Cuc Phuong: Vietnam’s First National Park
Founded by Vietnam’s first president Ho Chi Minh in 1962, Cuc Phuong was Vietnam’s first designated National Park. Established to put a focus on environmental preservation, the park today is one of the north’s most biodiverse areas. Housing over 300 bird species, nearly 2,000 species of fauna and some of the country's rarest forms of wildlife, Cuc Phuong National Park is both a wildlife and nature-lovers’ paradise… and also a gem for the Vietnamese.
Visitors can access the park during day trips from Hanoi, which takes, by car, around 2 hours to reach. Additionally, the National Park has a number of on-site lodging options which enable visitors to stay for multiple days at a time. Cuc Phuong offers a variety of hiking and walking trails, ample wildlife viewing areas and also a number of limestone caves which act as a shelter to a number of different animal species. It was also in this area that the region’s first traces of humanity were found, dating back over 12,000 years.
While visitors to the park must realize that the wildlife is in fact wild (which means spotting animals is not a guarantee), some of the National Park’s inhabitants include: gibbons, various species of langur, flying squirrels, pheasants, civets, bears and a range of amphibians. The park is also home to an Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and Turtle Conservation Centre, working to breed, preserve and rehabilitate the animals, and also to educate the locals.