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UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site Cat Ba Archipelago and Lan Ha Bay: Vietnam’s Best- Kept Secret

UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site Cat Ba Archipelago and Lan Ha Bay: Vietnam’s Best- Kept Secret

Dr. Pham Ha, Founder and CEO of LuxGroup (, describes Cat Ba Archipelago as an exotic destination featuring pristine beaches, secluded lagoons, coves, tropical forests, and lakes ideal for kayaking, biking, and discovering hidden retreats over five days. “As a creative travel company, we seek new, authentic experiences for our discerning guests looking to explore both Halong Bay and Cat Ba Island. It’s particularly appealing to young adventurers and repeat visitors craving unique and elusive experiences. Our team diligently uncovers these gems, presenting not only unforgettable journeys but also intriguing investment opportunities.”

Island Experience

Although Cat Ba Town has seen over-development with a line of concrete hotels along its bay, the rest of the island remains wild and untouched. The allure of Lan Ha Bay, just offshore, easily compensates for the urban sprawl.

Our stay began at Flammingo Cat Ba Island Resort, offering an immersive island experience. Preferences varied within our team; some enjoyed local shopping, while others preferred swimming at Cat Co beaches, easily accessible by foot. We opted for eco-friendly electric cars for transportation. Photography enthusiasts will find breathtaking sunset views at Cannon Fort, along with historical sites like the Cat Ba Fisheries Port, visited by President Ho Chi Minh in 1959.

Sunset on Cannon Fort, Cat Ba Island

Cannon Fort offers panoramic island views and is just a short walk from Cat Ba Town. It’s a prime spot for capturing the contrast between the lush limestone karsts and the vibrant local life marked by fishing boats and beaches.

The Fishery Factory tour reveals the essence of local livelihoods, offering a deep dive into Vietnamese culture. Evenings can be spent enjoying the nightlife or relaxing at quaint street-side eateries, with unique floating restaurants adding to the charm.

Cat Ba National Park

An early start allowed us to explore the park’s wildlife while avoiding the summer heat. Our guide, Van Anh, shared insights into the area’s biodiversity and expressed concerns about the potential impact of tourism development on the island’s unique ecosystem, especially the endangered Cat Ba Langur.

Our trek included the Cat Ba National Park Education Trail and visits to karst caves, offering a glimpse into the area’s natural wonders and historical significance. Van Anh highlighted the park’s importance as a protected area encompassing both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve

Adjacent to Halong Bay, the Cat Ba Archipelago stands out for its limestone karst landscapes and biodiversity, including the critically endangered golden-headed langur. Recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2004, it showcases diverse habitats under threat from development and encroachment. The local economy thrives on fishing, with opportunities in tourism and agriculture awaiting further exploration.

Secret Hideaway

Our adventure continued with an overnight stay in Lan Ha Bay’s Nam Cat Resort, surrounded by natural beauty. A day on the water highlighted the area’s unspoiled charm, reminiscent of Halong Bay decades ago. Despite the regulatory challenges faced when navigating between provinces, our experiences on the water, including a visit to a floating village and engaging in water sports, were unparalleled.

Viet Hai Village offered a serene glimpse into rural Vietnamese life, with eco-friendly practices and a welcoming community. Our journey concluded with kayaking through the Hang Ca Area, showcasing the archipelago’s natural splendor and conservation efforts.

How to Get There?

Accessibility to Cat Ba Island is continually improving, with options ranging from expressways and local ferries to speedboats and the new Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Bridge, significantly reducing travel time and offering a gateway to this pristine destination. Discover more at

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