Cat Ba National Park is located near the northeastern shore of Vietnam on Cat Ba Island which is the largest of the 367 islands and they represent the Bat Ba Archipelago. The national park covers an area of 102 square miles (263 sq km), of which, 35 square miles (90 sq km) of that is inshore water.
The majority of the island is accounted for by the national park. Cat Ba features limestone-based rugged hills with peaks reaching heights around 1,600 feet (600 m) with both the valleys and hills covered in forests. The forest is comprised of primary, secondary, and mangrove.
The narrow valleys are surrounded by jagged hills that are blanketed with vegetation. The hills neighboring the narrow valleys reach heights of 1,600 feet (500 m) although most are shorter reaching heights around 660 feet (200 m).
The biological diversity of the national park features 1,500 species of plants with 118 of those accounted for by species of trees. A unique feature of Cat Ba is the 160 species of plants that contain medicinal characteristics.
Wildlife consists of 32 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 78 species of birds. Deer, squirrel, macaque monkeys, and civit are the most probable wildlife sightings.
Trekking through the jungle is a treat itself, however, experiencing some of the wildlife enhances the experience. There are 32 species of mammals with the white-headed langur being a prized sighting. It is the rarest primate in the world.
Cat Ba National Park is a World Heritage Site that represents some of the most stunning limestone karst landscapes. The island is a stunning representation of Ha Long Bay.
Ha Long Bay
The larger Ha Long Bay covers an area of approximately 600 square miles (1,553 sq km). There are as many as 2,000 islets. The islets are limestone karsts that are scattered amongst the bay.
There is a smaller portion of Ha Long Bay that is more concentrated with about 775 limestone karst islets. This section accounts for 129 square miles (334 sq km) of the renowned area.
The majority of people who are visiting Cat Ba National Park are there to experience the astounding landscapes that Ha Long Bay is renowned for.
Cat Ba National Park Trails:
Boat tours throughout the Cat Ba area are one of the most popular ways to experience the national park. However, there are trails available for trekking in the area.
Ngu Lam Trail
This is a short 1-mile (1.6 km) loop trail with an elevation gain of 393 feet ( m). There is a chance for seeing wildlife, however, the primary highlight of the hike is the scenic views.
Kim Giao Forest Trail
This is a trail that meanders through the forest up to Ngu Lam peak. The journey takes about 30 minutes to cover the (1.5 km) trek to the peak.
Mountain Top Trail
This is a moderate to difficult trek up to the top of the mountain. The journey ascends up (18 km) with views along the way. The panoramic view from the top is striking and highlights the rugged terrain of the park.
This trek is over (3.5 km) while ascending up (563 m). It takes about 2.5 hours to make the journey and the views of the area are astounding.
Cat Ba National Park was established on Cat Ba Island as a reflection of the 367 islands in the archipelago. The park was created to protect the striking landscapes that have been inspirations for movies, books, poems, and other artworks. The park also protects rich biodiversity from both the worlds of flora and fauna.
Cat Ba Highlights
- Sighting of a white-headed langur, rarest primate in the world
- Limestone Karst Island
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