Lonely Planet, a large travel guide book publisher, has named top eight national parks in Vietnam.
Vietnam is the home to 34 national parks. These vast green spaces are home to gargantuan caves, dramatic limestone mountains, golden coastlines and dense thickets of jungle where gibbons dangle from vines and the promise of adventure lurks behind every mangrove tree.
Cat Tien National Park
|Cat Tien National Park.|
The 72,000-hectare Cat Tien National Park in the southern province of Dong Nai comprises an amazingly-biodiverse region of lowland tropical rainforest. The hiking, mountain-biking and bird-watching here are some of the best in the country.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
|Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.|
With jagged hills shrouded in rainforest, and mountain rivers coursing through impressive ravines, above ground the Phong Nha-Ke Bang region in the central province of Quang Binh is one of Vietnam’s most spectacular national parks.
Travellers can experience the cathedral-like chambers of Hang Son Doong, one of the world’s largest caves, but more accessible multi-day tours take in other caves in the park, including the vast Hang En, which boasts its own beach, for a fraction of the cost.
Cuc Phuong National Park
|Cuc Phuong National Park.|
Established in 1962, Cuc Phuong National Park is located in the northern province of Ninh Binh. Its 222 sq km of primary tropical forest remains home to an amazing variety of animal and plant life: 336 species of bird, 135 species of mammal, 122 species of reptile, 2000 plant species and counting.
Phu Quoc National Park
|Phu Quoc National Park.|
Nearly three quarters of Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang where Phu Quoc National Park is located is forested. The trees and adjoining marine environment enjoy official protection as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Bai Tu Long National Park
|Bai Tu Long National Park.|
The spectacular islands of Bai Tu Long Bay, immediately northeast of Ha Long Bay-UNESCO World Heritage Site, form Bai Tu Long National Park, a protected area that is every bit as beautiful as its glamorous, world-famous neighbour to the south.
Ba Be National Park
|Ba Be National Park.|
Ba Be National Park is located in the far north province of Bac Kan. Waterfalls, caves and lakes combine in a landscape that sustains over 550 different plants and hundreds of different bird and animal species.
Bach Ma National Park
|Bach Ma National Park.|
The national park in the central province of Thua-Thien Hue stretches from the coast to the Annamite mountain range at the Lao border. More than 1400 species of plants, including rare ferns and orchids, have been discovered in Bach Ma, representing a fifth of the flora of Vietnam.
As for wildlife, there are 132 kinds of mammals (three of which, the antelope-like saola, and deer-resembling Truong Son muntjac and the giant muntjac, were only discovered in the 1990s), and nine species of primates, including small numbers of the incredible-looking (and incredibly-rare) red-shanked Douc langur.
Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park in Hai Phong City is home to 32 species of mammal, including most of the world’s 65 remaining golden-headed langurs, the world’s most endangered primate.
|Cat Ba National Park.|
Of the mammals present in the park, the more commonly seen include macaques, deer, civets and several species of squirrel, including the giant black squirrel. Seventy bird species have been spotted here, including hawks, hornbills and cuckoos.
As many as seven national parks in Vietnam received certificates of recognition as an ASEAN Heritage Park including Bai Tu Long National Park near the UNESCO heritage site of Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province, Ba Be National Park in Bac Kan Province and Hoang Lien National Park in Lao Cai Province (Northern Viet Nam), Chu Rom Ray National Park in Kon Tum Province and Kon Ka Kinh National Park in Gia Lai Province (the Central Highlands), U Minh Thuong National Park in Kien Giang Province (Southern Vietnam) and Vu Quang National Park in the central province of Ha Tinh.