British travel website, The Culture Trip, introduces national parks across Vietnam, such as Phong Nha – Ke Bang, Cuc Phuong, Bach Ma. From high mountains in the north to white sandy islands in the south, natural parks are scattered across the S-shaped country. With its limestone peaks silhouetted on meandering rivers or zigzag caves winding, twisting into dense forests, the national park of Vietnam can boast of Southeast Asia’s leading natural beauty.
01. Ba Be National Park
Ba Be National Park, Bac Kan province is a complex of limestone rivers, lakes, and forests with a total area of over 10,000 ha. This park is one of the areas that most clearly shows the process of geological change, dating back 450 million years.
The center of the park is Ba Be Lake, a magnificent natural freshwater lake, stretching for nearly 8 km. The national park has 1,268 species of plants, of which some are rare species such as bamboo wire, nails, ironwood, etc. Besides, there are 470 species of vertebrate animals, 106 species of fish, including some endemic, rare species as white-cheeked langur, cauldron flower, horse bear, etc.
It is also home to many ethnic minorities such as the Tay, Mong, and Dao, giving visitors the opportunity to experience community tourism.
Ba Be National Park has located 70 km from Bac Kan city and about 200 km north of Hanoi. Tourists can come here by personal means towards QL3 through Thai Nguyen. At My Dinh bus station, there are also coaches going to Hanoi – Cao Bang, through Bac Kan. From the city, rent a motorbike or take a taxi to the park.
The entrance fee is 45,000 VND per person. The price of renting a boat to visit the lake is from 500,000 – 800,000 VND per boat, can be paired to save costs.
Coming to Ba Be Lake, visitors do not forget to enjoy Pac Ngoi fish, steamed bamboo shoots and sour shrimp sauce as a gift.
02. Cat Ba National Park
With an area of over 16,000 ha, Cat Ba National Park combines green forest ecosystems on limestone mountains, highland mangrove forests, coastal mangrove ecosystems, marine ecosystems, caves.
With over 740 species of plants and 282 diverse species of animals, the park was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2004. It is also home to the majority of the rest of the white-headed langur in the world.
The Culture Trip compares; most of the area looks like Jurassic Park, with forests rising to the blue sky. Around the small islands are coral shelves, and many islands have saltwater lakes. Coming here, tourists can travel on foot, climb to Kim Giao forest, conquer Mount Ngu Lam. Along the way, you can explore the vegetation, observe the primate, reptiles.
The national park is located on Cat Ba archipelago, Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city, about 150 km from Hanoi. After arriving in Hai Phong city, tourists come to Binh pier by taxi, bus or personal vehicle, then take a high-speed train or hydrofoil train to Cat Ba. On the island, the most popular means is taxi. Besides, visitors can rent a motorbike for 100,000 – 150,000 VND, a day to Tran Chau commune, to enter the national park.
The entrance fee is VND 80,000 for adults and VND 50,000 for children.
Like other islands, the most popular specialty in Cat Ba is fresh seafood. Also, visitors can buy honey in the national park as a gift.
03. Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park is located about 120 km from Hanoi, in the territory of 3 provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa. With a total area of 22,408 ha, it is home to more than 2,230 species of plants and 2,000 insects, 135 mammals, 122 reptiles, 336 species of birds.
Cuc Phuong is a living area of Muong community, with the identity of terraced fields, stilt houses, brocade …
To the national park, visitors can hike in the primeval forest, to Ngoc Son conservation area, Pu Luong area. Some other tourism programs are kayaking, biking in the forest, visiting conservation education centers. In addition, eco-tourism with overnight activities at the Muong’s home, learn about the indigenous culture.
Tourists go from Hanoi, follow National Highway 1A to Ninh Binh city, to Gian Khau junction, turn right on Highway 12A, pass 2 km from Nho Quan town and turn left to Cuc Phuong. If traveling by coach, tourists choose the Nho Quan – Me bus route to Nho Quan bus station and travels by bus and taxi about 10 km to Cuc Phuong.
Tickets to the park is 60,000 VND for adults, 10,000 VND for children.
04. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park has a total core area of 123,326 ha, located in Bo Trach district, Quang Binh province. It is one of the best-preserved nature areas across the country, including the world’s largest cave, Son Doong. The park shares a border with the Hin Nammo nature reserve in Laos and is a stop for people walking on the Ho Chi Minh trail.
The garden has two-thirds of Karst terrain including jade, tower blocks, rocks, stalactites … This is the oldest karst tectonic area in the world with geological development features from 400 million years ago. . With 392 caves and thousands of species of flora and fauna, the national park is recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage.
Coming here, visitors can join many tourist routes such as discovering the valley of Gao forest – O Ro cave, Hoan My cave or botanical garden. In addition, there is a 5-day 4-night tour, conquering Son Doong, the largest cave in the world formed about 2-5 million years ago. The journey was voted by Dave TV , England as one of the 9 greatest adventures in the world.
The best time to visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang is in the dry season of April-August. It is about 45 km from the nearest city is Dong Hoi. Therefore, tourists departing from Ha Long and Ninh Binh can take private vehicles in the direction of NH1A or the bus line to Dong Hoi. From here, visitors can rent compound car, taxi and motorbike to the park. If you choose to tour, a tour bus will pick you up from Dong Hoi.
In the national park there are many caves, attractions with fares ranging from VND 80,000 to VND 150,000 each.
Bach Ma National Park, Thua Thien Hue province, has a total area of 37,487 ha which is part of the Truong Son mountain range, with rugged terrain and steep slopes. The garden is home to more than 2,373 species of plants and 1,715 species of animals. Among them, there are many rare and precious species, listed in the red book such as fire wolves, civets, leopards …
Tourists can sign up for Hue – Bach Ma tour or explore by themselves. Attractions in the national park are Ngu Ho, Do Quyen waterfall, Hai Vong Dai, and Chat Den forest trail. In addition to the motels in the old mansion, you can bring a camping tent to rest, relax, admire the pristine mountains and forests.
The national park is about 35 km from Hue city center, so it is convenient for tourists to travel by motorbike or taxi. From Hue, tourists go to NH1A, follow Da Nang, to Phu Loc town and follow the signposts to the national park. In addition, visitors can also depart from Da Nang city, heading Hai Van pass through NH1A to Phu Loc. The distance is about 65 km long.
The ticket to the park is 100,000 VND for adults and half price for children.
06. Yok Don National Park
Located in 2 provinces of Dak Nong and Dak Lak, with a total area of more than 115,500 hectares, Yok Don is the only national park to conserve dipterocarp forest, characterized by broad-leaved broadleaf trees.
In addition to the species of copper oil, hairy oil, the flora here is also rich with 858 species, including some rare wood species such as tteera, sandalwood, rosewood … About animals, among 489 species, The national park is preserving 17 species recorded in the world red list such as peacocks, pheasants, spiral horns, etc.
In late December and early January, when the forests change leaves, it is the best time to visit Yok Don. Guests are free to walk or bike, in the cool weather and the orange color of the forest. In addition, you can visit Bay Nhanh waterfall or fish at Dak Lau, Dak Te and Dak Ken streams. For those who love watching birds, you can come here between February and March.
The national park is located about 40 km west of Buon Ma Thuot city. Tourists can go by bus from Buon Ma Thuot – Buon Don – Ea Sup, the ticket price is 20,000 VND per one way. In addition, motorcycles are also an appropriate means to explore the national park during the day.
One of the specialties of the national park is the Noni fruit, which is high in nutrients. Noni is picked by the local people, brewed naturally by fermentation, then distilled into jars to make wine. The roots of this plant are also sold as ingredients for laxative remedies, which aid digestion.
07. Nui Chua National Park
Nui Chua National Park is located in Ninh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province with a natural area of nearly 30,000 hectares. The national park is a mountain block with the tail encroaching on Cam Ranh Bay.
There are more than 1,500 species of plants, mainly jade, fern, and pine. Including 62 rare species listed in the Vietnam Red Book. There are also hundreds of animals and corals. Some species are preserved such as serow, bear, fire … This is also one of the national parks with sea turtles such as green turtles, big-headed turtles … breed.
When visiting Nui Chua garden, visitors will admire the lake on the rocky mountain with deep blue water and stone park, where the harmony between the mountains and the sea of Binh Tien. Some experiences here are visiting Rai Cave, watching corals of Vinh Hy Bay, trekking Nui Chua.
The national park is about 30 km from Phan Rang city. From here visitors can take the bus Phan Rang – Vinh Hy. If traveling by personal vehicle, visitors follow Nguyen Van Cu street to Khanh Hai town, cross Tri Thuy bridge turn right and follow TL702 route, until you see the signs. If departing from Cam Ranh, visitors can go for a distance of 45 km along NH1A through Binh Tien – Vinh Hy and continue straight to the signage.
08. Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park has a total area of 70,548 ha, located in Dong Nai province, Cat Loc nature reserve in Lam Dong province and a part of Nghia Trung SFE. This is the closest national park to Ho Chi Minh City (70 km away), with the largest, most important lowland forests in the country.
The park is home to 1,529 species of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish … In addition, this place also has a rich flora of species composition, typically evergreen broadleaf forests, bamboo forests, submerged vegetation. In particular, a number of endemic species such as short trunk melanoma, thousands of pearl wax, white crest cranes …
The roads to the national park have been expanded with many motels from the campsite to the riverside bungalows, suitable for visitors to make a day trip, escape busy and bustling streets. Here, visitors can walk through the forest, visit Bau Sau crocodile lake or Ta Lai ethnic village, inhabited by the Tay, Ma and Stieng people. Ticket price is 60,000 VND per person, sold at the gate. Tourists can also choose to buy tours if they do not have experience in the forest.
From Ho Chi Minh City, visitors can take the bus routes, tourist cars from the Eastern bus station, straight to the national park. Bus ticket is about 80,000 – 100,000 VND. If you ride the high quality route Ho Chi Minh City – Da Lat, note that the car will stop at Tan Phu, then move on to the national park. If traveling by motorbike, personal car, visitors follow the direction of National Road 1A – Dau Giay intersection – turn left at Highway 20 – turn left at the intersection of Ta Lai and go straight to the park gate.
09. Con Dao National Park
The national park is located on the main island of Con Son and Con Dao with 6,000 hectares of land and 14,000 hectares of sea surface.
Located off the coast with few exploitation activities, the national park is a protected area of coral reefs, submerged forests, sea grass beds and many rare and precious animals such as sea dolphins and sea turtles.
Con Dao is the only place to conserve the sea cow population, interacting with the sea grass and recording the largest number of turtles in Vietnam. Tourism activities here are divided into forest and marine ecology, including the Hon Tai turtle watching turtle tour, coral short tour … combined with swimming activities, visiting historical sites.
From Hanoi, tourists travel by plane to Con Dao (in transit to Can Tho or Ho Chi Minh City) with the fare from VND 2,300,000 per one way. From Con Dao airport, the distance to the national park is 15 km. From Ho Chi Minh City, in addition to the plane, take a bus to Vung Tau, from Cat Lo port to Con Dao will help tourists save more costs.
Ticket price to the park is 60,000 VND for adults, 10,000-20,000 VND for students.
In addition, there is also an eco-tour service, showing how to watch turtles lay eggs at night, costing VND 500,000 – VND 600,000 per person.
10. Phu Quoc National Park
Phu Quoc National Park is located in the northeast of Phu Quoc pearl island, Kien Giang province. With an area of over 31,400 ha, this is one of the Southern National Parks with diverse ecosystems such as mountains, forests, seas, waterfalls, and streams. It is also home to hundreds of species of plants and animals. Including many species of orchids, rare herbs and 5 species of animals in the Vietnam Red Book.
As for the sea, the park is also home to more than 120 species of coral and 62 species of seaweed, diverse in shape, size, and color. The species of fish and marine animals in the coral reefs are also extremely diverse, a number of rare and precious species such as hawksbill, dugongs, oysters mussels …
To explore the national park, visitors can go from Cua Duong commune, Bai Thom, Ham Ninh. Here, you will discover lush vegetation, admire the pure streams such as Tranh stream, Da Ban stream, Da Ngong stream. If you join the 4-hour tour, visitors will conquer Mount Chua, with a height of 565 m and admire the immense landscape, colorful of the park.
Phu Quoc National Park is about 30 km from Duong Dong town. If traveling by taxi, it costs about 300,000 – 400,000 VND, so visitors should integrate many attractions north of the island in one trip. In addition, the town has a motorbike rental service, the price of 100,000 – 150,000 VND, convenient for travelers to explore. From the town, you go straight along the main road Nguyen Trung Truc, to Duong Dong – Bai Thom junction, turn right and go straight about 10 km to the park.