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Attraction of Cat Ba National Park
26/09/2011 - 03:55

Attraction of Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park, adjacent to Ha Long Bay, consists of 366 islands in Lan Ha Bay, of which Cat Ba Island is the biggest with the area of 100 km2. In 2005, Cat Ba archipelago was voted the world biosphere reserve area by UNESCO. There are two choices to come to Cat Ba. By waterway on a hydrofoil from Ben Binh (Haiphong), it takes about 45 minutes. You will have chance to contemplate the splendid Ha Long Bay. Lan Ha Bay is smaller than Ha Long Bay but it contains many limestone islands, of which each possesses a particular beauty. To the left side of the hydrofoil, you will see Dau Go cave, Bai Chay beach, Hon Gai, and then the appearance of islands, i.e. Mam Xoi island, Oan island, Hai Tien island, etc…

By roadway, the cab will take you from Haiphong, cross Dinh Vu Island and Cat Hai Island, then come through Cat Ba on a distance of 31 km. Taking the roadway, you will see Cat Hai island district which consists of the two large islands i.e. Cat Hai and Cat Ba, and many small islands. Cat Hai with salt fields and shrimp ponds has plain soil. Meanwhile Cat Ba - an island of rocks interspersing with mountains - has a 20 km length bendy trans-island road, of which on one side is mountains and the other side is the sea with white and smooth sand-banks. Cat Ba National Park has a total area of 26,240 ha, of which 17,040 ha is island soil and 9,200 ha is seawater surface. This is the converging area of many different ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, forests on limestone mountains, seagrass beds with coral reefs. Also, Cat Ba National Park has a diversified fauna and flora system, which consists of 2,320 species, including 282 forestry animal species, 538 seabed animal species, 196 sea fish species, 771 terrestrial floral species, 23 mangrove species, 75 seagrass species, 177 coral species, etc… Especially, in Cat Ba archipelago, there are up to 60 valuable and rare endemic species which have been recorded in Vietnamese Red Book such as: as for animal species including yellow-head langur, white-legging langur, piebald crow, black squirrel…; as for floral species including sarsaparilla, chukrasia tabularis, pedocarpus fleurgi, bassia. Especially, in Trung Trang area, there is a forest of pedocarpus fleurgi – an endemic type of plants growing in a population on an area of dozens of hectares in the Park’s centre. According to the latest study, there remains in Cat Ba only 60 yellow-head langurs – the unique endemic species in Vietnam and the world.

Coming to Cat Ba, you should hire a motorbike to ride to anywhere you wish. Accommodations are quite comfortable now. The best ones are hotels with sea-view in front and mountains behind. Currently, in Cat Ba, there are more than 60 hotels and guest-houses with about 1,000 rooms concentrating in the seaside town along the bay. Average price is from 150,000 to 250,000 VND/room/day. Dawn at Cat Ba archipelago often creates multicolor scenery. Toward the horizon is blazing yellow. Above the sea is dark blue. To the fishing port at night time, thousands of anchoring boats light up which create a quarter of fanciful evening stars. It would be more interesting if you are invited to floating restaurants which welcome guests the whole night. Here, you can enjoy special dishes like: raw rudder-fish, sour snapper soup, and especially snout otter clam roasting on coal which creates pervasive perfume. Snout otter clam is one type of sea-arcas with oblong oval shell and about 10 cm length. When being roused, it will shoot out a spray far and strongly; therefore, it is called “tu hài” in Vietnamese (which means children’s beard). In Vietnam, snout otter clams only present in Cat Ba, and normally appear in December which is their breeding season. Nowadays, snout otter clams are raised all year round by fishermen in order to provide for restaurants in the whole Haiphong and Cat Ba. The attraction of Cat Ba is the sea. After one day of climbing mountains or discovering caves, you will feel totally comfortable when wallowing into the pure seawater and lying on the white and smooth sand-bank. At night, the scenery of Cat Ba is so infinite, grandiose and splendid. Having a night rest here is greatly interesting. The cool air and gentle breezes which bring salty steam from the sea to blow in the forest on rock mountains to create soughing sound, and lull guests to a pleasant sleep./.

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