Cuc Phuong National Park: Highlights, Detailed Guide & Itineraries Skip to content
Cuc Phuong National Park: Highlights, Detailed Guide And Suggested Itinerary
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Cuc Phuong National Park: Highlights, Detailed Guide And Suggested Itinerary


Discover if Cuc Phuong National Park is worth visiting. Learn about its highlights, nearby attractions, accommodation options, the best time to visit, and more with Aloha Vietnam Travel

Is Cuc Phuong National Park Worth Visiting?

Cuc Phuong National Park is a famous tourist destination. However, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you are someone who enjoys lively and crowded spaces, engages in exciting recreational activities, or prefers a relaxing vacation, Cuc Phuong National Park may not be the ideal choice for you. The park is relatively remote and there are not many restaurants or shops in the area. Additionally, the weather can be hot and humid, so it is important to be prepared for that. 

On the contrary, Cuc Phuong National Park is an ideal destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences. There are many hiking trails to explore, as well as opportunities to go camping, biking, and visiting the park's many caves. 

Overview of Cuc Phuong National Park Vietnam

Where is Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong National Park is situated in the northern part of Vietnam, specifically in the province of Ninh Binh. It is located approximately 130 kilometers southwest of Hanoi. Cuc Phuong forest is nestled between the Truong Son Mountain Range and the Red River Delta. The park's central location in northern Vietnam makes it easily accessible for visitors traveling from Hanoi or other nearby cities. Spanning a vast area of 22,200 hectares, the park boasts a diverse range of plant and animal species.

How to get to Cuc Phuong National Park 

Hanoi to Cuc Phuong National Park

Get to Cuc Phuong National Park By bus

There are regular buses from Hanoi to Cuc Phuong National Park. The journey takes about 3 hours. Head to the Giap Bat or My Dinh bus station in Hanoi, where you can find buses going to Ninh Binh. You should go between 8 am - 3 pm. The Bus take you from Hanoi to Nho Quan. When arriving Nho Quan, take a taxi to reach the park. 

Get to Cuc Phuong National Park By Car

The drive to Cuc Phuong National Park takes about 2.5 hours. The best route is to take Highway 1A to Nho Quan, then follow the signs to the park.

Get to Cuc Phuong National Park By Mortobike

You can rent a Mortobkie for more adventure experiences. Use a map or GPS navigation to set the route from Hanoi to Cuc Phuong National Park. The park is located approximately 130 kilometers. 

You can take the following general route:

  • From Hanoi, head southwest on National Road 21B towards Ninh Binh City.
  • Continue on National Road 21B until you reach Gia Vien District.
  • From Gia Vien District, take Provincial Road 491 to Cuc Phuong National Park.

It's also important to wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, and carry necessary documents such as your identification card, driver's license, and bike registration papers.

Get to Cuc Phuong National Park By Organized Tour

Another convenient option is to join an organized tour from Hanoi. Many tour operators offer day trips or multi-day excursions to Cuc Phuong National Park, providing transportation, guides, and a structured itinerary. This is a suitable option if you do not want to drive or take the bus.

Ninh Binh to Cuc Phuong National Park

If you are already in Ninh Binh, you can take a local bus or hire a taxi to reach Cuc Phuong National Park. The park is about 45 kilometers southeast of Ninh Binh City, and the journey typically takes around 1-1.5 hours.

Start your journey from Ninh Binh City and head in the southeast direction. You can use a map or GPS navigation to guide you along the way. Look for signs or ask locals for directions to Provincial Road 491, stay on Provincial Road 491, and follow it until you reach Cuc Phuong National Park. Once you arrive near the park, you will see signs indicating the entrance. Proceed to the park's entrance gate where you can pay the entrance fee and start your exploration of Cuc Phuong National Park.

Cuc Phuong Natural Park History

Cuc Phuong National Park is the oldest national park in Vietnam. It was established on July 7, 1962, becoming the first national park in Vietnam. It was initially created to protect the unique natural resources and biodiversity of the region.

The park has a long history of human habitation. The remains of prehistoric humans dating back 7,000-12,000 years ago have been found in numerous caves within the park. During the war, the park was the site of a major battle and was heavily bombed, but it has since recovered and is now a popular tourist destination.

Travel Guide - Cuc Phuong Natural Park 

Best time to visit Cuc Phuong National Park Ninh Binh 

The ideal time to visit Cuc Phuong National Park is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. This period offers cooler and more pleasant weather conditions. The park tends to be less crowded, allowing for a more serene experience.

If catching the butterfly festival is your interest, plan your visit for April and May. However, remember that the park can become quite crowded during this time. 

During the wet season, which occurs from May to October, the weather tends to be hot and humid. While this time can be less crowded, it's worth considering that some trails may be temporarily closed due to occasional flooding. On the bright side, if you have a penchant for swimming or kayaking, the wet season offers opportunities for such marine activities.

Cuc Phuong National Park Map

The park is divided into three distinct zones: the core zone, the buffer zone, and the transition zone. The core zone serves as a highly protected area, housing the park's most endangered species. It is dedicated to their conservation and preservation. The buffer zone, on the other hand, is where the majority of the park's tourist activities are concentrated. Here, visitors can engage in various recreational and educational experiences. The transition zone lies between the buffer zone and the neighboring communities, creating a seamless connection between the park and the surrounding areas.

Cuc Phuong National Park Entrance Fee

Opening time: 8 AM- 6 PM daily 

Entrance Fee:

  • Adults: 60,000 VND
  • Students: 20,000 VND
  • Children: 10,000 VND

The entrance fee includes a visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre. If you want to visit the Botanical Garden, there is an additional fee of 20,000 VND for adults and 10,000 VND for children.

You can buy the entrance ticket at the park's reception. The ticket is valid for one day.

Here are some other fees that you may incur while visiting Cuc Phuong National Park:

  • Camping: 50,000 VND per night
  • Hiking: 30,000 VND per day
  • Cave exploration: 50,000 VND per cave
  • Bicycle rental: 50,000 VND per day

Things to do in Cuc Phuong National Park

What to do in Cuc Phuong National Park?  Let’s look at the suggested activities below: 

Trekking and Hiking in Cuc Phuong National Park

The park features a network of well-marked trails that wind through its lush forests and stunning landscapes. There are many hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging. Some of the most popular trails include the Bach Thuoc Trail, the Da Vo Trail, and the Muong Village Trail.

Cuc Phuong National Park offers a variety of jungle trek routes catering to different durations, ranging from a few hours to 2-3 days. There are many hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging. These routes are designed to provide an immersive and informative experience for tourists, with park guides and English-speaking guides accompanying the treks. Popular trails within the park lead you to ancient trees, gorgeous caves, and Muong villages. 

For those seeking a longer adventure, Ngoc Son Nature Reserve and Pu Luong Nature Reserve can be accessed through extended trekking periods, with overnight camping options available. To add to the excitement, the national park also offers mountain bike rentals, allowing you to cycle through the lush forest and enjoy a truly fantastic experience.

Visit Primate Rescue Center

Get a chance to observe and learn about various primate species. This center serves as a haven for approximately 180 primates, encompassing 15 different species. Among them are several critically endangered primates, including the Cat Ba Langur, Delacour's Langur, and the Grey-Shanked Douc Langur. 

Explore Caves in Cuc Phuong National Park

Cuc Phuong is known for its fascinating cave systems. Explore caves like the Cave of Prehistoric Man (Nguoi Xua Cave), where ancient artifacts have been discovered. The park offers guided tours, allowing you to witness the geological wonders and uncover the secrets of these underground caverns.

Watch Cuc Phuong National Park Wildlife

With its rich biodiversity, Cuc Phuong National Park is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species, including rare and colorful birds. Remember to grab your binoculars and explore the park's various habitats. 

Visit Botanical Gardens

Established in 1985, Cuc Phuong Botanical Garden holds the distinction of being Vietnam's first botanical garden situated within a national park. Recognized as one of Vietnam's three botanical gardens on the International Botanical Gardens list, it serves as a vital sanctuary for the preservation of gene resources and rare plant species. 

As you stroll through the garden, you'll be greeted by the melodic songs of gibbons and birds, especially in the tranquil hours of early morning. The serene atmosphere and lush surroundings provide an ideal setting for immersing yourself in nature's wonders. 

Experience Local Cultural 

There is a Muong village located inside the park, where you can learn about the traditional culture of the Muong people. Witness their traditional way of life, observe their customs, and experience their warm hospitality. Engage in local activities, such as traditional handicrafts, and savor authentic cuisine.

Overnight Camping

If you're looking for an immersive experience, consider camping overnight in designated areas within the park. Enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings, gaze at the starry sky, and wake up to the sounds of nature. Make sure to check the park's regulations and obtain any necessary permits before camping.

Cuc Phuong National Park accommodation

Accommodation options in Cuc Phuong National Park are divided into three areas:

  • Park Headquarters: The Park Headquarters area offers 37 rooms with options for double, twin, or single occupancy. Each room is equipped with an en-suite bathroom, hot water, air conditioning, TV, and Wi-Fi. Additional services available include guided tours, music performances, laundry service, bike rentals, a souvenir and snack shop, and a restaurant.
  • Mac Lake: At Mac Lake, there are four air-conditioned double rooms, detached bungalows with fans, and dormitory-style stilt houses with separate bathrooms. Activities in this area include traditional music performances, fire camps, fishing opportunities, a souvenir and snack shop, and a restaurant.
  • Park Center: Park Center offers detached bungalows with en-suite bathrooms, hot water, and air conditioning, as well as basic stilt houses with separate bathrooms but no hot water. Services in this area include a restaurant, a souvenir shop, and snacks.

It's important to note that while the accommodations offer comfortable stays, they maintain a focus on eco-natural styles and provide basic facilities rather than luxurious standards.

Check the price and various rooms at The Official Website of Cuc Phuong National Park 

Cuc Phuong Natural Park nearby attractions

Suggested Itinerary to discover Cuc Phuong National Park 

Day 1: Ninh Binh Famous Attractions

  • Depart from Hanoi at around 8:00 AM
  • Visit the Dinh King temple in the Hoa Lu ancient capital
  • Visit Mua Cave by hiking 500 steps up on Lying Dragon Mountain to enjoy the breathtaking view
  • Have lunch at a local restaurant
  • Boat ride through Tam Coc
  • Check-in at a swimming pool bungalow in Tam Coc
  • Free time to explore Tam Coc

Day 2: Cuc Phuong National Park - Hanoi

  • Depart for Cuc Phuong National Park t around 9 AM 
  • Trekking in the forest 
  • Visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre
  • Enjoy lunch at the National Park
  • Visit The Cave of Prehistoric Man 
  • Drive back to Hanoi

Check out the Best tour to Cuc Phuong National Park with Aloha Vietnam Travel. 

Cuc Phuong National Park offers a unique and rewarding experience for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The park's diverse hiking trails, primate rescue center, charming caves, and green surroundings make it an ideal destination for those seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences. With nearby attractions like Tam Coc, Trang An, and Hoa Lu, visitors can further explore the beauty of Ninh Binh. Whether you're trekking, observing wildlife, exploring caves, or immersing yourself in the park's cultural and historical heritage, a trip to Cuc Phuong National Park is an opportunity to connect with nature and create lasting memories.

You might read: Things must know before taking a Ninh Binh tour: Ninh Binh Travel Guide 2023

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