Top 10 National Parks in Vietnam
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If you have a strong passion for exploring nature as well as the world of plants and animals, then national parks in Vietnam may be the ideal destinations. Apart from extremely rich biodiversity, Vietnam parks also boast unique features that distinguish from other ones in Asia. Excursion Vietnam would like to reveal the 10 best National Parks in Vietnam to put in your bucket list.
1. Cuc Phuong National Park
Known as the first national park in Vietnam, Cuc Phuong covers a broad area of 25,000 ha of 3 provinces in Northern Vietnam, including Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa. Cuc Phuong is considered as a green lung of northern Vietnam and also a large natural museum which houses various species of flora and fauna as well as impressive limestone formations.
Rare species of primat spotted in Cuc Phuong National Park
The entrance fee of Cuc Phuong is just $2.5 including a visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC). This incredible place is run by both international scientists, doctors and worldwide volunteers aiming to save the rarest species of primates in Vietnam as well as unlucky individuals that survived from animal trading and hunter's traps. The doctors and keepers in the center carefully take care of the primates just like their children: feeding, bathing, entertaining, etc. If you are an animal lover, it is a must to come to Cuc Phuong National Park and pay a visit to the center. For supporting and donating, you can contact them on their offical website: http://www.eprc.asia/
The keepers in EPRC taking care of their cute "Children"
2. Tram Chim National Park, Dong Thap
Stretching in a large area of 7,133ha in Dong Thap province, Tram Chim National Parks is the homeland of 233 different species of bird including Burmese sarus crane, White-winged duck, great cormorant, painted stock, Malaysian plover, Spot-billed Pelican, etc. The best time to discover Tram Chim National Park is from August to November, when the rain stops and the weather is getting more pleasant.
It's easy to encounter various birds in Tram Chim National Park
3. Phong Nha Ke Bang, Quang Binh
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is located in Quang Binh Province,central Vietnam. This mysterious land is endowed with jaw-dropping landscape of limestone mountain ranges, primitive forests and stunning rivers, which surely offers you the chance to explore the broad system of caves and the untouched nature in Central Vietnam. One of the greatest and most famous caves is the impressive Phong Nha – a complex of karst formations which consists of 14 small grottoes, including Paradise cave, Dark Cave, etc.
Phong Nha Ke Bang boasts the highest coverage in Vietnam
Last but not least, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is home to the biggest cave on earth – The Son Doong, which was just found in 2009. Son Doong is definitely a priceless gift that Mother Nature gave to Vietnam. This cave houses phenomenal karst formations, stalactites, stalagmites, fresh-watered underground rivers and evergreen forests with extremely rich biodiversity. To explore Son Doong, tourists have to overcome many strict physical and health tests. During the tour, they have to push themselves to the limit, face to nearly a week of hiking, swimming, trekking in lack-of-light conditions to get into the heart of the cave.
Related: Phong Nha Tours
Inside Son Doong Cave 1
Inside Song Doong Cave 2
4. Bach Ma National Park, Thua Thien Hue
Bach Ma National Park is located in Phu Loc District, 40km from Hue City. The National Park houses the Bach Ma Peak – One of the most famous and beautiful mountains in Vietnam (1450m). The National Park, stretches in a broad area of 22,030 ha, is widely well-known for a rich biodiversity of 2148 floras and nearly 1500 fauna including many rare species such as saola (spindlehorn), siki black langur, Douc Langur, Java mouse-deer, yellow-feet squirrel, brown rabbit, etc.
It is recommended to spend more than 1 day to discover the wildlife in Bach Ma, the entrance fee is $1 per child and $2 per adult. The best time to visit Bach Ma is autumn (August to November), when the weather is pleasant, humidity and temperature is not really high. Remember to bring with you a lightweight jacket as it will get quite cold at night. Happy Explore!
5. Phu Quoc National Park, Kien Giang
Phu Quoc National Park is a part of Phu Quoc Island renowned as “the Pearl of Vietnam”. Along with its biodiversity, the park offers a striking experience about a tropical forest among the vast sea. Climbing on Chua Mountain, visitors can have an amazing panorama about harmonious combination among lush forests, the crystal-blue sea water, and endless skyline in this park.
A Fresh Natural Stream in Phu Quoc National Park
6. Cat Ba National Park, Hai Phong
Located on Cat Ba Island - The biggest of its kind in Northern Vietnam, Cat Ba National Park has different sorts of the ecosystem that visitors can freely discover such as ecosystem on limestone mountains, mangrove ecosystem, the system of coral reefs, and natural cave systems. The park was recognized as one of world’s biosphere reserves in 2004.
7. Cat Tien National Park, Lam Dong
Cat Tien, situated 150km from Ho Chi Minh City, is one of the few National Parks in Vietnam that still boasts a large amount of rare mammals in Vietnam including clouded leopard, gaur, Asian elephant, black bear, etc. The condition of forests and biodiversity in many areas in Cat Tien is still well-preserved by the government and local forest guards, although some rare mammals have been hunted and killed sometimes.
Majestic Natural Falls in Cat Tien National Parks
During the tours to Cat Tien National Park, you will have a chance to admire the stunning natural spectacles in Cat Tien including majestic waterfalls, crocodile swamps, which offers a lot of photo opportunities.
The best place to visit in Cat Tien National Park - Bau Sau (Crocodile Swamp)
You can also join in various activities such as forest trekking, boating on Cat Tien Cannals, spotting crocodiles, langurs and wild animals at night, etc.
A Couple of Wild Muntjac Spotted at Night in Cat Tien National Park
8. Ba Vi National Park, Hanoi
If you’re searching for a place to escape from the bustling capital city of Vietnam, then you should put Ba Vi in your bucket list – a beautiful national park near Hanoi (50km west of the city). Ba Vi National Park, founded in 1991, is home to an impressive biodiversity of various wild species including 45 mammals, 115 birds, 61 reptiles, 27 amphibians and over 1000 species of flora.
With the entrance fee of 40,000VND ($2), you can easily have a memorable and enjoyable day trip in Ba Vi National Park, which is packed with some super cool places for photographing and hiking. For those wondering about Ba Vi National Park accommodation, local tents are always available for those interested in camping there overnight. The price for a tent is just around $10.
Walking among thousands of flowers in Ba Vi National Park
How to get to Ba Vi from Hanoi
The best way to get to Ba Vi National Park is by motorbikes as you can easily rent a nice one in the Hanoi Old Quarter for $5 per day. Besides, you can experience riding on winding mountain roads and feel free to stop on the way to capture the idyllic scenery in the outskirts of Hanoi.
9. Yok Don National Park, Dak Nong
Listed among the best National Parks in Vietnam, Yok Don is featured by Dipterocarp Forests. Take a visit to this destination, visitors can enjoy not only the wilderness of landscapes but also fascinating outdoor activities such as going trekking, riding elephants, climbing mountains, and boating on rivers. Besides, tourists can discover the cultural diversity of ethnic communities on the edge of Yok Don National Park, which offers the wonderful experiences about Vietnamese culture.
10. U Minh Thuong National Park, Kien Giang
Situated in Kien Giang, U Minh Thuong National Park is considered as one of the rarest kinds of forests in the world. The forests are characterized by abandon amount of marine creatures and water birds. The special thing is that visitors have to jump into a boat of native people to access the forest instead of going trekking as other Vietnam forests.
That concludes our super cool list of top 10 national parks in Vietnam. You might not have enough time to explore them all, but we recommend you to try one of them to understand a bit more about the majestic wildlife in Vietnam. Feel free to check out our Things to See and Do in Vietnam for more useful travel guides and tips.