Cat Ba Overview

Cat Ba National Park, established in 1986, is a significant national park located on Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Halong Bay, in the northeastern region of Vietnam. This protected area covers approximately 152 square kilometers (about 59 square miles) of land and marine water, encompassing a diverse range of ecosystems, including limestone karsts, tropical limestone forests, mangrove forests, freshwater swamp forests, and marine waters.

Situated in Hai Phong City jurisdiction, Cat Ba National Park is an integral part of the Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO. The park’s rugged and varied landscape provides a sanctuary for a rich biodiversity. It is especially notable for being the habitat of the critically endangered Cat Ba langur (or golden-headed langur), one of the world’s most at-risk primate species. Conservation efforts within the park are crucial for the survival of this and other species.

Cat Ba National Park’s unique ecosystem supports a variety of other wildlife, including several mammal species, birds, reptiles, and a rich array of marine life, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and scientists alike. The park’s flora is equally diverse, with a mix of species that reflects the transition between tropical rainforest and northern deciduous forests.

For visitors, Cat Ba National Park offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from trekking and mountain biking on well-marked trails that navigate through the park’s lush forests and to its high peaks, to boat tours exploring the marine areas and the smaller islands surrounding Cat Ba. The park also features caves, waterfalls, and freshwater lakes that provide scenic spots for picnicking and relaxation.

Cat Ba National Park not only plays a critical role in biodiversity conservation but also offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure, making it a compelling destination for those seeking to explore the natural wonders of Vietnam’s Halong Bay region.

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Park Map
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Cat Ba National Park Highlights


Cat Ba National Park is a sanctuary for diverse wildlife, offering a glimpse into rare species and unique ecosystems within its stunning karst landscapes.

Cat Ba Langur
Critically endangered, the Cat Ba Langur is known for its striking golden head and black body, surviving in small numbers within the park’s limestone forests.

Rhesus Macaque
Common yet fascinating, Rhesus Macaques are highly social primates, playing an essential role in the park’s ecology through seed dispersal and social interaction.

Leopard Cat
Small and elusive, the Leopard Cat navigates the dense underbrush with ease, its spotted coat camouflaging perfectly in the park’s varied habitats.

Oriental Small-clawed Otter
The smallest otter species, these social and playful animals are often seen near water bodies, showcasing the importance of aquatic ecosystems in the park.

White-bellied Sea Eagle
Soaring high above, the White-bellied Sea Eagle is a magnificent sight, with its broad wings and distinctive cry, symbolizing the park’s coastal and marine biodiversity.

King Cobra
The world’s largest venomous snake, the King Cobra commands respect, its presence indicating the health of the park’s primary forests.

Horsfield’s Fruit Bat
A vital pollinator and seed disperser, Horsfield’s Fruit Bat thrives in the park’s canopy, contributing to the regeneration and health of the forest.

Asian Water Monitor
Large and versatile, the Asian Water Monitor is a common sight along the park’s waterways, playing a critical role in controlling rodent and insect populations.

With its armored scales and unique diet of ants and termites, the Pangolin is a crucial part of the park’s ecosystem, aiding in pest control.

Each of these species contributes to the complex web of life in Cat Ba National Park, highlighting the importance of conservation efforts in this unique habitat.

Cat Ba National Park Pictures

Engaging Cat Ba National Park

Explore Cat Ba National Park through its network of hiking trails, which wind through lush forests, past scenic viewpoints, and along rugged coastline. Hiking allows visitors to immerse themselves in the park’s natural beauty, encounter diverse wildlife, and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

Whether you’re embarking on a short nature walk or a full-day trek, hiking in Cat Ba National Park offers rewarding experiences and opportunities to connect with the pristine wilderness of the island.

Paddle through scenic waterways in and around Cat Ba National Park, discovering hidden coves, secluded beaches, and towering limestone karsts. Kayaking allows visitors to explore the park’s coastal ecosystems up close, with opportunities to spot marine life such as colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins.

Whether you’re a novice paddler or an experienced kayaker, the calm waters of Cat Ba Bay provide ideal conditions for leisurely exploration and adventure, offering stunning views of the park’s natural landscapes from a unique perspective.

Challenge yourself on the limestone cliffs of Cat Ba National Park, which offer excellent opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering. With routes suitable for climbers of all skill levels, the park attracts outdoor enthusiasts seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures amidst spectacular scenery.

Whether you’re scaling vertical walls or traversing overhangs, rock climbing in Cat Ba National Park provides thrilling experiences and memorable moments, with panoramic views of Ha Long Bay and the surrounding islands rewarding climbers at the summit.

Cat Ba National Park Trails

Frog Pond Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2 kilometers round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: This gentle trail leads to a serene pond known for its population of frogs. The path is well-marked and winds through lush forests, offering a cool, shaded hike.

It’s perfect for families and those interested in observing the park’s diverse plant and amphibian life in a relatively undisturbed setting.

Ngu Lam Peak Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of 400 meters.

Description: Offering panoramic views of the island and surrounding waters, this trail takes hikers to the top of Ngu Lam Peak.

The path is steep and challenging in parts but rewards with breathtaking vistas from the summit.

Along the way, hikers can enjoy the dense forest canopy and the chance to spot wildlife.

Viet Hai Village Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 8 kilometers one way, with moderate elevation gain.

Description: This trail connects the park with the remote Viet Hai Village, offering a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the local island community.

The route passes through tropical forests and limestone karsts, providing a scenic and culturally enriching experience.

Visitors often bike part of the way and hike the rest.

Hospital Cave Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 500 meters round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: Leading to the historic Hospital Cave, this easy trail is both a natural and historical exploration.

The cave served as a secret, bomb-proof hospital during the Vietnam War and now stands as a testament to the island’s history.

The trail to the cave entrance is short and suitable for all ages.

Cannon Fort Path

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 3 kilometers round trip, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: This path takes visitors to the Cannon Fort, which offers some of the best views of Cat Ba Island and its surroundings.

The fort, used during various conflicts, now provides a peaceful vantage point for stunning sunset views over the karst landscape and sea.

The walk is easy and suitable for all fitness levels.


1. What is Cat Ba National Park known for?

Cat Ba National Park, located on Cat Ba Island in northern Vietnam, is known for its stunning limestone karsts, lush forests, and rich biodiversity.

The park encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, and coastal ecosystems, providing a haven for a variety of plant and animal species.

Cat Ba National Park is particularly renowned for its population of endangered golden-headed langurs, one of the rarest primate species in the world.

Visitors to the park can explore its scenic landscapes, hike through pristine forests, and encounter unique wildlife while enjoying breathtaking views of Ha Long Bay and the surrounding islands.

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