Cuc Phuong National Park is the first national park of Vietnam and is one of the few remaining tropical rain forest reserves in the world. Originally created by Ho Chi Minh in 1962, the park is one of the most popular nature tourist destinations in Vietnam. Hundreds of species of animals and thousands of species of plants can be found here, including several endangered species.
Even though many large animals like panthers and bears make Cuc Phuong their home, they are rarely seen. Instead, nature lovers are sure to see monkeys, gibbons, flying squirrels and pheasants in their natural habitats. The park is also home to endangered primate species like the Delacour’s Langur, Golden-headed Langur, Tonkin Snub-nosed Langur and Black Crested Gibbon. The Cuc Phuong Endangered Primate Rescue Center and the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center are two research centers vital for the breeding, rehabilitation and preservation of animals rescued from poachers. Both centers are open to visitors during the day.
There are dozens of nature trails available for the avid hiker. Birding fans are sure to enjoy looking for the 300 species of birds that inhabit the rain forest’s lush canopy. In addition to the wide variety of nature hikes available, tourists can relax at the park’s hot springs. These springs contain 20 chemical elements believed to have healing properties. Visitors who wish to stay overnight can stay in the stilt-house of a Muong family. A home stay offers travelers an intimate and unique perspective on the traditional Muong way of life.
The National Park is located in Annamite Mountains, full of gorgeous karst mountain peaks and lush green valleys. Numerous caves can be found here, many of which have been the site of significant archaeological discoveries. Ancient burial sites and tools have been discovered at the Cave of Early Man, or Nguoi Xua. Similar archaeological discoveries have ben made at Crescent Move, Thanh Minh and Con Mong caves.
The park is about three hours from Hanoi, and makes a great change from Hanoi’s bustling city life