Cuc Phuong National Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions of nature in Ninh Binh as well as in Northern Vietnam. This national park attracts thousands of both Vietnamese and international tourists every month.
The park will give you a great chance to observe endangered animals and rare plants and a diversity of fauna and flora in the park. Besides, you also can explore the typical feature of nature and immerse yourself into the cool fresh air in the forest.
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Situated in Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh province, Cuc Phuong National Park has a special location which is among three provinces of Vietnam such as Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa.
This park is about 100 kilometers far from Hanoi to the Southwest and takes only more than 2 hours to get there from Hanoi city. Moreover, Cuc Phuong is also the first national park in Vietnam in 1962 which has been home to a variety of valuable animals and plants.
Cuc Phuong National Park has an impressive width of 25 square kilometers and it is the largest nature reserve of Vietnam, as well as the biggest home of animals and different flora species and patches of primeval forest, consisting of ancient trees with thick clusters of roots, and parasitic plants and ligneous creepers.
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Among plants grown in Cuc Phuong National Park, not every plant is originated from authentic Vietnam. There are some flora species imported from other countries such as Burma, Borneo or India.
Near the entrance of Cuc Phuong national park, the moisture level and light condition are extremely perfect, therefore, various orchards strongly develop. When hiking further into the forest, you can also see lots of thousand-year dracontomelum and parashorea trees, coral, vanilla, snow-white, or butterfly orchids everywhere.
In addition to diverse plants, Cuc Phuong forest is also habitation for rare and endangered mammals such as bears and panthers and many other common animals including monkeys, flying squirrels, gibbons or pheasants.
Walking in the park, you will usually see flocks of birds and beautiful butterflies flying around or landing and seeking for food. It is because there are so many species living here. If you come here at night, you can see a million of cicadas creating a din, and million of fireflies flicker about.
Cuc Phuong was made into a forest reserve in 1960 and until 1962, this officially became Cuc Phuong National Park, which was recognized by Great President Ho Chi Minh.
The national park used to be the habitation for human for several thousands of years ago. Many artifacts proving this fact found from various caves in the park, such as graves, stone axes, pointed bone spears, oyster shell knife and many other tools, have been given to the museum.
In the past, Cuc Phuong national park also used to be a battlefield during the civil war between Nguyen Hue and Thang Long. Additionally, there were conflicts between the government and an ethnic minority living and hunting in the park. However, for the preservation of the park, this ethnic minority had to leave out of this park.
Besides the diversity of fauna and flora, Cuc Phuong also has a number of natural limestone caves.
The first cave is called “Nguoi Xua” that means the Cave of Early Man. Right here, the archaeologists discovered two old tombs with Neolithic remains and proof of tools made from stone materials. In other caves of Cuc Phuong, people also explored similar findings, including Trang Khuyet (Crescent Moon), Thanh Minh, and Con Mong Caves. Another particular cave is Hang Dan Cave, which is known as the habitation of numerous bats.
You have the chance to trekking through forest trails or cycling around the park.
If you go deeper into Cuc Phuong forest, passing through the long and dense vines and lots of thick and bushy trees, you can visit the caves, see the beautiful waterfalls and stop at a village of Muong ethnic minority where you can ask for staying overnight.
If you have time, you can spend a visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Cuc Phuong Botanical Garden or Cuc Phuong Museum in the park
Cuc Phuong national park is opened every day from 8:00 to 18:00.
The entrance fee for adult is 60.000 VND per person and only 10.000 VND per child. If you have student card, then the price is 20.000 VND. In this park, you are allowed to bring your camera to take pictures, therefore, make sure that your camera is fully charged to take as many images as possible.
When visiting Cuc Phuong forest, you have to completely go on foot, therefore, you should wear hiking shoes to avoid slippery trails in the forest. Because this is a tropical forest, you should remember to apply enough bug-repellent to protect your health and have a safe trip. Moreover, walking will require you to drink lots of water, so remember to take water along with you to satisfy your thirst.
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Also noteworthy is that there are ideal spaces for a picnic so that you can prepare your picnic meal in advance.
It is better to explore Cuc Phuong National Park in the dry season, which is from December to April. At this time, you can avoid mud that makes your clothes and shoes dirty. Especially, you can visit the caves in the dry season whereas the entrances to these caves are prohibited in the wet season to make insurance for tourists.
Also, you can consider visiting Cuc Phuong park in April and May as it’s butterflies season. Thousands of beautiful butterflies will make you feel like getting lost in the Wonderland.
If you would like to camp overnight in Cuc Phuong National Park, then you need the assistance and support of guide in the park and some local people who can help you watch the wild animals at night. It is notable that you need to rent the camping equipment from Hanoi since there is not enough equipment here.
Nowadays, this national park is opened for tourism development, therefore, there some facilities to support for tourists. In the entrance gate, you can find out a map of trails from the information center.
Besides, there are also some restaurants, souvenir shops to buy gifts for families or friends and hotel at a reasonable price to stay.If you want to stay in Cuc Phuong for a night, you can contact Cuc Phuong Park for accommodation.
Moreover, you can also hire a bicycle here to explore the amazing forest.
Cuc Phuong National Park is really a good destination that you should visit in Ninh Binh. It is an ideal place to explore the authentic nature and escape from the hustling and bustling routine of the busy life.