Cat Ba National Park is a famous tourist attraction of Vietnam, located in the north-west of Cat Ba Island which is about 40 kilometers east of Hai Phong City. This is a World Heritage Site of Vietnam and is recognized as a significant biosphere reserve in northern Vietnam. With its rich biodiversity and fresh atmosphere, Cat Ba National Park has become the ideal eco-tourism destination and welcomes thousands of tourists every year.
This article will provide you with essential information about Cat Ba National Park including how to get to the park, where to stay, what to do, what to eat and useful tips for your trip. Let’s design your journey through the diverse beauty of Cat Ba National Park.
I. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT CAT BA NATIONAL PARK, VIETNAM
1. Geographical features of Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is located in Cat Ba Island and covers most of this island with the total natural area of about 15.200 ha including land and inshore water. This park is lying on the archipelago of limestone comprising hundreds of islands of various sizes. Most of the islands are about 100-150 meters high above the sea level and the Cau Vong Island is the highest island rising upto 331 meters above sea level. Cat Ba National Park is also well-known for its largest mangroves, its biggest reef in the North Gulf, and the diverse cave system.
2. Weather in Cat Ba National Park
The weather in Cat Ba National Park is the typical type of tropical monsoon climate with 2 main seasons. The summer (the humid season) is hot, humid and rainy lasting from May to October. The winter (the dry season) is cold and dry lasting from November to April. Also, the effect of the sea controls and balances the weather in Cat Ba Island making the atmosphere warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Therefore, the average temperature of the park remains within 25०C to 28०C.
In Cat Ba National Park, the peak season of tourism is the summer. At this time, a lot of tourists from surrounding areas and international destinations come to Cat Ba Island to enjoy the beauty of nature and avoid the hotness of summer. Therefore, the price for accommodation and tourism services becomes more expensive and overloaded. It is always recommended to book the tour packages and hotel stays much in advance to avoid last hour rush and cancellation.
3. Biological Resources of Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is one of the biggest biosphere reserves in Vietnam. There are many unique ecosystems in this park such as the tropical rainforest on limestone mountain, the mangroves or the coral reef.These are the common houses of abundant flora and fauna with the total number over 3000 species.
According to the latest record, Cat Ba National Park has 1588 vascular plant species in which there are 58 species listed in Vietnamese Red Book, 33 species recorded in the IUCN The World List of Threatened Trees and 1,026 medicinal plant species. Cat Ba National Park is also the home of 205 species of birds, 53 species of mammals, 55 species of reptiles and 25 amphibian species including golden-headed langur – the world’s most endangered primate. Cat Ba National Park is the only place where golden-headed langur is found and the last recorded number is just 65.
Covering a large sea area, Cat Ba National Park possesses invaluable marine resources with over 1,131 aquatic animals and plant species from various kinds and families. Cat Ba is also well-known for other sea specialties such as crab, squid, snout otter clam, lobster, pearl shells, blood ark and many more
II. WHAT TO DO IN CAT BA NATIONAL PARK, VIETNAM
With the wonderful charm of nature, Cat Ba National Park attract tourists by the biodiversity as well as the harmony between the natural landscapes and seascapes. When you coame to Cat Ba National Park, you can choose a variety of tourism activities to explore the beauty of the park.
1. Forestry ecotourism in Cat Ba National Park
To exploring the rare wildlife resources of Cat Ba National Park, you can choose among various tour routes of different forest ecosystems such as tropical everlasting green primitive forest, mangroves, limestone, and so on.
|Name||Length and Duration||Travel itinerary|
|Kim Giao Forest – Ngu Lam Peak||1.5 kilometers – 30 minutes||The journey starts from the park’s headquarter to Kim Giao Forest to explore the rare, endangered species and then reach Ngu Lam Peak to see the spectacular views of the surrounding areas.|
|Trung Trang Cave & Uy Ban Grotto||1.2 kilometers – 1 hour||Trung Trang and Uy Ban are 2 well-known caves in the park. In this trail, you will marvel at the plentiful of mysterious stalactites and the variety of resident roosting bats.|
|National Park’s Headquarter – Ech Lake||2-2.,5 hours||This trail provides a much harder challenge. Starting from the park’s headquarter, you will explore a magnificent flooded willow forest through the beautiful valley of Cat Ba and then reach Ech Lake – the largest concentration of freshwater on the island.|
|National Park’s Headquarter – Ech Lake – Viet Hai Commune – Ha Lan Bay||14 kilometers – 7 hours||With the trekking route, you can explore both land and sea areas of the park. You will start hiking to magnificent forest ecosystems and discover the local culture of Viet Hai Village. Then you can take the tourist boat or do kayaking to continue discovering the most charming sea area of the park – Ha Lan Bay.|
2. Sea tourism in Cat Ba National Park
Besides the land area, the sea area in Cat Ba National Park also has its distinctive beauty. To explore the vast sea resources of Cat Ba, you can choose among water activities such as doing kayak to discover the bay and gulf ecosystems, climbing to some cliff of beautiful islands, diving deep for a coral watch, fishing and sea bathing in wonderful beaches, and enjoying some exciting water sports. Each sea tours at Cat Ba National Park will last from 2 – 5 hours depending on the activities you choose.
3. Community-based ecotourism and homestay in Cat Ba National Park
For environment lovers, Community-based ecotourism will be an ideal idea. In this tour, you will stay at the homestays with local people as one family for one or two nights, eating and working together to explore the local culture as well as enjoy the beauty of Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve like a native resident. This type of tourism is initiated to raise the awareness of conserving the natural environment of tourists and improve the income of local people when the natural resources are under constant threat.
4. Voluntary tourism in Cat Ba National Park
This is a new kind of tourism in Cat Ba National Park. In this tour, you can not only explore the natural values but also contribute to protect and keep the environment clean such as gathering trash, volunteer at conservation centers, and other environment conservation activities. Today, a lot of young people coming to Cat Ba Island choose voluntary tourism.
Note: To book a tour at Cat Ba National Park, you can contact Cat Ba Tourism Service Center through the following contact numbers: (+84) 988 809 320 or (+84) 225 368 8975.
III. HOW TO GET TO CAT BA NATIONAL PARK, VIETNAM
There are many ways to get to Cat Ba National Park. Usually, tourists will get to Cat Ba Island from Hai Phong City and Ha Long Bay.
1. Getting to Cat Ba Island from Hai Phong City
a. Getting to Hai Phong City
- Getting to Hai Phong City by plane
Hai Phong City is about 120 kilometers from Hanoi Capital and about 1,500 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. Travelers from Ho Chi Minh City often choose plane as the main transportation to get to Hai Phong City because of time saving. Hai Phong City has an international airport named Cat Bi which is just about 5 kilometers from the center of Hai Phong City. Moreover, all three Vietnamese airlines including Vietnam Airline, Vietjet Air, and Jetstar operate in this route.
Hanoi to Hai Phong City: You can take the flight at Noi Bai International Airport with the price from VND 500,000.
Ho Chi Minh City to Hai Phong City: You can take the flight at Tan Son Nhat International Airport with the price from VND 890,000.
- Getting to Hai Phong City by train
There are many United trains running to Hai Phong station from Hanoi. You can buy tickets at Ha Noi station (120 Le Duan, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi) with the price from VND 80,000. Or you can book the ticket online at its official website: dsvn.vn . Unfortunately, there is no train getting to Hai Phong Station from Ho Chi Minh City.
- Getting to Hai Phong City by shuttle bus
Getting to Hai Phong City from Hanoi: One of the famous bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong City is Hai Au Bus which departs after every 30 minutes starting from 06:00 AM . It takes over 1 hour to get to Hai Phong City from Hanoi.
Price: VND 100,000
Tel: (+84) 190 070 75 or (+84) 225 371 7717
Getting to Hai Phong City from Ho Chi Minh City: There are various shuttle buses to get to Hai Phong City from Ho Chi Minh City.
|Brand of bus||Departure Time & Location||Arrival Time & Destination||Ticket Fare||Contact Number||Rating|
(Total time: 37 hours)
Ho Chi Minh City
Hai Phong City
|VND 750,000||(+84) 934 765 640||4/5 stars|
(Total time: 30 hours)
Nghia Niem Station, Hai Phong City
|VND 950,000||(+84) 190
(Total time: 38 hours)
Cau Rao Station, Hai Phong City
|VND 700,000||(+84) 190
(Total time: 37 hours)
Nghia Niem Station, Hai Phong City
b. Getting to Cat Ba Island from Hai Phong City
- Getting to Cat Ba Island by boat at Binh Pier
From Hai Phong City’s bus station and airport, you can easily get to Binh Pier by taxi. Then at Binh Pier, you can take a speedboat or a hydrofoil to get to Cat Ba Island. Normally, you can buy the boat ticket right at the pier, however, on the weekend or special occasions, you should book the ticket before coming to avoid overcrowding. Below is the list of recommended speedboat companies for you:
|Boat Companies||Departure time||Duration||Cost||Contact Number|
|Mekong Hoang Yen||08:45||1 hour||VND 240,000||(+84) 225 3841 431|
|Cat Ba Island||09:00
|1 hour||VND 240,000||(+84) 934 455 899|
|1 hour||VND 240,000||(+84) 912 810 555|
- Getting to Cat Ba National Park through Tan Vu Bridge
If you want to come to Cat Ba Island by your own car or motorbike, you can go to Got Pier by Tan Vu Bridge to take the boat to Cat Ba Island. By this way, tourists can save time and cost for the boat. From Got Pier, you have to choices: taking a ferry with the price of VND 7,000/person or taking a speedboat with the price of VND 50,000/person.
2. Getting to Cat Ba Island from Ha Long Bay
If you are on a holiday in Halong Bay and want to combine the trip with exploring Cat Ba National Park, you can easily get to Cat Ba Island by Tuan Chau Ferry. Here is Tuan Chau Ferry’s schedule:
|Monthly Schedule||Departure time||Price|
|30/4 – 30/9||07:30 – 09:00 – 11:30 – 13:30 – 15:00||– VND 60,000/person
– VND 80,000/rider with motorbike
– VND 360,00/car from 4 to 8 seat
|1/10 – 29/4||07:30 – 11:30 – 15:00|
3. Getting to Cat Ba Island by combo package of the shuttle bus from Hanoi
The Combo package of shuttle bus is chosen by a lot of tourists from Hanoi because of convenience. The combo package provides you with both shuttle bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong City and speedboat to Cat Ba Island. Therefore, you will not have to worry about overloading at the pier or additional problems when get to the piers from the bus station and the airport.
|Bus Company||Departure Time & Location||Arrival Time & Destination||Fare||Contact Number||Rating|
No. 28 Tran Nhat Duat Street, Hanoi
No. 217, ¼ Street, Cat Ba Town
|VND 230,000||(+84) 978 600 558||4/5 stars|
|Cat Ba Express||07:30
No. 37B Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hanoi
No. 219, ¼ Street, Cat Ba Town
|VND 340,000||(+84) 124
No. 85 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hanoi
No. 242, ¼ Street, Cat Ba Town
|VND 250,000||(+84) 190 070 70||4/5 stars|
-morning Cat Ba
No. 37B Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hanoi
No. 219, ¼ Street, Cat Ba Town
4. Getting to Cat Ba National Park from Cat Ba Town
From the center of Cat Ba Town, you can take a taxi or public bus to get to Cat Ba National Park. If you want to travel by yourself, you can rent a motorbike or a private car and if you want to go with a big group with over 10 people by a or a travel bus, you can book from any car rental centers in the heart of Cat Ba Town.
IV. WHERE TO STAY AT CAT BA NATIONAL PARK, VIETNAM
1. Available accommodation in Cat Ba National Park’s headquarter
If you are planning for a long trip to explore the whole park, the available accommodation inside the park campus is the most appropriate choice for you because you can save time and transportation cost. There are many kinds of accommodations with different facilities and price level.
|Type of room||Facilities||Price|
|In the summer||In the winner|
|Rooms in villa||Twin/single room, en-suite, bathtub, hot water, air-condition||VND 875,000||VND 625,000|
|Rooms in the guest house||en-suite, bathroom, hot water, TV, air-condition||VND 375,000||VND 250,000|
|Stilt house in the forest||separate bathroom, hot water, fan||VND 125,000||VND 125,000|
In addition, there are restaurants (having the special menu for vegetarians), souvenir and snack shops, and sports facilities inside the campus. Moreover, the other services like guides, laundry, transportation, music performances, conference room, bike rentals are also available at the tourism office of the park.
2. Resort and hotel in Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island is a famous destination in Vietnam, therefore, recently, a lot of resorts and hotels have been built with the diverse services. Here are some recommendations that have good reviews from tourists.
a. Cat Ba Eco Lodge Resort – A peaceful getaway boasting natural surroundings
Located just at a 15-minutes drive from Cat Ba National Park, Cat Ba Eco Lodge Resort offers you wooden-styled rooms with full facilities and elegant interior design. At this resort, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape with the wonderful view of the forest and garden. Also, there are a minibar, a restaurant, and karaoke rooms inside the campus. Moreover, one-way shuttle bus to Cat Ba Town is available for all guests and you can rent a bicycle to explore the surroundings. Cat Ba Eco Lodge Resort is highly-recommended for couples.
Price: From VND 2,053,000/2 adults/night/room.
Address: Xuan Dam Commune, Cat Hai District, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
b. Cat Ba Sunrise Resort – A great seaside resort of Cat Ba Island
Located just about 900 meters from Cat Ba Pier, so you can easily get to the resort after coming to Cat Ba Island. Cat Ba Sunrise resort is lying right on the beach, and so you can enjoy the beautiful sea view and join other water sports. Also, it offers an outdoor swimming pool, restaurants, a full-service spa, gym and karaoke room inside the campus that will bring to you a perfect experience when you relax here. This resort is a great choice for families and big group.
Price: From VND 3,388,000/2 adults/night/room.
Address: Cat Co 3 Beach, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
c. Cat Ba Central Hotel 2 – One of the top picks in Cat Ba Island
Catba Central Hotel 2 offers diverse types of room including double room, family room, and mixed dormitory room. Moreover, it has a great location with 5 minutes walking from Cat Ba Pier and 4 minutes walking to the beach. Therefore, it is chosen by a lot of tourists.
Price: From VND 990,000/2 adults/night/room.
Address: No.140 Tung Dinh Street, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
d. Cannon Fort Cat Ba Hotel – A great budget hotel in Cat Ba Island
Cannon Fort Cat Ba Hotel is highly-recommended for tourist traveling alone and a group of friends because it offers 6-bed mixed dormitory room within reasonable price range.
Price: From VND 223,000/adults/night/bed.
Address: 243 Nui Ngoc Street, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
V. WHAT TO EAT AROUND CAT BA NATIONAL PARK, VIETNAM
1. Must-try dishes in Cat Ba Island.
a. Cat Ba Geoduck (Tu Hai)
Geoduck is kind of seafood having high nutrition and special taste but it is quite rare. Cat Ba Island is considered as the best place to taste Geoduck because the sea environment on Cat Ba Island is appropriate for the growth of Geoduck. There are many ways to cook Geoduck but the steamed Geoduck Clams with aromatic ingredients is the most delicious.
Seven dishes from King-crab
King-crab is a special seafood in Cat Ba Island. The local people have 7 ways to process king-crab into different dishes. If you have a chance, delve into the flavors of all 7 dishes from king-crab to enjoy fully their unique taste.
Song fish is living in the warm water of the Pacific Ocean. In Vietnam, there are over 30 Song species, particularly, Cat Ba Island has 3 species including Song Mo, Song Cao, and Song Den. Song fish is processed into many dishes such as salad, porridge, steamed dishes, hot pot, sauce, grilled dishes and so forth, each of which is very delicious and nutritious.
Sea snake in Cat Ba Island is well-known not only as a seafood but also as a medicine. Sea snake has a good effect on anti-inflammatory, rheumatoid arthritis, acute sciatica spinal, degeneration, and pain.
Cat Ba rice vermicelli with shrimp
Rice vermicelli with shrimp in Cat Ba Island has a special taste of the mix of many ingredients including the aroma of fresh sea shrimp, the broth, and unique smell of betel leaf wrapped pork balls. This dish is recommended for the breakfast in Cat Ba Island.
Good restaurants around Cat Ba National Park
There are various restaurants around Cat Ba National Park. Here is a list of restaurants having high rating point from tourists.
Quang Anh Restaurant – One of the best floating restaurant in Cat Ba Island
- Highlight: Floating restaurant bringing new experiences, fresh and well-cooked seafood.
- Open hours: 08:00 hrs – 22:00 hrs
- Price: VND 50,000 – VND 300,000
- Address: Cai Bao Bay, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
- Tel: (+84) 225 888 359
Phuong Phuong Restaurant – Highly-recommended restaurant by local people
- Highlight: Diverse seafood, spacious space
- Open hour: 08:00 hrs – 22:00 hrs
- Price: VND 50,000 – VND 300,000
- Address: No. 232, 1/4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
- Tel: (+84) 225 888 254
Mona Restaurant – Good food, good view
- Highlight: Great view of sea and forest, diverse dishes, special menu for vegetarians
- Open hour: 07:00 hrs – 22:00 hrs
- Price: VND 35,000 – VND 300,000
- Address: No. 180, 1/4 Street, Cat Ba Town, Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong City, Vietnam
- Tel: (+84) 934 674 899
We hope that from this article, you can understand more about Cat Ba National Park and use it as an essential travel guide to design your own tour Cat Ba National Park. Have a nice trip!
VI. About Lux Travel DMC Ltd
Lux Travel DMC Ltd. is the first luxury tour operator in Vietnam with a 15+ years of experience in the travel industry. The company has won many national and international prizes and awards for its high-end travel services. Lux Travel DMC offers private holiday packages to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. Consequently, Cat Ba tour by Lux Travel DMC is definitely unique and stand out in the crowd. Share your interest with the travel experts of Lux Travel DMC. The experienced team will clarify the information and give you an unforgettable vacation at Cat Ba National Park.
So if you are planning a trip to Vietnam in general or to Cat Ba in particular, contact us right here.