Cat Ba Island
Catch a bus in Hanoi and head east for about 120 kilometres. Then board a ferry, and soon enough you’ll set foot on Cat Ba Island. Half of the island along with another 300 or so surrounding it belongs within a National Park, designated as such in 1986 to protect the diverse ecosystems.
Encompassing 100 sq km and dominated by karst limestone outcrops, waterfalls, caves and grottoes Cat Ba is the biggest island of the 367 inhabiting the Lan Ha Bay in the South China Sea. Lying within the park are beaches of clean white sand and clear tropical waters.
Geologically, Lan Ha is an extension of Halong Bay but falls into a different province. Offering a remote, less crowded alternative to the popular Halong Bay, Lan Ha has the added attraction of white sandy beaches. Mangroves, freshwater swamps, forests and offshore coral reefs crowd the surrounding area.
The main beaches of the island are creatively named Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, and Cat Co 3 and are all separated by a small mountain range. Surrounding the Islands are limestone outcrops on many of which can be found remote sandy beaches offering a true Robinson Crusoe experience.
Photographing Cat Ba Island
Access to the offshore islands including Cat Trai Gai, Duong Gianh and Hien Hao can be had via locally chartered boats. Alternatively, the more adventurous can explore the surrounds independently with a kayak which can be hired locally.
Around 200 species of fish, 500 species of mollusc, 400 species of arthropod, and several hard and soft coral live in the waters here. Seals and three species of dolphin also call the island home.
The national park's forests are home to the rare Francois langur, wild boar, hornbills, deer and other animals. The seas coral reefs contain 200 different kinds of fish and 400 species of mollusc.
Completely Useless Facts about Cat Ba Island
- The name Cat Ba means 'Women’s Island'
- 23 animal species on the Islands are either classified as endangered or critically endangered
- Cat Ba Island is officially recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve Zone
Have a wemooch elsewhere...
Fancy a wee mooch around Cat Ba Island?
You'll need a few things to come together for it all to work out. There's some useful stuff to be clicked and pressed below.