Seasoned giant trees in Cuc Phuong awaiting admiration

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SaigonTimes English - 67 month(s) ago 2 readings

Seasoned giant trees in Cuc Phuong awaiting admiration

Perhaps no place in Vietnam has as many centuries old trees as Cuc Phuong National Park which boasts ‘can’t miss’ nature tours, engaging cultural and wildlife heritages and enchanting scenery. Magnificent limestone mountains rise majestically behind green rice-terraces and traditional stilt houses of the Muong hill-tribe. Some of Asia’s rarest animals are enticing researchers, naturalists and conservationists to this corner of the world.

Seasoned giant trees in Cuc Phuong awaiting admiration

By Tran Minh in Thanh Hoa

A view of a prehistoric cave Perhaps no place in Vietnam has as many centuries old trees as Cuc Phuong National Park which boasts ‘can’t miss’ nature tours, engaging cultural and wildlife heritages and enchanting scenery. Magnificent limestone mountains rise majestically behind green rice-terraces and traditional stilt houses of the Muong hill-tribe. Some of Asia’s rarest animals are enticing researchers, naturalists and conservationists to this corner of the world.

Nestled between Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces, about 100 kilometers from Hanoi, the 22,000 hectare forest is the country’s first protected forest. It is famous for its biodiversity, and its trees, some of them with diameters over 10 meters, amaze people.

Cuc Phuong is home to the Muong whose villages dot the park’s perimeter, striking against the dense groves. A giant twin-tree in Cuc Phuong National Park - Photos: Tran Minh Tourists will see waterwheels, bamboo rafts, brocade looms and insights into the unique Muong culture.

To get to the park from Hanoi, catch a bus to Nho Quan Town on National Highway 1A and you are not far.

The visitor center at the gate sells entrance tickets, answers questions about attractions in the forest and recommends hotel accommodations and restaurants. Tickets are VND10,000 and rooms can be had for less than VND200,000 per night.

Beyond the gate is a 20 kilometer road heading to the center of the forest. Along it are many trails leading to giant trees.

Another attraction of the forest is a prehistoric grotto at a height of 40 meters on a limestone mountainside. To reach the cave you must conquer a flight of 200 stone steps. Archeologists believe the cave is 200-230 million years old. Three graves and a human fossil skeleton date back 7,500 years.

At night, visitors like to make a camp fire, listen to the sounds of the forest and discuss prehistoric man.

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