Top 5 attractions in Cat Ba Island - Ha Long Bay
Cat Ba Island is the largest of the 367 islands spanning 260 square kilometers (100 square miles) that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Lan Ha Bay in Northern Vietnam. Cat Ba island has a surface area of 285 km2 (110 square kilometers) and maintains the dramatic and rugged features of Ha Long Bay. Let’s find out some most attractive destinations of Cat Ba Island now.
1. Catba island Beach
The white-sand Cat Co beaches (simply called Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2) make a great place to lounge around the entire day. They are about 1 km southeast from Cat Ba town over a steep headland and can be reached on foot or by motorbike or taxi. The two beaches are separated by a small hillock that can be climbed over in about 20 minutes. Most; however; take the easier route along with a new; 700m; wooden seaside walkway around the mountain. Cat Co 2 is the less busy and more attractive of the two; and also offers simple accommodation and camping. On weekends the beaches are crowded with Vietnamese tourists. The main beaches; apart from those at Cat Ba town itself; are Cai Vieng; Hong Xoai Be and Hong Xoai Lon.
2. Monkey Island
Monkey Island is a large island with nearly 400 islands, belonging to the Cat Ba archipelago. This name of this island originated from the wide variety of monkeys on the island, which has been taken to this island from other places. The monkeys living on this island play an important part in the success of this destination in attracting tourists. Visitors can easily take photographs as well as play with naughty and cute monkeys.
Monkey Island retains the perimeter of about 3 km. It owns mountain shape with the sandbank formed over millions of years. The wave and wind have brought the sand, rocks, coral and all shells of sea creatures such as seashells, shrimps, and crabs... to the foot of the mountain, creating the sand deserts stretching to thousands of miles. This island is an ideal venue of swimming for tourists when participating in thanks to its extremely blue and freshwater. In particular, the bungalows here are the wonderful choice for tourists to comfortably admire the sea breeze and enjoy sea flavor. Monkey Island also offers services for tourists' demands such as bathing suit renting, buoys or kayaks... Monkey Island deserves to be regarded as one of the most captivating tourist attractions for tourists who love to discover charming scenery.
3. Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is at the heart of the UNESCO Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve and it shares the distinctive scenic beauty of the Ha Long Bay Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is also home to a diverse range of terrestrial and marine life. Cat Ba National Park is a tourist attraction to millions of domestic and oversea visitors. Coming to the Park, travelers not only could contemplate the beauty of landscapes and seascapes, relaxing on isolated beaches in Lan Ha Bay or visit the primeval tropical rain forest and mangroves but also have chances to discover many unique, precious species of fauna, flora, and local culture.
Catba National Park differs from other national parks in Vietnam because of the great variety of landscapes and ecosystems, including tropical evergreen forests, mangrove, freshwater lake and streams, isolated sandy beaches, coral reefs, caves, and grottos. The Park is a tourist attraction to millions of domestic and oversea visitors.
4. Lan Ha Bay
This island-filled bay located southeast of Cat Ba Island would be more famous if it is not in close proximity to the best tourist attraction - Ha Long Bay. In fact, if not the victim of administrative boundaries, Lan Ha would be considered a part of Ha Long Bay, and it has become an indispensable destination on its own right thanks to unspoiled and magnificent natural beauty.
The bay covers an area of more than 7,000 ha, of which 5,400 ha are under the management of Cat Ba National Park. The waters here are home to hundreds of species of fish and other marine life. Larger marine animals in the area include seals and even three species of dolphins. It features 139 beautiful, small and pristine sandy beaches and, like its neighbor Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay is famed for its exclusive scenery with densely packed pristine limestone mountains partitioning the sea surface into smaller bays and coves.
5. Hospital Cave
Hospital Cave served both as a secret bomb-proof hospital during the American War and as a safe house for Viet Cong leaders. Built between 1963 and 1965 (with assistance from China), this incredibly well-constructed three-story feat of engineering was in constant use until 1975.
This cave is about 10km to the north of Cat Ba Town, on the road to Cat Ba National Park entrance. The cave has 17 rooms, including an old operating theatre (complete with patient mannequins) and a huge natural cavern that was used as a cinema (and even had its own small swimming pool).
Written by: Hieu La