Struggle to find a place for eco tour in Vietnam? Here is the list of top 10 incredible ecotourism destinations for your hiking, trekking, sightseeing and discovering unspoiled natural landscapes in Vietnam.

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1. Tam Dao National Park

 

Tam Dao National Park

Located in Vinh Phuc, Tam Dao National Park is about 80 kilometers away from Hanoi. Due to its beautiful climate, you can visit Tam Dao anytime a year. The best time to visit Tam Dao is summer when it is pleasantly sunny with light breeze.

Silver Waterfall

As a northern fringe of Red River Delta, Tam Dao National Park is the combination of tropical rainforest and temperate forests of southern China. It is endowed with abundant flora systems with eight types of forest and over 2000 plant species. For your eco holiday, you can enjoy fresh air, explore natural resources and go trekking through stunning sceneries.

Best time to visit Tam Dao National Park?

The best time to visit Tam Dao is from April to November when it is not chilly and you can see romantic mist-covered hills and mountains.

2. Cat Ba National Park

Cat Ba National Park

As a part of the beautiful Cat Ba Island, Cat Ba National Park is a tropical forest with a total area of about 15.200 hectares.  It protects the most abundant marine biosphere, terrestrial forest and mangrove ecosystem in Vietnam. One of the most remarkable endangered animals in this park is Vooc (white-faced monkey). This creature is recorded as “The World’s 25 Most Endanger Primate Species” and only found in Cat Ba Island.

 

Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay

There are various activities you can experience for your eco holiday here. You can go trekking, rock climbing to Kim Giao Forest, Ngu Lam Peak, Frog Pond, Trung Trang Cave, Bat Cave, etc. Heart-pumping water sports such as kayaking, scuba diving to see coral reefs, windsurfing, etc. are predominant activities for foreigners when visiting this place.

Best time to visit Cat Ba National Park?

The ideal times to visit Cat Ba are October and November because this island is crowded with domestic travelers during summer time.

3. Cuc Phuong National Park

 

Cuc Phuong National Park

140 kilometers to the south of Hanoi, Cuc Phuong National Park is considered as the oldest nature reserve in Vietnam. Covering an area of 22,00 hectares of rainforest, this place is one of the most attractive ecotourism destinations when you travel to Northern Vietnam. Thanks to its botany diversity and long history, Cuc Phuong attracts not only tourists but also archaeologists who are long for exploring primitive life in Nguoi Xua Cave (Pre-historic Man Cave).

Butterfly season in Cuc Phuong

The most notable scenery in Cuc Phuong is thousands of vibrant butterflies flying in ‘butterfly season’ from April until the end of May. Tourists will be blessed by a colorful realm of 280 butterfly species gathering in the park. You can see butterflies landing everywhere, on the road, your cars and your helmets.

Best time to visit Cuc Phuong National Park?

You should visit Cuc Phuong during dry seasons (from October to April) because the roads will be less slippery and you can see many flowers blooming and butterflies gathering here.

4. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

 

 Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, Phong Nha – Ke Bang is located in  Bo Trach and Minh Hoa districts of Quang Binh Province. This natural park protects a 400-million-year-old limestone karst ecosystem. With the system of 300 caves and grottoes, Phong Nha is indeed a heaven for adventurous tourism. Some famous caves include Phong Nha Cave, Dark Cave, Tien Son Cave, Thien Duong Cave (Paradise Cave) and Son Doong Cave.

Dare you try to go trekking in Son Doong Cave – the most dangerous cave in Phong Nha?

It is one of the most stunning places in Vietnam which contains everything you need for a trekking and climbing experience: mountains, caves, underground rivers, lakes, jungles and ecosystem. You can hire a boat to visit Phong Nha and Tien Son Cave. However, for eco-friendly and sustainable purposes, only groups of limited people with a tour guide are allowed to visit Son Doong.

Best time to visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park?

There are two distinct seasons in Phong Nha: wet season (from September to March) and dry season (from April to August). It is more convenient to visit Phong Nha during dry season. However, June – August is the hottest period in this place, so it is ideal to plan your trip to Phong Nha in April or May.

5. Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park is approximately 32 kilometers to the south of Hue and 65 kilometers to the north of Da Nang. It is an old French Hill station with the altitude of 18 kilometers from the coast and total area of 40,000 hectares. Due to its semi-tropical rainforest and pleasant climate, Bach Ma National Park is one of the most appealing ecotourism destinations for both domestic and international travellers.

View from Vong Hai Dai

It is home to 132 mammal species and 1400 plant species including rare ferns and orchids. A forest on the exclusive mountain is the main reason which makes Bach Ma National Park an irresistible natural attraction. When visitors reach the top of Vong Hai Dai (sea watchtower), they will enjoy the breath-taking scenery of Lang Co Beach as well as waterfalls, rivers and mountains.

Best time to visit Bach Ma National Park?

Rainy season (from September to December) is not recommended to visit Bach Ma National Park. February to April is the best time to visit Bach Ma National Park. It is hotter from June to August, but the rainforest here will cool you down from the heat of Hue.

6. Yok Don National Park

 

Yok Don National Park

Yok Don National Park, the largest Vietnam’s natural reserve with the total area of 115,000 hectares, is characterized as a dry deciduous forest. This park stretches from Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces to Vietnam – Cambodia border. There are 46 mammal species here including endangered ones such as Indochinese tiger, Indochinese leopard, Indian elephant and gaur. Visitors can find common animals such as monkeys, deer, and snakes in this park.

 

Elephant riding in Yok Don

The most exciting activity to do in Yok Don is go trekking at the beginning of dry season (from October to December). There are many types of ecotourism activities available in Yok Don. You can go fishing, camping and make a bonfire on the sides of Serepok River. For ecotourism experience, not only will visitors take part in our door activities but they also have a chance to interact with M’nong, Ede and Lao ethnic people.

Best time to visit Yok Don National Park?

Dry season from October to April is ideal for trekking here. It is advisable to visit Yok Don National Park at the beginning of dry season from October to December when the weather is the most pleasant.

7. Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park belongs to the Southern region of Vietnam, 150 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. With the area of 72.000 hectares, Cat Tien is a unique lowland tropical rainforest consisting 100 mammal species, 350 bird species, 100 reptile species with more than 1600 fauna species. For a longer walk, visitors can check out Crocodile Lake, Ecological Trail, Ta Lai and Nui Tuong Hill in dry season. It is the place where you can avoid over-crowded tourist trap.

Visitors are overwhelmed by butterflies

Notably, there are 450 butterfly species in this forest, which constitutes 50% of butterflies in Vietnam. Make sure you visit this forest from December to May, you will be mesmerized by the romantic beauty of Mekong Delta during floating season, a scene filled with butterfly wings and flowers blowing in the wind.

Best time to visit Cat Tien National Park?

The recommended time to visit Cat Tien National Park is from October to May. Avoid the summer when the hot weather will make you tired easily.

8. Tram Chim National Park

 

Tram Chim National Park

As a gem of Dong Thap Muoi region, Tram Chim National Park (previously called the Tam Nong Bird Sanctuary) is a wetland ecosystem which features a wide range of fauna and flora. Its total area is more than 7500 hectares, housing 231 species of water bird which constitutes 25% of the bird population in Vietnam.

Bird sanctuary in Tram Chim

Notably, Tram Chim is inhabited by the Red-crown Crane, one of the endangered bird species including in Vietnam’s Red Book. Therefore, the Vietnamese government is seriously concerned about the ecological conservation of bird population in this park.

Best time to visit Tram Chim National Park?

The best time to visit this bird sanctuary is the dry season (December to June). It is recommended to take a birdwatching tour by boats in the sunrise or sunset. Photographers and travel lovers will be thrilled at this magnificent natural landscape and botany diversity.

9. Tra Su Melaleuca Forest

 

Tra Su Melaleuca Forest

Located in An Giang province, Tra Su Melaleuca Forest is considered one of the most attractive mangrove forests in Mekong Delta region. This forest contains a typical ecosystem of Hau River. It is a home to 140 fauna species, 11 mammal species, 25 reptile species and 70 bird species in which two of them are listed in Vietnam’s Red Book.

Flooding season in Tra Su

This forest is not only praised for its attraction but also for its specialties, Linh fish (cyprinid). Hotpot of Linh fish and Dien Dien flower is a delicious and must-try cuisine of Mekong Delta region.

Best time to visit Tra Su Melaleuca Forest?

The flooding season, usually in October and November, is the best time to visit Tra Su. Visitors can take a motorboat ride tour through the forest and enjoy the unusual scenery where water is covered with greenery. Along the ways, there are water-fern, water lilies and a lot of birds perched on maleleuca’s trunks.

10. U Minh Thuong National Park

U Minh Thuong National Park

Located in Kien Giang province, 360 kilometers south-west of Ho Chi Minh City, U Minh Thuong (Upper U Minh) is a national park with the most abundant biodiversity in Mekong Delta Region. Its total area is 21.107 hectares, while the Core zone containing Melaleuca forest covers 8.038 hectares and the buffer zone where local people live covers 13.069 hectares.

Melaleuca is the signature plant in U Minh Thuong

During the Indochine War, Vietnamese government divided U Minh forest into two areas: U Minh Thuong (Upper U Minh) belongs to Kien Giang and U Minh Ha (Lower U Minh) belongs to Ca Mau; these two forests are separated by Trem River. One notable characteristic of U Minh Thuong is its unique position in the area of freshwater wetlands with peat swamp forest. It is confirmed that there are 186 bird species, 32 mammal species, 60 fish species and 243 plant species living in this forest.

Best time to visit U Minh Thuong National Park?

The best time to travel U Minh Thuong National Park is from November to April. You can spend time visiting Phu Quoc and Nam Du archipelago as well.

Tips for eco-travel:

  • Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints: Always protect the environment, don’t throw garbage on the roads, overuse water resources nor pick wild flowers.
  • Pay attention to local community: Buy local food and souvenirs in the markets or street vendors.
  • Don’t choose a luxury resort: Eco-friendly bungalows or homestays will bring you more authentic experiences than hotels.

Best Eco Tours in Vietnam

 

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A Hanoian lover of art, cuisine and culture, Chi Nguyen enjoys exploring all elegant aspects of this city as well as discovering off-the-beaten-track destinations in the beautiful S-shaped country.