Located in Nam Cat Tien commune, Tan Phu district, Dong Nai province, Cat Tien National Park, which has been recognized by the UNESCO as the world’s biosphere reserve, is separated from the residential area by the Dong Nai River. If you are a lover of nature and fond of exploring natural plants and animals, Cat Tien National Park will be such an unforgettable destination in your Vietnam vacation.
Best Things to Do & See in Cat Tien National Park
If you go to Cat Tien National Park on the rainy season in late May or early June, you will encounter a very romantic and attractive scenery of the forest paths with thousands of butterflies. In this season, Cat Tien National Park becomes a beautiful natural painting. You can rent a bike or a jeep for sightseeing and taking many gorgeous pictures with colorful butterflies.
Visiting the Botanical Gardens & Cat Tien Jungle
Visiting Cat Tien National Park, visitors will have a chance to see many valuable hundred-year kinds of wood. In addition, there are more than 300 species of precious wood in Cat Tien National Park. Approximately 15 km from the center of Cat Tien National Park, there is a 400-year-old Tung tree with an altitude of over 8 meters. To admire the majestic and impressive scenery of this Tung tree, you need to walk a great distance into the jungle. This tree is located on the road to visit Bau Sau, so if you visit this place, it is convenient to stop on the way to admire this Tung tree. If you plan to visit only in the center of Cat Tien National Park, you should visit the other smaller Tung trees, which are about 1-2 km far from the national park.
Joining Nightlife Tour
Perhaps this will be one of the most enjoyable experiences for visitors, as experienced in this jungle. You can rent a bicycle or walk to see the wildlife at night. However, in order to be able to make this unique tour, you need to contact and ask the management, forest guards or guides for the permission. The reason is that in the forest there are many dangerous animals such as bears, gaurs, wild boars. Therefore, you need to be careful in the process of sightseeing and moving. If you can not make this tour, you can visit the living place of ethnic minorities such as Ma, Tay, and S’tieng.
Visiting Bau Sau
In order to reach Bau Sau, you need to ride a bike or rent a jeep for a 15km length of distance. If you rent a jeep, you can only go for about 10km and the remaining 5km must be complete by walking. However, due to the reason that the trail has clear instructions so you can walk without fear of road loss. If you are not comfortable with your experience, you can hire a guide with the cost about 8 USD/ day. Bau Sau is a large lake area, attracting a lot of birds and animals. Especially, Bau Sau is recognized by the UNESCO as the second Ramsar area of Vietnam, where the largest number of crocodiles live in Vietnam. In Bau Sau, visitors not only go sightseeing, trekking forest road, but you also have the opportunity to sail around the lake and watch crocodiles swimming in the lagoon.
Visiting Ben Cu Waterfall
Ben Cu Waterfall is about 3 km from the center of Cat Tien National Park. Ben Cu waterfall is not wide, in the dry season, shallow water reveals beautiful continuous rows of rocks. However, in the rainy season, this area has many leeches, strong water, so when taking photos here, you should pay attention to avoid slipping and fall danger.
Visiting Bear Rescue Station
Bear Rescue Station is a place where children love most when visiting Nam Cat Tien National Park. The injured bears were brought here for care and treatment so that they can grow in the best condition. Thanks to the intensive care, the bears in rescue stations are quite vivacious and energetic.
Cat Tien National Park Weather & Best Time to Visit
The most suitable time to visit Cat Tien National Park is from December to May. In these months, in Nam Cat Tien forest less rain, so it is convenient for tourists to travel in the forest as well as easy to explore the beauty of wild nature. If you go in other months of the year, you should watch the weather forecast before traveling here.
Cat Tien National Park Travel Guides
How to Get to Cat Tien National Park
Just 160km from Ho Chi Minh City and 320km from Can Tho City, it is quite easy and quick to set a day trip to Cat Tien National Park as an additional destination to your Ho Chi Minh City tours or Mekong Delta tours.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Tien National Park
For those who like to travel by motorcycle to Nam Cat Tien National Park, you can rent a motorbike then follow Highway 1A, go to Dau Giay junction and then turn left to Highway 20 (this road leads to Da Lat). Go for about 58km, you will see Ta Lai fork (with signs) turn left for about 24km then Cat Tien National Park will right in front of your eyes.
If you want to go by coach, you can buy tickets to Cat Tien National Park at counters 5 in The East bus station, but note that there are only two turns, departing at 7.30 am and 1.00 pm. The advantage of this transportation is that you can go directly to the National Park. In addition, if you can not catch the coach to Cat Tien National Park, you can buy tickets to Da Lat, and at Ta Lai crossroads, you have to get off and catch a taxi to Cat Tien National Park.
From Can Tho City to Cat Tien National Park
Tourists can buy coach tickets from Can Tho City to Lam Dong Bus Station at Hung Vuong bus station in Nguyen Trai Street or 91B bus station in Nguyen Van Linh Street as long as it is the nearest. From Lam Dong Bus Station, you go to The Cat Tien National Park Tourist Information to buy tickets to Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park Accommodations: Hotels & Homestays
If you want to find a stopover or an overnight stay right on the grounds of Cat Tien National Park, you will have a variety of choices from very “natural” lodges such as Elephant Homestay, Redwood Guesthouse, Motel Bang Lang with reasonable room prices from 15 USD to 30 USD/room/ night.
In addition, if you do not want to rent a room right in Cat Tien National Park, you can choose a number of resorts and hotels near Cat Tien National Park: Green Hope Lodge (7-40 USD/night), Cat Tien Forest Call Lodge (4-34 USD/night), Cat Tien Jungle Lodge (82-225 USD/ night),…
Specialties of Cat Tien National Park
Water Hyacinth Soup
Water hyacinth is also known as water duckweed, one of the delicious food that you should enjoy when coming to Cat Tien. This soup is sweet and cool, people will use the body and flowers of the water hyacinth to make the soup. If you have not tasted this soup ever, then definitely have to try once.
River Fish Hotpot with Wild Vegetables
There is a unique source of seafood and vegetables so that in this national park there is an extremely delicious kind of fish hot pot. The weather in the forest is always cool so nothing more wonderful than eating hot pot here.
Wild Snakehead Fish and Tilapia
At Cat Tien National Park, there are lots of wild snakehead fish and tilapia. If you would like to eat those delicious fish, the restaurants here are always ready to serve.
4 Things to Remember When Traveling to Cat Tien National Park
To make the safest trip to Nam Cat Tien National Park, you need to pay attention to the following issues:
- Prepare food, water before visiting any tourist attractions in Nam Cat Tien forest
- Do not forget to bring anti-insect bite cream, bandages to prevent bleeding
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and shoes in the forest.
- Bring a sun hat, raincoat, flashlight, and remember to choose dark colors for clothes that birds and wild animals are not afraid to run away