“Rugged, craggy and jungle-clad” is how lovely Lonely Planet introduces Cat Ba Island – another amazing world that belongs and contributes to the legendary beauty of Halong Bay.
Located in the Southern edge of Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island is the largest out of 336 islands in the Cat Ba Archipelago. Being considered as Vietnam’s adventure sport and ecotourism hub, Cat Ba Island, in the recent year, has slowly become a hot destination for explorer. Fill with greenery, precious varieties of animal, as well as water and sport activities, Cat Ba Island is definitely worth a stop from your journey to explore deeper into its life.
The island of greenery and biodiversity
Half of the island’s 260 square kilometers is covered by the stunning Cat Ba National Park, which is famous for the richness of vegetation and animal species. The National Park was declared in 1986, and since then has been opened to the public and tourism in some specific areas to explore deeper into its scenery and ecosystem. The rest of the park is restricted for preservation. The varied species found in Cat Ba Island has placed it one of the most bio-diversified island with more than 13.000 inhabitants.
An island full of adventure
As Vietnamese often says: “Small chili is hotter”, the island might be small and remote, but should be crowned the most exciting destination around Halong Bay area. From beach activities to trekking, biking, cruising, the splendid scenery of Cat Ba Island is a perfect background for adventure-lover.
Funs in beach can be found at the downtown. In some recent years, Cat Ba town has seen a small explosion of tourism service from hotels, resorts, restaurants to local transportation, which has made it easier for tourists to each and enjoy the island. In summer, the island turns into a heaven for those who love the sun with various beaches around the town. You will not be able to avoid the crowd, but be ready to take some swimming, tanning and sport activities on beach.
Different from the touristy town, the other side of Cat Ba Island gives off a totally adventurous feel. In the remote areas lies Viet Hai Village, a small village of local fishermen. Here you can enjoy an exciting biking tour of 10km to explore the daily local life. Bike deep into the village, soon you will see yourself biking between the tropical forest trees, through a tunnel then spot the village gate in front of your eyes. Here the fresh atmosphere of a rural areas coming from vegetable field will struck into you. If lucky enough, you might get to see the baby goats raised by local people.
At the end of the village is a trekking course into the jungle, which hides completely away from the summer heat. If some small wild animals do not matter to you, try taking a short walk into it to find out the natural beauty of a tropical country. You will not regret it later!