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Nestled in the mesmerizing waters of Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island is a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed by travelers seeking the beauty of Vietnam. This picturesque island, located in the northern region of Vietnam, offers an unforgettable blend of natural wonders, rich culture, and outdoor adventures. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to Cat Ba Island, highlighting its location, top attractions, and entrance fees.
Cat Ba Island is the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, situated on the southwestern edge of Halong Bay. It’s part of the Cat Hai District, Hai Phong Province, and can be easily accessed from both Hanoi and Haiphong. To reach Cat Ba, travelers typically take a scenic route from Hanoi, starting with a 2.5-hour bus ride to Hai Phong, followed by a 45-minute ferry or speedboat journey to the island. The convenience of this location, with its proximity to Halong Bay, makes it a perfect base for exploring the region.
What to See and Do:
Cat Ba National Park: Nature enthusiasts will be in awe of Cat Ba National Park, a lush expanse of tropical rainforest, limestone karsts, and diverse wildlife. You can explore the park’s network of hiking trails, which offer stunning vistas of the island and the surrounding waters. Keep an eye out for the endangered Cat Ba langur, a primate species endemic to the island.
Lan Ha Bay: While Halong Bay is famous, Lan Ha Bay, located just south of Cat Ba Island, is equally stunning and less crowded. Take a boat tour to explore the bay’s emerald waters, limestone karsts, and hidden caves. You can also go kayaking, swimming, or even stay on a floating fishing village to experience the local way of life.
Cai Beo Floating Village: Discover the traditional fishing culture of Cat Ba Island at Cai Beo Floating Village. You can observe the daily life of local fishermen, visit their homes, and even enjoy a meal at one of the floating seafood restaurants.
Monkey Island: As the name suggests, this island is home to playful monkeys. Take a short boat trip from Cat Ba town to Monkey Island, where you can interact with these friendly creatures and enjoy the island’s sandy beaches.
Cannon Fort: For history buffs and panoramic views, a visit to Cannon Fort is a must. This former military stronghold provides a glimpse into the island’s past and offers breathtaking vistas of Cat Ba town, Lan Ha Bay, and the surrounding islands.
Cat Ba Beaches: The island boasts several beautiful beaches, such as Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, and Cat Co 3. These are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the serene coastal atmosphere.
Rock Climbing: Cat Ba Island is a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. The towering limestone cliffs offer a variety of climbing routes suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers.
Local Cuisine: Don’t miss the chance to savor fresh seafood, including squid, crab, and prawns, at the island’s many seafood restaurants. Be sure to try the Cat Ba specialty, “geoduck” clam, prepared in various delicious ways.
Entrance Fees to Cat Ba Island:
According to Vietnam Travel Information 2023, there was no specific entrance fee to Cat Ba Island itself. However, if you plan to visit Cat Ba National Park, there is an entrance fee for the park. The fee is typically around 40,000 VND (approximately $2) for adults and 20,000 VND for children. Keep in mind that fees may change over time, so it’s advisable to check the latest information before your trip.
In conclusion, Cat Ba Island is a remarkable destination in Vietnam that offers a diverse range of attractions and activities, from natural beauty and outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and delectable cuisine. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply looking for a tranquil getaway, Cat Ba Island has something to offer everyone.