Cuc Phuong National Park Travel Guide for Nature Lovers

Cuc Phuong National Park Travel Guide for Nature Lovers

If you are a nature lover, Cuc Phuong Forest is an unmissable destination. Not only does it offer a variety of eco-tourism and environmental exploration activities, but this place also houses many prehistoric caves full of intrigue, promising unforgettable experiences. Discover this destination with BDATrip now!

Where is Cuc Phuong Forest located?

Cuc Phuong is not just a special-use forest but also a vast natural reserve located across three provinces: Thanh Hóa, Hòa Bình, and Ninh Bình. The location of this national park often piques the interest of many visitors eager to explore it. Particularly on the Thanh Hóa tourist map, Cuc Phuong always attracts attention.

Cuc Phuong Forest is one of the largest forests in Vietnam
Cuc Phuong Forest is one of the largest forests in Vietnam

Covering about 22,408 hectares, Cuc Phuong is one of the largest national parks, home to a rich and diverse ecosystem. This not only attracts scientists but is also an ideal spot for those who love to discover and experience eco-tourism. The park is also home to many rare animals, providing visitors the opportunity to observe and learn more about the wild nature.

Using the map of Cuc Phuong Forest, visitors can easily plan their trip. This not only helps you engage with various forms of tourism like environmental and exploratory travel but also offers memorable experiences in this deep green forest.

Exploring Cuc Phuong Forest and its must-see highlights

Check-in at Cuc Phuong Forest with its majestic greenery

Cuc Phuong National Park, a favorite destination for visitors to Thanh Hóa, is renowned for its pristine beauty and biological diversity. Here are some compelling experiences you should not miss when visiting this area:

  • Cuc Phuong Botanical Garden: Covered by a tropical rainforest, this garden offers a cool space and is home to many rare animals, including the distinctive white-shanked douc langur.
  • Rescue and Conservation Center: This center specializes in the nurturing and conservation of primate species. Here, you can witness conservation activities and learn more about the biodiversity of the forest.
  • Cuc Phuong Museum: At the museum, you can explore specimens ranging from insects to wildlife such as dragonflies, walking sticks, cicadas, and various birds.
  • Silver Cloud Peak: Conquering this 648m high peak, you will enjoy the magnificent landscape of the forest and have distant views to the ancient capital of Hoa Lư and Bai Dinh Temple. Note, the path to the top is quite challenging and requires caution.
  • Yên Quang Lake: The road to Yên Quang Lake is very convenient, via Nho Quan and Tri Phương Bridge. The lake stands out with its tranquil and beautiful scenery, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and sightseeing.
  • Mường Village: Explore the lifestyle of the Mường community, where you can visit traditional stilt houses, observe weaving techniques, or admire the beautiful terraced fields.
  • Explore prehistoric caves: Discovering caves like the Ancient Human Cave, Con Moong Cave, Mang Chiêng Cave, and Crescent Moon Cave offers an exciting adventure into the history and geology of the area.
Every corner in the forest can easily create wonderful frames
Every corner in the forest can easily create wonderful frames

Butterfly season photo hunt

Every May, Cuc Phuong Forest transforms into a butterfly paradise. During this period, thousands of colorful butterflies gather, creating a spectacular scene that draws the attention of visitors. This event not only offers the chance to capture impressive photos but also highlights a feature that attracts visitors to Cuc Phuong Forest in Ninh Bình during the butterfly season.

Butterfly season creates brilliant, shimmering photos
Butterfly season creates brilliant, shimmering photos

The vibrant and enchanting beauty of butterflies fluttering in the lush green space of the forest has become a signature symbol, making every visitor want to experience and leave an unforgettable mark on their journey of discovering nature.

What to note when visiting Cuc Phuong National Park?

Latest ticket prices for visiting Cuc Phuong Forest

Here is the price list for entrance tickets to Cuc Phuong National Park, applicable to different groups, calculated in Vietnamese Dong (VND) per ticket:

  • Children under 5 years old: Free
  • Children: 10,000 VND
  • Students: 20,000 VND
  • Adults: 60,000 VND
Cuc Phuong forest with rows of hundred-year-old trees
Cuc Phuong forest with rows of hundred-year-old trees

Important note: The above ticket prices only include the entrance fee to the National Park and do not cover other auxiliary services such as vehicle rental, boat rental, food, or tour guides. Students wishing to avail of the discounted rate need to present a valid student ID at the time of purchase.

When is the best month to visit Cuc Phuong Forest?

Cuc Phuong Forest, located at the junction of three provinces in the North Central Coast, the Red River Delta, and the Northwest, offers a diverse climate throughout the year, creating ideal conditions for visits depending on the time of year:

  • November to January: The winter season, with complex weather conditions and challenging roads, is not the ideal time to explore the primeval forests.
  • February to April: Early spring, when the weather warms up, is a wonderful time to enjoy the cool, comfortable landscape of the forest. This is also the ideal time to encounter characteristic animals such as the stump-tailed macaque and the pheasant...
  • End of April to May: This is the perfect time to visit Cuc Phuong Forest, especially during the butterfly season when you can admire the blossoming beauty of thousands of butterflies and explore the richness of flora and fauna.
  • June to August: The summer season, if you are looking for a cool place away from the harsh sun, Cuc Phuong Forest is an unbeatable choice.
  • August to October: The autumn season, with cooler weather and less crowded, is the ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and exploring nature.
Going to Cuc Phuong forest in the summer is a perfect choice
Going to Cuc Phuong forest in the summer is a perfect choice

Each season, Cuc Phuong Forest dresses up in its unique beauty, inviting visitors to come and explore.

Choosing routes and means of transport to Cuc Phuong National Park

To visit Cuc Phuong National Park, visitors can choose from various means of transport, depending on convenience and personal preference.

Here are some suggestions for transport and routes you might consider:

  • Motorbikes and private cars: From Hanoi, follow National Highway 1A. When you reach Gián Khẩu intersection in Ninh Bình, turn onto National Highway 12A. Then proceed through Nho Quan town for about 2km more to reach the national park. This option is popular among those who want the freedom to explore and can easily access deeper forest areas.
  • Buses: If you are departing from Giáp Bát bus station, you can choose a bus line going to Nho Quan. From there, you can continue your journey by bus or taxi to Cuc Phuong National Park. This option is suitable for those without personal vehicles.

What to eat when visiting Cuc Phuong National Park

During a visit to Cuc Phuong Forest, in addition to exploring nature, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy many attractive local dishes. Although the prices of food in the tourist area are somewhat high, you can opt for restaurants outside the forest with a diverse menu, affordable prices, and many specialties of Thanh Hóa:

  • Nem chua: A local specialty, nem chua is made from pork, pork skin, and distinctive spices. Although simple, this dish has charmed many visitors.
  • Shrimp paste: A dish you should not miss when visiting Thanh Hóa, shrimp paste is made from fresh shrimp caught from Sầm Sơn beach, creating a delicious and irresistible flavor.
  • Nhệch fish sauce: This dish has a unique flavor but is refreshingly sweet, providing a new sensation for the palate. The method of preparing nhệch fish sauce is also quite unique and worth trying.
  • Sticky rice cake (bánh ít): A traditional cake often bought as a souvenir. The sticky rice cake has a delicious flavor and is an excellent choice for a meaningful gift after your trip.


You should be fully equipped with personal items when visiting Cuc Phuong forest
You should be fully equipped with personal items when visiting Cuc Phuong forest

Choosing to eat at locations outside of Cuc Phuong Forest not only helps you save costs but also provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the local culinary culture.

Essential equipment for exploring Cuc Phuong National Park

When planning a visit to Cuc Phuong National Park, carefully preparing necessary items will make your trip safer and more convenient. Here is a list of items you should bring:

  • Hats and caps: Protect your head and face from sunlight and tree branches in the forest.
  • Snacks and water: Keep your body hydrated and energized, especially during long trips.
  • First aid kit: Includes bandages, antiseptics, and basic medical supplies to quickly handle minor injuries or insect bites.
  • Insect repellent: Apply on the skin to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects, especially important in a tropical forest environment.
  • Camera and binoculars: Capture beautiful moments and observe flora and fauna as well as wildlife from a distance.
  • Mosquito repellent cream: Particularly important to apply on exposed areas such as the face, wrists, and ankles. This helps prevent mosquito bites and protects your health throughout the trip.

Additionally, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to minimize direct contact with plants and insects. And don't forget to bring sturdy hiking shoes to ensure comfort and safety when moving across different terrains.

Cuc Phuong Forest is a must-visit destination when traveling in Ninh Bình. Not only does it offer the serene beauty of nature, but it also provides an opportunity to explore the rich biodiversity and unique cultural aspects of the local community. When planning your trip, be sure to remember these tips for exploring the forest!

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