Cat Ba National Park is located in Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city. Belonging to Cat Ba island, the national park incorporates some of the small islands and marine water and covers 26,300ha, in which 17,300ha is on the main island and 9,000ha is of the adjacent inshore waters.
A pleasant feeling from physical features…
The landscape of Cat Ba National Park is dominated by karst limestone areas on the main island where there are numerous waterfalls, caves and grottoes. The rugged topography is marked by steep outcrops and bare rock areas with many seasonal streams such as Thung Luong, Treo Com, Hoi Trung Trang and Viet Hai.
Most of the rain water flows into caves and grottoes and follows underground streams to the sea. There are several small lakes and ponds in the hills; the largest is Ech Lake- a permanent water body with an area of 3ha and a depth of about 50m. Ninety percent of the main island is between 50m and 200m above sea level, for example Cao Vong (331m) and Hien Hoa (302m), while only 10% of the island is below 50m in elevation.
Featured by tropical monsoon with pronounced wet and dry seasons, the park receives the annual rainfall from 1,700mm to 1,800mm. The annual temperature at sea level is 25oC to 28oC associated with the moderate annual relative humidity is 85%. The ideal time is April and October as you may encounter the rain, even typhoons and tropical storms if you come to the park from May to September as well as some drizzle during January, February and March.
Due to the abundance of suitable moist niches within the limestone forest, Cat Ba National Park has a rich and plentiful snail fauna. It supports a diversity of natural habitats, including forested hills, small freshwater lakes, freshwater swamp forest, mangroves, sandy beaches and coral reefs. In detailed, among 839 vascular plant species have been recorded at the national park, there are 25 species listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam.
Due to the isolated nature of the island and high levels of hunting, the diversity and abundance of mammals in Cat Ba are low in comparison with other national parks in Vietnam. Among the fauna of the park, the most popular are ungulate and primate, in which monkey is between 104 and 135 individuals, including only 50 to 75 adults. Also, the limestone habitat at Cat Ba National Park is an idea environment for a number of invertebrate species.
Satisfy your knowledge with human history clues
Not only those typical characteristics, Cat Ba National park has been considered as a cradle of culture with many traces of ancient humans. Stone tools and bones found at the sites indicate that primitive man was living in the caves and grottoes on the island between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago. The example is Cai Beo Cave which is about 1.5km south-east of Cat Ba Town, has been studied intensively.
What about conservation management?
Come to the park and take actions with the local government in conservation matters! Do you know that the forests on the island are particularly valued for maintaining the water regime as well as containing important genetic resources and support ing the food chain of economically important aquatic animals such as fish, shrimp, bivalves and arthropods? That the reason why, local government as well as local people have tried their best to appeal the awareness and help from people come here to protect this vulnerable chain for further biodiversity development. Not only stop at a certain matter, as regard the whole national park, the main purpose are to preserve natural ecosystems and genetic resources, restore the native flora and fauna through replanting, re-introduction and habitat improvement as well as promote outdoor recreation and environmental education for the general public in collaboration with the tourist industry.
Amazing, exciting, surprising…
Each year, Cat Ba Island receives large numbers of domestic and overseas tourists. A significant proportion of these tourists visit the national park, either on foot, along one of the hiking trails, or by boat through the marine component. The national park can, therefore, be considered to be making an important contribution to the island’s economy.
Cat Bat is a great place for hiking and outdoor activities. However, if you are not an experienced hiker, trails at Cat Ba might be quite a challenge for you to trek. In this situation, a sophisticated tour guide is highly recommended for the purpose of safety. Exploring Cat Ba, you will see one of the most beautiful landscapes in Vietnam and the copious ecosystem. Other attractions such as limestone formations, numerous waterfalls, caves and grottoes are waiting for your arrival!