Saturday, December 11, 2010

Adventure hike in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam

Only 170 kilometers from HCMC, Cat Tien is an ideal piece of the wild for an Vietnam adventure trip.

Vietnam National Parks
At more than 71,000 hectares, Cat Tien National Park has plenty of untamed places that are off the beaten track.

Hiking or biking are the best ways to travel on the forest tracks. The park has important conservation value because of the rainforest, mountains, river and rich biodiversity that attracts thousands of tourists and scientists from all over the world.

Instead of risking it alone, the team at Vietnam Adventure, organizes hiking and biking trips into the Cat Tien jungle with a back-up crew to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Catch the bus from HCMC in the afternoon to the national park in Tan Phu Commune, Dong Nai Province, arriving in plenty of time for a good night’s sleep in accommodation at the park headquarters. The hike starts early the next day to avoid the mid-day heat and jungle humidity.

The destination is Green Hill; to get there the track goes past ethnic minority Ma and S’Tieng villages then continues through a thick bamboo jungle following one of the local tribe’s tracks. It’s likely to pass some of the minorities as they go about their business in the forest and see some deer and birdlife but the going is not easy. The tour arrives at the top of Green Hill, an inactive volcano over 300 meters above sea level in time for lunch. Before getting to the top, there’s a cave containing thousands of bats.

Another village path is taken for the trip down, which is a scramble over the loose red basalt soil. The scenery is different with streams, tall grass and bamboo.

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