UNESCO Honours Vietnam's Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba as Natural Heritage

The UNESCO recognition will further boost the tourism potential of the archipelago, which boasts a rich diversity of island and ocean ecosystems
Halong Bay, North Vietnam
Halong Bay, North VietnamDepositphotos.com

UNESCO recently declared the vast Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Archipelago in Vietnam's Quang Ninh province a world natural heritage site. This recognition was made during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Archipelago is Vietnam's first UNESCO-listed world heritage site that spans two provinces. UNESCO had earlier recognised the archipelago as a world biosphere reserve.

For representatioal purposes
For representatioal purposesDepositphotos.com

About Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Archipelago

Ha Long Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin, is famous for its 1,600 islands and islets made of limestone pillars. This area extension features numerous limestone islands and tall pillars emerging from the sea, forming scenes with weathered notches, arches, and caves. The region hosts seven different ecosystem types and is the habitat of endangered native species like the Cat Ba Langur, the Cat Ba Tiger Gecko, and the Asian Small-clawed Otter.

The tourist spot is famous for its emerald waters and thousands of tall limestone formations. These formations are covered in greenery, creating a stunning contrast with the sparkling water. For those interested in cruising, kayaking, and exploring caves, Ha Long Bay is an ideal place to try these activities.

Aerial view of Cat Ba bay, Vietnam
Aerial view of Cat Ba bay, VietnamShutterstock

As far as Cat Ba Island is concerned, it is the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, spanning more than 300 square kilometres. With more than 360 islands, this largest group of limestone islands is known for its scenic views, including tall cliffs, dense forests, and clear waters.

Besides exploring its beaches, one can visit places like 'Monkey Island,' where you'll see free-roaming long-tailed macaques. About 2 kilometres north of town, there's the 'Cannon Fort' built in 1942 for defence, and it's a great place to catch a beautiful sunset.

Places To Visit Nearby

Near Vietnam's Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island, travellers can discover a wealth of natural beauty and cultural gems. Lan Ha Bay, an adjacent wonder to Ha Long, beckons with its pristine waters and iconic karsts, ideal for boat tours, kayaking, and swimming. Cat Ba National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, offers hiking amidst lush greenery and wildlife encounters. Don't miss Monkey Island's wild inhabitants or the historical insights at Cannon Fort on Cat Ba. Cai Beo Floating Village provides a glimpse into traditional fishing life, while Sung Sot Cave astonishes with its stunning formations in Ha Long Bay. Ti Top Island rewards hikers with panoramic bay vistas. Tuan Chau Island's amenities promise entertainment, and Bai Tu Long Bay offers a quieter alternative to Ha Long. Finally, Quan Lan Island boasts sandy beaches and serenity in Bai Tu Long Bay, completing the diverse attractions awaiting exploration near Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island in Vietnam is during the autumn and winter months, which generally span from October to April.

Getting There

Most international travellers arrive in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You can check for flights to Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). From Hanoi, you can either take a domestic flight to Cat Bi International Airport (HPH) in Hai Phong, which is the closest city to Cat Ba Island, or you can travel by road from Hanoi to Halong City, which is closer to the main part of Ha Long Bay.

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