Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island Cat Ba Island is situated in Cat Ba Archipelago, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong Province. It's approximately 50 kilometers far from Hai Phong City to the east. By speedboat, it takes about an hour to reach the island
 With the total area of over 140 square kilometers, Cat Ba Island is the biggest island among 1.969 islands of Halong bay. The island has the average height of 70 meters above the sea level. Cat Ba Island is typical for karst topography created by marine transgression. On the island, there are many lime-stone mountains which are the evidences of tectonic process over millions of years. Those vertical mountains are covered by evergreen forest. It’s the result of wet tropical climate with the operation of monsoon. Moreover, explorers have discovered several karst caves on the island, including Trung Trang Cave, Hung Son Cave and Phu Long Cave (so-called Cai Vieng Cave). The scenery on Cat Ba Island is also featured with white sand beaches, pristine coral reefs, lagoons and mangroves.

As favorable conditions of geographic and climate, Cat Ba Island is home to many species of flora and fauna. In estimate, there are more than 1.400 species of flora living on the island. And among them, there are 23 rare species which was listed in Vietnam’s Red Data Book as well as IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Many endangered animals including the Cat Ba langur, the Southern Serow (Naemorhaedus sumatraensis), Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), black giant squirrel (Ratufa bicolor), and civet cats (Viverricula indica, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) are also found on Cat Ba Island. Especially, Cat Ba langur and nageia fleuryi are two endemic species of Cat Ba Island.

Arming at protecting the abundant biodiversity on Cat Ba Island, Cat Ba National Park was established in 1986. It now covers an area of 109 square kilometers on land and 52 square kilometers on the sea (included inshore area and mangroves). An area of 90 square kilometers in Cat Ba National Park belongs to the territory of Cat Ba Island. Cat Ba National Park is the first national park of Vietnam that comprises both ecosystem on land and aquatic ecosystem. In December 2004, Cat Ba Archipelago and Cat Ba Island in particular were recognized as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Population of Cat Ba Island is 13.500 people. The local residents live mainly on agriculture and fishing. Nowadays, a part of them work in tourism, shrimp and fish farming. They are supposed to be the original inhabitants on the Gulf of Tonkin. Archaeologists have found the relics of Cai Beo and Halong Culture (dating 6.475 – 4.200 years ago), which prove that people have inhabited on Cat Ba Island for at least 6.000 years. Particularly, Cat Ba Island is also the location of Viet Hai fishing village, an untouched village with long-lasting fishing tradition.

Coming to Cat Ba Island, tourists can enjoy beautiful natural scenery of sea and island. There are many fun activities on the island such as beaching, snorkeling to gaze pristine coral reefs, cycling, visiting Cat Ba National Park and Viet Hai fishing village, etc. Cat Ba Island really is the paradise of relaxation in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Cat Ba Island was honored with the title “Pearl Island” as its natural beauty and biodiversity. It’s now a famous tourism site that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Several resorts, restaurants have been built on the island to meet the demand of tourists.
 
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