Located about 100 km South of Hanoi, Cuc Phuong is the first and one of the most impressive national parks in Vietnam.
Ba Be Lake
Cuc Phuong National Park belongs to Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh province, is bounded between three provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa province. It is far about 100 kilometers from Hanoi to the southwest. Cuc Phuong national park is the first national park in Vietnam, established in July 1962. Cuc Phuong National Park has a population of abundant flora and fauna.
Cuc Phuong has the area of 22.000 hectares, of which three quarters are limestone with height from 300 meters to 600 meters above sea level. Here, there has May Bac mount with 648.2 meters. The climate in Cuc Phuong is kind of tropical monsoon climate, average annual temperature about 24.70C. Especially, there have many caves, beautiful landscape and historical natural remnants such as: Trang Khuyet Cave, Chua Cave, Thuy Tien Cave, Nguoi Xua, Cave, Con Moong grotto, San Ho Cave…
Diversified Flora-Fauna. Cuc Phuong is also popular for being home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna. The botanical richness of the forest is impressive since it supports a wide variety of flora species and patches of primeval forest, including ancient trees with thick clusters of roots, parasitic plants and ligneous creepers. Surprisingly, some plant species have been introduced from Burma, India, and Borneo. Stepping to the caves, you can find at entrances the ideal moisture conditions and light, you will feel relaxed when seeing clusters of growing orchards as well as vanilla, snow-white and butterfly orchids.
As regards fauna, the park has 97 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 36 reptilian species, 17 species of amphibians, 11 species of fish and thousands of species of insects, most of which do not bite. A number of species in the park are listed on Vietnam Red Book of endangered species.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Visiting the park, no one could help keeping an eye on the primates; including macaques, gibbon, Francois' leaf monkey and slow loris. Besides, this park is the home for other mammals including bats, porcupine, squirrel, leopard, clouded leopard and jungle cat in Cuc Phuong. Migrant species include thrushes, flycatchers, tits, finches, pipits amongst others. Horn-bills can also be spotted in the forest.
Entertainment activities. Should you are keen on cultural aspects, do not hesitate to join in the community-based eco-tourism and home-stays. Why don’t you take a trek to the Muong village where the hospitable local people offer you 1 or 2 nights' home-stay in their traditional stilt houses? This does bring you an opportunity to explore their culture and try out bamboo river rafting!
You can also discover excellent hiking opportunities, and spend some days trekking though the forest. Popular trails to 1000 year old tree, other ancient trees, silver cloudy peak and Muong village. Tourists may join night-spotting trips into the primary forest. These offer opportunities to see the more exclusive mammal species of the park, including the black giant squirrel, the Indian flying squirrel, samba deer and several small carnivores.
Do not forget to bring with you the binoculars because Cuc Phuong is home to a wealth of beautiful tropical birds, many of which are endemic in Vietnam and Indochina. Some of the 307 species of rare birds that you might encounter are the silver-pheasant, red-collared woodpecker, brown horn-bill, bar-bellied pita, and so forth.
For further interests, we suggest you take a tour to biodiversity hotspots. At the moment 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 and excellent opportunity to study and see many different species of tropical plants.
One of the fantastic ways 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 discover the more secretive animals and birds of the national park.
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