Cat Tien National Park
Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park Travel Guide - Dong Nai

Cat Tien National Park is 150km from Ho Chi Minh City and 175km from Da Lat. The park covers 71,350 hectares stretching in the provinces of Dong Nai, Lam Dong and Binh Phuoc in southern Vietnam. Cat Tien extends from the south of the Central Highlands of Vietnam with tropical humid forests to the forests in the low-land Mekong Delta; this combined with the auspicious climatic conditions result in high concentration of species of the flora and fauna in the national park.

Crocodile Lake at Cat Tien National Park
Crocodile Lake at Cat Tien National Park
 
The climate at Cat Tien includes two seasons: dry season from December to April and the rainy season from May to November.

Cat Tien was inscribed to the the list of Global Biosphere Reserves by the UNESCO in 2001. In 2005, Bau Sau (the Crocodile Lake) in Cat Tien was listed as a Ramsar Site, a wetland area of international importance.

 
A forest trail at Cat Tien National Park
A forest trail at Cat Tien National Park
 
There are five types of forests at Cat Tien: secondary evergreen forest, primary evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, mixed forests, bamboo forests.

The flora of Cat Tien includes 1,610 species belonging to 724 genera, 162 families, 75 classes of vascular plants; the dominant species are Dipterocarpaceae, Fabaceae and Lythraceae families. Many species are listed in IUCN Red Book such as Afzelia xylocarpa, Sindora siamensis, Dalbergia bariensis, D. cochinchinensis, Dalbergia mammosa, Pterocarpus macrocarpus... to name a few.

 
Forest trail at Cat Tien
Forest trail at Cat Tien
 
 
The fauna at Cat Tien includes 113 mammal species, 351 bird species, 109 reptile species, 41 amphibian species, 756 insect species, 159 fish species; many of which are endemic to Vietnam and Indochina; and many of which are listed in Vietnam Red Book as well as IUCN Red Book.
 
Trail to the Crocodile Lake
Trail to the Crocodile Lake
 
 
Routes to visit at Cat Tien National Park
From Cat Tien Park Head Quarters, you can choose to take different routes depending on how much time you have for the park, your interests and your physical endurance: the Tung Tree (1.5km, 3 hours on foot), the Heavenly Waterfall (5.5km), the Benjamin Fig Tree (16km), Cat Tien Archeological Site (12km), Ma and S'tieng ethnic villages (12km), the botanical garden (2km), the Elephant Hill (3.5km), the Crocodile Lake (14km), Ta Lai (with different types of forests, birds and wildlife), the Primate Rescue Center, and the Wild Life Rescue Center.
 
 
 
Grassland at Cat Tien
Grassland at Cat Tien
 
Activities to do at Cat Tien
Bird-watching, forest hiking, nocturnal wild life watching, boat cruising on the Dong Nai River, biking in the park. 
 
Accommodations
At Cat Tien, there are 50 standard rooms at the park headquarters, a traditional long-house built and administered by Tay, S'tieng and Ma People at Ta Lai (12km south of the park headquarters), the Forest Floor Lodge at Ben Cu by the side of the Dong Nai River (1.5km north of the park headquarters). There are rooms in houses on stilts at the Crocodile Lake that offer specular view of wildlife at dawn and at dusk.
 
 
a Tung tree at Cat Tien
a Tung tree at Cat Tien

Preparations for your trip to Cat Tien National Park

  • Better to have dark-colored clothes, hats,...
  • Long sleeved shirts and long pants;
  • Soft hats;
  • Hiking shoes;
  • Anti-leech socks;
  • Rain coats;
  • Torches, binoculars;
  • Cameras with telephoto lenses;
  • Drinking water;
  • Degradable soap;
  • Insect repellents;

Paradissa organizes bird-watching tours and nature tours to Cat Tien National Park. There are also trekking adventure itineraries through the forest of Cat Tien or to ethnic villages at the buffer zone of Cat Tien National.