Cuc Phuong national park
Phuong, the first
which was established in 1962, is 140 km South of
, 55km from
Binh, roughly 25,000 hectares. The botanical
richness of the forest is impressive as it supports a wide variety
of flora species and patches of primeval forest, including ancient
trees with thick clusters of roots, and parasitic plants and
tree species have been introduced from
. Clusters of orchards grow near cave entrances, where the moisture
conditions and light are ideal. Varieties include thousand-year
dracontomelum and parashorea trees which can be visited in a one
or two hour hiking, and coral, vanilla, snow-white, and butterfly
orchids everywhere. Large mammals inhabit the park including
panthers and bears, but rarely appear, so the most popular animals
you can see are monkeys, gibbons, flying squirrels and pheasants.
There are also over 120 species of birds and many varieties of
beetles living here, and April and May arrive swarms of butterflies.
At night, million of cicadas create a deafening din, and million of
fireflies flicker about.
in a limestone area, Cuc Phuong includes numerous caves. At "Nguoi
), two ancient tombs have been discovered, along with Neolithic
remains and evidence of stone implements; there have been similar
finds at Trang Khuyet (Crescent Moon), Thanh Minh, and
is known for its bat population. Hiking in CucPhuong is following
some kilometers of trails
and passing through old-growth forest with long vines wrapped around
strangled trees, visiting the caves, waterfalls and streams in the
forest or stopping over at a Muong ethnic village.
Since the location in between three provinces, it's easy to combine
a trip to Cuc Phuong with a trip to Hoa Binh or NinhBinh province,
or you can depart from
, spend the whole day exploring the forest and overnight at the
Park's guest house.