reserve by UNESC

Cat Ba national park

Situated 15km to the North West of Cat Ba Island, Cat Ba Nation Park covers an area of 15,200 ha, including 9,800 ha of forests with splendid grottoes.

Catba national park

Cat Ba National Park is also home to 20 species of mammals, 69 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, 11 species of frogs. Seventy bird species have been spotted here, including hawks, hornbills and cuckoos. Many of these animals are listed in the Red Book and under tight protection. The most notable of all is Vooc (white headed monkeys), which can only be found on Cat Ba Island.

There are some 745 species of plants, including various species of rare wood trees and one of the rarest tree is Kim Giao , the material to make chopsticks for the Kings. It is said that Kim Giao chopstick will turn into another colour  when it touches poisoned food.

There are some good hiking trails here, including a hard core 18km route up to a mountain summit. There are a lot of cave, lake, challeng and even undiscovered point here to experience

Lan Ha bay

Lan Ha bay lies southeast of Cat Ba Town, it’s an extention of Long Bay. Around 200 species of fish, 500 species of mollusc, 400 species of arthropod, and numerous hard and soft coral live in the waters here, while larger marine animals in the area include seals and three species of dolphin.

Lan Ha Bay

With the 300 or so karst islands and limestone outcrops of Lan Ha are just as beautiful as those of Halong Bay and have the additional attraction of numerous white-sand beaches. A lot of little bays, gulfs, and caves has not been discovered yet in Lan Ha bay

Comparing in a fair way to Halong bay, not so many tourist boats venture here, meaning Lan Ha Bay has a more isolated beauty. Snorkeling, swimming, rock climbing, fishing, sailing and kayaking trips here are best organised in Cat Ba Town.

Hospital Cave Cat Ba

Hospital Cave Cat Ba located near Cat Ba National Park. Each year, it attract a lot of travellers from Vietnam and foreign to visit and discover the foundation and history of this special 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. A guide will show you around the 17 rooms, point out the old operating theatre and take you to the huge natural cavern which was used as a cinema (and even had its own small swimming pool). The cave is about 10km north of Cat Ba Town on the road to the national park entrance.

A guide (most know a few words of English) will show you around the 17 rooms, point out the old operating theatre and take you to the huge natural cavern that was used as a cinema (According to lonelyplanet.com)

Viet Hai village

Viet Hai village is a farming village in Cat Ba. It is a small village in the midst of jungles, covered by high mountains range of the Cat Ba National Park, which belongs to Cat Hai district of Hai Phong city. Vietnamese tourists seldom go to this place, but it has been becoming a popular attraction to the foreign tourists.

Viet Hai Village Cat Ba Travel, located approximately 18 km from Cat Ba island, the small fishing village of Viet Hai stretches along the coastline. To reach the village one can embark on an 8km trek passing the Frog Lake(Ho Ech) before arriving in Viet Hai.

Few years ago, Viet Hai was absolutely separated with the outside world. The local residents lived their self supply life as the primitive human of thousand years ago. Because of this cultural practice, foreign visitors to this village increase gradually. In recent years, together with the recognition of Cat Ba Archipelago as the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, thousands tourists have trekked through the mountains, jungles, springs to visit this unique attraction. They are interested in this wild area in the midst of the Biosphere Reserve, the Cat Ba National Park

Frog lake

Frog lake is located at the Catba National Park, surrounding by the great variety of landscapes and ecosystems, including tropical evergeen forests, mangrove, freshwater lake and streams, isolated sandy beaches, coral reefs, caves and grottos. The Park is a tourist attraction to million of domestic and oversea visitors, and Frog Lake Catba Travel is one of most special visiting place.

Here, we start the tour to subdue the mountains to come fishing village. Along 6-km Mountain road, you can discover the primary forest with many rare and precious flora and fauna, ancient trees with diameter needing tens of people to hold, floors of green moss covering the stone surface.  Come to Frog Lake Catba Travel Catba, travellers not only can worship the beauty of landscapes, seascapes, relax on isolated beaches in Lanha Bay or visit primeval forest but also have chances to discover many unique, precious species of fauna, flora and local culture in Catba National Park.

Visiting Frog Lake Catba Travel in the World Biosphere Reserves, you can stop and take a rest to enjoy the charming nature, visit Viet Hai fishing village, mixing with the simple life of local residents and wander small islands on the dreamlike Lan Ha bay. You can trek forest or use motorbike to come here and take many beautiful photos. You have a chance to enjoys fresh air and pristine beauty in Frog Lake Catba Travel.

Ba Ham Lake

Situated on the south-west side of Ha Long Bay, Ba Ham Lake is found on Dau Be Island (Calf Head Island) in Lan Ha Bay – Catba Vietnam. This island is part of the range of islands at the farthest end of Ha Long Bay, bordering the immense zone Long Chau Sea. Ba Ham Lake is situated in the middle of a narrow, rectangular area, with the all four sides enclosed by vertical cliffs.

The lake is a system comprising three wide and round pits, linked together by a narrow and meandering tunnel. Stalactites hang from the ceiling in a myriad of strange, coloured forms. The silence is disturbed only by the sounds of the boat’s oars. On the island are many species of plants such as orchids, Benjamin figs, banyans and cycads, which blossom throughout the year. It is also the home of yellow-haired monkeys, birds, flying squirrels and bats. Under the deep blue surface of the water are the animated lives of shrimp and fish.