Cat Ba island, the ‘pearl’ of the north for tourists
Vietnam has made an impressive comeback in tourism with ten nominated categories in the 2022 World Travel Awards.
The dramatic landscapes are characterised by limestone cliffs, coral reefs, lagoons, beaches, and mangrove forests. In 2004 UNESCO recognised the archipelago as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Cat Ba has been included in the bucket list of many nature-lovers who wish to explore its variety of natural ecosystems. Particularly, Cat Ba National Park has 4,500 hectares of primeval forest, providing habitat for many rare flora and fauna as well as animals that have been listed in the Red Book of Vietnam such as langurs, black squirrels or Chittagong wood.
To those keen on exploring bays, islands and caves, they could take one of the many cruise ships sailing along Lan Ha Bay and you may even be welcomed by the monkeys, ‘hospitable’ residents of Ca Dua island that is dubbed as ‘Monkey island’.
They could also kayak to explore Sang (Light) Cave and Toi (Dark) Cave or scuba dive to get immersed in the colourful world of corals.
One of the most popular tourism activities in Lan Ha Bay is rock climbing, a thrilling experience that is popular abroad but still quite rare in Vietnam.
Endowed with diverse and rich ecological resources, trekking has also thrived and attracted many tourists, especially young ones, to Cat Ba. The routes that they favour are mainly those passing low mountain terrain or valleys with beautiful, unspoiled natural landscapes and cultural-historical heritage sites like Quan Y Cave or Trung Trang Cave.
In order to protect and properly exploit the natural resources of the archipelago, the Hai Phong authority is making a dossier seeking UNESCO’s recognition of Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba archipelago as a World Heritage site