Vietnam has a diverse and bountiful flora and fauna discovered best in its national parks. Vietnam national parks extend from the Red River Delta in the north to Mekong Delta in the south and are alluring destinations for nature lovers. These parks with their predominantly tropical vegetation and impressive habitat of animals are enjoyable Vietnam holiday destinations.
Cat Ba National Park – This island park in Halong Bay spreads over 26,000 hectares including 9,000 hectares of water mass. Largely made of limestone, this island has a rugged topography with several waterfalls, grottos, and caves. Though extensively foliaged, there are areas that are bare and devoid of vegetation. During rainy season the number of streams increases making the island more attractive. Treo Com, Thung Luong, Viet Hai and Hoi Trung Trang are such seasonal streams. Many of these streams flow into grottos and caves and subsequently into the surrounding sea through underground routes.
Among the water bodies in this national park, Ech Lake stretching over three hectares is most notable. 90 percent of this scraggy island is between 50 and 200 metres elevation with Hien Hoa at 302 metres and Cao Vong at 331 metres being the highest points. Primates and ungulates are the principal mammals to be found in Cat Ba. It takes about a day to explore this island and is a perfect Hanoi excursion.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park – This complex karst landscape in Vietnam dates back 400 million years and is supposedly the earliest such formation in Asia. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with an area of over 85,700 hectares is located in the centre of Annamite Mountains and extends up to Laos border to its west. This UNESCO World Heritage site is amongst the fascinating limestone formations in the world. Karst features include several underground rivers and astounding caves. Here you get to see terraced caves, dry caves, intersecting caves, and dendritic caves. Phong Na with a length of more than 44km is the longest. You could penetrate up to 1.5km inside this cave in boats.
Together with its limestone formations, the plant and animal life of this national park in Vietnam is equally magnificent. There are more than 550 species of animals compromising 72 varieties of fish, 81 families of amphibians and reptiles, 113 kinds of mammals, and 302 bird varieties. Among mammals, Asian elephant and wild dog, black bear, tiger, giant muntjac, sao la, and gaus are notable. Fauna includes primary as well as secondary forest lands, tropical savannah, tropical evergreen, and tropical deciduous.
Cuc Phuong National Park – This Vietnamese national park is oldest of this country and has earned the status of International Botanical Garden. Unlike other national parks, this bio-reserve has a more diversified landscape with hill slopes, terraced farms, mountains, forests, and water bodies. Located close to ancient capital city Hoa Lu, this national park boasts of nearly 120 species of reptiles, 307 species of birds, and more than 130 varieties of mammals. You could explore over two thousand species of plants.
Cham Island – Cam Island accessible from Hoi An city is another UNESCO Bio-reserve. This national park is especially famous for its marine life. Water around his island abounds in more than 80 species of molluscs, four tiger shrimp species, and over 130 varieties of coral.