Sara Thopson - Apr 10, 2007

Visitors to Vietnam who love a challenge and are fond of trekking have a new and exciting option situated some 150 km north of bustling Ho Chi Minh City. Here, they will find the Nam Cat Tien National Park, an area of great natural beauty with exceptional flora and fauna. The park was formed in 1998 after the merging of three separate areas of rainforest and swamp and now covers 74,000 hectares.


The wildlife to be found here is impressive, though highly threatened, with Javan Rhinos the prime example, since this particular endangered species manages to survive in only two regions of the globe, the Nam Cat Tien being one of them. Asian Elephants, Gaur, Sun Bears, wild Water Buffalo, Tigers, Leopards, and many other impressive mammals are also to be seen here, and more than 300 species of birds and 40 species of reptiles have been recorded. Because of its precious nature, the park has been recognized by UNESCO as the World’s 411th Biosphere Preservation site.


Before you enter the park, you are advised to bring lots of water and fruit, as the trekking itself can get very tiring. Visitors cross the Dong Nai River by boat and register for permission to stay and explore the beauty of the park. Trekking is a lot of fun in the forest, especially when travelers are led by experienced guides who point out the most attractive aspects of the reserve. After introducing the fauna and flora to their visitors as they pass through strange rock formations, they eventually let them dive into a beautiful lake. Tourist spend the night in their own tents and in the morning take a 12km tour to visit people from local ethnic groups and find out about their way of life. The trip lasts for two days before returning back to the city.


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