Attraction Cát Tiên National Park, Cát Tiên District, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam Published on: 19-02-2016
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Why Cat Tien National Park is special ?
Cat Tien national park was protected initially in 1978 as two sectors, Nam Cat Tien and Tay Cat Tien. Another sector, Cat Loc, was gazetted as a rhinoceros reserve in 1992 upon the discovery of a population of the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros, an occasion that brought the park into the world's eye. The three areas were combined to form one park in 1998. Nam Cat Tien is contiguous with Vĩnh Cửu nature reserve thus providing an enlarged area for species to breed.
The park suffered historically during the Vietnam War when it was extensively sprayed with herbicides like the defoliant Agent Orange; however, substantial further damage was done by logging up until the 1980s. To this day these areas have extensive bamboo and grassland cover and trees have not yet grown back.
What to explore at Cat Tien National Park?
Cat Tien comprises an amazingly biodiverse area of lowland tropical rainforest. The 72,000-hectare park is one of the outstanding natural treasures in Vietnam, and the hiking, mountain biking and birdwatching here are the best in the south of the country.
Fauna in the park includes 100 types of mammal including the bison-like guar, 79 types of reptile, 41 amphibian species, plus an incredible array of insects, including 400 or so butterfly species. Of the 350-plus birds, rare species include the orange-necked partridge and Siamese fireback.
How to get to Cat Tien National Park?
The Park Headquarters is approximately 160 km away from Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), from where it is usually accessed - via the main road to Da Lat (route 20). Exit HCMC on route 1A and pass through the conurbation of Bien Hoa, then fork left onto route 20 at Dau Giay. After approximately 70 km, turn left at Tan Phu, from where the Park is signposted. Having passed a couple of hamlets (Ap) proceed approximately 13 km (before reaching Talai) and turn right at Phu Lap. Turn left at the Nui Tuong junction, then bear right to follow the river until you reach Nam Cat Tien Hamlet (AP 5). Turn left at the T junction and the ferry crossing into the park (as appears below) is after less than 1 km.
Cát Tiên National Park, Cát Tiên District, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam
Tips for you
There are two restaurants at the Park Headquarters. The more pleasant one ('Yellow bamboo') is located behind the main office of the park head quarters it is cafe-style with good, reasonably priced food and a view to the river. The second restaurant ('Dipterocarpus') is located around 100m south.Restaurant