Cuc Phuong National Park (or Cuc Phuong Forest) is a nature reserve, a special-use forest located on the boundary of 3 areas of the Northwest, Red River Delta, and North Central Coast in three provinces: Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, Thanh Hoa. This national park has a rich diversity of flora and fauna that are characteristic of tropical rainforests. Many species of flora and fauna endangered by extinction have been discovered and preserved here. This is also the first national park in Vietnam. Cuc Phuong tourism is famous for various forms of ecotourism and environmental tourism. Cuc Phuong attracts a few hundred thousand customers annually. You come here to explore the rich flora and fauna, admire the beautiful natural landscape, and participate in ecotourism programs, resorts, campfires, adventure, research, and cultural history.
This national park is located deep in the heart of the Tam Diep mountain range, there is a land that has become extremely familiar, dear, arousing curiosity for many of you at home and abroad. That is Cuc Phuong National Park – the first national park in Vietnam.
Established on July 7, 1962, Cuc Phuong National Park belongs to the three provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa with a total area of 22,408 hectares. With many values of the natural landscape, diversity of ecosystems, and cultural and historical values, Cuc Phuong has long been a famous and attractive eco-tourist destination.
With the characteristics of the tropical rainforest, green all year round, Cuc Phuong has an extremely rich and diverse fauna and flora, according to recent survey data, Cuc Phuong has 2234 species of higher plants and Mosses, of which There are 433 species of medicinal plants, 229 species of edible plants, many of which are listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.
Regarding animals, Cuc Phuong has 122 species of reptiles and amphibians, 66 species of fish, nearly 2000 species of insects, and 135 species of mammals (of which the white-assed black-and-white langur is a very beautiful and rare primate. symbol of Cuc Phuong National Park). With 336 resident bird species, especially many endemic species of Vietnam and Indochina, Cuc Phuong has long been an ideal spot for birdwatchers.
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What time should I go to Cuc Phuong?
The climate in Cuc Phuong belongs to the tropical monsoon climate, the average annual temperature is about 24.7 ° C. Complex terrain, and forests in primitive form contain many mysteries and unique landscapes.
- From November to January next year is a pretty cold time in the North, this occasion should not go into the forest.
- Around February to April is the appropriate season to see birds such as pheasants, rusty, marble goiter, cut white belly …
- At the end of April and early May is the wild butterfly season in Cuc Phuong. At this time, Cuc Phuong National Park appeared with thousands of colorful butterflies, creating a splendid and poetic scene.
- From April to August every year, the weather is sunny, but sometimes there may be rain or storms, so you should pay attention to check the weather before going.
Guide to Cuc Phuong
From Hanoi, you have 2 options to catch a car to get to Cuc Phuong
- Take the bus directly from Giap Bat bus station to Cuc Phuong. The car runs straight so you can get to Cuc Phuong with the most favorable conditions
- Take the car from Giap Bat to Nho Quan (Me), to the Nho Quan bus station, and continue to call the car to Cuc Phuong, from here to the forest gate is more than ten kilometers, so if you go about 4-5 people, hire a taxi ride is quite suitable. If there are few people, you can ride a motorbike, taxi, or bus.
From Hanoi, you move in the direction of Ninh Binh Expressway, go to the end of the highway, go to NH1A (not the expressway) in the direction of going back to Hanoi, to the beginning of Ninh Binh City, turn along the road. Going to Trang An, Hoa Lu ancient capital, passing Bai Dinh tourist area, Dong Chuong Lake tourist area will come to Cuc Phuong. If you go from Hanoi to Ninh Binh in the direction of Highway 1A but do not enter the expressway, go to Gian Khau intersection, turn right according to DT477, and pass Nho Quan town and go to Cuc Phuong.
Where to stay at Cuc Phuong
Sleep in Cuc Phuong National Park
The garden gate garden is the starting place for all activities in the garden, building sightseeing programs, booking services such as sightseeing guidance services, watching wildlife at night, kayaking, chapter ethnic music shows, bicycle, and all information about Cuc Phuong.
Ho Mac Area
About 1.5km from the garden gate, the Mac Lake area is a quite quiet place, with fresh air with a full range of accommodation services. Ho Mac has both a private room and a collective stilt house, where there is also space to organize exchange campfire activities.
The central area (Bong)
Bong hamlet is about 20km from the garden gate, this is the last place on the route through the Cuc Phuong forest. There is also a full range of accommodation and catering services in this area, but this area has no electricity, only a generator can run for about 4 hours per night, but with too few customers, they will not run the generator.
Staying outside Cuc Phuong
If you do not like to sleep deep in Cuc Phuong (for many mosquito reasons), you can choose to stay outside, closest to the forest gate with Cuc Phuong resort. This area is not beautiful but can be said to be the best if you want to stay in the true sense of the resort, with a swimming pool, bungalow-style rooms, and a good restaurant (but a bit slow if crowded).
Tourist destinations in Cuc Phuong
What to play in Cuc Phuong
Camp in Cuc Phuong forest
Cuc Phuong is one of the places that are very suitable for camping during the day or even overnight. Coming to Cuc Phuong, you can camp in the center of the garden, Bong Village. Here, if you are camping during the day, you can choose the flat grounds under the canopy, if it is an evening you can camp on the prepared cement squares. If you camp and leave during the day, there is no cost, if you camp overnight, someone will come to collect the money in each tent.
Walk-in primeval forest
Cuc Phuong has built many walking routes in the forest, with different content and timing, you can choose for yourself the right routes, and some walking routes you can explore by yourself, however With the guidance and introduction of the tour guide, your trip will surely become more interesting and meaningful. Camping routes and overnight in the forest long walks to Ngoc Son conservation area, and Pu Luong conservation area is attractive routes that are interesting to many of you.
Cuc Phuong Nature is extremely important and is a source of livelihood creation for local communities, ecotourism with community participation is an important solution, contributing to improving people’s lives. With one or two nights’ stay in Muong village, you contribute to creating income for local people and support conservation. During your time in the village, the Muong people with enthusiasm and hospitality will give you a comfortable time and opportunity to learn and explore unique local cultures.
See wildlife at night
Depending on weather conditions, the National Park may host a nighttime wildlife viewing program, you will have the opportunity to see some species of wildlife such as Black squirrels, Flying squirrels, Ho Chi Minh City, loris, and some small carnivores.
Cuc Phuong is one of the most diverse spots of bird fauna in northern Vietnam, with 308 species discovered and statistics, including many rare species such as Red-headed Woodpecker, White Pheasant, and Niec brown, striped tail puckered …, especially endemic species of Vietnam and Indochina. Therefore, Cuc Phuong has become a place not to be missed by scientists and bird watchers. The best time to watch birds is early in the morning and late in the evening.
One of the forms of discovering the mystery of Cuc Phuong nature is cycling in the forest. Biking in the forest will not only give you a sense of tranquility and a real sense of nature but also give you opportunities to encounter rare animals in Cuc Phuong.
Staying at Cuc Phuong, you can participate in many recreational and relaxing activities. Kayaking on Mac and Yen Quang lakes is one of the most popular activities for many of you.
Cuc Phuong Botanical Garden
This is the area built to collect and cultivate rare tree species of Cuc Phuong, Vietnam, and the world. This is one of the three world-status botanical gardens on a list published in 1997. The route to visit the garden is easy, with a walking distance of 3 km.
Cuc Phuong Visitor Center
Built by AusAid and FFI and this is also the first tourist education center established in Indochina. This is a tourist attraction and also a place to do all the necessary procedures before visiting the forest.
Center for rescue, conservation, and development of organisms
Rescue, conserve, and develop endangered species of wild flora and fauna in Vietnam; research on behavior, physiology, and reproduction in captivity of rare and precious wild animals for conservation and development; Collect, planting, conserving genetic resources, and creating varieties of rare plant species in Vietnam.
Animal Rescue Center Cuc Phuong Linh Truong
It is responsible for rescuing each species of rare and precious primate species (White-backed langur, Ha Tinh langur, black-shanked douc, Lao langur, Cat Ba langur, gray-shanked douc…) from confiscation; releasing the animals to the wild; Research on Primate animals such as finding food, living habits, environment, living space.
Cuc Phuong Museum
Is a research site that references important specimens for students, students, conservation experts, plants, and animals to visit and learn. Cuc Phuong Museum is located on the campus of Cuc Phuong National Park. The museum has been newly built to serve the storage and preservation of samples such as insects, butterflies, hair clippers, dragonflies, cicadas, rodents, birds, and other animals such as bears, leopards, monkeys, langurs,… Cuc Phuong Museum is keeping more than 50 archaeological samples, including a positive specimen of the Slate-toothed reptile dating from 230 to 250 million years ago. Cuc Phuong Museum currently holds 122 samples of immersion, 82 samples of animals, 2900 samples of insects of all kinds, and more than 12,000 specimens of plants.
Cave of the Old
It is a residence and burial relic of the prehistoric people, a unique cultural site in the development history of humanity, and a valuable heritage in the protected object of the Cuc Phuong forest.
Hang Con Moong
Con Moong Cave (which in the local language means “animal cave”) is a rock cave in Cuc Phuong National Park. Although Cuc Phuong National Park is largely located in Ninh Binh province, Con Moong Cave is located in Thanh Yen commune, Thach Thanh district, Thanh Hoa province. Located near rivers and streams, the area has rich and diverse fauna and flora, so it has been chosen by the ancient people as a long-term residence. The cave is wide and long, with 2 connecting doors Con Moong cave has quite a thick cultural stratum, has a very complex structure, and has successive intertwining of clay, mollusk crust, and coal ash streaks.
Mang Chieng Cave
It is a burial relic of the Neolithic residents with a combination of stone tools close to Hoa Binh culture, containing many artifacts, and animal and human remain.
Crescent Moon Cafe
Located deep in the forest, looking out from the cave door is a crescent moon shape.
Son Cung Cave
Is a cave located on the route to visit the thousand-year-old parashorea trees?
Pho Ma Cave
It is a beautiful cave with many natural stalactites. To enter the cave, you must go through Yen Quang 3 lake, and pass through the valley and the rocky mountain.
Thuy Tien Cave
Created by the activities of limestone mountains, whose beauty is said to resemble the palace of King Thuy Te with underwater fairies.
Typical old trees
It is a large tree 45m high, 5m in diameter, and has a floating root system running on the ground about 20m long. From the gate, follow the road, past Nguoi Xua cave about 2 km, on the left side is the path leading to the ancient tree 3 km long. Crossing 5 rocky slopes, with many flora communities. It is a seven-leaf-one flower (most flowers are lost); These are wooden vines with a diameter of 20-30 cm and a length of about 100 meters, only found in Cuc Phuong. On the way to the tree, you can observe precious birds such as red-bellied swallow, red-headed ants, white pheasants, or animals such as red-bellied squirrels, red-bellied squirrels, white-rumped langurs,…
A thousand years old parashorea
It is a large tree 45m high, 5m in diameter, and has a circumference of more than 20 people to embrace. From the center follow a trail in the old forest to reach the parashorea. You will meet on a giant climbing line with a base diameter of 0.5m, running 1 km across the forest and strangling Da species. Banyan seeds sprouted in other hollows. When their roots have attached to the soil, they develop very quickly, gradually squeezing the host plant to death. You can also admire the Parashorea trees only up to 70m high, straight and round. The time for both departure and return for this route is almost 3 hours.
Old crocodile tree
As a 45m high tree, the buttress system is divided from the trunk at a height of about 10m and then grows to 20m long. On the way to the Crocodile Tree, you can also admire the woody vines; the ancient species of a Banyan tree; phylogenetic plants such as mistletoe, kite’s nest, and orchid; birds such as the red-headed woodpecker, the striped tail penguin …
Silver cloud top
It is the highest mountain peak in the Cuc Phuong forest with an altitude of 648m. From the center, go about 3 km through many old forests with steep stone slopes. Up to the top of the mountain, amidst the clouds and sky, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the forest and plains of 4 districts in 3 provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa. The route to the Peak of silver clouds is long and rocky. A park guide must accompany this route. Travel time is about 4 hours.
Yen Quang Lake
Yen Quang Lake is a system of 4 large lakes named Lake 1, Lake 2, Lake 3, and Lake 4 located in the Yen Quang commune. Yen Quang Lake is a scenic spot in the buffer zone of Cuc Phuong National Park, in the middle of the lake is a small island, on which there is a shrine and the lake water is the convergence of many swimming water birds. On the surface of the lake, the clear blue water is silhouetted against the cliffs, forests, and small fishing boats, the scenery is quite wild and quiet. Yen Quang Lake is also a fishing lake for Ninh Binh people and tourists.
From Lake 3, you can climb through Quèn Leaf to a relatively flat valley of land, about 100 hectares wide, and that is Thung Leaf. Passing Thung Leaf, and climbing to the foot of the limestone mountain range, you will come to Pho Ma Giang Cave. Right outside the cave door, there is a stalactite that resembles the figure of a Pho ma. Inside the cave, there are many rooms, each with a splendid structure by the system of stalactites, majestic like the royal court.
Some delicious dishes in Cuc Phuong
Cuc Phuong mountain cuisine is famous for many specialties such as mountain goat, Muong pig, and hill chicken,… these delicious dishes can be found at most restaurants inside and outside the Cuc Phuong forest. If luck comes in the right season, you will have the opportunity to enjoy some Ninh Binh specialties such as mountain crabs, mountain snails, and grasshoppers …
Ninh Binh goat meat
Ninh Binh mountain goat meat is characterized by firmness, low fat, and fragrant flavor. It is said that this is because there are many rocky mountains and goats in Ninh Binh, so their muscles are firm and less fat than goats grazing on the hill. On the other hand, with the typical topography of submerged limestone mountains, there are many types of vegetables, grass, and herbs suitable for goat food such as sausages, yellow rolls, walkers, oxen, limbs, ox nails, gourd, gourd, carpentry, rat muzzle, oval parachute, tomato thorns, create the quality and delicious taste of goat meat. Some other local ingredients and specialties also contribute to highlighting Ninh Binh goat meat dishes, including vegetables served with typical rocky terrain, Kim Son wine, Nho Quan Can wine and Ninh Binh burned rice.
Ninh Binh Burned rice
The scorched rice dish is not a traditional dish of the Ninh Binh people, but was created by a son of the ancient capital and has been preserved and developed up to now. A rustic dish, showing the ingenuity of human hands, has been handed down for hundreds of years, becoming a specialty of the ancient capital, one of the famous delicacies of Ninh Binh.
Cuc Phuong curry chicken
Cuc Phuong chicken has long been a specialty domestic animal of Nho Quan district (Ninh Binh), this chicken is raised in the mountainous area of Cuc Phuong, with suitable climate and natural conditions, so its meat is fragrant and delicious. , very popular.
Cuc Phuong mountain snail
Around March is the month when snails proliferate and bloom, and by July and August, they can be caught. The Mountain snail is very special, it only appears from March to July of the lunar calendar. By August and September, when the wind comes back, the snail disappears without a trace as it has never existed on this earth.
Snails appear many times when it rains. Therefore, after the rain, people went back to the forest and went up the mountain to look for snails. The snail clinging to the tree, catching this one, the other, seeing it, let it go and dropped its mouth without fear of breaking because it was equipped with a very special shell.
Cuc Phuong mountain snail is usually thick in the intestine and has a characteristic taste due to eating algae, leaves, and forest roots.
Cuc Phuong Tourism Schedule
Synthesize some Cuc Phuong travel itineraries so that you can be more convenient and active in arranging a time for your trip.
Hanoi – Cuc Phuong – Hanoi
- Day 1: Hanoi – Cuc Phuong
Depart from Hanoi in the morning around 8 am, then arrive at Cuc Phuong at noon, check in to the store, and rest for lunch.
Going deep into the forest, stop by Nguoi Xua Cave. Continue to go deep into the forest center, walk 7km to visit the thousand-year-old Coola
Evening back to the accommodation for dinner, ending day 1
- Day 2: Discover Cuc Phuong – Hanoi
Get up early in the morning for a walk in the woods, have breakfast, and visit the turtle conservation center, the primate rescue center.
You can choose to register for several tours to discover Cuc Phuong organized by the National Park. There are many interesting tours that you can refer to and choose from.
Hanoi – Cuc Phuong – Van Long
This itinerary is suitable for those who use a private vehicle (car or motorbike) from Hanoi.
- Day 1: Hanoi – Cuc Phuong
Depart from Hanoi in the morning around 8 am, then arrive at Cuc Phuong at noon, check in to the store, and rest for lunch. Going deep into the forest, stop by Nguoi Xua Cave. Continue to go deep into the forest center, and walk 7km to visit the thousand-year-old Coola. Evening back to the accommodation for dinner, ending day 1
- Day 2: Cuc Phuong – Van Long – Hanoi
Get up early in the morning for a walk in the woods, have breakfast, and visit the turtle conservation center, the primate rescue center. After finishing, follow the Hoang Long river dyke to the Van Long conservation area. Rent a boat to explore Van Long, take a break for lunch at a nearby restaurant or restaurant, then end the schedule, and return to Hanoi.
Synthesize some Cuc Phuong travel itineraries so that you can be more convenient and active in arranging a time for your trip.
Some items need to bring
There are some of these items that you should prepare from home to make your family’s journey to discover Cuc Phuong more convenient because this is a forest so not everything is everywhere.
Insect sprays and mosquito repellents: In the forest, it is often wet and if you go in the post-rainy season, it is imperative to bring these sprays, especially for families with children.
Walking shoes that are just right for you, if you are going on some jungle trails, wearing the right shoes will keep your feet safe.
Wear high-necked and seasoned socks to go in the woods to avoid squeezing. A personal flashlight for use when traveling at night and for use when entering a cave.