Vietnam - Tourism
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It is one of the two entry points to the country. The first impression you will have, is that this is a chaotic city. But the longer you stay, the more you will appreciate Hanoi. To visit Hanoi, you will need around seven days. Most tourists do not stay for so long here. They stay for a couple of days, visit the Old District, and go to Ha Long Bay or Sapa. If you can, stay longer and explore the city and its lakes. If you want to do a tour of Vietnam, you can get there by plane or train. In case you have plenty of time, and a tight budget, take the bus.
- Ha long Bay
It is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Probably you have seen pictures of this unique bay with its thousands of islands. A two or three day tour should be enough to visit Ha long Bay. In summer its air will be clearer and its water bluer, but it can be visited any season. You get there by bus from Hanoi.
Sapa is the name of a town in the northwest of Vietnam from where you go on many trekking and excursions, and visit the traditional ethnic peoples who inhabit this mountainous region. How long you stay in Sapa's region depends on the excursions you want to do. Most trekking last from two to five days. Go on a weekend and you will enjoy its markets. You get to Sapa by an overnight train from Hanoi. Winters can be quite cold.
- Northeast Vietnam
If you want to get off the beaten path, this is where you have to go. Babe Lake is authentic, but if you go to Ha Giang and Cao Bang, you will see landscapes most tourists miss out. Tours in the area normally take five days. Add two or three more days, and you will get to the unspoiled areas. You generally travel around the region on a four wheeled vehicle.
- Ninh Binh
It is a town south of Hanoi. Many travel agencies offer a one day excursion to Ninh Binh. Locals call it the Ha long Bay on land because of its similarities with the world famous bay. If you want to visit its national park, add a couple of days more. You get here from Hanoi on a minibus. From here you can also go to Hue.
- Perfume pagoda
It is the most famous pagoda in the area of Hanoi. It is a one day excursion. Two other nice pagodas in the outskirts of Hanoi are the Thay Pagoda and the Tay Phuong Pagoda.
About 410 miles (660 km) south of Hanoi sits this ancient capital of Vietnam. To visit the city you need two days. Add another day to visit the surrounding temples which most tourists do not miss. If you are traveling south, your next stop should be Hoi An. You get there by bus (or taxi). If you are traveling north, your next stop is Hanoi.
- Da Nang
It is the third biggest city in Vietnam, but has not much interest for tourists. If you are traveling around Vietnam, you go here only to get the train to the South after visiting Hoi An. You can, if you like, stay in Da Nang one or two days to visit a couple of interesting sites there.
- Hoi An
Dedicate a couple of days to visit its picturesque streets. This is also the place to buy Taylor clothes. There is also a nice beach, in case you want to stay longer. If you are traveling north, your next stop is Hue. If you are traveling south, your next stop can be Nha Trang, Muine or Saigon. To get to any of these destinations you should take the train (in Da Nang) or the plane.
- Nha Trang
It is a big town with nice beaches. A great place to relax -- although one may prefer the Muine beach. If you are into scuba diving, stay here five or more days. If not, a couple of days should be enough. If traveling north your next stop should be Hoi An. If traveling south, you can go straight to Saigon, or stop in Muine. You can get there on a bus.
It is another beach destination. Tourism is developing fast in the area. Some tourists enjoy it much more than Nha Trang. Stay two or three days, relax on the beach, do an excursion, and keep traveling. From here you should go to Saigon, if traveling south.
Ho Chi Minh City, the new name for Saigon -- is the business city in Vietnam. It is even noisier and more chaotic than Hanoi. The town has a nice market center. You can stay for three to five days to visit the city. If you are lucky you may get a chance to stay for a night in a floating hotel which was Saigon’s one of the attractions at some point of time. May be you will still find here some broken parts of war damaged fighter planes in junk shops. From here you can do an excursion to the Mekong Delta. And if you still have some days left, take a plane and go to Phu Quoc.
- Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is another 'must see' in any tour to Vietnam. Do not miss its floating markets. Two or three days are the minimum stay. You get here by bus from Saigon.
- Vung Tau
May be some foreigners don’t like Vung Tau, but if you are staying in Saigon and need some fresh air, go to Vung Tau. You can get a bus.
- Phi Quos Island
This island south of Cambodia is like paradise on earth. Although tourism is developing fast, it is still unspoiled. Crystal clear waters, long beaches and, assure you, hassle free; a great place to chill out indeed! Stay here around four days (longer if you can). If you come here at the end of your travel you will appreciate it more.
- Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park lies at the south-eastern extent of a limestone range that runs north-west to Son La province. This limestone range of marine origin is believed to be 200 million years old. The section of the limestone range encompassed by the national park rises sharply out of the surrounding plain, to elevations of up to 636 m. This section is around 10 km wide and 25 km long, and has a central valley running along almost the entire length.
The topography of the limestone range exerts a dominant influence on drainage pattern in Cuc Phuong. Most of the water that the national park receives is quickly absorbed by a complex underground drainage system.
- Ba Vi National Park, Ha Noi
Ba Vi National Park is centered on Mount Ba Vi, a mountain isolate situated about 50 km west of Hanoi. The mountain rises steeply out of a plain that rarely exceeds 30 m in elevation. In general, slopes on the western side of Ba Vi Mountain, are steeper than those on the east. Above 400 m, the slopes on the western side may reach a gradient of 35° and rocky cliffs are present. Mount Ba Vi has three peaks: the highest is Dinh Vua at 1,296 m, followed by Tan Vien at 1,226 m and Ngoc Hoa at 1,120 m. Because of the mountainous topography, the climate at Ba Vi varies with altitude. Above 500 m, fog covers the top of the mountain on most days.
- Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Thanh Hoa
Pu Luong proposed nature reserve is coming up in Quan Hoa and Ba Thuoc districts, in north-western Thanh Hoa province. In the north-east, the nature reserve is bordered by Mai Chau, Tan Lac and Lac Son districts of the Hoa Binh province. The proposed nature reserve area lies along two parallel mountain ridges that run from north-west to south-east, and are bisected by a central valley. This valley contains several human settlements and a large area of agricultural land, and, hence, is not included within the proposed nature reserve.
- Tam Dao National Park
Tam Dao National Park covers areas in Son Duong district in Tuyen Quang province, Dai Tu district in Thai Nguyen province, and Lap Thach, Tam Dao and Me Linh districts in Vinh Yen province. The national park lies along a massif, which runs from north-west to south-east, and is isolated from other high-elevation areas by intervening areas of low elevation.
- Ba Be National Park
Ba Be National Park is centred on Ba Be Lake. The name Ba Be literally means "three lakes", although the lake is one continuous water body, 8 km long and up to 800 m wide. May be, the Ba Be lake at some point of time comprised three lakes which in course of time got merged into one big lake. At an altitude of 178 m, Ba Be is the only significant natural mountain lake in Vietnam. It is up to 29 m deep, and contains numerous limestone islets .The site ranges in altitude from 150 m to 1,098 m.
- Cat Ba National Park, Hai Phong
Cat Ba National Park is located in Cat Hai district, Hai Phong city. The national park is located at Cat Ba island, a 28,500 ha island, which lies 20 km east of Hai Phuong city and immediately to the west of Halong bay. The national park also incorporates some of the small islands and marine waters situated to the east of Cat Ba Island.
- Mt. Ba Na Hill Station
Ba Na is located 1,480 meters above sea level in the Truong Son mountain range, two hours by road from Danang. Ba Na is a former French resort built in the early 1920s. Its temperate climate, unspoiled forest, and spectacular views over the South China Sea and the Lao mountain range still make Ba Na an attractive retreat for locals and also foreigners. The Deer Stream, the Heavenly Lady Temple and the Rainbow Waterfall are some of the popular sites for tourists visiting Ba Na.
The view over Xuan Huong Lake Dalat has many nicknames: The City of Love, Le Petit Paris, City of Eternal Spring and so on. But for most people it is simply the most pleasant town in Vietnam.
The French built Dalat as their premier hill station, a retreat from steamy Saigon, and 2,000 French-colonial villas are picturesquely scattered around the lake and nearby mountains.
The last emperor of South Vietnam, Bao Dai, was so enamored of the place that he had no less than three villas built for him in Dalat. All three of Bao Dai's villas may be visited, though Binh III is the most accessible one. Luckily, many of the town's villas have been preserved and still serve as summer residences, cafés and hotels.
The French influence in Dalat is still palpable from the French colonial architecture, to the smell of baking croissants though the slow process of Vietnamisation is on.
When the Dalat Palace was built in the 1920s, its purpose was as a retreat for the French and their guests to enjoy hunting and the cool mountainous climate. While golf has replaced hunting, the Dalat Palace has been restored to its former grandeur. Just down the street, Café de la Poste, one of the premier French restaurants in town could just as well be in Normandy or Provence, except for the low prices.
Dalat has long attracted artists, poets and creative persons who have established themselves in local art galleries, cafés and villa hotels.
- T Dao Hill Station
Is a popular place of escape from the heat of the Red River Delta. Founded in 1907 by the French, most of the grand old colonial villas were destroyed during the Franco–Viet Minh War in the 1950s and the ruins have since been replaced by Soviet-inspired, concrete-box architecture. A somewhat belated effort to restore some of the colonial villas is now under way.
Hanoi residents sometimes call Tam Dao ‘the Dalat of the north’. This has more to do with its high elevation and cool climate than any resemblance to Dalat. If you’re living in Hanoi and would like to find a summer weekend retreat, it’s worth heading up for the cool weather and a change of pace. However, unless you plan to do some serious hiking or bird-watching, there really isn’t much to see or do here.
A beautiful little town that is in northern Vietnam. You may take the 'Night Train from Hanoi' for Sapa. That was supposed to be a comfortable 'soft sleeper.' Hardly soft and very little sleep really! Even then its old glory can not be completely forgotten. The French went to Sapa to escape the heat of summer. Only a few of their villas remain, since the Chinese enjoyed target practice here in 1979, after the US left Vietnam. The town is reminiscent of a Swiss village crossed with Mexican fiesta. Tall buildings with nice balconies painted bright colors and often having lots of lights.
Sapa is known as a gathering place for numerous ethnic minorities in Northern Vietnam. Many villages are within a day’s walk from Sapa. There are primarily Hmong people here.
- Pristine Phu Quy Island
Phu Quy Island is a tropical paradise set in a volcanic crater, rising from the sea off Binh Thuan. Phu Quy Island, whose name means "rich and precious," lies about 100 km to the east of Phan Thiet City; close to the international maritime route and on the continental shelf. The Island is an important stop between the mainland and Truong Sa (Spratley Island) archipelago; 20 km further away. It’s a “floating base;” providing services to ships, fishing offshore via its seaport on Trieu Duong Beach. Only 32sq.km and with a population of 20,000, Phu Quy Island occupies a small dot on the map of Binh Thuan.
- Non Nuoc Beach
One of the World's beautiful beaches, Nuoc Beach gently slopes towards the calm, clear, blue sea; the clarity of the water attracts visitors who come to bathe and enjoy the seafood. It is bound by Dien Ngoc Sea to the south and Danang to the north. The beach gently slopes towards the calm, clear, blue sea; the clarity of the water attracts people who come to bathe and enjoy the seafood. Many five-star hotels were built in Non Nuoc to accommodate the domestic and foreign tourists in the area.
With green water and white sand at the foot of the Marble Mountains, Non Nuoc beach stretches 5 km in Hoa Hai Ward of Ngu Hanh Son District. Non Nuoc beach has wave, climate and salinity that suit sea sports. In 1993, an international surfing competition was hold here with the participation of 40 foreign athletes. The beach is managed by the Non Nuoc Tourism Company
- Cu Lao Cau
Cu Lao Cau Island is characterized by rocky outcrops, with sandy beaches on the north and south sides. The highest point on the island is 27m. It covers a long distance of over 1.500m with the widest area of nearly 700m and the highest one of 7m above sea level. The entire island is surrounded by tens of thousands of cliff blocks of different colors and shapes. From the main land, it looks like a big warship. It is really interesting when having a condition to observe the whole island carefully. Around this isle, the water is always clean and blue. When the tide goes down, on the seashore we can see numerous beautiful shells and corals pleasing the tourists’eyes.
- Ghenh Rang Beach
Ghenh Rang is a wild land with green mountains and blue sea. A part of the Vung Chua Mountain protrudes to the sea, creating fantastic scenery. The path to Ghenh Rang is treacherous, with wild flowers growing low clinging to tourists. Ghenh Rang Beach is a picture of rocks, sea waves. The beach is lined with scattering rocks; it turns out to be a golden sand beach at low tide. In the early 19th century, Queen Nam Phuong would bathe and relax there. From the Queen Beach to the garden of rock “animals” and strange rock” eggs” are many modest garden houses nestling amid the plants and trees. The path to Ghenh Rang passes by the modest grave of poet Han Mac Tu. Looking at the dazzlingly yellow chrysanthemums, visitors may feel full of pity for the miserable life of this talented poet. The grave all the year round is drenched in sunlight, clouds, winds, moonlight and the murmurs of the sea.
- My Khe Beach in Da Nang
My Khe beach, 900 meters long, is the most crowded of Danang beaches and is popular to local people.
American soldiers occupied a part of the beach before 1975. They established some premises for their relaxation and recreation. And now it has some enabling conditions such as being near the city’s center, large space, beautiful landscapes, and quality services (hotels, restaurants, car parkings, fresh water bathing, sunshade and buoy lease, etc.). There are 50 well-equipped and comfortable bedrooms and lots of services in My Khe hotel. Many luxurious seaside villas with over 100 rooms are available for families and working staff. They can come here to play and rest at weekends. My Khe Beach is recognized as one of the most ideal beaches of Da Nang City. International tourists come here for rest and relaxation.
- Dong Chau Beach
The Beach is located in Dong Minh Commune, Tien Hai District, 30km away from Thai Binh City along National Road 39B, and some 145km from Hanoi. The total area of this tourist spot is about ten thousand km2. The centre of this tourist spot is Dong Chau Beach with the length of 5 km, green pine forests and small clear beach. Several hotels and guest houses are available for visitors to stay in when they come here to relax. The hotels and guesthouses have been built in coconut groves and huge gardens.
Crossing the sea, about 7 km off land, is Con Thu (Thu Hillock) and Con Vanh (Vanh Hillock) with the white sandy beaches, you can enjoy the fresh and cheap seafood here. Although Dong Chau is not ideal for bathing in the sea, it is so interesting for tourists to visit the hillocks by ships or motor-boats from Dong Chau Beach. They look like two blue waves in the sea, emerging from a 5 ha islet, which lures people for its lush forest, green casuarinas-trees, and small but picturesque and quiet beaches.
Thu Hillock which has an area of 19 km2 with finely white sand, green pine forest, and a small beach is an ideal place for visitors to go on a holiday, have a picnic and relax. Coming here, the tourists can enjoy themselves with such activities as fishing, windsurfing, beach volleyball, etc.
Vanh Hillock has an area of 15 km2 with salt flooded forest which is the place for many species of rare birds to come such as storks, pelicans, teals, etc. Therefore, it is an attractive place for many researchers to visit this islet every year.
The best of Dong Chau Beach is pure air, soft winds and good climate, which are good conditions for relaxation and convalescing. Seafood is good to taste and reasonably priced. Coming to Dong Chau tourist spot, you can enjoy the fresh air filled with wind from the sea. Moreover, you also have chance to visit some historical places such as Nha Ba Temple, and an Action Unit of Northern Committee before the August Revolution.
- Do Son Beach, a worth-visiting place
Do Son Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Vietnam. Do Son is a small peninsula located between the Lach Tray and Van Uc Rivers. Do Son beaches are shaded by thousands of sandalwood trees and surrounded by mountains and Pine Hills.
The sea resort town is composed of tree zones, each having bathing beaches, hills and forests. Around the hills are French-style constructions looking towards the sea. Since 1975, many large hotels and guest houses have been set up over the town and Do Son has become a weekend sea resort for Vietnamese and foreigners.
Nightlife in Vietnam varies according to the settlement patterns in the country. The big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City etc abound in nightclubs and pubs while the smaller cities and towns have fewer nightclubs but many restaurants. Dining, dancing, music, casinos, theaters etc make up the nightlife in Vietnam. Pop music along with dance and music dominate the scenario of Vietnam nightlife. Most of the nightclubs and pubs play pop music that has great demand among the Vietnamese people especially the younger generations. Besides nightclubs, bars are very popular. Karaoke bars are found in many places in Vietnam. Western-style bars are on the rise. Ballrooms and discos are also popular in Vietnam. Eating out late is a major form of nightlife in Vietnam. The country is dotted with a large number of restaurants and bars. Nightlife of Vietnam is vibrant and colorful with a number of pubs, bars, restaurants, theaters, nightclubs etc. Vietnamese nightlife comprises Thang Long Water Puppet, Heart of Darkness (nightclub), Carmen (a pub renowned for Latin music), Spotted Cow (Bar), Karaoke, Hue folk song performances on the Perfume River, gossips (nightclub), Tropical Rainforest Disco, Solace (pub), Nha Trang Sailing Club, Au Lac Cafe, La Brique etc.
Nightlife in Vietnam is thus is colourful and full of varieties with the usual excitement and easy accessibility.
Vietnamese cuisine (cuisine translates to ẩm thực in Vietnamese: ẩm: drink and thực: eat) is known for its common use of salted fish sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. Vietnamese recipes use many vegetables, herbs and spices, including lemon grass, lime, and kaffir lime leaves. Throughout all regions the emphasis is always on serving fresh vegetables and/or fresh herbs as side dishes along with dipping sauce. The Vietnamese also have a number of Buddhist vegetarian dishes. The most common meats used in Vietnamese cuisine are pork, beef and chicken .Shrimps, cockles and various other kinds of seafood are very popular in Vietnam. Duck and goat are used less widely.
Vietnamese cuisine can be basically divided into three categories, each pertaining to a specific region. North Vietnam being the cradle of Vietnamese civilization, many of Vietnam's most popular dishes have their origin in the North. The North's cuisine is more traditional and more rigid in using spices and ingredients. The cuisine of South Vietnam has been influenced by the cuisines of southern Chinese immigrants, and thus Southerners prefer sweet flavors in many dishes. As a new land the South's cuisine is more exotic and liberal, using many herbs. The cuisine of Central Vietnam is quite different from the cuisines of both the Northern and Southern regions in its use of many small side dishes, and also its distinct spiciness when compared to its counterparts in the North or the South.
A typical meal for the average Vietnamese family would include:
- Individual bowls of rice;
- A roasted meat or fish dish;
- A stir-fried vegetable dish;
- Canh (a clear broth with vegetables and often meat) or other Vietnamese-style soup; and
- Prepared fish sauce and/or soy sauce for dipping.
All dishes are common and to be shared by all apart from the individual bowls of rice.
‘Eat’ in Vietnam means eating a main meal, full of nutritious elements from rice that is included in many dishes. . A normal meal includes rice and some veg and non-veg preparations. Some varieties of rice are sweet and others give a fragrant smell when cooked.
Dry food: Meat, fish, shrimp, bean additives, fried vegetables etc. are taken as dry food. Water melon, salt and coffee are common.
Soup: There are soups of cooked meat or cooked vegetables in fish, meat or vegetable stock popular in Vietnam.
Vietnamese restaurants are multiplying in many foreign countries in this age of globalization. Naturally they serve many typical Vietnamese dishes, yet no Vietnamese food abroad can equal in flavor or quality to that made in Vietnam itself. In brief, Vietnamese cuisine depends heavily on rice grown in water paddies throughout the country, with dishes varying from simple everyday meals to most complex ones, as if designed for the King. Reaching a balance between fresh herbs and meats; as well as a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest yet most delicious cuisines in the world.
Spices and ingredients
Vietnam’s ingredients reflect its geography and climate. Rice (grown in water paddies throughout the country) is the main starch used in everyday meals, and is also made into different kinds of cake and noodles. Besides a number of Buddhist vegetarian dishes, most Vietnamese dishes or meals are a combination of a variety of vegetables, herbs, sea foods or meats.
Common herbs may include lemon grass, lime or kaffir. Popular meats are pork, beef, chicken, prawn and various fish. Lamb, duck, birds, and even dog or other wild animals are also used but not widely. Fish sauce and soy sauce are used as both flavorings and dipping sauces for nearly every dish.
Peanuts are also used widely in Vietnamese cuisine. Vegetarians and those with allergies should be careful and check up beforehand while ordering Vietnamese cuisine.
Style of cooking
The Vietnamese cook their food in a variety of ways: deep fry, stir fry, boil, steam. Unlike the Chinese, the Vietnamese use a minimal amount of oil while cooking. Vietnamese cooks aim to preserve the freshness and natural taste of food as much as possible. Hence Vietnamese cuisine is often considered as one of the healthiest foods in the world.
Food of three regions
Like everything else, Vietnamese food also differs geographically from location to location. North Vietnam’s food uses soy sauce, fish sauce and prawn sauce and has many stir fried dishes.
With harsh weather and less developed agriculture than the South, North Vietnamese tend to use less meat, fish and vegetables; and black pepper (instead of chili) to create spice. The taste is strict and less sweet, but more salty than in other regions.
Central Vietnam is distinct in its extreme spices and color of food. Hue’s cuisine, affected by royal cuisine once created for kings and queens, emphasized on quality and quantity – A meal constitutes of many complex dishes served only at small proportions.
Southern Vietnamese are heavily affected by Cambodia, Thai and Chinese cuisines (due to trade and immigrants). Southerners prefer sweet tastes (created by adding sugar or coconut milk) and spicy tastes (created by chili peppers).
A variety of dried fish and sauces originate from the South. Southerners prefer seafood and use simple cooking methods with larger and lesser servings.
Influenced by the Chinese, chopsticks and spoons are used in Vietnam. Many foods (such as cakes) are wrapped in banana or coconut leaves. When eating with elders, younger Vietnamese always ask the elders to eat first.
Vietnamese noodles and cakes: Besides the typical meal with rice, Vietnamese cuisine has many different types of noodles and cakes (mostly made out of rice). To name a few: beef soup noodles (pho), crab noodle (bun rieu), spring rolls (nem), sticky rice cake (chung cake) and so on.
Wildlife in Vietnam is wonderful and the base of attraction for all. Vietnam is the easternmost country situated on the Indochina Peninsula of Southeast Asia. Vietnam is surrounded by Laos to the northwest, China to the north, and Cambodia to the southwest. At the east coast of the country, Vietnam lays in the South China Sea with a population of more than 87 million. Since, Vietnam has a hot and humid climate; common mammals are seen in this country. So, make wildlife watching in Vietnam a part of your itinerary.
As you take a trip to see the wildlife in Vietnam, you find that this country is home to species like bears, elephants, tigers and leopards. You can also see some smaller animals such as squirrels, monkeys and otters. Wildlife in Vietnam would be incomplete without mentioning the reptiles. Each kind of reptile like snakes, crocodiles and lizards are visible in the country.
These various kinds of species usually dwell in the forest. Forests of Vietnam are generally dense and are home to the mammals. Vietnam boasts of extensive range of evergreens including rain forests. Though, deforestation usually takes place, but it is not as often as in other countries of Southeast Asia.
Wildlife in Vietnam includes various kinds of flora and fauna. Other than that you can see the indigenous animals of Vietnam. Agile Gibbon, Scylla paramamosain, Asian Elephant, Banteng, Triceratolepidophis, Bengal monitor, Blood python and Deinagkistrodon are the most renowned species of Vietnam. You can also see False gharial, Giant Muntjac and Green sea turtle widely in Vietnam. Hatinh Langur, Hawksbill turtle, Hog Badger, Indian Muntjac, Vietnamese Javan Rhinoceros, Indochinese Tiger and Kouprey are also worth mentioning here.
Some other native species are Lar Gibbon, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Leopard Cat, Lesser False Vampire Bat, Manouria emys, Marbled Cat, Mauremys annamensis, Ovophis monticola, Pelochelys cantorii, Pot-bellied pig, Truong Son Muntjac, Protobothrops jerdonii, Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Water monitor, Rafetus swinhoei, Red-shanked Douc, Reticulated Python, Rice-field rat and Saltwater Crocodile.
Look at the bird species as part of the wildlife in Vietnam. The avifauna of Vietnam features 848 species. 13 among them are common and 3 of them are introduced by humans. Other than the indigenous avian species, you can also see some migratory birds in this country, which come in different seasons, particularly in winters and in rainy seasons.
For those who wish to experience the natural environment at its best there is no better place to visit than Vietnam. Despite some disastrous bouts of deforestation, Vietnam's flora and fauna is as exotic, abundant and varied as any tropical country. Scientists are only just beginning to effectively catalogue the country's plant and animal life, and the government is showing some determined enthusiasm for ecological conservation.
A lot of wildlife is rapidly disappearing, thanks to population pressures and the destruction of habitats. Hunting, poaching and pollution have taken their toll, too. With a wide range of habitats - from equatorial lowlands to high, temperate plateaus and even alpine peaks - the wildlife of Vietnam is enormously diverse. It is home to 275 species of mammal more than 800 species of bird, 180 species of reptile, 80 species of amphibian, hundreds of species of fish and thousands of species of invertebrates. Every now and then Vietnam throws up a new creature that manages to elude scientific classification.
Vietnam's hot, moist climate is home to elephants, bears, tigers and leopards as well as some smaller animals like monkeys, squirrels, and otters. Reptiles such as crocodiles, snakes and lizards can be found that prosper in Vietnam. The forests are usually dense and home to the large mammals mentioned above, and have a broad range of evergreens in them, in addition to vegetation indigenous to rain forests. Deforestation happens, but not as frequently as in other Southeast Asian countries. Although the Vietnam War cleared most areas of vegetation, plant life has begun to revive.
Forests of Vietnam are generally dense and are home to the mammal species. Vietnam boasts of extensive range of evergreens including rain forests. Though, deforestation usually takes place, but it is not as often as in other countries of Southeast Asia.
Plan a wildlife viewing vacation in Vietnam and f you'll never forget the experience. Cities can provide a quick glimpse of your favorite buildings, institutions and monuments while safaris, wildlife parks, or rainforests will give you the adventure of a lifetime. Most areas with large populations of animals provide touring services and accommodations so that even if you’re not an animal expert, a guide will help you to follow the path of the herd and see and understand the animals better in their natural habitats.
There are 21 Wildlife Parks, National Parks, Game Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, State Parks and Wildlife Reserves in Vietnam.
- Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa Provinces
- Yok Don National Park, Dak Lak Province
- Cat Tien National Park, Dong Nai Province
- Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province
- Muong Nhe Nature Reserve, Lai Chau Province
- Lo Go Xa Mat National Park, Tay Ninh Province
- Cat Ba National Park, Hai Phong Province
- Phu Quoc National Park, Kien Giang Province
- Tam Dao National Park, Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen and Tuyen Quang Provinces
- Ba Vi National Park, Ha Tay Province
- Ba Be National Park, Bac Kan Province
- Kon Cha Rang Nature Reserve, Gia Lai Province
- Bach Ma National Park, Thua Thien-Hue Province
- Chu Yang Sin National Park, Dak Lak Province
- Hoang Lien National Park, Lao Cai Province
- Bidoup Nui Ba National Park, Lam Dong Province
- Xuan Thuy National Park, Nam Dinh Province
- Pu Mat National Park, Nghe An Province
- Con Dao National Park, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province
- Nui Chua National Park, Ninh Thuan Province
- Vu Quang National Park, Ha Tinh Province