Cuc Phuong National Park is located in Ninh Binh Province, 120km from Hanoi to the Southwest, 45km from Ninh Binh city to the Northwest. Cuc Phuong covers an area of 25,000 ha, bordered by 3 provinces consisting of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa. The forest is like a massive natural museum where keeps the most plentiful and richest flora and fauna system in Vietnam. Visiting the park is a good opportunity to get a close look at Vietnam’s nature and fees generated from tourism help protect the park’s wildlife and improve the local economy.
Best time to trek in Cuc Phuong National park
Cuc Phuong National Park’s climate is tropical monsoon, the average temperature year-round is about 24,7°C. The topography is complex, the primitive forest contains lots of mysterious and unique landscapes.
April – May: there are thousands of colorful butterflies in Cuc Phuong jungle in this time, creating the most beautifully romantic scenery ever.
May-August: the weather is sunny, sometimes you may encounter heavy rains and storms, but in general, it is the best time to trek in Cuc Phuong National Park in a year.
How to get there
From Hanoi, there are 2 ways to get Cuc Phuong National Park:
Bus: Catch a bus from Giap Bat bus station in Hanoi to Nho Quan bus station. From there, grab a taxi or local motorbike for approx 10km transfer to Cuc Phuong National park.
Motorbike: From Hanoi follow the highway 1A to Gian Khau Junction, then keep driving along Highway 12 to Nho Quan town and continue further 2km you will arrive at Cuc Phuong National park.
Things to do in Cuc Phuong National Park
- Trekking in the primary forest.
Cuc Phuong National Park offers various jungle trek routes with different itineraries and time. Some of the trek routes you can self-guide, however, some are accompanied by a park guide and local scout. The route of camping and overnight in Muong Village is the most adventurous. It is considered as the hardest jungle trek route with 30km walking in 2-3 days. The minimum of the group is 5 people.
- Community-based tourism
The forests of Cuc Phuong are immensely important culturally, providing livelihood resources for local communities. However, the forests and their resources are under constant threat. Community – based ecotourism initiatives are beginning to turn marginalized communities into local stakeholders, creating incentives to support conservation. While in the village you will live as one of the family, eat together, have an opportunity to explore their culture, and try out bamboo river rafting.
One of the interesting ways to discover the mystery of Cuc Phuong’s nature is to rent a bicycle and cycle through the jangle. In this way you can feel the peace of the mountainous atmosphere, the rhythm of wildlife. Moreover, do not miss a chance to experience kayaking on Mac Lake and Yen Quang Lake and immerse yourself in the very green, peaceful, and ideal jungle space.
- Bird Watching
Cuc Phuong is home to a wealth of beautiful tropical birds, many of them endemic to Vietnam and Indochina. Some of the 308 species of rare birds that you might encounter are the Silver Pheasant, Red-collared Woodpecker, Brown Hornbill, Bar – bellied Pitta, and so on. Cuc Phuong is quickly becoming a must-see destination for scientists and birdwatchers alike. The best time for bird – watching is early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
- Uncover the prehistoric caves
Exploring prehistoric caves are indispensable thing in your trekking trip in Cuc Phuong National Park. Some of must – visited caves include the Cave of Prehistoric Man, Mang Chieng Cave, and Trang Khuyet Cave.
- Conquer the May Bac Peak
Standing at May Bac Peak, 648m above sea level, you get a chance to enjoy the panorama of Cuc Phuong National Park, to be mesmerized by the stunning Bai Dinh pagoda and watch the entire panoramic view of Trang An Eco-tourism Complex in North Ninh Binh. The hiking route to May Bac Peak has many rocky slopes so if you have heart problems, avoid hiking this route. Usually, it takes 4 hours to both conquer the peak an get back to starting point.
Cuc Phuong National Park offers various trekking routes and lots of interesting outdoor activities, you will find yourself immersed in the fresh nature atmosphere. Let’s escape from the hustle and bustle of the industrial cities for an exploring trip in Cuc Phuong jungle.
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