Hue, Vietnam is not only known for its historical structures, but also for its amazing nature. From a bird’s eye view it is easy to see that Hue is covered in numerous shades of green, from the center of the city to the suburbs. 32km to the south of the city, far from the residential areas, Bach Ma National Park is known as one of Hue’s best natural attractions. Located midway between Hue and Danang, it is ancient Hill Station constructed by French, covering an area of 22000 hectares and reaching a peak of 1450 at Bach Ma mountain which is only 18km from the coast. The national park was extended in 2008 and stretches from the coast to the Annamite mountain range at the Lao Border. It has some of the best mountain ranges and jungle trekking paths in Vietnam and is easily accessible by a number of ways.
Bus is the most popular mode of transport among tourists, it is always safer to travel in a big bus and the price is very cheap when compared to other modes of transportation. However, most busses follow strict schedules and you have to keep an eye on your bus to not miss it on the way back home. Travelling in a private car is also very common as it feels like an exclusive tour for you and your family or friends. An added benefit to this is that you can depart and arrive at the park at your own convenient time. The downside to travelling in a car is obviously the high price tag. For locals though, most prefer visiting the park in a motorbike, it is the most adventurous out of the three ways and is also the only mode that gives you the ‘complete exotic experience’ as you can feel the breeze through your hair and enjoy the gorgeous scenery around you. A sudden weather change however might drag your spirits down.
Since the journey is quite long it is best to take a lightly packed back pack along with you, although make sure you don’t end up carrying all your belongings as this will just weigh you down. Here’s a quick list of necessities that might help you whilst packing: sun cream, rain coat, swimming suit & towel, anti bug spray, a reusable bottle of water and a map. Don’t worry too much about snacks though, as you will find plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area. Wear clothing that covers your whole body and boots and do remember to spray yourself with anti-leech spray as the leeches can quickly become quite a nuisance.
Once you’ve payed your entrance fee and arrived at the visitor center in the park, prepare yourself for a 15km hike uphill to the beginning of all the action. The other option is to pay for a ride on a six seater mini bus since no motorbikes are allowed inside the park. There is however plenty of space to park your motor bike safely near the visitor center.
Pro Tip: Take a map of the park as soon as you arrive!
As one of Hue’s main attractions, Bach Ma National Park has something for everyone, it is every nature lovers’ dream come true! Being the geographical border between Southern and Northern Vietnam and equipping with a wide array of habitats, the Bach Ma park is known for its unique diversity. There are individuals who consider Bach Ma as the centralized location for bio-diversity within the country, since it indicats around 20% of trees found within the country. The Bach Ma National park contains two different kinds of forests. The first kind of forest out of them is the evergreen monsoon type of forest. It is located at an altitude of over 1000. As for activities at the park, you can trek, camp or walk through the jungle while exploring the natural beauty. It is known for the hiking trails, fascinating waterfalls and the decaying French villas that dot the landscape. At the Rhododendron Fall, visitors have the opportunity to descend upper region of the of the fall. Otherwise, one can walk to the bottom region to witness breathtaking sceneries of fall and to enjoy time sometime swimming (It’s quite cold though).
Eager Bird Watchers will be in for a treat as you can find birth watching activities, but you need to receive a look at the birds, you need to wake up and travel to the locations early in the morning. If you intend on staying the night, then make sure that you have booked your accommodation and food early on, since some of the villas open and close at different times of the year. The large number of birds found in the park contain for more that 30% of the bird species in Vietnam. They include, the beautiful argus pheasant and the Edwards’ pheasant which is the symbol of Park although it is extinct for over five decades. You will definitely fall in love with the excellent variety that is being offered to you by the region and you will absolutely fall in love with what you see. Therefore, you will be able to walk back home with a collection of exciting memories in mind.
Bach Ma is also a true paradise on the ground, unique wildlife includes black deer, douc langur, and many other rarities. This is also where tourists can witness “Sao la” which is a kind of antelope found only within Vietnam. A lot of these creatures are more active at night, so it takes some patience and persistence to spot them during the day.
If you are looking forward to take a break from the city, Bach Ma Park is one of the best options available in Vietnam to visit. You will absolutely love what is being offered to you during the journey.