Top 5 Vietnam National Parks
1. Cuc Phuong National Park
Located 120 kilometers south of Hanoi, Cuc Phuong national park was established in 1962 and is the oldest national park in Vietnam.
Consisting of more than 200 square kilometers of tropical forest and many grottoes, the reserve is rich in wildlife and natural beauty and also possesses historical significance, as prehistoric tools and ancient tombs have been discovered in some of the caves.
As well as the natural environment, Cuc Phuong is home to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. This houses around 150 primates from endangered species in large enclosures. The aim of the centre is to release the animals back into the wild, but it is often difficult to rehabilitate them and they have only released a small number since the centre opened in 1995.
Over the road from the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre is the Turtle Conservation Centre, a rescue facility for turtles confiscated from the wildlife trade. The entry hall has some well presented displays detailing the problem and up to 19 species can be seen inside.
April and May are ideal months for a visit as the park is alive with butterflies and the weather is likely to be hot but dry. Other than that, any time is good as long as you are prepared for the weather: remember it gets chilly December through February.
2. Ba Be Lake & National Park
Located 250 km away from Hanoi, Ba Be National Park belongs to Ba Be district in Bac Kan province.
Designated as Vietnam’s eighth national park in 1992 and covering an area of about one hundred square kilometers, Ba Be is a region of astounding beauty, from the lush vegetation mirrored in the lake’s still waters to towering limestone pinnacles that reach over 1500m.
The main attractions for visitors are boat trips to visit caves, waterfalls and minority villages, with the added bonus of seeing at least a few of the 220 animal, 417 plant and 49 fish species recorded here.
Bears, tigers and one of Vietnam’s rarest and most endangered primates, the Tonkin snub-nosed langur (Rhinopithecus avunculus), live in a few isolated communities on the fringes of the park, but nearer the lake there’s a good chance of spotting the more common macaque monkeys, herons and garrulous, colorful flocks of parrots.
Vietnam’s largest natural lake, Ho Ba Be forms the core of the delightful Ba Be National Park, a feast of limestone and tropical forest. Enclosed by steep, densely wooded slopes breaking out here and there into white limestone cliffs, the lake is 7km long, up to 30m deep and a kilometer wide in parts. A few islands decorate the surface...read more...
3. Cat Ba National Park
60km to the east of Hai Phong city, Cat Ba stretches over territories of six communes including Gia Luan, Phu Long, Hien Hao, Xuan Dam, Tran Chau, Viet Hai and Cat Ba town.
Cat Ba National Park was established in 1986, with a total area of 15,200ha, including 9,800ha of land and forest, 5,400ha of marine sea.
With a complex of islands and limestone mountains with 366 small and large islands of 100-150m average height over sea level, the highest point is Cao Vong peak of 322m, the lowest ones is Trung Trang valley of 9m.
In 2004, Cat Ba Archipelago was declared a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Area in order to protect the multiple terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well the diverse plant and animal life that is found on the Island. The UNESCO designation divides the archipelago into three distinct areas, each with certain functions and restrictions that regulates development and conservation measures on the Island.
4. Bach Ma National Park
Bach Ma National Park covering 220 kilometers square is a protected area in Thua Thien – Hue Province, and a tourist attraction for wildlife discovery in Hue.
Situated on the Annamite Mountains (also called Truong Son Mountains), Bach Ma is one of the wettest lands in Vietnam. The park is composed of mainly granite mountains and evergreen and montage forests.
Bach Ma is also known for its rich of biodiversity with a variety of habitats, ranging from the coast, forests to high mountains.
5. Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park is a national park located in the south of Vietnam, approximately 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh City. It has an area of about 720 km2 and protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical forests left in Vietnam.
Cat Tien National Park is home to centuries-old trees, botanical gardens and recreational trails. The park also shelters diverse wildlife, from reptiles at Crocodile Lake to endangered primates and rare birds. Just outside of the park on the Dong Nai river, the Cat Tien archaeological site has ancient temples and artifacts.