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Wildlife Discovery, Cuc Phuong National Park & Ninh Binh

4 Days / 3 Nights

Overview

Go wild! Hit the trails of Cuc Phuong, the country’s first national park, to encounter endangered primates and other exotic animals living in the dense forest. Then hop aboard a boat in Van Long, Vietnam’s largest wetlands, to a discover a diverse mix of flora, fauna and birdlife. 

Trip Highlights

Wildlife Discovery, Cuc Phuong National Park & Ninh Binh

See Cuc Phuong’s remarkable wildlife

Visit a primate rescue centre and turtle conservation area, then trek through the National Park to see more exotic animals.

Explore Vietnam’s first capital

Take a guided tour of Hoa Lu, the 10th century capital city, and discover ancient temples and citadel ruins.

Admire Van Long Nature Reserve

Travel by boat through Vietnam’s largest wetland reserve to see an incredible array of flora, fauna and bird species.

Itinerary

1

Hanoi – Cuc Phuong National Park

Hanoi to Cuc Phuong National Park (110km): 2.5hours

This morning depart from Hanoi to transfer by road to Cuc Phuong National Park, in Ninh Binh province of the Red River delta. Cuc Phuong National Park was established in 1962 by President Ho Chi Minh as Vietnam’s first National Park, and is renowned for both its scenery and its flora and fauna including many endangered species. The National Park is exceptionally rich in biodiversity and is said to be home to 2234 species of plants. 122 species of reptiles and amphibians, 135 species of mammals and 336 bird species. Some of the park’s rarest and most famous resident mammals include the Clouded Leopard, Delacour’s Langur, Ownston’s Civet and Asian Black Bears. Even though some larger animals like panthers and bears make Cuc Phuong their home, they are rarely seen.

On arrival at the Cuc Phuong National Park take a visit around the interesting Visitors Center and be introduced to some of the park's valuable natural resources and its unique environment. The center aims to increase the conservation awareness of visitors as well as local Vietnamese students. Enjoy a simple yet delicious lunch at a local restaurant in the park’s headquarters.

The Cuc Phuong Endangered Primate Rescue Center and the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center are two important research centers vital for the breeding, rehabilitation and preservation of animals rescued from poachers. Both centers are open to visitors during the day and a stop will be made here after visiting the Visitors Center. The Cuc Phuong Endangered Primate Rescue Center homes species like the Delacour’s Languor, Golden-headed Languor, Tonkin Snub-nosed Languor and Black Crested Gibbon. This is one of the highlights of a visit to Cuc Phuong where guests can observe some of the rarest primate species in the world. If time permits also visit the Turtle Conservation Centre.

Responsible tourism:

Visiting Cuc Phuong National Park contributes to supporting wildlife protection efforts in Vietnam.The Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC) of Park is a non-profit organization managed by Frankfurt Zoological Society. This center is also a component of the “Vietnam Primate Conservation Programme” set up by the Ministry of Forestry. Since its establishment in 1993, its has led important activities including a program to release captive animals back into the wild and nine species have been successfully bred in captivity.

The Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) established in 1998 by Fauna and Flora International, a British non-profit organization, is the flagship in Vietnam regarding turtle conservation efforts. More than 10 years ago, the center has been transferred to the park management which is leading a range of conservation activities including establishment of assurance populations for five priority species, raising awareness, training of enforcement officers, research, and building interest and expertise, particularly amongst students in research and conservation of Chelonians.

In the afternoon, visit the Cave of Prehistoric Man, where human skeletons and stone tools dated to some 7.500 years ago.

In the evening, the national park guide and the local guide will take guests to reenter the pitch black forest and with the aid of a spotting lamp.  you might be able to Spot the forest’s numerous nocturnal creatures, which include civets, owls, flying squirrels, lories, bats and cats.

Tonight’s accommodation is in the simple guest house inside the national park.

Overnight in Cuc Phuong National Park.

2

Cuc Phuong National Park – Ninh Binh

Cuc Phuong National Park to Ninh Binh (50km): 1.5hrs

Wake to the singing of gibbons and the sounds of the surrounding forest. This morning after breakfast, embark on the 7km loop trail adventure to visit the 1000-year old tree. This 7km loop trail offers an opportunity to discover the tropical fauna and flora of the national park. Enjoy a rustic lunch at the restaurant in the national park.

In the afternoon, cycle about 7km to Yen Quang Lake and ride around the village to see life style of locals

Transfer to Ninh Binh in late afternoon for staying overnight

Overnight in Ninh Binh

3

Ninh Binh

This morning after breakfast hop on the bike to take a 10 km bicycle tour through peaceful northern village to Vietnam’s ancient capital of Hoa Lu, the country’s first centralised feudal state from the end of the 10th century. While the ancient citadel has largely disappeared, the temples of the Dinh and Le dynasties still stand surrounded by rice paddies, then cycling 5 km to Nguyen Minh Khong saint - the father of Bronze carving since the 11th century.  End of biking trip at a local restaurant for lunch and relaxing.

In the afternoon, visit Van Long Nature Reserve for a boat trip. Covering an area of nearly 3,000 hectares, Van Long is the largest wetland nature reserve in the North of Vietnam and a 1.5 hour boat trip by traditional sampan is the perfect way to see this area.  Van Long’s fauna includes 39 species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Some of these species have been classified as globally endangered animals such as the white-breeched languor which can be seen occasionally in the early morning or late afternoon.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

4

Ninh Binh – Hanoi & Depart

Routes can change subject to client’s interest

Spend the morning free at leisure before transferring by road back to Hanoi (approx. 2 hours)

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Accommodation based on Double/Twin shared with breakfast.
  • Transfer by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • English speaking local guide (one place – one guide).
  • All admission fee at attractions as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottle water (2x500ml) & wet towels during sightseeing.

Our Services Exclude:

  • Vietnam visa arrangement (Visa is compulsory and must be arranged in advance).
  • Beverages at mealtime + Optional visits + Personal expenses (Telephone, laundry…).
  • International and Domestic Flights (see separate quote).
  • Tips for guide, driver, boat crew & hotels’ porters.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance. We strongly recommend purchase a travel insurance covering medical evacuation before your trip.
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the Package Inclusion above.

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