View from Cat Ba National Park over Lan Ha Bay
Cat Ba National Park owns the rich biodiversity with the forest at the mountain foot, forest on the karst mountainside, small freshwater lake, and forest in the freshwater marsh, mangrove forest, sandbank, and coral reef. The dominant type of plantation on Cat Ba Island is the forest on the limestone mountain. However, the forest is being disturbed heavily; many large areas are replaced with the shrub or the vacant space. There were 839 species of vascular plants recorded in the Park, of which 25 species were listed in Vietnam’s Red Book (Anon. 1997).
Due to the isolation from the mainland and high degree of illegal hunting, the diversity of mammal species in Cat Ba National Park Hai Phong is less than other parks. According to Nadler and Ha Thang Long (2000), there were a few mammals in the island namely Naemorhedus sumatraensis, Sus scrofa, and Muntiacus muntjak. More recognizably, the Park shelters the unique white-headed langur Trachypithecus poliocephalus in the world. The detailed studies showed that, between 1999 and 2000, there were around 104 – 135 langurs in the Site, of which 50-70 mature langurs. The limestone habitats in the protected area are very important to a variety of the invertebrates. Based on the study in 19989, there were numerous ideal humid holes in the limestone mountainous areas, which gave the Park a very diverse helix system (Vermulen and Whitten, 1998).
Before 1979, the population in Cat Ba Island was relatively low. But later, a large number of people moved from the mainland to the island. To date, there were around 12.303 people living in the buffer zone and 850 people living inside the Park (Cat Ba National Park management board, 2003). Among these, 70% of the population lived in the Cat Ba town, and most of them lived by fishing, trading, and offering services. People in local villages inside or nearby the Park were farmers who heavily exploited forest products namely timber, wood, honey, frogs, etc.
To conserve biodiversity in the Park, it needs management plans to prevent illegal logging, honey collecting (which often drives to forest fire), and severe hunting. Also, tourism activities need to put under observation so that it will not disturb the wildlife and natural environment.
Monkeys in Cat Ba National Park Vietnam
Cat Ba receives a large number of domestic and international tourists on an annual basis. The majority of these guests visit the Park by trekking and boating which leave the very exciting experiences. Trekking in Cat Ba Island is a trendy activity that young trekkers and thrill-seekers will surely appreciate. The spacious greenness and beautiful sightseeing will offer you nothing but peace of mind, health, and love of life.
The best time to have a green journey to Cat Ba is from April to October when mountain climbing and biodiversity discovery become best. The romantic spectacle in almost every corner of the Park might make some climbers “wordless” while the others might think that they must enjoy the trip to the fullest and will come back to this destination someday together with their loved ones.
Biking on Cat Ba Island
It often takes the 5-hour drive from Hanoi to Cat Ba. Most trekkers choose the pristine 8km trail amid the lush trees and mountains. There will be some challenging points during the trail such as the marshes, steep rocky mountain, etc., but excitement is certain. After you come over the challenges, you’ll be rewarded with the beautiful forest scenery, sublime Ao Ech (the lake of frogs), far-off view of Viet Hai fishing village, etc. It’s time to reward yourself with a nature-friendly escape.