Vietnam is home to several national parks, which is why it’s a great destination for nature lovers. The country’s national parks offer tremendous diversity, from lush rice terraces in the north to beautiful mangrove forests in the south. Most of these parks are easily accessible to tourists. Others are open for trekking where you get to encounter nature up-close while discovering some of the world’s most exotic wildlife. If you’re wondering which of these parks are worth a visit, check out this list of the best national parks in Vietnam.
1. Cat Ba National Park
The Cat Ba National Park is one of Vietnam’s most popular nature parks. Located in the northern part of the country, Cat Ba serves as the jumping off point for tourists heading to the famous Ha Long Bay. Here, you can enjoy awesome views of nature from the mountaintops. You can also go trekking through the network of trails that traverses into the lush jungle.
If you’re up for some challenging but exciting adventure, take the trail that goes towards the village of Viet Hai, which passes through several mountains. The village is pretty isolated, which makes it an even interesting place to visit. Although it takes a lot of effort to reach the place, you’ll realize that all your efforts are worth it once you get there. The vibe is very peaceful and quiet, allowing you to relax and enjoy the gorgeous views of nature. What’s more, this is where you will find one of the world’s most endangered primates, the white-headed langur.
2. Cát Tiên National Park
Cat Tien is in the southern part of Vietnam and is close to the city of Ho Chi Minh. So if you’re visiting Ho Chi Minh, you might as well take a short stop at this park, which is only 150 km. away. The park is one of the best-preserved parks in the country and is hailed for having the perfect example of biodiversity.
Cat Tien National Park features lowland forests home to a wide variety of wildlife. Here, you’ll find wild boar, deer, gibbon, and more. There are extensive hiking trails that will take you to the various areas of the forests and most of these are well maintained. It’s also possible to bike through the park and stay at some of the campsites and riverside bungalows.
3. Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong is the country’s oldest national park and is one of the easiest parks to access. It’s in the northern part of the country, about 100 km. away from Hanoi. The park is very scenic. It’s surrounded by old trees, botanical gardens, prehistoric caves, and animal sanctuaries. If you are looking for a relaxing place away from the busy streets of Hanoi, the Cuc Phuong National Park is a great place to visit.
Cuc Phuong National Park is also home to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, an animal rescue center that recovers and rehabilitates primate species that were captured illegally. There’s also a Turtle Conservation Center at the park that rescues and breeds different turtle species. Aside from trekking, you can spend your time kayaking, bird watching, or exploring the local village that’s home to the Muong tribe.
4. Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park
Of all the national parks in this list, the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is perhaps the most stunning and well preserved. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park is where you will find the world’s largest caves. There are lots of interesting activities that you can enjoy in this massive park, but the most popular is caving. You can also go kayaking, hiking, and cycling.
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng shares a border with the Hin Namno Nature Reserve of Laos. It covers an area of almost 900 sq. km and a popular stop for those who are driving along the scenic Ho Chi Minh Highway. If you’re planning to explore the entire park, you may need to spend several days at the town of Phong Nha, which is only a few kilometers away from the park.
5. Phú Quốc National Park
Located in the northwest corner of the country, Phú Quốc National Park is home to more than a thousand species of plants and animals. In 2010, the park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It spans more than 314,000 sq. meters and home to evergreen forests and dense mountain ranges. As you explore the park, you’ll also come across centuries-old trees that are as tall as 100 feet!
Hiking is the most popular activity at the Phú Quốc National Park. There are also campsites close to the Gành Dầu village. Phu Quoc is also a popular beach destination in Vietnam. If you’re heading here for the beach, consider exploring the national park as well for a more enjoyable experience. There are plenty of local travel agencies that offer island tours in Phu Quoc, which include a visit at this park so you may want to check that out.