Established by Ho Chi Minh in 1962, Cuc Phuong was Vietnam’s first national park and it remains a wild jewel in the north of the country. The heavily forested subtropical lowlands shelter 135 mammal species, 336 bird species and 2234 species of plants. Some of the park’s most rare mammals include the clouded leopard, and Asian black bears. The park is as rich in beauty as it is in biodiversity. Dozens of trails lead to highlights such as Giao Thuy waterfall and Con Moong Cave, where evidence of prehistoric humans has been discovered. After spending two days exploring this wild place, guests will proceed to Ninh Binh, which is famous for its jutted karst formations and lush green rice paddies. Activities here include visits to Hoa Lu – the site of Vietnam’s first capital – and Van Long Nature Reserve, an expansive wetland where a boat trip by traditional sampan reveals extensive flora and fauna.
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