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Highlight: In 1960 Cuc Phuong was made into a forest reserve and in 1962 Cuc Phuong National Park was consecrated by President Ho Chi Minh. Human habitation in Cuc Phuong dates back long before the park’s creation, 7,000-12,000 years ago. Artifacts from that time have been found in numerous caves within the park, including human graves, stone axes, pointed bone spears, oyster shell knives, and tools for grinding. In 1789 the Quen Voi section of the park was the site of a major battle in the civil war between Nguyen Hue and Thanh Long. www.easyindochinatravel.com More recently, conflicts have emerged between the government and 2,500 Muong ethnic minority tribesmen who live, farm, and hunt in the park. In 1987, 500 Muong were relocated outside of the park because of issues over poaching and land use.
Cuc Phuong is home to an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. Inhabitants of the park include 97 species of mammals, most notable endangered langurs; 300 species of birds; 36 reptilian species; 17 species of amphibians; 11 species of fish; 2,000 species of vascular plants, and thousands of species of insects. A number of species in the park are listed on Vietnam Red Book of endangered species.
Primates in the park include macaques, gibbon, Francois' Leaf Monkey and slow loris. Other mammals including bats, porcupine, flying squirrel, small striped squirrel, www.easyindochinatravel.com, belly-banded squirrel, and the rare Black Giant Squirrel. In the past the park was home to Asiatic Black Bears, wild dogs, and tiger, but over hunting and lack of prey have most led to the loss these species. Leopard, clouded leopard and jungle cat may still be present in the park.
Bird species include Bar-backed Partridge, Scaly-breasted Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Red Junglefowl, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Laughing Thrushes, Red-vented Barbet, Green-eared Barbet, Scimitar-billed Babblers, Brown Hawk Owl, Scarlet Minivet, Racket-tailed Drongos, Racket-tailed Treepie, White-winged Blue Magpie. Migrant species include thrushes, flycatchers, tits, finches, pipits amongst others. Hornbills can also be spotted in the forest.
An endemic sub-species of sub-terranic cave fish is also located in the park.
Flora in the park includes multi-layered canopy; trees up to 70m in height; flowers, including, orchids; ferns with amazingly tall leaves; and an abundance of liane and cauliflory. The park also contains plants used for such practicalities as spices and medicines as well as edible fruits, nuts.
Grey-Shanked Douc Langur at Cuc Phuong Primate Rehabilitation CenterAlso located within the park are the Cuc Phuong Endangered Primate Rescue Center and Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center. These facilities are vital research centers for breeding and rehabilitation of animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. The primate center houses specimens of langurs, loris, and gibbon species, include the critically endangered Delacour's Langur, Golden-headed Langur, Tonkin Snub-nosed Langur and Black Crested Gibbon. The primate center was established in 1993 with the help of the Frankfurt Zoological Society and has grown to 100 animals in 30 cages, 4 houses, two semi-wild enclosures. The turtle conservation center was established in 1998 and is home to some of the most endangered turtles in Vietnam, including the Vietnamese Pond Turtle which is nearly extinct in the wild.
Click itinerary day to expand
The trip will commence with a quick transfer to Hoa Binh, where we’ll begin cycling to Mai Chau. It’s a fascinating drive past minority villages as we climb up to a higher plateau. We’ll pass coffee and tea plantations, and arrive in Mai Chau mid-afternoon. You’ll have some free time to explore the Thai Hill tribe village and enjoy dinner before settling down for the night.
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to Man Duc to enjoy a full day of cycling to Bo on local roads. We’ll stay overnight in Cuc Phuong National Park.
Breakfast will be held at the park restaurant before a short visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center. The bus will then take the group to the center of the park, where we will cycle along forest roads through the primitive jungle (an exclusive route without any other tourists) to the park entrance. Then, we’ll continue cycling to Ria, enjoy a boat trip in Tam Coc, and transfer to Ninh Binh for the night.
In the morning we’ll leave Ninh Binh and head toward the Kenhga floating village. There, we’ll take a boat trip to visit the fishing village and enjoy lunch with locals. Afterward, we’ll take a bus to Hanoi to end the trip.
- Air-conditioned bus
- Support vehicle to carry gear, luggage, first aid
- English speaking tour guide
- Entrance fees
- Boat trip
- Airport transfer in/out
- Pick up & drop off at your hotel
- Meals as mentioned (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- All biking gear (bike, helmet, tool kit, water cage)
- Water, snacks, soft drinks, and fresh fruit on cycling days
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses