Cat Ba island, the 'pearl' of the north for tourists hinh anh 1An aerial view of Cat Ba archipelago. (Photo: VNA)

Hai Phong – With 367 islands, more than 300
beaches, and a diverse and rich ecosystem, Cat Ba archipelago in Cat Hai district,
Hai Phong city, is an attractive destination to both domestic and foreign
tourists all year round.

The dramatic landscapes are characterised by limestone cliffs,
coral reefs, lagoons, beaches, and mangrove forests. In 2004 UNESCO recognised
the archipelago as a World Biosphere Reserve.

Cat Ba has been included in the bucket list of many nature-lovers
who wish to explore its variety of natural ecosystems. Particularly, Cat Ba
National Park has 4,500 hectares of primeval forest, providing habitat for many
rare flora and fauna as well as animals that have been listed in the Red Book
of Vietnam such as langurs, black squirrels or Chittagong wood.

To those keen on exploring bays, islands and caves, they could
take one of the many cruise ships sailing along Lan Ha Bay and you may even be
welcomed by the monkeys, ‘hospitable’ residents of Ca Dua island that is dubbed
as ‘Monkey island’.

They could also kayak to explore Sang (Light) Cave and Toi (Dark)
Cave or scuba dive to get immersed in the colourful world of corals.

One of the most popular tourism activities in Lan Ha Bay is rock
climbing, a thrilling experience that is popular abroad but still quite rare in
Vietnam.

Endowed with diverse and rich ecological
resources, trekking has also thrived and attracted many tourists, especially
young ones, to Cat Ba. The routes that they favour are mainly those passing low
mountain terrain or valleys with beautiful, unspoiled natural landscapes and
cultural-historical heritage sites like Quan Y Cave or Trung Trang Cave.

In order to protect and properly exploit the
natural resources of the archipelago, the Hai Phong authority is making a
dossier seeking UNESCO’s recognition of Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba archipelago as a
World Heritage site./.