Bach Ma National Park

Introducing Bach Ma National Park

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With close proximity to both Hue and Danang, Bach Ma National Park is simple a cannot-afford-to-miss for nature lovers and especially bird-watching enthusiasts. Bach Ma, a prefect place to discover it's history, nature and beauty, is one of these places where biodiversity is preserved and respected.

The French colonist started the Bach Ma National Park first in 1925 protecting the inhabitants of that areas. Following 1932 when the French stationed their colonial administration center for Hue, building several villa's to create a second Dalat in the Center of Vietnam. After the French left Vietnam in 1954 this Area was soon forgotten, leaving the French colonial villa's at the mercy of the Jungle. In the 60's the Americans took over this area as a strategic base for their military actions controlling the stretch between Hue and Danang.

Bach Ma National Park is situated within the area of Phu Loc and Nam Dong districts, Hue, about 60km to the south of Hue city (and about 680km from Hanoi capital), Danang (65 km) and also Hoi An  (90 km). It takes about one hour to drive to the Park from Hue city. It is well-know for the wonderful natural landscape as well as the fresh atmosphere.

The national park was established in 1991 and extended in 2008, stretches from the coast to the Annamite mountain range at the Lao border. More than 1400 species of plants, including rare ferns and orchids, have been discovered in Bach Ma, representing a fifth of the flora of Vietnam. There are 132 kinds of mammals, three of which were only discovered in the 1990s: the antelope-like saola, Truong Son muntjac and the giant muntjac. Nine species of primates are also present, including small numbers of the rare red-shanked Douc langur. It’s hoped wild elephants will return from the Lao side of the border.

Bach Ma peak lies at 1.450 meters high and is covered by clouds all year round. From Hue city, drive 40 km south along the 1A Highway to Cau hai town, then turn right and continue to drive for 19 km, you will reach Bach Ma National Park. Upon reaching the highest peak, tourists will have a breathtaking view over the continuous mountain ranges and steep peaks.

Its climate condition is somehow the same as those in Dalat, Sapa, and Tam Dao. However, due to its location (which is near the sea), the temperature here is seldom under 4oC in winter and above 26oC in summer. The favorable climate conditions have brought about great potential for Bach Ma to develop tourism as well as preserve natural flora and fauna system.

Bach Ma National Park still preserves its entire diversified flora system and spreading primitive forest. In the forest, there exist many precious types of trees, among which there are trees with diameter of 80-100 cm. The flora system there comprises up to 1.406 species, all of which are being well-preserved. Bach Ma’s fauna system comprises 931 species including 83 species of animals, 333 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles, 39 species of fishes, and many species of butterflies, insects, ants, etc. Nature lovers, especially those who are eager for bird-watching would find Bach Ma a real paradise on the ground. The 358 species of birds in the park account for more than one-third of the bird species of Vietnam, including the fabulous crested argus pheasant and the tenacious Edwards’ pheasant (the symbol of Bach Ma National Park) – unseen and thought to be extinct for 50 years. Numerous bird species like pigeons, bulbuls, malkohas, crow pheasant, herons and egrets but sights of parakeets, kingfishers or jungle fowl are worth adding to tourists’ bird-watching collection.

With beautiful natural scenery plus the fresh and cool climate, Bach Ma national park can be regarded as the most precious ecological tourism center in the region. Tourists visiting Bach Ma will have chance to explore the mysterious tourist paths such as the Tri Sao (Star marisca) path, Do quyen path, Ngu Ho (Five-lakes) path, Hai Vong Dai path. Tourists can also observe the collapsed buildings, which were once constructed under the French colonial period, on the peak and surrounding mountain sides. It is the vestiges of the palace and hotel area which was constructed in 1932 by a French engineer, M.Girard, with the purpose of transforming the area into a resort. Two ancient villas was recovered and functioned as the research centers as well as the accommodation for visitors. The national park continues to develop tourism along with protecting the natural environment so as visitors will be pleased when visiting Bach Ma National Park.

What to see

As being the bio geographical border between northern and southern Vietnam and having a wide variety of habitats, the park is well-known for its biodiversity. Some people consider Bach Ma as “The Centre of flora diversity in Vietnam”, as it represents around one-fifth of the entire flora of the country. The forest also possesses a precious source of over 500 species which serve as medicinal plants. Besides, this is where people can luckily see “Sao la” (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) - a type of antelope, exists only in Vietnam, first discovered in 1992 and may be one of the rarest mammals on the planet.

What to do

Bach Ma will not fail you in a single bit in terms of activities. One can camp, trek, rappel or simply wander through the jungle to discover the beauty of Bach Ma’s flora and fauna. At Do Quyen Fall (Rhododendrun Fall,) adventurers have chance to thrillingly abseil down the upper section of the fall. Or else, visitors can walk down to the bottom of the falls to catch the whole fantastic view of the fall and spend more time swimming in the stream.

Nature lovers, especially those who are eager for bird-watching would find Bach Ma a real paradise on the ground. The 358 species of birds in the park account for more than one-third of the bird species of Vietnam, including the fabulous crested argus pheasant and the tenacious Edwards’ pheasant (the symbol of Bach Ma National Park) – unseen and thought to be extinct for 50 years. Numerous bird species like pigeons, bulbuls, malkohas, crow pheasant, herons and egrets but sights of parakeets, kingfishers or jungle fowl are worth adding to tourists’ bird-watching collection.

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