Cat Ba National Park: An Ultimate Travel Guide

Cat Ba National Park in Hai Phong city is a true paradise for nature lovers. If you want to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and experience the country’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage, then you shouldn’t miss this pristine sanctuary. In this travel blog, we will help you to prepare for a journey to this marvelous land.

Cat Ba National park
Cat Ba National Park is home to a variety of species.

What do you know about Cat Ba National Park Vietnam?

Cat Ba National Park is known for its diverse ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, limestone karsts, mangrove forests, and coastal marine habitats.

  • Cat Ba National Park: UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Vietnam, 263 square kilometers.
  • Habitat diversity: Encompasses rainforests, karsts, mangroves, and coastal areas.
  • Wildlife: Home to the critically endangered Cat Ba langur, 32 mammal species, and over 70 bird species.
  • Flora and fauna: Boasts 1,500 plant species, including rare orchids, and over 60 reptile and amphibian species.

What about the weather?

Cat Ba National Park experiences a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons.

The dry season, which spans from October to April, is considered the best time to visit. During this period, the weather is generally warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). The skies are mostly clear, allowing for uninterrupted outdoor exploration and activities such as hiking, trekking, and exploring the park’s trails.

The wet season falls between May and September. This season brings increased rainfall and higher humidity levels. During this period, the park transforms into a lush green paradise, with the vegetation thriving and the landscapes becoming even more vibrant. It’s a great time to witness the park’s natural beauty in its splendor.

weather in Cat Ba
Pleasant weather in the dry season allows you to admire the stunning charm of Cat Ba

What to do & see?

Cat Ba National Park is one of the most favorite places for ecotourism Vietnam tours. Here are fascinating things that you shouldn’t miss when traveling to this national park.

Cat Ba National Park Trails

Cat Ba National Park boasts a network of trails that cater to various levels of hiking experience, offering something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a casual nature lover, you’ll find trails that suit your preferences and abilities.

One popular trail in Cat Ba National Park is the Ngu Lam Peak Trail. This moderately challenging hike takes you to the summit of Ngu Lam Peak, offering panoramic views of the park’s lush landscapes and Lan Ha Bay.

For a more leisurely hike, the Kim Giao Forest Trail is a great option. This trail leads you through the enchanting Kim Giao Forest, known for its ancient trees and diverse flora. As you stroll along the well-marked path, you’ll encounter fascinating plant species, including the rare Kim Giao tree.

If you’re up for a longer and more adventurous trek, the Trung Trang Cave Trail is a must-visit. This trail takes you through the dense forest, offering glimpses of wildlife along the way. The highlight of the hike is the Trung Trang Cave, a magnificent limestone cave adorned with impressive stalactites and stalagmites.

Ca Ba national park Trails
With its diverse landscapes and breathtaking views, the park offers a trailblazer’s paradise. 

Cat Ba National Park Trekking

Cat Ba National Park offers a plethora of trekking opportunities that will satisfy the cravings of outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the most popular treks in Cat Ba National Park is the trek to Frog Lake. This moderate-level hike leads you through dense forests, narrow paths, and rocky terrain. Along the way, you can be captivated by vibrant flora, cascading waterfalls, and stunning panoramic vistas.

For a more challenging trek, consider conquering the trail to the Cat Ba’s highest peak, Cao Vong Mountain. This challenging trek demands endurance as you navigate steep slopes and rugged terrain. Standing atop, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of undulating hills, dense forests, and sparkling coastline.

If you want to escape the crowds, the trek to Viet Hai Village is a must-do. The tranquil village allows you to interact with the locals, learn about their way of life, and savor authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

The breathtaking vistas at the top of Ngu Lam Peak

Cat Ba National Park Ecosystem

Cat Ba National Park boasts an incredibly rich and varied ecosystem, making it a fascinating destination for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike.

The park’s primary rainforest is a haven for biodiversity, housing numerous plant and animal species. Towering trees dominate the landscape, providing shelter and sustenance for diverse wildlife.

The marine ecosystem surrounding Cat Ba Island is equally captivating. The waters are home to over 500 species of fish and a multitude of corals, creating vibrant underwater landscapes.

Mangroves, found along the coast, play a crucial role in the park’s ecosystem. Exploring the mangrove forests, you may spot fiddler crabs scuttling along the shore or mudskippers darting through the shallow waters.

Cat Ba National Park is a treasure trove of diverse ecosystems

Tips for visiting

How do you get there?

  • By bus & ferry: from Hanoi, take a bus to Hai Phong and a ferry to the island. The journey takes about 2 hours by bus and 45 minutes by ferry. The ticket is around 300,000 VND/pax/one-way.
  • By private car: Besides, another option is booking a private car via Vietnam tour companies from Hanoi. A direct transfer saves you from the inconvenience of switching transportation modes and waiting for connections, despite being pricier.
  • By cruise: Many cruises depart from popular destinations like Halong Bay and offer a unique way to Cat Ba, then head to Cat Ba National Park.

How much does it cost?

The entrance ticket is 80,000 VND/adult and 40,000 VND/child.

Getting around

Once you have arrived on Cat Ba Island, you can explore Cat Ba National Park by foot or bike. Bicycles and motorcycles are available for rent on the island, providing convenient transportation options for exploring the park and its surroundings.

What do I need to prepare before coming?

  • Make reservations for lodging in advance
  • Plan your travel to Cat Ba National Park (private car, tour, public transit).
  • Check the weather forecast and bring suitable clothing and footwear.
  • Pack sunscreen, a hat, a reusable water bottle, and any medications you may need.
  • Make sure you have travel insurance for medical situations.
  • Last, but not least, remember to bring bug repellent to protect your skin from the numerous mosquitos and other insects here.

If you are planning North Vietnam tours, combining Halong Bay tours with a trip to Cat Ba is a perfect idea. Here is our suggestion for Hanoi – Halong Bay – Cat Ba Island itinerary:

That is all you need to know about Cat Ba National Park. Pack your bag now and have a fun trip to this exciting destination!

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