Cat Ba Island is situated a mere 50 km east of Hai Phong city in the north of Vietnam. Cat Ba Island is part of a chain of 366 islands that lie within the larger area of Halong Bay. At over 200km2, Cat Ba is the largest island in Halong Bay.
The island is easily accessible and matches neighboring Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay for stunning natural beauty. It also offers visitors the added options of relaxation, adventure and cultural exchange. In April 2005, Cat Ba was officially recognized as Cat Ba Archipelago Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Cat Ba is the largest island in the Bay and approximately half of its area is covered by a National Park, which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba Langur. The island has a wide variety of natural ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, leading to incredibly high rates of biodiversity. Types of natural habitats found on Cat Ba Archipelago include limestone karsts, tropical limestone forests, coral reefs, mangrove and sea grass beds, lagoons, beaches, caves, and willow swamp forests. Cat Ba Island is one of the only populated islands in Ha Long Bay, with roughly 13,000 inhabitants living in six different communes, and 4,000 more inhabitants living on floating fishing villages off the coast. The large majority of the population can be found in Cat Ba town, which is located at the southern tip of the Island (15Ai??km (9Ai??mi) south of the national park) and is the commercial center on the Island.
Cat Ba is known for its rugged limestone mountains, hot and cold springs, moist tropical forests, mangrove forest , coral reefs as well as its deserted beaches, and casual island lifestyle. Cat Ba is now much sought after by both domestic and international visitors as a ready alternative to the city madness and bus tour boredom.
Cat Ba Ventures is the only locally operated tour agency. It provides a unique insight into the island and its people.