For an average tourist, the whole of Vietnam looks like a huge natural park. However, some corners of the country are even more wild, authentic and preserved than elsewhere, to the point of being officially protected. But not the curious, invited to discover the life of these little paradises on Earth.
1. Ba Be National Park
If some will explain to you that it is possible to get here on foot from China, the easiest way is to go through Hanoi and then drive 250 kilometers north to reach the entrance to the Park. A journey that is best planned over several days as the extent of things to see and experience is great. Around the immense Ba Be Lake rise karstic landscapes typical of North Vietnam where rare fauna and flora coexist, as well as the Tay minority ethnic group (there are still 1.6 million in the country) and their houses on stilts. The National Park also hides many caves and waterfalls that can be discovered during long treks on foot or by kayak. I love you Babe!
2. Cuc Phuong National Park
Vietnam’s largest nature reserve is located 120 km southwest of Hanoi in Cuc Phuong National Park. More than 100 species of mammals, 300 birds, 38 reptiles and thousands of damn insects await you in a flora as rich and diversified as its fauna. The good news is that everything remains accessible to non-adventurers thanks to the keen sense of the Vietnamese for business! And if you are in the area, take the opportunity to go to Ha Long Bay on land located in Tam Coc. A magnificent postcard of North Vietnam that you can notably browse aboard wooden boats with women who maneuver the oars with their feet! On the other hand, plan change, because on the return they will not be penguins at the time
to ask you to demand a nice tip from you!
3. Cat Ba National Park
While Cat Ba Island is often cited for its privileged access to Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay, it also houses a 16,000 hectare park covered with a subtropical forest recognized as a world biosphere by UNESCO. Basically, that means that the animals feel at home there and that everything is done for that for a long time to come!
4. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
You must have already seen photos of this park. It is here that the famous Son Doong cave is located, the largest in the world with its 5 kilometers long, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide! The region is also known for its rocky cavities which both grow upwards and dig downwards. All in a green setting where man is clearly not the dominant species!
5. Bach Ma National Park
There is a bit of France from the colonial era here with rare villas still standing out of the 200 that once existed. Since the departure with great fanfare in the hindquarters of the French, nature has regained its rights in the 22,000 hectares of this natural park located 40km from the city of Hué. Visitors come here above all to stretch their legs during magnificent treks to discover the many animal and floral species in the region, which make it one of the richest biodiversity areas in Southeast Asia. The best way to take advantage of it is to plan a few night trips to increase your chances of encountering the most late-night specimens.
6. Nui Chua National Park
Nui Chua National Park is a well-kept secret of Vietnam located south of the resort town of Nha Trang. Here, the coast has remained wild and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the center-south of the country, as well as one of its last marine sanctuaries. An ideal place to combine exploring in the middle of nature and strolling with your feet – or even more – in protected waters.
7. Yok Don National Park
This national park is served on a (high) plateau, that of Central Vietnam. In addition to being the largest in the country, hosting a great diversity of vegetation and animals (including elephants in the wild), the area is home to 17 ethnic groups who perpetuate an ancestral way of life that travelers can come and discover the time of a short stay in the villages of the region.
8. Cat Tien National Park
Located 180km from Ho Chi Minh City and 120km from Dalat, Cat Tien National Park is particularly known for sheltering some large and rare mammals in the wild, such as the Javan Rhinoceros, which is not encountered anywhere else in Asia, distant primate ancestors, black bears, even so-called clouded panthers (its name would come from its cloud-like coat). The park also hides in the heart of its forest, a lake called Bau Sau where live croc(r)odiles 2m long and many assorted reptiles.
9. Con Dao National Park
A former prison where thousands of political opponents were imprisoned during the Indochina War, the Con Dao archipelago has since been transformed into a small paradise, where sea and land creatures rest in peace. And we’re not just talking about tourists lazing all day on the beach…
10. Tram Chim National Park
Unless you are the ornithophobic type, that is to say freaked out about birds, Tram Chim National Park is worth spending a few hours there. The area is known to be home to many species of rare birds that come here to breed or regain their strength before returning to other skies. Enough to attract lovers of nature, ecotourism and boat trips in the middle of the mangrove.