02D/01N - Trekking, Kayaking, Standup Paddleboarding & Cruising in Lan Ha bay and Cat Ba island

(Updated: 6/28/2016 2:47:04 AM)

Venture off beaten paths like no Other in Cat Ba national park and embark on private sailing junk in Lan Ha bay to discover and explore the hidden lagoons and floating villages to witness life on water

Day 01: Catba - Trek to Viet Hai village
You depart from your hotel in town. We will visit firstly Quan Y Cave, after that you come to the center of Cat Ba National Park to venture off the beaten trails through the karst mountains, virgin forest and deep green valleys where plants grow up year round, sometimes you may encounter a few species such as yellow monkeys, weasels, foxes, and insects only found in tropical forests. After that you go to a flooded lake Ao Ech ( Frog's Pond). Then we arrive in Viet Hai Village where we share lunch with local family, time to socialize with locals, then climb Hai Quan mountain, the highest mountain on the island with 310 metres in height. Standing there you can observe most of the Biosphere Reserves and one side of Ha Long Bay. Here it is very quiet in the evening, you enjoy traditional dinner prepared by locals. Ovenight at local homestay.
Day 02: Viet Hai - Lan Ha bay - Catba Town
The next day, you get up in the morning and have breakfast. After that you go to the pier to embark on private sailing junk to visit around Lan Ha and Halong Bay, kayaking and standup paddleboarding around floating fishing villages and swim at Ba Trai Dao beach before going back to Cat Ba at sunset. End of our service

Cat Ba's beautiful national park is home to 32 types of mammal, including most of the world's 65 remaining golden-headed langur; the world's most endangered primate. There are some good hiking trails here, including a hardcore 18km route up to a mountain summit. To reach the park headquarters at Trung Trang, hop on the green QH public bus from the docks at Cat Ba Town, hire a xe om, or rent a motorbike for the day.

A guide is not mandatory but is definitely recommended to help you make sense of the verdant canopy of trees. Most visitors opt to visit the park on an organised tour – Cat Ba Ventures runs good day-trips here – but you can also arrange guides with the rangers at the park headquarters. Within the park the multi-chambered Hang Trung Trang (Trung Trang Cave) is easily accessible, but you will need to contact a ranger to make sure it's open. Bring a torch (flashlight). The challenging 18km hiking trail in the park takes six hours and is best done with a guide. Boat or bus transport to the trailhead and a boat to get back to town also need to be arranged. Again, rangers at the headquarters can help with this or speak to Cat Ba Ventures or Asia Outdoors in Cat Ba Town. Take proper hiking shoes, a raincoat and a generous supply of water for this hike. Independent hikers can buy basic snacks at the kiosks in Viet Hai , which is where many hiking groups stop for lunch. This is not an easy walk, and is much harder and more slippery after rain. There are shorter hiking options that are less strenuous.

Many hikes end at Viet Hai, a remote minority village just outside the park boundary, from where taxi boats shuttle back to Ben Beo Pier. A shared public boat departs from Ben Beo at 6am on weekdays and 7am on weekends. Of the mammals present in the park, the more commonly seen include macaques, deer, civets and several species of squirrel, including the giant black squirrel. Seventy bird species have been spotted here, including hawks, hornbills and cuckoos. Cat Ba also lies on a major migration route for waterfowl that feed and roost on the beaches in the mangrove forests. Over a thousand species of plants have been recorded in the park, including 118 trees and 160 plants with medicinal value.

Sails of Indochina - Lan Ha Bay

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