Journey to Nam Cat Tien: Discovering the ‘Self’ in the Wild Nature

Situated 4hrs from Ho Chi Minh City, Cat Tien National Park is a World Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO with rich biodiversity that makes it perfect for a short exploration trip.

When you reach Nam Cat Tien, you’ll see the refreshing greenness of nature all around – with its abundant trees and grass. It’s not difficult to understand the reason why Cat Tien is recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve. The area consists of about 50% forests, 40% bamboo forests, and 10% farmland. Animals like black-shanked douc langur, yellow-cheeked gibbons, and lorises, javan rhinoceros, tiger, leopard, panda, golden deer, and crocodile are some of the distinct species found here. The place also boasts a variety of birds, including black eagles, white-winged ducks, and great hornbills. Cat Tien is home to 40 species mentioned in the IUCN Red List, with special attention on the one-horned rhinoceros. Moreover, this also serves as the “home” for 300 bird species, and over half of the country’s species of butterflies, totaling more than 450 species.

The best time to visit Nam Cat Tien is from December to May, when rain is less, making it convenient for travel and discovering natural beauty. With its extensively green environment and remarkable places to visit, Cat Tien National Park is a great option for people to experience ‘slow living’ moments, explore nature and biology.

When you visit Nam Cat Tien, renting a bicycle to explore the tree-lined paths is a wonderful idea. Feeling the breeze in your hair, smelling the fresh and sweet scents of nature, suddenly, all the tiredness of life seems to melt away. Another experience is to take a boat ride in Bau Sau Lake – Crocodile Lake. Get to Bau Sau, you need to sit on an open-top truck from the center of the forest management board for a distance of about 10km then hike in the primary forest for an additional 5km.

The wilderness and ecological diversity of Nam Cat Tien National Park never fail to amaze visitors, esp. when you are pursuing study trips. Here, you will get closer to nature than ever in Vietnam, exploring and conquering a land that’s situated pretty close to the city, yet even the locals seldom visit without passion. So far, the main visitors to Nam Cat Tien are from institutions all over the world, from universities, from associations of the nature-lovers or of those who are researching unique species, including birds, amphibians or reptiles. Yet, right after the pandemic, when travelers start to look for more natural reserves and isolated areas to discover and immerse themselves into the wild greenery, it is hopeful that the area will soon become an attraction not just for students and researchers, but visitors with inquisitive minds and hearts.  

Nam Cat Tien will become a destination not just for students and researchers, but also for curious travelers seeking an adventure in the wild.


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