Vietnam has been through many wars in the past, but despite that, it is still a stunning tourist destination. It has a lively culture and many animals and insects, some still new to scientists. Tourists visiting the country usually wonder if there are jungles in Vietnam.
Yes, there are jungles in Vietnam. According to a recent survey, around 44.5% (13,797,000 ha) of Vietnam is forested. Around 0.6% (80,000 ha) of this is classified as primary forest. Many of the forests in Vietnam are located in parks such as Ba Be Lake.
Related: Are There Pine Trees In Vietnam?
Are There Jungles In Vietnam?
A recent survey found that almost half, or 44.5%, of Vietnam consists of jungles. Many of the beautiful parks in Vietnam are situated in forested areas, and they are hosts to many animals.
The Northern Vietnam Lowland Rain Forests runs from the Red River to Tam Ky in Central Vietnam. The ecoregion’s rainforest has a tropical climate with rainfall measured between 55″ – 94″ (1,400 mm – 2,400 mm) per year.
This rainforest is home to over 11,200 animal species, 3,000 species of fish, 23,000 species of coral, and over 13,200 plant species. It is one of the world’s most varied ecosystems with varied landscapes, including cool Himalayan mountain foothills, limestone peaks, and tropical forests.
Are The Jungles In Vietnam Protected?
Yes, many parts of the Vietnam jungles are protected. Because of the terrible, destructive wars in the past, the jungles in Vietnam were devastated. It took decades of hard work and conservation efforts to see an improvement in the jungles of Vietnam.
One of the main contributors to the deforestation of the Southern jungles of Vietnam was a decade-long campaign in which the United States sprayed defoliants, including Agent Orange, across more than 600,000 ha. That was over 50 years ago, and these forested areas are still recovering.
Even with the conservation efforts in full swing, the future of the Vietnam forests looked grim by the 1980s, and the government knew it needed to do something. They decided to aim for a more market-driven economy to help save their forests.
This market-driven economy allowed a more multi-sector approach to dealing with the forests. It ensured the government shared control of the jungles with NGOs, management boards, and business and local communities. It helped provide much-needed funds to conserve and regrow their forests.
Together they divided the forests into three categories:
- Special-use, such as conservation and historical areas,
- Protection for watersheds, wave and storm barriers,
- Production – industry development.
These classifications remain in use today and have provided many residents with enough land to farm and care for to help with conservation. Since then, the government has passed many laws to protect forest health and expanded relationships with countries worldwide to support conservation efforts.
What Jungles Can Tourists See When Visiting Vietnam?
There are many parks in The Northern Vietnam Lowland Rain Forests that tourists can visit to see one of the most beautiful and scenic places on the earth. Some of these national parks are known for their beauty and diverse animal and plant life.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Cuc Phuong National Park was consecrated by Ho Chi Minh himself and is the oldest national park in Vietnam. The park is home to a vast and dense forest with trees that are thousands of years old. It is also the biggest national park in Vietnam and has tons of things for visitors to do.
There are pre-historic caves to explore, botanical gardens to visit, and it is home to two animal sanctuaries. The Endangered Primate Rescue Centre rescues and helps rehabilitate illegally captured primates. The Turtle Conservation Center runs rescues and rehabilitates turtles and runs breeding programs.
The best time of year to visit Cuc Phuong National Park is in the spring (May and April). These months have rising temperatures, but tourists will also see thousands of butterflies emerging, a stunning sight if you love butterflies.
There are also stunning sights to see during the winter months between December and January but remember to take the appropriate clothes as there is a bit of a winter chill.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to many of the world’s largest caves and is perfect for those tourists who love to explore. It is a UNESCO-recognised national park and is home to tenacious rivers and vast forested areas.
Tourists can go hiking, cycling, and kayaking. There are also cave tours that visitors can book, with some lasting from afternoon outings to four-day expeditions ( perfect for those who are Speleologists at heart).
The best time of year to visit Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is between March and April, right after the winter rains. But unfortunately, most of the caves are not accessible during the rainy months, and visitors won’t get the whole park experience.
Ba Be National Park
This national park is home to vast forested areas, waterfalls, and bat caves. One of the main attractions of this park is the calm lakes that make it the perfect place for boat outings, swimming, and fishing trips.
The park has impressive hiking or biking trails that follow along the water. The Ba Be National Park is home to the Tay, one of Vietnam’s most prominent ethnic groups. The Tay are friendly and welcoming to visitors of the park. Guided tours are also available for those who want to experience as much of the park as possible.
The best time of year to visit Ba Be National Park is between the months of July and October. However, even during the winter season, the forests are lush and green, and visitors won’t need to worry about the heat of summer putting a damper on their vacation plans.
Cat Ba National Park
Cat Ba National Park has stunning beaches and mountaintop views that amaze visitors. The park offers challenging hiking trails that lead over the mountain pass to Viet Hai. Viet Hai is an isolated village that is not accessible by roads and is a cultural gem to visit.
The Viet Hai has some basic homestays that visitors can rent. This area is also home to the White-Headed Langur, one of the most endangered primate species globally. These primates sometimes visit the locals at Viet Hai so tourists might catch a glimpse of this stunning mammal.
The best time of year to visit Cat Ba National Park is September – November. There may be storms, but these are the most comfortable months. May – July are the hottest months, but for those who don’t mind the heat, it is the perfect time to see the stunning plant life and bright orange sunsets.