The outstanding values of the archipelago, the nation’s first inter-provincial UNESCO-listed world heritage site, fully meet the stringent criteria set by the World Heritage Committee.
. The Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba archipelago possesses 1,133 limestone islands which come in various shapes and sizes. These rocky islands are covered full of lush vegetation.
The breathtaking scenic site is adorned with numberless majestic limestone towers, characterized by arches and caves. Hidden within the limestone towers are saltwater lakes.
The archipelago is home to 4,910 species of rare plants and animals, and it houses the country’s largest maritime forest with an area stretching for more than 17,000 hectares. Among them, 198 species are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, including 51 endemic species. In particular, the Cat Ba Langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) is a rare species which features on the list of animals at highest risk of extinction.
Visitors can also easily enjoy the view of seasonal flowers blooming on cliffs, whilst witnessing endemic plants which cannot be seen elsewhere, such as Ha Long cycads and Ha palm trees.
Ha Long Bay has been recognised twice by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site in 1994 and 2000 while the Cat Ba archipelago with Cat Ba National Park was also listed by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve in 2004.
Both Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba archipelago are currently the leading attractive destinations in the northern region and throughout Vietnam, attracting millions of visitors each year
Popular destinations in Ha Long Bay include Trong Mai, Dinh Huong, Ti Top, Soi Sim, and Bo Hon islands. The most unique features of the bay are more than 60 stunning caves, such as Sung Sot, Thien Cung, Dau Go, Bo Nau, and Trinh Nu
Meanwhile, Cat Ba archipelago is characterised by nearly 140 beaches, including Ang Vem, Cat Dua, Cat Co, Ben Beo, Co Tien, and Van Boi. Most notably, international tourists are very keen to experience trekking through Cat Ba National Park and explore the unique terrain, flora, and fauna found here.
In addition to natural beauty, the Ha Long – Cat Ba archipelago is also attractive due to the unique features brought by local fishing villages.
Apart from going to Ha Long in Quang Ninh or Cat Ba Island in Hai Phong for separate tours, visitors can experience “traveling through” the heritage area by ferry, connecting Tuan Chau Island (Ha Long) and Gia Luan Harbor (Cat Ba).