Discover Cat Ba National Park with Sails of Indochina

(Updated: 6/3/2016 11:02:51 PM)

Cat Ba National Park is located 15km north - west of Cat Ba Town. It was established in 1986. It spans an area of 15,200ha, of which 9,800ha are forest, and contains lots of particularly interesting caves. The original tropical forest spans an area of 570ha, with extremely varied wildlife and vegetation. CatBa National Park was founded in 1986, it covers 16.196,8 ha including 10.931,7 ha of kart island and 5.256,1 ha of marine ecosystems.

Cát Bà National Park is a World Heritage Site designated as a biosphere reserve in northern Vietnam. The park is part of Cát Bà Island in Hạ Long Bay and is administered by the city of Haiphong. The park is located approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) east of Hai Phong, covering about 263 square kilometres (102 sq mi) and comprising 173 square kilometres (67 sq mi) of land and 90 square kilometres (35 sq mi) of inshore water. The Cát Bà langur, also known as the white-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) is resident within the park and is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a critically endangered primate; one of the rarest in the world.

History
Cát Bà National Park was established on 31 March 1986 under No.79/CP decision of the Council of Ministers of Vietnam (now the government). The park has been a popular tourist destination, since the mid-1990s with wealthy Chinese and Vietnamese tourists. The tourists created a demand for traditional medicine and development and logging led to the near extinction of the white-headed langur with numbers falling from 2600 to just 40 in 2003. In 2016 there are 67 (± 5).

Geography
Tower in Cát Bà National Park

Cát Bà National Park is situated off the north-east shore of Viet-nam and covers most of Cát Bà island; the park headquarters are at Trung Trang. The island is mainly limestone with alternating narrow valleys running north-east to south-west. There are many rugged hills with elevation to 500 metres (1,600 ft); most are in the range 50–200 metres (160–660 ft).
The geographic coordinates are:
20 ° 43'50 "-20 ° 51'29" north latitude.
106 ° 58'20 "-107 ° 10'50" east.
There are five main soil groups:
* The limestone soil: It is weathered soils or brown reddish-brown limestone and sandstone, soil> 50 centimetres (20 in), pH = 6.5 to 7. Distributed under the forest canopy, scattered in the garden.
* The hills are forested with brown soil or weathered limestone, less acidic or near neutral. In this soil white or gray yellow brown clay shale development on the hills, with thin and rocky soil.
* The valleys have soil on limestone, concentrated in the valleys, the natural forest cover.
* The Thing Valley land flooding, mainly developed by the accretion process, the rainy season usually submerged, surface soil medium or thin.
* The accretion of land submerged by product deposition in the estuary, the mangrove area development on the Cai Vieng, Phu Long.
The area of the park is 16,196.8 hectares (40,023 acres), of which 10,931.7 hectares (27,013 acres) is forest and 5,265.1 hectares (13,010 acres) of sea. Forest includes primary, secondary and mangrove.

Biological resources
Flora
Over 1,500 species of plants have been recorded including 118 trees and 160 plants with medicinal properties.

Fauna
So far 282 species have been recorded. These include 32 species of mammals, 78 birds species, 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, 98 species of zooplankton, 196 species of marine fish and 177 species of coral. The most commonly seen mammels include civet, deer, macaques and squirrels. The island is on a major migration route for waterfowl which feed and roost in the mangrove forests

Cat Ba National Park is situated in Cat Ba Island and on several smaller islands nearby. The park currently comprises 98km2 of total land are, 54km2 of inshore waters. The National Park was Vietnam’s first national park to included both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. It is recognized nationally and internationally for its importance in biodiversity conservation, as it contains many different types of ecosystem and habitat. The Park has a great variety of plant and animal species. Catba National Park differs from other national parks in Vietnam because of the great variety of landscapes and ecosystems, including tropical evergeen forests, mangrove, freshwater lake and streams, isolated sandy beaches, coral reefs, caves and grottos. The Park is a tourist attraction to million of domestic and oversea visitors. Come to Catba, travelers not only can worship the beauty of landscapes, seascapes, relax on isolated beaches in Lanha Bay or visit primeval forest but also have chances to discover many unique, precious species of fauna, flora and local culture…

The golden–headed langur or Cat Ba langur is a rare and a precious animal and exists only in Cat Ba island. A special type of tree called “Cay Kim Giao” is unique to Cat Ba. In ancient times, kings and nobles would eat only with chopsticks made from this timber, as the light coloured wood was reputed to turn to black when it touched anything poisonous. There are 745 species of plants recorded on Cat Ba, including 118 timber species and 160 plants with medicinal value. The national park is home to 32 types of mammals and more than 70 species of birds have been sighted. There is a beautiful lake inside the national park called Frog Lake, with a water forest and amazing landscape.

How to come to Cat Ba national park
If you travel from Halong bay, you will get on Gia Luan harbour ( going by boat or by Tuan Chau ferry) where you can take a taxi, mototaxi or rent a car to go 10 km to Catba national park main gate. If you start from Catba town, it take you about 15 km to come. The road is good and you also can rent a motobike to go and then you can stop at some places on the way to take nice pictures.
Cat Ba Map

Catba national park attractions
From the Catba national park center, you can come to visit some places nearby like Trung Trang cave, Hospital cave, village garden or you go futher to Cat Ba town to visit Cat Ba market, Cat Ba Canon Fort. If you love to discover more, then you can visit money and macaccas on monkeys island, go swimming or take a cruise to Lan Ha bay, visit Viet Hai fishing village...

Remark:
* From Cat Ba national park, you can make a trekking trip throught jungle 11 km to come to visit Viet Hai village. This way has no people living and you have to go with an experienced tour guide who will leads you go through a frog lake.
* You should spend some hours to rent a boat to visit Lan Ha bay: going kayaking, swimming, cruising on boat... as it is so beautiful sightseeing with many islets and sandy beaches on the way. For the package tour: please contact Sails of Indochina at sales@sailsofindochina.com

Sails of Indochina - Lan Ha Bay

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