AN OUTLINE OF ECOTOURISM IN VIETNAM
Situated in Southeast Asia; Vietnam is a tropical country with a humid monsoonal climate. Its territory stretches over 15 latitudes. Three quarters of the territory is covered by the mountains; hills and plateaus. The coastlines of Vietnam is 3.200 km.
Vietnam’s bio-diversity is highly evaluated because of the fact that there are 12.000 species of plants and 7.000 species of animals which have already been registered including many rare; endemic species listed in the Red Book of the world. Especially; in the 1980s; all the 5 species of as yet unknown big animals of the world were found in Vietnam. Besides; Vietnam also boasts a diversity of cultural identities of the ethnic minorities who constitutes integral parts of this country’s community of 54 nationalities. These constitute great original potentialities of Vietnamese ecotourism.
BA BE NATIONAL PARK
From Bac Kan Township; after traveling 60 km in the northwest direction; visitors will reach Ba Be National Park. Founded in 1977; the Park has a natural area of 76.000 ha. The center of the park is Ba Be Lake regarded as the most beautiful natural lake in Vietnam. This place houses 620 species of plants; 299 species of animals; 214 species of birds; 46 species of reptiles; 400 species of butterflies and 50 species of fish. Among them; there are many rare; endemic species that are facing the danger of extinction such as the truc day (a kind of ivory bamboo or Ampelocalamus genus; only found in Ba Be); khi bac ma (white-cheeked monkey or Trachipithecus Fraucoisi); cay huong (civet; Crotogale ownstoni); and vooc mui hech (upturnednosed monkey; Rhinopitecus avunculus).
Ba Be National Park boasts many attractive and beautiful landscapes such as: Ba Be Lake; Puong and Tham Kit Grottoes; Dau Dang Waterfall; Ao Tien (Fairy Pond). It is also an area inhabited by some ethnic minorities such as: Tay; Dao; H’Mong; and Nung who concentrate in the mountain hamlets of Pac Ngoi; Bo Lu; Cam; Him Dam; etc…
YOK DON NATIONAL PARK
Yok Don National Park was founded in 1991 in Buon Don District (Dak Lak Province); 40 km northwest of Buon Me Thuot City. It has an area of 58.000 ha and houses many ecosystems. The most well-known is the dry forest ecosystem characteristics of Southeast Asia .
In Yok Don; 464 species of plants and 311 species of animals are regarded as rare and endemic ones and listed in the Red Book of Vietnam such as the huong (sandal wood; pterocarpusindicus); cam lai (barian kingwood; dallergia bariensis); voi (elephant; elaphas maximus); bo rung (wild cow; bos banteng); bo xam (wild grey cow; bos sauveli); ho (tiger; panthera tigis); vooc ngu sac (variegated monkey; pygathrix nemaues); etc.
Yok Doon is full of many original local cultural values and is a busy and prosperous trade center of Indochina.
CAN GIO MANGROVE FOREST
The Can Gio mangrove forest is located in Can Gio District; 50 km southeast of the center of Ho Chi Minh City. coverring the area of 33.000 ha.
Can Gio is home to 72 species of mangrove trees; 70 species of river-bed animals; 137 species of fish; 9 species of amphibians; 31 species of reptiles; 129 species o birds and 18 species of mammals. Among them there are 21 rare and endemic species that are listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.
Thanks to its bio-diversity and environmental values; the Can Gio mangrove forest is recognized by UNESCO as the first bio-spherical reserve in Vietnam and in this region
The Can Gio mangrove forest is also well-known for the many values of Oc Eo ancient culture; the relics of war history and windy beaches that are found within its boundaries.
TRAM CHIM NATIONAL PARK
Established in 1999; covering an area of 7.600 ha; the park is situated in Tam Nong District; Dong Thap Province. It is designed to preserve the typical submerged in-land eco-system that develops mainly in Ha Tien; the Plain of Reeds and U Minh areas. The park boasts an diversified flora which includes some 130 species classified into 6 principle communities. Among them; the “ghost” rice and lotus are considered endemic species of the Plain of Reeds.
The Park’s fauna is of no less significance housing 110 species of surface animals and 23 species of river-bed animals; of which there are 55 species of fish. It is also the habitat of 198 species of birds; which account for one fourth of the total number of species of birds in Vietnam. Of them 16 are considered rare and endemic species.
PHONG NHA - KE BANG NATIONAL RESERVE
Located 50 km in the northwest of Dong Hoi Township; the 41.000 ha Phong Nha – Ke Bang Natural Reserve belongs to Bo Trach District; Quang binh Province. The system boasts various kinds of animals and plants which are listed in the Red Book of Vietnam. Especially; three new species of big animals in the world have been discovered recently here namely the mang lon (big muntjak; meganumtiacus vounanoensis); the sao la (a kind of wild buffalo; pseudoryx nghetinhcusis) and the mang Truong Son (Truong Son muntjak).
In the reserve 30 grottoes and caves have been discovered which were formed in the course of hercynian folding movements (mountain building) 300 millions years ago. Especially; the 7.729m long Phong Nha is praised by the international community as a grotto having seven superiorities in comparison with others of the world: the longest grotto; the highest and largest vault; the most beautiful underground lakes; the driest and biggest caves; the most beautiful and imposing stalagmites and stalactites; the longest underground river; the largest; nicest rocky and sand grounds. .