Other Points of Interest

Cat Ba National Park: How to Get There and Make the Most of It

Cat Ba National Park: How to Get There and Make the Most of It

Overview

Covering a vast area of over 17,000 ha including land and inshore water, Cat Ba National Park is a not-to-miss tourist destination for travelers to Cat Ba Island. The UNESCO-recognized world biosphere reserve encompasses a wealth of lush tropical forests, mangrove forests, limestone forests, wetlands, and coral reef systems. The ecosystem is also extremely diverse here with more 2,300 fauna and flora species and 65 golden-headed langurs and other endangered species.

What’s more, Cat Ba National Park offers tourists natural wonders to behold. This national treasure is home to numerous attractions namely Viet Hai Fishing Village, Ao Ech area, and Kim Giao Forest scattered throughout the park.

The entrance ticket is 80,000 VND/adult and 60,000 VND/child.

When to visit

When to visit Cat Ba island on a summer day!

Cat Ba National Park is good to visit year-round with mild temperatures within 25°C and 28°C. However, its peak season of tourism is between June and July to avoid the hotness of summer.

How to get to Cat Ba Island

How to get to Cat Ba Island Ferry between Cat Ba Island and Hai Phong

From Hanoi (124 km)

There are a variety of buses departing from Hanoi Old Quarter that can take you to Cat Ba Island namely Good Morning Cat Ba, Cat Ba Express, Orient Travel, Hoang Long Bus, and Daiichi Travel. Traveling time is around 3.5 hours on average and ticket prices vary between 250,000 and 300,000 VND.

From Hai Phong City (33 km)

If you’re in Hai Phong City, you can reach Cat Ba Island by multiple means of transportation. First, catch a taxi or motorbike taxi to Ben Binh Harbor then get on a speedboat or a hydrofoil to Cat Ba Island. Recommended high-speed ship companies for you are Mekong Hoang Yen and HADECO with a price of 240,000 VND.

From Halong Bay (23 km)

It’s a short distance from Halong Bay to Cat Ba Island and you can easily reach the destination by Tuan Chau Ferry. It normally costs 80,000 VND/person or 100,000 VND if you have a motorbike.

Getting to Cat Ba National Park

Getting to Cat Ba National Park Bus goes from the pier to Cat Ba Island (Photo: Shutterstock)

From the center of Cat Ba Town, just take a taxi or public bus that follows the middle Cat Ba Road to Cat Ba National Park. For those who want to travel on their own, they can rent a bike or a private car for a day from loads of rental centers in the town.

What to see and do

What to see and do Trekking deep into Cat Ba jungle

Bestowed with biodiversity, charming seascapes and landscapes, and rare wildlife resources, there is no shortage of things to explore in Cat Ba National Park. Indeed, nature lovers can soak up the natural beauty and engage in a wide range of tourism activities.

Trekking

No trips to Cat Ba National Park are complete without trekking to discover the wildlife. Adventurers can try some of the most popular hiking trails such as National Park HQ – Ao Ech – Viet Hai – Lan Ha Bay, Trung Trang – Uy Ban Grottos, and Kim Giao – Ngu Lam Peak.

  1. National Park HQ – Ao Ech – Viet Hai (14 km of trekking and walking) – Lan Ha Bay (2 hours including boat trip & kayak): this trail is challenging and requires 6 to 8 hours to finish.
  2. Trung Trang – Uy Ban Grottos (1.2 km): duration of only 1 hour round trip and you can marvel at impressive stalactites inside Trung Trang cave as well as various species of bats.
  3. Kim Giao – Ngu Lam Peak (1.5 km): within 30 minutes of each way, you’ll pass many interesting points like a butterfly garden, botanical gardens, a zoo, Kim Giao Forest, and Ngu Lam Peak. A tremendous hike to conquer Ngu Lam Peak brings about expansive sceneries of the majestic Cat Ba Island.

Sea tourism

Monkey Island (Cat Ba)

A plethora of water-based activities in Cat Ba National Park awaits you to enjoy. It is highly recommended to kayak or row a bamboo boat to visit Van Boi, Van Ta, and Tra Bau areas. Those who eager much harder challenges can try to climb cliffs, dive for a coral reef watch, go fishing, and play undersea sports. 

Caving

Here, you’ll find dozens of spectacular caves and caverns namely Trung Trang Cave, Hospital Cave, and Thien Long Cave. 

Doing voluntary works

Voluntary tourism in Cat Ba National Park attracts thousands of visitors to participate in. You can bring great values and contributions to nature by gathering liter, cleaning the surrounding, and doing other voluntary works at conservation centers.

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