If you are a nature lover, and wish to explore natural primary forest, then Cat Tien National Park will be one of the choices that should not to be missed in Dong Nai province. So, in order to help you to discover Cat Tien national park this year, our below article will guide you how to experience Cat Tien national park with the highlights of activities.
Overview of Cat Tien National Park
It is about 150 km east of Saigon, the famous tourist destination of Cat Tien National Park (belong to Dong Nai province, Binh Phuoc province, and Lam Dong province) stretches along the Dong Nai River.
This famous tourist site is separated from the crowded residential area, Cat Tien National Park with abundant ecosystem and many rare and precious plants and animals, which have been recognized by UNESCO as the Biosphere Reserve of the world.
When you should visit Cat Tien National Park
In order to choose the most suitable time to visit Cat Tien National Park, you should come to this place from December to May every year.
The reason is that at this time, the weather is good, the sun makes the forest dry, and rain is less. It is very convenient for trips to explore the forest.
However, if you have no choice in the ideal season and you have to go from June to November, you should be careful because this time often appears the unusual rain, which make the forest is always wet. Therefore, the appearance of leeches, damp ground, and slippery trail… must also be important things that visitors should note.
In case you have to visit Cat Tien national park in the rainy season, you should take the initiative to bring raincoats, umbrellas, medical supplies and hiking boots when entering the national park.
How to go to Cat Tien National Park
There are many people often make questions: which means of transportation should take to reach Cat Tien National Park and how to take the bus… Now, we can find out how to go there.
According to our travel experience, there are two ways to go to Cat Tien National Park, you can take a public bus or you drive with your private vehicles.
If you take a coach
From Saigon, you can buy bus tickets to Cat Tien National Park; you can choose one of below bus companies. When you get in the bus, you can request the driver drop you at the entrance of the national park. They are included the following bus companies:
Kim HoanBus Company (the address at counters 5, Mien Dong bus station)
Phuong Trang bus company – tel: 08 3920 6571
Thanh Buoi bus company – tel: 08 38306306
If you ride a motorbike or drive a car
From Saigon, you drive in National Way 1A – National Way 20, and then turn left onto National Road 20 at DauGiay junction. When you reach Ta Lai junction, turn left and go straight to Cat Tien national park.
Pay attention to direction board and entrance fees
Admission ticket to visit Cat Tien national park
According to experience of visiting Cat Tien National Park, you spend about 60,000 VND per person for entrance fee.
Car rental fee to explore Cat Tien National Park
Above fee is only the entrance fee for Cat Tien National Park, however, in order to reach Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake), there are two ways to get there:
Firstly, to have an experience trip and see the scenery of the forest, you can rent a bicycle for about 30,000 VND / hour.
Secondly, if you go in-group and you want to explore the forestquickly, you can rent a Jeep, the cost of car rental about 500,000 VND / return ticket.
When you come to Bau Sau, you will pay about 200,000 VND / person more for entrance fee.
Where to stay in Cat Tien national park
If you want to find a accommodation to stay overnight right in the center of Cat Tien National Park, you can choose some “natural” lodges: Elephant lodge, Go Do lodge, Bang Lang lodge with room rates from 300,000 VND to 500,000 VND/room/night.
In addition, if you do not want to stay inside the national park, you can choose one of resorts or hotels in front of national park with better price:
+ Green Hope Lodge: We can say that room rates here are quite cheap from 140,000 VND to 800,000 VND per night depending on room type.
+ Cat Tien Forest Call Lodge: room rates from 80,000 VND to 700,000 VND / night /room.
+ Cat Tien Jungle Lodge: This is the best quality hotel in Cat Tien National Park, room rate from 1.600.000 VND – 4.000.000 VND / night / room.
You should consult your schedule; you may stay in lodges outside the national park center. It is convenient for sightseeing inside and outside the national park. If you stay inside the national park, you cannot go out to visit the town at night because of no boat.
If your schedule has camping or picnic activities, you should stay inside the national park to organize funny games.
In addition, you can also stay at the homestay in Nam Cat Tien area, to facilitate for moving near the national park and and explore the local people life.
What to see in Cat Tien National Park
Coming to Cat Tien National Park, you will be impressed by the pristine nature and the mysteries of the primeval forest.
Especially, there are many kinds of precious wood.This area is home of many rare wild animals: bears, monkeys, gaur, monkeys, gibbon, peacock….
So when you come to Cat Tien National Park, what you need to see?
Watching Butterfly throughout the forest at the beginning of the rainy season
Rainy season start in late May and early June, if you go on this occasion, you will encounter scenes very attractive and full of poetic. It is through the paths in the forest, thousands of butterflies fly everywhere in the air create beautiful natural paintings.
This season, photographers looking for butterflies often come here to take pictures of butterflies and birds. You can also rent bikes for sightseeing, or jeep ride to the garden, in the area of many butterflies, driver will stop for you to visit and take photos.
Visiting the botanical garden with many kinds of precious wood
In the Cat Tien National Park, visitors will be able to admire many precious woods that are hundred years old. In addition, there are more than 300 species of precious wood, which are characteristic of the South East.
You can do night safari tour
Perhaps this will be one of the interesting activity for you when experienced in this jungle. You can rent a bicycle or walk to see the wildlife at nighttime.
However, in order to make this unique tour you need to contact the management of national park, forest guards or local guides to be able to do this activity or not.
The reason is that in the forest there are many dangerous animals such as bear, gaur, and wild boar. Therefore, you need to be careful in the process of sightseeing and moving.
If you cannot do this tour, you can visit the place of living of ethnic minorities Ma, Tay and S’tieng.
Visit Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake)
In order to reach the destination (about 15 km), you need to ride a bike or rent a jeep to get there. You will transfer by jeep about 10 km; the remaining 5km completely moved by walking, the jeep cannot get inside.
However, due to the trail have clear instructions, so you can trek by yourself without losing the way. If you are not confident to your experience, you can hire a local tour guide withthe cost about 500.000 VND / day.
This is a large lake area, attracting many birds and animals live around. Especially, this place is recognized by UNESCO as the second Ramsar area of Vietnam, where has the largest number of freshwater crocodiles in our country.
Come here, you do not only sightseeing, trekking through forest trail, but also have the opportunity to sit on the boat go around the lake, watching the crocodile swim in the water and bite some fishes beside your boat, that will make make you panic. It is also an attractive experience.
Get in the jungle to see Tung trees
Tung tree is located about 15km from the center of Cat Tien National Park; you have to walk a long distance. The Tung tree is about 400 years old;it has the height of more than 8 meters with a wide canopy that looks very majestic and impressive.
This Tung tree is located on the way to visit Bau Sau, if you visit Crocodile Lake you can combine to stop at Tung tree. If the schedule is only in the center of the national park, you should visit other smaller Tung tree, about 1 or 2 km from the center with walking distance.
Visit Ben Cu waterfall
Ben Cu Waterfall is about 3 km from the center of the national park. Actually, this is a rapid with swift flowing water so people call it is a waterfall. The waterfall is not as high as in many other places.
However, this area has many leeches in the rainy season, the water flowing very strong, so you should be careful; avoid slipping and falling down to water or rock.
Attractions around Cat Tien National Park
In addition to the national park, there are many ideal destinations such as Cat Tien Pagoda, Cat Tien Market, waterfalls, suspension bridge, pepper gardens, rice fields of farmer… You should visit all these places in an afternoon, because they are located in a radius of 2 – 3 km.
Just rent a motorbike you can visit everywhere, visit the beautiful things or nice places. There are not many items inside attractions, so you can just check-in place for photo and go back to make the trip more meaningful.
In addition to the above sites, you can also visit some other tourist attractions such as Sky Falls, White Rock Hill, Bat cave…
We hope our experience in Cat Tien National Park can help you in your trip! If you like to have the professional tour to Cat Tien National Park from Dalat city then transfer to Ho Chi Minh city, you can be easy to take this tour ➤ Dalat – Cat Tien National Park Tour Package