Belonging to Cat Ba island, Cat Ba National Park incorporates some of the small islands and marine water and covers 26,300 ha, in which 17,300 ha is on the main island and 9,000 ha is of the adjacent inshore waters. Once coming here, you will have a pleasant feeling from physical features to climate.
- Location: Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city
Highlights of Cat Ba National Park
The landscape of Cat Ba National Park is dominated by karst limestone areas on the main island where there are numerous waterfalls, caves and grottoes. The rugged topography is marked by steep outcrops and bare rock areas with many seasonal streams such as Thung Luong, Treo Com, Hoi Trung Trang and Viet Hai.
Most of the rainwater flows into caves and grottoes and follows underground streams to the sea. There are several small lakes and ponds in the hills; the largest is Echo Lake- a permanent water body with an area of 3 ha and a depth of about 50 m. Ninety percent of the main island is between 50 m and 200 m above sea level, for example Cao Vong (331 m) and Hien Hoa (302 m), while only 10% of the island is below 50 m in elevation.
Why Does Cat Ba National Park So Special?
Cat Ba is unique because it has a lot of interesting things to offer visitors, from different species to human history clues.
1. Biodiversity values
Due to the abundance of suitable moist niches within the limestone forest, Cat Ba National Park has a rich and plentiful snail fauna. It supports a diversity of natural habitats, including forested hills, small freshwater lakes, freshwater swamp forest, mangroves, sandy beaches and coral reefs. In detailed, among 839 vascular plant species have been recorded at the national park, there are 25 species listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam.
Due to the isolated nature of the island and high levels of hunting, the diversity and abundance of mammals in Cat Ba are low in comparison with other national parks in Vietnam. Among the fauna of the park, the most popular are ungulate and primate, in which monkey is between 104 and 135 individuals, including only 50 to 75 adults. Also, the limestone habitat at Cat Ba National Park is an ideal environment for a number of invertebrate species.
2. Human history clues
Not only those typical characteristics, Cat Ba National park has been considered as a cradle of culture with many traces of ancient humans. Stone tools and bones found at the sites indicate that primitive man was living in the caves and grottoes on the island between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. The example is Cai Beo Cave which is about 1.5 km south-east of Cat Ba Town, has been studied intensively.
What To Do in Cat Ba National Park?
Cat Ba is a great place for hiking and outdoor activities. There are lots of hiking groups coming here to conquer the trails at Cat Ba each year. If you are not an experienced hiker, you can book a tour guide to help you with this.
Exploring Cat Ba, you will see one of the most beautiful landscapes in Vietnam and the copious ecosystem. Other attractions such as limestone formations, numerous waterfalls, caves and grottoes are gorgeous, too.
How to Get to Cat Ba National Park?
The fastest way to get to Cat Ba National Park is by bus. It is not hard to find a bus to Hai Phong from Hanoi bus station. It will take you around 3-4 hours to go to Hai Phong. Then, you will have to take a taxi or private car heading to the park.
Best Time to Visit Cat Ba National Park
Featured by tropical monsoon with pronounced wet and dry seasons, the park receives the annual rainfall from 1,700mm to 1,800mm. The annual temperature at sea level is 25oC to 28oC associated with the moderate annual relative humidity is 85%.
Thus, the ideal time to visit is October and November when the weather is pleasant to enjoy every activity here. From December, the temperature will be cooler. In March and April, you may encounter the rain, even typhoons and tropical storms. Meanwhiles, from June to August, the weather is hot and humid so you may feel more tired when hiking here.
Thus, what about worshiping the beauty of beautiful nature in Cat Ba National Park where is home to so many terrestrial and marine life?