Biosphere Reserve Cat Ba National Park
20 Jul 2017
Cat Ba National Park is entitled as a biosphere reserve in northern Vietnam. The park’s total area is around 152 square kilometers in which there are many trails to hike with a spectacular view of the forest and the animals.
About Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park is a World Heritage site and entitled as a biosphere reserve in northern Vietnam. The park covers approximately 263 square kilometers in which 173 square kilometers of land and 90 square kilometers of inshore water.
Cat Ba National Park was established in March 1986. Since the mid-1990s the park started to grow popular with wealthy Chinese and Vietnamese tourists. Cat Ba island is mainly limestone with alternating narrow valleys running north-east to southwest. Rugged hills with elevation ranging from 50 to 500 meters stretch across the whole national park.
Rugged hills in Cat Ba National Park, Cat Ba Island.
In the park, there are over 1,500 species of flora recorded including 180 trees and 160 plants with medicinal properties. In addition, this beautiful land is the home of 32 species of mammals, 78 bird species, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, 98 species of zooplankton, 196 species of marine fish and 177 species of coral. One special thing is that the park is now having the most endangered primate - golden headed langurs and there are only 65 of them left.
An insect in the forest of Cat Ba National Park.
A tiny spider web on the trail track.
A deer in the forest in the park.
Hiking in Cat Ba National Park
All the hikes here are pretty challenging to some degree, and a guide is highly recommended to make the best of the experience.
The shortest hike is around 2 kilometers to Dinh Kim Giang which is best to try it on your own.
A more challenging hike including a trip passes through Ao Ech (Frog Lake) and over the hill to a tribal village of the Viet Hai. The trip’s length is approximately 6 to 7 kilometers.
Trees in the forest of the reserved area.
The longest trail to trek which runs across the jungle is more than 18 kilometers which can take a whole day to trek. It is recommended to trek with the locals as the trail is quite dangerous and slippery sometimes.
Ngu Lam Peak is one of the most attractive spots when hiking in Cat Ba National Park. From the top of Ngu Lam Peak, elevating at more than 200 meters above sea level, hikers can enjoy the amazing panorama view of the whole island.
Ngu Lam Peak in Cat Ba National Park.
Travelers should wear proper hiking shoes, a rain coat just in case and a generous supply of water for the hike. Snacks can be bought just right outside the park’s boundary.
Slippery trail inside the forest.
The amazing panorama of the whole island.
At the end of the track, which is usually in Viet Hai village, hikers can take public boat shuttle back to Ben Beo Pier where you can take other boats to visit the bay in Cat Ba.
Routes and Expenditures
There are four main popular trekking routes in the Cat Ba National Park:
- Park’s Headquarter – Kim Giao Forest – Ngu Lam Peak – Trung Trang Cave
- Educational Trail – Trung Trang Cave
- Park’s Headquarter – Frog Pond
- Frog Pond – Viet Hai Village
♦ Entrance ticket for each route is $ 2.00 (26,72 Rand) per adult and $ 1.00 (13,36 Rand) per child.
Free entrance for children under 7 years old.
Shared public boat in from Viet Hai Village to Ben Beo Pier is about $ 2.50. (33,41 Rand)
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