If the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City life has you yearning for the hills, look no further than these lush green retreats.
Cuc Phuong national park
Cuc Phuong National Park, located in Ninh Binh Province in Vietnam’s Red River Delta, was the first national park established in Vietnam in 1960 and is now the country’s largest flora and fauna reserve, covering 25 000 Hectares. It is home to 97 mammal species, 300 bird species, 36 reptilian species, 17 amphibian species, 11 fish species, 2,000 vascular plant species, and thousands of insect species. The park is made up of lush valleys and verdant karst mountains homing numerous caves that can be explored.
Ba Be National park
Ba Be Lake, also known as Ba Be National Park, is located in Bac Can Province, 240 kilometers from Hanoi, and encompasses over 23,000 hectares of waterfalls, rivers, deep valleys, lakes, caves, and a very rich ecosystem with nearly 1,300 species of flora, and 182 species of orchids.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang, National park
Phong Nha–K Bàng National Park is situated on 2,000 km2 of Vietnamese territory and borders another 2,000 km2 of Laotian territory known as Hin Namno. The park was created to safeguard one of the world’s two largest karst regions, which contains 300 caves. The Sn ong Cave, one of the grottos, was discovered by British and Vietnamese explorers in a 2009 survey and is considered the world’s largest cave. The park, which spans an area of 857.54 km2, is home to many primates such as black monkeys, five-colored langurs, and white-cheeked black gibbons. It is divided into three zones: a “strictly protected zone” (648.94 km2), a “ecological recovery zone” (174.49 km2), and a “administrative service zone” (34.11 km2).
Bach Ma National park
Bach Ma National Park was established on July 15, 1991, at the southern end of Truong Son Mountain. The park is an appealing eco-tourism site with an impressive natural scenery and a diverse flora and fauna, preserving many rare animals, an extremely diverse flora and homing 1,406 species of plants, with over 300 species of valuable medicinal plants, 931 species including 83 species of mammals and a large number of rare species: 333 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 21 species of amphibians, 39 species of fish, 218 species of butterflies… Close to the park, at an elevation of 1000 – 1444 m above sea level, the French built there in 1932, a large resort, now restored, containing 139 villas, markets, banks, post offices, swimming pools, tennis courts and a 19 Km road connecting National Highway 1A to the center area of Bach Ma.
Yok Don National park
Yok Don National Park, located in Krông Na commune, was established in 1991 to protect 582 km2 of khp lowland forest biological area. There are 1,155.45 km2 in total, plus a buffer zone of 1,138.9 km2. It borders the Mondulkiri Protected Forest (Cambodia) to the west and is part of what is possibly Southeast Asia’s largest protected area complex. Yok Don National Park’s vegetation is dominated by a mosaic of deciduous and semi-evergreen forest, with smaller areas of evergreen forest, especially on hills and along watercourses. This park is vital for the conservation of globally endangered species such as the Indochina tiger, leopard, Indian elephant, and gaur.
Cát Tiên National Park
The park is located in southern Vietnam, about 150 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, and protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical forests left in Vietnam. After integrating two sectors in 1978, the park added a third in 1992, welcoming the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros. In 1998, the three areas were combined to form one park. The Cát Tiên archaeological site is located on the northern bank of the Dong Nai, just outside the park boundary. Excavations between 1994 and 2003 uncovered a cluster of temples belonging to a previously unknown Hindu civilization that lived in the area between the 4th and 9th centuries AD.
Tra Su forest
The 850-hectare Tra Su Forest, located 30 kilometers southwest of Chau Doc in south Vietnam, features an ecosystem of cajuput trees lining dusty dirt paths and a flooded mangrove forest that serves as a stunning backdrop for the park’s plants and animals. The forest is designed for nature lovers, with 140 types of flora, 70 species of birds, 11 types of animals, 25 species of reptiles, and 23 species of fish. The flooded forest in Van Giao Commune, Tinh Bien District, is best explored from July to December, when water covers the entire cajuput forest, allowing boat to ride around it.
Gao Giong Eco Tourism site
Gao Giong Eco-tourism Site, established in 2003, is located in the Delta’s cajuput forest, covering 1700 hectares with 1,200ha of cajuput forest, which is home to more than 100 bird species. The Eco-tourism Site is divided into four sections, each with its own set of canals and dykes. For many years, the Site was known as the Dong Thap Muoi area’s largest freshwater fish lake.
Xeo Quyt Cajuput Forest
Despite its small size, Xeo Quyt cajuput forest (also known as Rung Tram) is a magnificent 52-hectare forest near My Hiep village and one of the last natural forests in the Mekong Delta. This 52-acre field contains 20 acres of 30-year-old cajuputs. During the war against America, the location served as an army basement from 1960 to 1975. It still conceals the remains of Viet Cong bunkers today.
Tan Lap Cajuput Forest
Tan Lap, also known as the floating village, is a natural cajuput forest, stretching thousands of hectares alongside the Vam Co Tay River in Long An Province, 100 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. The vast cajuput forests, as well as lotus fields, water lily ponds, and rice fields, are the highlights of nature here. Hundreds of bird, fish, and amphibian species live here, contributing to the Mekong Delta’s diverse ecosystem.