Located 45 kilometers to the east of Hai Phong City and just 25 kilometers from world-famous Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba National Park, established in 1986, was the only Southeast Asian representative to break into the list.
“If you weren’t already dying to visit Vietnam, Cat Ba National Park located near UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay is a great reason. The biosphere reserve is home to a number of diverse plants and wildlife,” BuzzFeed stated.
According to the news site, the best time to visit the national park is between April and May or from September to November.
“If you have extra time outside of exploring Cat Ba, do yourself a favor and take a small cruise throughout Ha Long Bay,” it recommended.
Spanning about 263 square kilometers, including 173 square kilometers of land and 90 square kilometers of inshore water, the national park is near the northeastern shore of Vietnam on Cat Ba Island surrounded by limestone karst mountains rising from turquoise waters that make it an ideal destination for cruise tours.
A cruise ship on Lan Ha Bay in Cat Ba Island in Hai Phong City. Photo courtesy of Scarlet Pearl
In 2003, Cat Ba National Park was recognized by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve in order to protect the multiple terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well the diverse plant and animal life found on the island.
Other famous names around the world included on the list were Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China, Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, Banff National Park in Canada, Fiordland National Park in New Zealand, and Cinque Terre National Park in Italy.
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