Jungle Surfing

It’s no secret that Vietnam has become a top destination for virtually every kind of traveller for its rich culture and overwhelming natural beauty – not to mention the plush new resorts. With diverse terrains speckled with rising limestone mountains, vast cave systems, lush jungle forests, and tranquil rice terraces also come a unique biodiversity. Vietnam’s natural parks house rare and endangered wildlife as well as endemic animal and plant species well worth a stop on any traveller’s itinerary.
With majestic limestone mountains rising up through a vast landscape of green rice terraces, dense forest, and the traditional stilt-perched homes of the Muong hill tribe, Cuc Phuong National Park is a corner of the world that has long attracted, researchers, conservationists, and of course wildlife enthusiasts. So what can you expect to see in this superbly rich ecosystem? With over 2,000 species of plant (including million-year-old trees), more than 300 species of bird and 133 species of mammal. What most visitors come to see is one of the rarest primates on earth: the Delacour langur.
If the 1,554-meter-high limestone mountains, thick evergreen forests, and massive caves aren’t enough to bring you to the doorstep of this rainforest park, the abundance of flora and fauna will. Ba Be National Park is the largest freshwater lake in Vietnam and boasts more than 550 plant species, 220 bird species – which includes the oriental honey buzzard and serpent eagles – and 65 mammals. Visitors traversing one of many trails and footpaths can get a glimpse of animals like Chinese pangolins, langurs, slow loris, macaques monkeys, and 43 species of reptiles. While sightings are rare, Ba Be National Park also houses the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey as well as the Vietnamese salamander.
One of just six biosphere reserves in Vietnam, Nam Cat Tien National Park is comprised of 72,000 hectares of lowland tropical rainforest ideal for birdwatching, mountain biking, hiking, and spotting wildlife. Home to hundreds of species of animals, plants, birds, and reptiles, visitors flock to Cat Tien to get a glimpse of Asian elephants, sambar deer, wild boar, endangered monkeys, sun bears, and other exotic fauna.
Tam Dao, which means Three Islands, sits on the Tam Dao mountain range just 75 km from Hanoi and is renowned for supporting a variety of microhabitats of dense biodiversity and containing varying altitudes and ecosystems. With well over 1000 plant and animal species in its tropical forest, Tam Dao is covered in diversified flora and fauna. Visits can be taken any time of the year, but the best time to visit is from January to April when temperatures are dry. Unlike many other national parks in Vietnam, Tam Dao houses a different variety of species which adapts to their drier and cooler air.

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