Let explore eco-tourism in Vietnam including national parks from North to South Vietnam. Give us a hand to preserve our environment, culture and traditional
Cuc Phuong National Park
Established in 1962, Cuc Phuong is the oldest national park in Vietnam. Located only 120km southwest of Hanoi and nestled between the provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, Cuc Phuong boasts an engaging cultural and wildlife heritage and enchanting scenery. Magnificent Limestone Mountains rise up majestically from the green rice-terraces and traditional stilt houses of the Muong hill-tribe. Covered in a dense forest, this landscape forms the habitat for some of Asia’s rarest animal and plant species. It is no wonder that researchers, naturalists, enthusiasts and conservationists alike are drawn to this corner of the world.
The ancient forest harbours over 2000 species of trees, 110 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 125 mammals, including the Clouded Leopard, Delacour’s Langur, Owston’s Civet and Asian Black Bear. There are also an incredible 308 documented bird species. Visitors in April and May should be blessed with the chance to see literally thousands of vibrant butterflies.
Trekking in the primary forest.
Excellent hiking opportunities abound in the park and you could spend days trekking though the forest. Popular trails will lead you to several ancient trees, caves and Muong villages. Park staff can provide you with basic maps to find the well-marked trail heads. However, a guided tour is the best and most informative way to get the most out of both short and long treks. Longer walks to Ngoc Son Nature Reserve and Pu Luong Nature Reserve, overnight treks and camping trips are also possible.
Community-Based Ecotourism & Homestays.The forests of Cuc Phuong are immensely important culturally, providing livelihood resources for local communities. However, the forests and its resources are under constant threat. Community-based ecotourism initiatives are beginning to turn marginalized communities into local stakeholders, creating incentives to support conservation. Why not take a trek to the Muong village of Khanh or to the villages in Ngoc Son Nature Reserve or Pu Luong Nature Reserve where the hospitable local people offer 1 or 2 night home-stay in their traditional stilt houses? While in the village you will live as one of the family, eat together, have an opportunity to explore their culture and try out bamboo river rafting!
The park can organise night-spotting trips into the primary forest. These special tours offer opportunities to see the more elusive mammal species of the park including the Black Giant Squirrel, the Indian Flying Squirrel, Samba Deer, Loris and several small carnivores.
Cuc Phuong is home to a wealth of beautiful tropical birds, many of them endemic to Vietnam and Indochina. Some of the 308 species of rare birds that you might encounter are the Silver Pheasant, Red-collared Woodpecker, Brown Hornbill, Bar-bellied Pitta and so on. Cuc Phuong is quickly becoming a must-see destination for scientists and birdwatchers alike. The best time for bird-watching is early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
One fantastic way to experience Cuc Phuong is by cycling through the forest. Biking offers the visitor not only silence and a cool breeze, but it is also a great way to view the more secretive animals and birds of the national park. (Mountain bike rental is available in the national park).
Amphibians, insects, reptiles spotting.
Cuc Phuong is also home to many different species of amphibians, insects, and reptiles, many of them endemic to Cuc Phuong and Vietnam. Some species are common with interesting characteristics, such as the viper, green tree frog and stick-insects.
Tour to biodiversity hotspots.
So far Cuc Phuong has a total of 43 biodiversity hotspots. All of these are recognized by the Scientific Department of the national park and they offer you an excellent opportunity to study and see many different species of tropical plants.
Traditional music performance.
Cuc Phuong was a settlement of generations of Muong minority people with their own unique culture. While visiting the park, you will have chance to enjoy the traditional songs and dances of different minorities which will be performed by young Muong girls and boys who live around the national park. This activity was set up in order to preserve and bring into play the Muong and other minorities’ cultural characters, and through this you will understand more about the minorities of Vietnam.
While stay at the park, you can also participate into many fascinating entertainment activities including kayaking on artificial Mac lake or the natural lake of Yen Quang.